Quote of the day—Matt Ridley

The environmental movement has advanced three arguments in recent years for giving up fossil fuels: (1) that we will soon run out of them anyway; (2) that alternative sources of energy will price them out of the marketplace; and (3) that we cannot afford the climate consequences of burning them.

Matt Ridley
March 13, 2015
Fossil Fuels Will Save the World
[There is some really good stuff in the article. If you don’t have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal you can read the article here as well.

There is stuff like:

More than a billion people on the planet have yet to get access to electricity and to experience the leap in living standards that abundant energy brings. This is not just an inconvenience for them: Indoor air pollution from wood fires kills four million people a year. The next time that somebody at a rally against fossil fuels lectures you about her concern for the fate of her grandchildren, show her a picture of an African child dying today from inhaling the dense muck of a smoky fire.

And this point about plants being CO2 starved and grow better with more CO2 which I bring up with nearly everyone that wants to tell me about man caused global warming:

Although the world has certainly warmed since the 19th century, the rate of warming has been slow and erratic. There has been no increase in the frequency or severity of storms or droughts, no acceleration of sea-level rise. Arctic sea ice has decreased, but Antarctic sea ice has increased. At the same time, scientists are agreed that the extra carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to an improvement in crop yields and a roughly 14% increase in the amount of all types of green vegetation on the planet since 1980.

The more sophisticated global-warming/climate-change people want to talk about the positive feedback loops that will create runaway warming. But they give me a blank look when I ask about the negative feedback from the plants consuming more CO2 and more vegetation resulting from the increased CO2.—Joe]

17 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Matt Ridley

  1. Also higher global temperatures would result in more oceanic evaporation (and possibly lower sea-levels in the bullshit levels they are talking about in “Recorded rising”) which would cause greater cloud cover which is COOLING.

    Also I love when people give reports on sea-level measured in millimeters or less…often with 5-6 sig figs.

    Sorry, bucky, but hey, New York city has about a 5-6 foot tide….and had an eleven FOOT storm surge during Sandy.

    Sorry but sea level is a REALLY noisy number set, there’s no way your numbers are legit….but THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED!!!111

    Of course the people who say that the most have no understanding of science in the first place.

    • Explain the drinking water and sewage systems in South Florida then. If ocean levels aren’t rising, why are they such a problem?

          • The two articles you linked to did not give any numbers as to measured sea level changes. It appears to me they are very carefully worded to imply the sea level has raised without actually saying that.

            Sea water can be mixing with the fresh water without a rise in the sea level. One way is for there to be an increase in the consumption of the fresh water. This will lower the level of the fresh water and allow the sea water to come in and replace it. Hence the warnings of no or reduced access to fresh water may be valid without a rise in sea level.

            Another way this can happen is for the land to sink. New Orleans, for example, is built on silt that is thousands of feet deep. Over time the silt compacts and the surface drops. Parts of New Orleans are 15 to 20 feet below sea level.

            I don’t know what the deep geology or aquifer balance of south Florida is but rising sea levels is going to be last on my list of hypothesizes to explain reduced levels of fresh water.

          • That’s interesting. They say that between 1996 and 2014 (18 years) the sea level has raised about six inches. But why does The National Academy of Sciences say that over the last 15 years the average rate has been about 3mm/year? This would correspond to about 2.1 inches over the last 18 years. It would appear people are not in agreement with how much the sea is rising. And if the measurements are in agreement then perhaps the errors in the measurements are greater than any change in sea level.

            I’m not going to say the sea isn’t rising, but I am still very skeptical of that claim. What is the reference to which they measure the height of the sea? How do they know the reference isn’t sinking instead of the sea rising?

          • I didn’t go back and read the whole article all over again — but I believe the last five years have shown an increase much higher than the years before them (over 1 inch per year). When they (scientists) start averaging over a longer period, well, you know what that does. Also, are all of the different groups working off the same set of numbers? Measurements from the same place?

          • Could part of the problem with the numbers be from the fact your book doesn’t contain measurements from 2010 to 2015?

          • Sure. That’s possible. I would have to dig a lot more to figure it out. And I just don’t have the time right now.

  2. I won’t even get into the so-called “science” of this anymore, as it is entirely beside he point. The fact that it was invented by communists as a means of combatting capitalism (liberty), with a touch of population reduction thrown in, is all you need to know.

    In other words; the whole thing is made-up as a political tactic for dragging us down into totalitarianism. The more people they can sucker into accepting AGW, the more people will work to defeat themselves and each other, and thus the fewer bullets it will take to overthrow Western civilization. That’s the whole story right there, so don’t get dragged into arguing over the specifics of the colors and shades of the smokescreen.

    If you think you’re going to educate people who were ignorant and stupid enough to embrace the AGW hoax, well, you’re falling into the same trap as the people you’re trying to “correct”.

    Look at it this way; imagine trying to convince a jihadist that Jews and Christians aren’t bad after all, by using facts, data and statistics which show all the good things Jews and Christians have done and are doing for civilization. Try the same thing with an American Progressive for that matter. Heh! You’ll get similar responses from both! If you were to accomplish anything at all using that tack, it would be to inflame the jihadists even more against Jews and Christians, while also making yourself a target in his eyes.

    Same goes for AGW and Progressives.

    This is not a war of data and statists. It is a war of allegiances.

  3. Also, the latest data demonstrate that the Artice ice pack has not diminished, but has indeed grown. In the news just last week.

    M

  4. How about the simple factoid that atmospheric CO2 (a poor greenhouse gas) is only about 3-4% and mankind’s total contribution of CO2 is only 3% of that small amount. To think that we could even be responsible for AGW is hubris of the highest extent.

    The only way to impact the human contribution is not modest reductions, but the wholesale removal of every human from the Earth. I like to recommend to shrill environmentalists that if they really believe that the world is in jeopardy that they start with their own suicides to show their true devotion to the cause. Then, I might just consider their claims to be legitimate. Hint, they are not, but I would like some peace and quiet from this scientific dolts.

    • Recall also that water vapor, molecule for molecule, absorbs vastly more energy in the form of infrared radiation as carbon dioxide does. As organic chemists and physical chemists know, carbon dioxide’s skinny little carbon-oxygen double bonds absorb infrared radiation only in two extremely narrow frequency ranges, 4 microns and 15 microns. Some other gases found in our atmosphere absorb vastly more–methane (cow farts, also a natural byproduct of anaroebic fermentation) absorbs about 40 times as much, and certain nitrogen oxides (created naturally with every lightning strike) absorb about 300 times as much energy, molecule for molecule. Water vapor molecules absorb IR, and other electromagnetic radiation, in tremendous swaths of the spectrum by comparison, absorbing more than fifty times as much infrared light as CO2 does.

      Recall, further, that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is measured in parts per million, but the amount of water vapor is measured in percentage points.

      You correctly point out that almost none of the carbon dioxide that enters the Earth’s atmosphere each year is a result, direct or indirect, of human activity, but you have neglected to point out yet another important fact: around 95% of the CO2 that enters the Earth’s atmosphere each year emanate directly from Third World slash-and-burn agriculture and Third World dried-dung cooking fires.

      And all of this is being used as justification to sell us a bill of goods: “you white people have defied and defiled Gaea by refusing to live in caves.” Which is part and parcel of the Cultural Bolshevism agitprop that everyone everywhere has been spoon-fed by TV and movies for the last century or so, which all Right-Thinking People(tm) must at least pretend to believe, to which everyone must pay lip service, lest we be thrown out of the Right-Thinking People Club and made unemployable or worse. Some of the people pushing this are delusional, some are stupid, and some are batshit insane, but few have the courage to point out that this particular Emperor is not only wearing no clothing but also drunkenly waggling his penis at the TV cameras and blowing kisses at passers-by.

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