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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Editor
Author:  Bob Webster
Bio: Bob Webster
Date:  June 14, 2007
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The Carbonphobia Virus

There is a rapidly spreading virus that is affecting ever greater numbers of people. It is known as the carbonphobia virus and is spread through a combination of circumstances.

Symptoms

Those prone to infection will have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • They are poorly educated in and generally ignorant about general science and find math difficult or even confusing.

  • They have no knowledge of the science of climate or climate change.

  • They tune in to NPR, PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN.

  • They believe without question what they read in Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., etc..

  • They have watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and find it convincing.

  • They attend a school or college with liberal teachers/professors who sing the praises of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • They tend to believe they are liberals or find liberal views enticing.
The more symptoms a particular individual possesses, the more likely that individual will become infected with the virus.

Unfortunately, many victims of the carbonphobia virus do not realize they are infected. They continue to lead their daily lives in complete ignorance of their infection. They are perfectly content to believe they have been properly informed by others who are also infected. Victims may not realize they are manifesting an infection by the virus.

Manifestations

Revealing manifestations of the carbonphobia virus include:

  • A belief that burning fossil fuels will destroy earth by making it too hot to sustain life.

  • A belief that human activity can change climate.

  • A belief that if humans just stop burning fossil fuels, all will be restored to "normal."

  • A belief that we must "do something" to avert a climate "crisis."

  • A belief that we can manufacture a system of government mandates to force people to use less carbon fuel by creating a system of carbon credits tied to an illusive carbon footprint scheme.

  • A belief that carbon dioxide is an evil pollutant and we must regulate its production.
The more manifestations of this virus one exhibits, the worse the infection and the more difficult the treatment.

If you find you have any of the symptoms or manifestations of the carbonphobia virus and you are interested in a cure, then read on.

Treating the Carbonphobia Virus

Fortunately, there is a treatment for the carbonphobia virus, but it requires massive doses of common sense, elementary knowledge of climate and climate change history, and a willingness to value truth.

Education

It may be necessary for infected individuals to purge massive amounts of misinformation about climate science that has been instilled in them by false prophets, undeducated teachers, and misinformed media. The best place to start is with some fundamental facts about the greenhouse effect and climate change.

Facts About The Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change

  • The greenhouse effect is not a significant climate change force. It is a process for retaining heat from the sun.

  • The greenhouse effect does not create heat, it merely retains heat produced by the sun.

  • Carbon dioxide is a minor contributor to greenhouse heat retention. Water vapor (and clouds of water vapor) are responsible for up to 95% of greenhouse heat retention; all other greenhouse gases account for the remainder (carbon dioxide is the most potent of the remainder of greenhouse gases after water vapor).

  • Carbon dioxide is always being created and absorbed by natural processes. The decay of plant and animal life produces, among other things, carbon dioxide. Animals and insects produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct of digestion and respiration. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, giving off oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis.

  • The properties of carbon dioxide limit its greenhouse heat retention to less than 3.0C (5.4F), regardless of the amount put into the atmosphere.

  • The first 20 ppm of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere (from zero base) provides more greenhouse heat retention than the next 380 ppm combined.

  • Carbon dioxide's impact on heat retention declines logarithmically as more is added to the atmosphere.

Chart from "Climate Outlook to 2030" by David C. Archibald
  • At current levels of about 380 ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide, more than 2.7C of carbon dioxide's heat retention capablility has already been achieved. Adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have little impact on greenhouse heat retention.

  • Climate is always changing. The natural state of climate is change.

  • Historically (in the paleoclimate record), carbon dioxide exhibits a short term (100s of years) response to climate change; it does not produce climate change! Over time frames of tens or hundreds of millions of years, there is no relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate.

  • Humans have never experienced Earth's "typical" climate (the climate that has prevailed during more than 90% of the existence of living organisms). Earth's typical climate is between 15F and 25F warmer than anything humans have ever experienced.

  • Earth has experienced four ice eras over the past 540 million years. Ice eras last tens of millions of years and contain embedded colder climate regimes called ice epochs that last hundreds of thousands of years (up to a few million years). Ice eras and ice epochs feature climate much colder than Earth's typical climate when there is no surface ice at sea level anywhere on the planet and sea levels are much higher than anything experienced by humans.

  • During Earth's coldest ice era (the "snowball Earth" era that peaked about 450 million years ago), when almost the entire planet was covered in ice, atmospheric carbon dioxide was 5600 ppm, about 15 times higher than today!

  • Ice ages are relatively brief periods lasting tens of thousands of years. Warmer climate periods between ice age cycles are known as interglacials. We are experiencing an interglacial that began about 18,000 years ago. Interglacials typically last about 20,000 years.

  • Within ice age and interglacial cycles, there are shorter term climate episodes known as warm and cold periods lasting hundreds of years. Recent (within the past 5000 years) known regimes of this nature include The Minoan Warm Period, The Roman Warm Period, The Medieval Warm Period, and, most recently, The Little Ice Age that peaked in the 17th century. If recent history is representative, warm periods are more common than cold periods. Remember, these are all within the interglacial of an ice age cycle.

  • During the 20th century, global temperatures cooled, warmed, cooled again, and then warmed again. The end of the 1990s featured a particularly warm period of several years that coincided with a particularly active solar sunspot cycle. A high correlation between solar cycles and climate exists in the climate and solar record.

  • The unusually active solar cycle experienced over the past decade is passing and many solar scientists believe an unusually minimal period of solar activity will be experienced during the next 20 years. This could lead to dramatic cooling, based on the paleoclimate and solar cycle record.

  • If humans were confronted with an imminent cold period (e.g., the recent Little Ice Age), there is nothing that could be done to prevent it.

  • Carbon-based fossil fuels are produced from decayed ancient plant and animal life. That ancient life obtained its carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and digestion. Consequently, the use of fossil fuels is nothing more than an exercise in long term recycling of carbon dioxide back to the atmosphere from which it originated. It is a natural life cycle process.
If you have been infected with the carbonphobia virus and you study the above facts, you will find that a cure is likely to emerge. By absorbing this knowledge, you will shed your infection and become a cured individual, capable of resisting future attempts at reinfection.

However, be warned that cured individuals must be wary of the tremendous pressure that the infected population may bring upon them to shed their knowledge and become reinfected. Particular pressure will come from politicians, a particularly susceptible group due to their general abysmal comprehension of things scientific. Infected politicians will cause extreme pain to all others through the folly of imposing regulatory burdens and insisting on such energy inefficient non-solutions such as costly ethanol-based fuels.

The danger of reinfection is always present, particularly among those who continue to subject themselves to some of the symptoms noted above.

Action without knowledge is pure folly.

Avoid becoming infected with the carbonphobia virus by seeking truth (see references below for a selection of good material).

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

Send email feedback to Bob Webster


Notes: 

References:

  1. Climate Outlook to 2030 - David C. Archibald, Summa Development Limited, Perth, W A, Australia.
  2. The Geologic Record and Climate Change - Dr. Tim Patterson
  3. Why So Gloomy? Global Warming Fears Overblown - Dr. Richard S. Lindzen
  4. The Great Global Warming Swindle - Dr. S. Fred Singer
  5. A Dangerous Climate - Dr. Bob Carter
  6. There IS a problem with global warming ... it stopped in 1998 - Dr. Bob Carter
  7. The Great Global Warming Swindle - Channel 4 U.K.
  8. The Infamous "Hockey Stick" Curve and Other Inconvenient Truths - Bob Webster
  9. Global Warming, Myth or Reality?, Dr. Marcel Leroux, Springer-Praxis Books, 2005.
  10. The Chilling Stars - A New Theory of Climate Change, Dr. Henrik Svensmark, Dr. Nigel Calder, Icon Books, 2007.
  11. Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1,500 Years, Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007.
  12. Shattered Consensus - The True State of Global Warming, Edited by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a collection of articles by eleven authors, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005.
  13. The Satanic Gases - Clearing the Air about Global Warming, Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, Dr. Robert C. Balling, Jr., Cato Institute, 2000.
  14. Meltdown - The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media, Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, Cato Institute, 2005.

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a descendant of Daniel Webster's father and early American patriot, Ebenezer Webster, has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for every high school student so they can understand the dangers of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.


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