by Dr. Tim Ball, Humans Are Free:
Many years ago, I compared the claim that human CO2 was causing global warming was analogous to determining what was causing your car to falter.
To simplify the analysis, you decided to not look at the engine, the transmission, the gearbox, the drive shaft, the differential, the axle, and the wheel, to focus attention on one portion of the thread of one bolt of one nut on the right rear wheel.
Figure 1 is a systems diagram of the atmosphere and atmospheric processes.
It appears complex, but is, in reality, a simple representation. The people who created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) decided this system, analogous to your car was faltering. Through their definition of climate change as only those changes caused by humans, they narrowed the search to human CO2.
In the diagram, it is one thread on one bolt in the section labelled “Atmospheric composition.” That section includes all the gases of the atmosphere and the billions of tonnes of particulates. These gases and particles affect the incoming solar radiation and outgoing long-wave heat energy.
They also vary over time, but we have virtually no idea of quantities or the variability. Of all the gases in the composition, the so-called greenhouse gases (GHG) comprise approximately 4 percent. And of that 4 percent total, carbon dioxide (CO2) is 4 percent, and human CO2 is approximately 3.4 percent.
It is one thread on one bolt of the complex system. The actual amount of human-produced CO2 added to the system is an estimate produced by the IPCC. It is, like all other numbers used, a barely educated guess presented with the authority that it is accurate and real.
The first use of CO2 for a political agenda was by Margaret Thatcher. She wanted to break the coal miner’s union that was holding the country to ransom and also to promote nuclear power.
She used Sir John Houghton, head of the United Kingdom Meteorological Office, to produce the science. He later became the first co-chair of the IPCC.
Houghton was an ideal candidate because he believed human industrial development was a sin and wrote articles on the subject. He is entitled to his personal opinions, but science must be amoral and apolitical, but that, apparently, does not apply to Houghton. Later in life Margaret Thatcher, to her credit, accepted that the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis was wrong, but a dangerous precedence was set.
The precedence was to maintain the lie that CO2 was a dangerous gas. They ignored from the start its role as a life source for plants, without which there is no oxygen or any lifeform.
A major assumption was that an increase in CO2 would result in a temperature increase. In 1990 the Antarctic ice core was produced that appeared to show confirmation (Figure 3).
Within 5 years it was shown that the graph showed that temperature increased before CO2. They claimed that the residency time in the atmosphere of the CO2 humans produce was 100 years. The argument was that even if we stopped production now, the problem would persist for a very long time.
Also, failure to stop prolonged the problem. It didn’t take long to show that the actual residency time was at most 6 years. Figure 4 shows a comparison of independent research measures against that of the IPCC.
Before CO2 became the focus more attention was paid to methane (CH4). This was pushed by groups battling the cattle industry. Jeremy Rifkin wrote a book and led a campaign titled, “Beyond Beef.” The basic claim was that cattle were the cause of virtually every ill, both environmental and socio-economic, afflicting the world.
They conveniently ignored the 210 million “Holy Cows” in India that produce no foodstuffs whatever. The biggest challenge involved the fact that methane, although a greenhouse gas, is only 0.36% of all the GHG by volume and just 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases. Compare this with water vapor (H2O) that is 95% of GHG.
They tried to inflate the impact of CH4 by introducing an effectiveness scale. This claimed, without evidence, that the global warming potential (GWP) of CH4 was 50 times greater than CO2. GWP became an official designation, but even with the multiplier, the actual effect is a fraction of that for H2O.