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Gore lies about lying (or maybe he just lies some more)

I haven’t made a post on this site in quite some time. I had to break my silence though on the recent news coming from former US Vice President Al Gore. First let me quote his statement (this is from Reuters):

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

He explained his own support for the original program on his presidential ambitions.

Less feedback forcing than previously guessed at

Most of the long-term climate models show feedback from an increase of carbon dioxide that ultimately creates more carbon dioxide. The theory is that as CO2 increases, the temperature increases. As the temperature increases, it forces more CO2 to be released from CO2 sinks or it causes less CO2 to be absorbed. This extra CO2 causes a dramatic increase in temperature – which releases more CO2. Many of the models that predicted the end of world had this increase in CO2 and temperature. It really wasn’t the CO2 from man that was the problem, it was the tipping point that was reached by man’s CO2.

Lord Turnbull’s comments

I thought that Lord Turnbull’s speach in front of the House of Lords on December 8, 2009 was very well done. It does an excellent job of praising many in the community for their efforts in addition to appropriately questioning the correct next action. As this is a public forum paid for by British taxpayers, I feel that I can include his complete comments here.

I especially like the realism in his comments about the exporting of carbon usage to China (or other less developed countries) and then blaming those countries for their dramatic increase. This is an issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of curtailing carbon output in any individual country.

Is global warming a hoax?

Doug Craig over at recently published an article covering the abbreviated history of research regarding greenhouse gases and the history of our scientific understanding of them. He naturally skipped those researchers and scientists that discuss the cooling affect of aerosols.

Mr. Craig’s article is pretty typical of the problem in this debate for both sides. His article is filled with references to “hoax” in this discussion. Hoax is a word that is often referenced by some that doubt global warming predictions (or more precisely, the efforts to reverse the influence). In this case, Mr. Craig is making fun of it with the natural assumption that he thinks such people are fools for thinking it is a “hoax.”

Al Gore may concur that that science is not settled!

This is absolutely unbelievable. It now appears that Mr. Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and Nobel prize winner for his theories on global warming, may be stepping back from some of his strong beliefs.

Over the years I have been among those who focused most of all on CO2, and I think thats still justified, Gore told Newsweek . But a comprehensive plan to solve the climate crisis has to widen the focus to encompass strategies for all of the greenhouse culprits identified in the Nasa study.

U.S. Biofuel Boom Running on Empty

As nations around the world begin to plan for Copenhagen to discuss the next generation Kyoto treaty, it is increasingly obvious that they will be ineffective.

Chief among the reasons for this ineffectiveness is that with the price of oil at its current state, it is simply not cost effective to use alternative fuels that will dump less CO2 into the atmosphere. The oil producing nations are probably not maintaining crude at this level to doom the planet to disaster, they are simply smart business people that are providing their “drugs” to the “addicts” at a price and in a way that will insure that no one can ever move off.

Are the glaciers our fault?

I am often asked if the reduction of the size of glaciers is the fault of global warming. My standard answer is that I don’t know as the evidence is far from conclusive.

A case in point is a graph from the USGS fact sheet:

Two conclusions are fairly obvious from the above graph.  First, the size of glacier recession has been occurring almost since the time when we started measuring the size back in the late 50s.  The second is that the reduction seemed to increase rather rapidly in the late 80s and early 90s. If we draw a straight line to average the reduction from 1960 to 1975, we will see a totally different rate as compared to the line that averages 1980 to 2005.

Scientists and Engineers are upset

If you read this site often, you will know that I am an engineer by training (even though I don’t currently practice). I tend to respect this profession a great deal as being fairly straight-forward and hard working. As a group, they also tend to be a pretty smart bunch.

One of the major trade rags in engineering is C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News). It is edited by Mr. Rudy Baum. If you aren’t in that trade, you would probably never pick up an issue so you may not be familiar with it. I haven’t read the publication in a long time but was recently made aware of a bit of controversy by Climate Depot. While the readers of C&EN are likely not climatologists, the science of CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere is very steeped in chemistry which their target market knows a bit about.

Could we be wrong about global warming?

There is an article in the USAToday (that is based on an article in Nature Geoscience) that is getting a lot of web traffic lately.

While few people would call me a global warming alarmists, I do think it is important to have relatively balanced perspective on all of this.  In fact, that is the essence of this blog.

Most reputable scientists without an agenda (which likely excludes anyone associated with Al Gore) had concluded long ago that it wasn’t the CO2 concentrations that would deliver the doom and gloom of the alarmists.  Rather, the concern was a feedback loop that would be accelerated by a fairly rapid expansion of carbon dioxide.  One theory is that this CO2 increase would cause temperatures to increase slightly which causes an increase in H2O in the atmosphere which further increases the temperature in an escalating fashion.

Good news for green power in Ohio

Regular readers know that I think that nuclear power is one of the very few ways we can provide the power we need without taking the chance that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide.  If you believe in anthropogenic global warming and don’t believe the human race should live like the Amish, then you really don’t have a choice but to endorse nuclear power.

Contrary to my custom, I will be recreating the complete story here.

Strickland details plans for nuclear plant
Business First of Columbus – by Matt Burns

A third nuclear power station proposed for Ohio likely wont start operating for years, but government officials and energy industry executives are saying it is time to start considering its construction and Piketon is the place for it.