Re: Kyoto, Driving our car (composite reply)

Michael Lorrey (
Wed, 10 Dec 1997 07:32:34 -0500

Arjen Kamphuis wrote:
> I believe these point to be facts, but feel free to correct me.
> 1.Increased atmospheric CO2 causes increased downward IR-flux
> which could possibly lead to a temperature-rise of the biosphere.

On the other hand, increased atmospheric CO2 causes plants to increase
not only their growth, but the ratio of carbon fixing per lb of plant

Additionally, increased equaltorial heating (where more of these
greenhouse effect measurements are taken, on a per square mile basis,
than in polar regions) tends to reduce the efficacy of the thermohaline
conveyor system in the oceans. The Atlantinc conveyor is known as the
Gulf Stream. As this conveyor system slows, there will be less heat
transport to the poles, leading to colder temperatures in polar regions,
which I needn't further explain, is what causes ice ages.
> 2.In 1958 a downward trend in the relative concentration of radioactive
> C14 was discovered by Suess and attributed to burning of fossile carbon.
> 3.In 1970 a clear upward trend of atmospheric CO2 was shown by
> measuraments begun in '58 all over the world.

And yet we have seen nowhere near the same level of temperature increase
relative to CO2 rise as that seen in prehistoric data gathered from ice
deposits. THis says that there must be some other mechanism in charge of
major cooling/warming trends.

> 4.Over a 18.000 year period the CO2 concentration increased from about
> 190 PPM to 280 PPM and then suddenly increased to it's present value
> of 365 PPM over the last 200 years.

200 years? You mean 20 years. According to my geologist cousin, the CO2
level's effect on global average temperature has a diminishing returns
effect that kicks in at 280 and really flattens out at 330 ppm. After
that it really doesn't have that much of an effect if it goes up

He is not just a rockhound. He is a hydrogeologist that specialises in
ice ages.

> 5.During the latter half of this century there has been a solid
> correlation between economic growth and increased consumption of
> fossile fuels, were increase in fuel usage is tyically 1-3% greater
> that economy growth in that year.

No, there is a solid correlation between per capita income and
pollution, but it is not linear. It starts out linear at $0 up to
$10,000.00 per year, then drops down by 50% by $12500.00, and slowly
dropping further thereafter.

> 6.Right now the developed nations are consuming a disproportionate part
> of the global energy resources (the US consumes a 25% of all fossile
> fuels produces while comprising only 5% of the global population).

This is always a statistical lie tossed out by developing countries to
make the US shoulder the burden like a Sugar Daddy. They fail to say
what percent of that 25% of all fossil fuels is not burned, but is
converted into plastics and other products. THey also fail to properly
account for Chinese coal consumption. This figure is a highly classified
state secret (the true figure at least). They also fail to recognise
that the US long ago reached fill utilization of hydro resources, and
leads the world in implementation of wind and solar projects. They also,
with the exception of France, fail to mention that the only way for the
entire world to solve its fossil fuel dependency is to fully use nuclear

> 7.All humans living in Africa, Asia and the rest of the world have
> just a much right to drive cars, have a TV and airconditioning but
> if they do the global energy requirement will increase by (at least)
> a factor of 5. Currently the known supplies of oil/gas are only
> sufficient for 25-50 years (depending on your growth scenario) at
> the current consumtion level.

Your second statement is an utter falsehood, while your first is
inaccurate. The advantage of following our lead is that they will be
able to take advantage of energy and fuel efficient technologies from
the start that were developed by the US. The current fuel reserves, as I
have repeatedly informed this list in the past, is merely a measurement
of known available reserves that are cost effective to recover at
TODAY's market prices. Previously unknown reserves are being discovered
every day, so much so that, depending on growth scenarios you use, we
have somewhere between 200-400 years of KNOWN fossil fuels available.
THis is not even considering the vast hydrate reserves under the ocean
bottoms that were only discovered to exist a couple of years ago. How
much oil and gas remains to be discovered is still an unknown.

> I'm an optimist but I cannot help seeing a _potentially_ very threatening
> picture emerging here.
> "Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin" wrote:
> >Really bad analogy.
> >
> >A better analogy:
> >
> >You're driving along a road through low hills. It's a rather twisty
> //snip //
> >lot further down and there's no sign of an ocean.
> >
> >And in response to this confusion, some want us to come to a dead
> >halt.
> I hope you do not seriously expect that trying to describe anything as
> complex as the climatesystem would have been an instant succes. That just a
> ridiculous as expecting the rocketscientists of the early fifties to design
> a Saturn-V and expext it to perfom on the first flight. Of course things
> went wrong! The fact that mistakes have been made by certain people
> studying these issues in the past doesn't mean there can't be (and hasn't
> been!) progress in this field.
> >The evidence for an ice age is as good as the evidence for global
> >warming.
> Please state _one_ scientist whose work has been under the same scrutiny of
> peer-review as IPCC publications that dares to stake his reputation on the
> theorie that the CO2-increase of the last 200 years is preventing another
> ice-age.

A large number have in the past published, and had reviewed, data on
things like the variance in Solar Nutrino Unit (SNU) levels over time,
as well as the fact that current SNU levels, which are a product of
fusion occuring in the sun's core right now (the heat of which will
radiate to the surface within 5,000 years or so) is only 1/4 of that
deemed necessary to sustain the present solar flux levels. THis means
that, if current solar fusion models are accurate (and are no less
accurate than, say, greenhouse effect simulations) then in a few
thousand years, the sun will drop its output by a large fraction. It is
also well recognised that the end of what is known as the "Little Ice
Age" coincides with vast population and industrialisation growth (with a
concurrent increase in CO2 levels). While this (the little ice age deal)
is not currently in scientific or political vogue, in the 70's and early
80's, it was considered to be solid science.
> AFAIKT almost every glacier on this planet has been retreating during this
> century and the is _no_ indication whatsoever that there's another iceage
> around the corner. And even if there was it's not something that is going
> to happen in decades but over a period of several milennia.

You fail to mention that the Greenland Ice Cap, which is in reality one
huge glacier, is indeed growing.
> And the fact that this argument is never heard in discussions at policy
> level might be an indication that it is not taken seriously by the broad
> community of scientists (even PR-people of big oil companies _never_ use
> this argument!).

Of course not. you fail to understand the economics of energy prices.
Tell me, when did oil companies make the biggest profits????? Duh, when
prices were sky high during the OPEC stimulated and Carter induced oil
crunch of the 70's and 80's. If energy taxes take effect, this will
increase prices, which will increase their margins, allowing oil execs
to squeeze in more profits. They also will be able to wangle huge
increases in government subsidies for energy research. Pushing oil shale
scams on the feds was one of the biggest cash cows the oil boys
perpetrated on the US and Canada.

> >Even if we assume that you are right about the problem, it may be
> >that you are wrong about the solution. The fundamental need is to
> >increase the amount of organic matter.
> Trees are stable biomass. It may be that more CO2 'bonding' can be done by
> oceanic plankton as was noted by Michael Lorrey. However, these cannot be
> more than temporary solutions since the global emission of CO2 is
> increasing exponentialy and will continue to do at least so for some time
> (there's a lot more coal to burn).

Not so. As CO2 levels go up along with heat, and hopefully with some
stimulation from sinking a couple thousand obsolete cargo ships (all
that metal rusting stimulates plankton growth), that plankton will
flourish and become a) fishfood, which will become people food, which
will become sludge spread over the barren wastes of the midwest, the
Sahara, etc. and b) precipitating detritus settling on the ocean bottom,
to, over time become methane hydrate deposits.
> >If your solution compels poor
> >people on marginal land to continue the agricultural practices now
> >turning that marginal land into desert, you are being counter-productive.

How about throwing out 100 years of counterproductive waste treatment
"technology" and start spreading sludge over the desert??? There are
companies doing this now in Texas with New York City sludge (grade B

> I have no idea where you got this idea and of course it's also necessary to
> try to foster sustainable land-use in poor countries. This is just a part
> of a much bigger general education problem. If farmers on the edge of
> desert can be educated about these things that will be a very big plus
> (just as education about family planning and basic health).

At this point there is little for Mohammed Q. Sixpack in the sourthern
Sahara can do, as the main thing draining usable soil from the desert's
periphery is the sun and the winds. Getting Europe to ship its shit
south would do wonders.

> >For that matter, according to some studies, if 1/100 of what Clinton
> >proposes US businesses should pay out of their own pockets each year
> >to cut their CO2 emissions were applied to dumping dusts of
> >metals-rich organic chemicals into the southern oceans, we might
> >solve the problem not only for the US, but for the entire world.
> I've heard proposals to dump animals waste (a lot of that in Europe, and
> no-one knows what to do with it) in so-called 'oceanic deserts'. These are
> area's in the oceans that do not contain minerals (maily nitrogen) required
> for basic plankton life and are mostly lifeless because of it. The
> introduction of nitrogencompounds could start a whole foodchain that would
> bond many megatons of carbon. The high cost seems not to be getting it in
> the middle of an ocean but to get is from the farms to the ships, after
> that: no problem.

Except for bureaucracy. The EPA, that fountain of wise and informed
environmental protection, has banned New York from dumping its sewage at
sea. Any wonder that local fisheries have plummeted???

> >The major problem with that claim is that identifiable sources of
> >possible error convert it to something on the order of "The global
> >temperature is someplace between two degrees colder and three degrees
> >warmer than a century ago, with the most likely value being half a
> >degree warmer."
> The statistics are difficult, but if you superimpose temperature data
> concerning the last 150 years from Vinnikov, Groveman and sources like CRU
> and GISS the similaritiest are striking to say the least (and so is the
> upward-trend).
> No, there's no certainty yet. I do not think we can afford to wait for
> absolute, 100% certainty.

Almost all of the data, however, are from stations in temperate,
tropical, or equatorial zones. There is very little data from subpolar
and polar regions to give such statistical pools the proper balance. As
a result the stats are merely measuring an increase in equatorial
temperatures, while the decrease in polar temperatures are swamped to

> >The other problem is that to the extent that we can track WHEN this
> >change occurred, it appears that about 80% of the effect occurred
> >*before* 80% of the alleged cause.
> X-cuse me? The relation between increased CO2 matches the start of the
> industrial revolution and the relative decreasing C14 concentration
> correlated with statistical data on global usage of fossile carbon. There
> is very little doubt were all this 'new' carbon comes from, the extent of
> it's effect cannot be determined yet but there are many indications that
> the consequences for the global food production (amongst many other things)
> could be a big problem.
> >> > We can further say with equal confidence that they were NOT
> >> > environmental disasters in any way that we would recognise. That
> >>
> >> How can we say that? There was a happy ecosystem, yes. There was
> >> not a happy ecosystem with agricultural humans who tend to live near
> >> shorelines and be vulnerable to malaria in it.
> >
> >No significant evidence of major change in swamp area as a result of
> >temperature changes in this range. No significant evidence of
> >non-trivial shoreline changes. No significant evidence of changes in
> >flooding patterns.
> Not yet, but that may very well be because there's a delay between cause
> and effect (not unusual in large systems). A two degree temperature
> increase in the sub-tropics could very well enlarge the habitat for
> malariamosquito's causing 50 million additional deaths yearly (mainly in
> third-world countries). Already research in Colombia, Ethiopia, Pakistan
> and Papua-New-Guinee has shown that malaria is becoming more frequent in
> higher area's, this could be greenhouse-related.

Sorry, wrong again. Turns out that malarial mosquitos live in swamps
that are a) not given a decent through flow of water, and b) protected
from incursions of salt water. It is the opinion of many current
wetlands experts (as seen in last months AUDOBON issue) that malarial
mosquitos are a sign of an unhealthy wetlands ecosystem. Healty wetlands
have well rounded populations of mosquito predators.

> >DIFFERENT plants grow well, but the basic level
> >of biodiversity is not significantly affected.
> >From what I've understood Homo Sapiens is the biggest threat to biological
> diversity since whatever killed the dino's. Normal development of the
> eco-system is replacement of about one species per year (based on fossile
> records). Current extinction rate is anywhere from 10 to 40 species per
> _day_. But all this not not necessarily related to greenhouse (more with
> the McDonalds burger farming on poor Brazilian soil and the western lust
> for tropical wood).

Granted, as top predators, we are getting more irresponsible, but this
is mostly because of the preference of many to descend to the level of
cattle in order to be able to increase population.

> John Dickson <> wrote:
> >I don't think wondering what we're doing to our atmosphere is the
> >truly relevant question here -- it is probably either no big deal or
> >way too late.
> It could be already too late, but since we're not sure either way let's
> work with the assuption that we can make a difference, it's a helluvalot
> more motivating and fun.

"Gee, I dunno if there is a problem or not, but I'll fix it anyways"....

> >The important thing that no one is addressing is that
> >the fossil fuels we are burning represent the end result of millions
> >of years of solar energy concentrated into these highly energetic
> >substances. I don't think anyone will argue that we are burning this
> >stuff at an extremely accelerated rate, and the fact is, when
> >they are gone, that is it.
> Exacly, if the current trend does not change we'll have burned 300 million
> years of solar energy in about three centuries. It's been a nice kickstart
> for out technical civilisation but we have to find better alternatives pronto.

Sure enough. Gimme Uranium, plutonium. Breeder reactors. Nuke em, nuke
em, nuke em.

> >I happen to believe they might be
> >important, and I would rather not run out of them any time soon.
> >It's not so much about the atmosphere, but rather how limited a
> >resource they represent. I think fossil fuels have better uses than
> >being inefficiently combusted when I commute to work.
> Yes, better to use them for plastics and composite materials.
> So how are electric cars doing? I understand Ford has a model that is ready
> to be _used_.

Yes, and, whaddya know, plastic batteries are coming to market.....

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?