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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.

How to fight climate change with cow dung

I am sure that everyone will enjoy this video.  Methane is one of the most potent of all greenhouse gases and no climate change policy would be complete without an effort to minimize this pollutant.  The following video is one method that might be tried.

How To Fight Climate Change With Cow Dung

Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

NASA Prepares to Launch Satellite Designed to Study Global Warming

This is absolutely wonderful news.  There is no question that we don’t fully understand the complexities of our atmosphere.  Our models which predict doom and gloom are woefully inadequate (which doesn’t make them incorrect – it just leaves room for extreme doubt).

Perhaps this study will solve one of my mysteries in the global warming discussion and that is that North America actually appears to sink CO2 rather than emit the gas.  We know that carbon dioxide is increasing from man’s efforts due to the isotope nature of the CO2 in the air but we still struggle understanding how CO2 spreads through the atmosphere.

The Endangered Polar Bear

The US has just listed the Polar Bear as a Threatened Species.  It is claimed by some that this is the first species that has been declared threatened by global warming.

I really don’t know if this is good or bad. The arguments from both sides seem quite convincing, in different ways.  The pro-endanger side says that since global warming is going to melt the ice that polar bears hunt on, they will start to rapidly decline in numbers and need our protection.  The con-endanger group says that there is no evidence to date that polar bears are dying due to ice loss so we are rushing the effort and the polar bear population has increased since the elimination of controlled hunting of the bears.  A great discussion of this can be found at The War Over the Polar Bear.

Carbon-Market Concept Moves to Mainstream

Wall Street Journal – May 14, 2008

I really do not like the concept of trading in carbon. I think that carbon offsets trading only reward bad processes that are extremely cheap and are a band-aid to the real problem. If it is assumed that we need to vastly reduce the carbon footprint then the buying public should be encouraged to buy energy and products that result from lower carbon emissions and discouraged from buying the carbon rich ones.

Allowing a utility that has a coal burning plant in one part of the world to offset that footprint with a geo-thermal plant in another part of the world really doesn’t solve anything. If the two plants served the same marketplace, then their energy would compete but if the two plants are separated by oceans then we really haven’t solved any problems, we have just allowed a company to financially afford a carbon-rich coal plant.

The much maligned Drs. Singer and Gray

This is not an obituary of Dr. Fred Singer or Dr. William Gray, even though the title of this article may lead you to believe that.  Dr. Gray is the Professor of Atmospheric Science, Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State and is the noted writer of the hurricane forecast every year.  Dr. Singer is currently the Director and President of The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

I am writing this article simply because I am amazed at the bitterness that is delivered upon these two men.

A search for Dr. Singer and Dr. Gray on RealClimate.org reveals an amazing amount of sarcasm and lack of respect for the two gentlemen. Why? Well, they obviously don’t agree with many of the writers of RealClimate.  The sad thing is that they definitely have the credentials to disagree and still command respect.

Global Warming’s Fever

GUEST ARTICLE:

By Tom Phelps

The earth has a fever. This was a statement from Nobel Prize winning documentarian, Al Gore.

Increasingly the view of mankind by mankind is that of intruder. In many ways it would seem that we are the earths enemy and our very existence is depleting the earth of resources that could keep an environmental balance.

Global warming is the belief that the temperature of the air nearest to earth is consistently rising. Droughts are blamed on global warming and new products are constantly being developed to help lessen human impact on perceived climate change.

Electric or hybrid cars are thought to provide the best example of how we can reduce carbon emissions that are said to be harming the earth.

Reader questions – Part 3 of 4

I enjoy emails from readers of this site.  My contact information is in the About page and the comments and encouragement I receive makes this site a joy to run.  I recently received an email from Brittany C asking four questions.  Brittany is allowing me to publish her questions and my answers.  These answers are a combination of scientific fact with conjecture and opinion from me. This is her 3rd question of the 4.

Question 3: Greenhouse gases trap in the heat from the sun’s rays.  Why do these gases trap in the heat?  Why don’t these gases keep the sun’s heat and rays from entering the earth’s atmosphere in the first place?  I would think that if the gases keep heat from escaping, they would also keep it from entering the atmosphere and reaching the earth’s surface?

In China, a Plan to Turn Rice Into Carbon Credits

Wall Street Journal – October 9, 2007

I am not a fan of carbon trading programs or carbon credits as most readers know. However, I do like programs that promise to reduce the use of our valuable resources.

This idea sounds promising as it will decrease the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere (did you know that agriculture put out more than automobiles?) and it will conserve resources.

…to sell farmers a genetically engineered rice seed. He says the seed, still in development, will cut their need for nitrogen fertilizer, which is among their biggest costs — and a huge source of greenhouse gases. He then aims to sell the resulting carbon credits on a growing global exchange.