Climate Matters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

I wrote this for the local paper, although it probably won't see the light of day. I was asked how I could have an opinion differing from 98% of scientists who have a consensus on the matter. Well, in the scientific world there's no such thing as consensus, there has to be validation. Some parts of the essay are about local, my backyard happenings, but they fit in with what's happening elsewhere. It's long and involved, but the short version is that climate alarmists believe violent weather events, fire included, represent climate change, but climate changes all the time but all events are repeats of past events.

 

Climate Matters

It’s generally accepted that climate change has been happening for four and a half billion years, and I’ll add, changing hand in hand with our geological landscape… so why should we expect it all to stop in 2021? We’re told that the wild weather we’ve been experiencing is an indicator of climate change, but wild weather has played a major role in the formation of the landscape we have today! Yes, we see TV announcers telling us that some extreme events are ‘unprecedented’. We see the awful fires just now, and recall the local Ohau and Livingstone fires with some anxiety. Fires of the severity we’re seeing require a fuel load, low humidity, they need oxygen, and they can only begin with a flashpoint. Once started, fire creates its own environment, lowers humidity, creates a draft to draw in oxygen and we see whirlies (or to be dramatic, tornadoes) that can start spot fires. Fire draws to fire, spot fires join to cause an inferno; fire races uphill and is slower downhill. Livingstone and Ohau have always experienced dry periods and strong, low humidity winds, there was a fuel load and a flash point. None of which represents climate change. Central Otago and the Kakanui Range were once forested, DSIR identified burnt remains of Libocedrus and Podocarpus, (it’s a pity they didn’t carbon date them), tussock became a later colonisation, and in nature’s way it is illogical to assume it will be permanent. Moa hunters were suspected of causing those fires, but it’s more likely a catastrophic historical event happened.

  The Canterbury Plains are alluvial plains, formed by eroded montane gravels washed down by the rivers, the gravels slowly accumulated to form the plains, so the recent floods are typical of what has happened throughout geological history. Coastal erosion is a sign that those gravels no longer protect the shoreline because they’ve been interrupted by hydro dams and the mining of gravels from the river beds. No climate change there. The recent floods at Westport… there was one 1898 another 1905… another 1925 and yet another 1926. The world’s biggest flood was in China 1931 covering 50 000 square miles, with a huge loss of life. It occurred well before CO² became an issue. Floods are not unprecedented they occur regularly and randomly.

  Climate isn’t weather, but for twenty five years we took weather records using an official met.box, so I tried to make sense of the figures to find a pattern, there was none… but there was a trend of rising day temperatures… the met.box was located in an exposed site but over time, shelter was established around the site, the met.box area therefore warmed slightly. The same has happened to many met.boxes around the world, especially with concrete buildings and sealed roads around them. Aside from that… before 1940, coverage of met. stations in the southern hemisphere was scant – only one in the whole of Africa… so how do we know with accuracy what the world temperature was pre 1940, without extrapolating… and what if those assumptions had a particular outcome in mind? I did find that on average, June was the driest month, some Junes had no precipitation… but the wettest month was a June when 7.5 inches fell in 24 hours! Rainfall was generally average, a dry year might be followed by a very wet January/February. The standout events were the 5 year drought ending 1965, when Alan Dick MP organised the seeding of clouds with CO² ice to induce rain; August 1 1975, experienced the severe NW gale, there’s been nothing like it since. And there was the flood when the 7.5 inches fell leaving a metre thick log on the bridge into the forest. An Armco culvert was washed out by a 100 year flood and again the very next year. Random things happen with weather, the ugly duckling effect, exampled by The Great Frost of Europe 1709 which was prolonged, deadly, and was probably due to no sunspot activity.

  I’ve acquired a self-activating cynic button in my brain. The Clark government contemplated nationalising carbon credits… usurping… the notion caused farmers and foresters to stop planting, forcing the government to rethink. I was a nurseryman at the time and it hurt the industry. By then, carbon credit trading was well under way. Whoever was our ‘negotiator’ at the Paris agreement, signed us up to reduce our emissions by 30% of our 2005 emissions, and because we haven’t managed to keep within our budget, we pay a penalty by buying carbon credits from other countries, and it’s cost us plenty! This is why I suggested to Shane Jones that he fund the planting of trees to offset those payments – he didn’t reply, but did fund some tree planting. Nowadays there’s value in carbon credits and the hint of CO² viz. carbon being worth a dollar, reactivates that little button. Where does the money end up? Sea walls for vulnerable islands? Nope….

  2010 a UN climate official, Edenhoffer said, ‘One must say clearly that we redistribute wealth by climate policy, one must free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy.’ And 1984 the Commonwealth Secretary General said, ‘Governments must yield national sovereignty to multilateral authorities to enforce laws across environmentally invisible frontiers if the greenhouse effect which threatens the future of whole nations is to be overcome.’ What does all of that mean? There goes my cynic button again.

  The climate debate… no, it’s no longer a debate, which goes against the principles of science… the climate debate has become political and although the United Nations, isn’t supposed to be, it’s up to its eyebrows in politics!  We see this climate stuff every day in our living rooms… there’s an emaciated polar bear, an emotive symbol of climate change, yet the WWF website says polar bears are doing just fine. There are billowing smokestacks… but carbon dioxide is a colourless, odourless gas… what we are seeing is water vapour and other messy pollutants… something that needs to be addressed, but you can’t see CO². We see fires in some of the arguably driest places on earth and hear the burnt area is unprecedented. Yet the USDA says for 2020 10 million acres were burnt, while in 1930 50 million acres were burnt. Fires are nature’s way of cleaning up and rejuvenating, we get into trouble by building close to forests… and when numbnuts light them during dangerous conditions!  The fires in Greece ‘are the worst in 30 years.’ So they’re hardly ‘unprecedented’. We see the eyes of big, white hurricanes… Patrick J Michaels a US climatologist who specialises in hurricanes says there’s no link between CO² and hurricanes. We see ice falling into the sea… glaciers are rivers of ice, where else would they empty into? We remain in a thawing pattern since the ice age of 12 000 years ago… who can say when the thawing should stop? The NASA graphs 2021 so far show Arctic ice area as being slightly below average and Antarctic ice as being slightly above average. As well as these ‘not quite right facts’ people like Attenborough tell waffle about walruses ‘committing suicide due to climate change’, when in fact polar bears were chasing them over a cliff… Never let the truth to ruin a good story.

  I recently read: Records derived from ice core measurements show that the average global CO² concentration in the atmosphere for 1750 to 1800 was around 278ppm. This is the value that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used as the pre-industrial baseline for CO² in its fifth assessment report published in 2013-14. There’s no mention of the Icelandic Laki haze of 1783-4… the release of a massive amount of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere that spread across Europe and the northern hemisphere, turning lung moisture into sulphuric acid, killing 6 million people and changing the climate for a couple of years. It even changed Asian monsoon patterns. Gilbert White diarised the whole event. How come sulphur dioxide didn’t show up in those ice cores?

  At Newlyn, SW England the tide has been measured for a hundred years showing a sea level rise of 1.8mm/year, which might not sound much but is significant… but hang on, there was a huge block of ice over the northern hemisphere 12 000 years ago, 1.5 billion cubic kilometres of it, the weight of which pushed the Earth’s crust down and now it’s still rising back into place… as Scotland and Scandinavia rise, other parts of the crust respond negatively. The tectonic plates are moving at fingernail-growth speed too. All of which indicates (to me) that ice melt is only part of the sea level story.

  Climate alarmists point their finger squarely at CO², wanting to reduce it by 100 odd parts per million. I have no opinion on what the optimum level of CO² should be, but the narrative doesn’t quite tally with me. I’ve been growing trees for 60 years and have observed that nature takes advantage situations, so because CO² levels have been raised, and because CO² is a plant nutrient, plants should be growing bigger and better, and sure enough, some areas on the planet are greener than historically, and the world has never produced so much food! Also, I understand that the greenhouse gases are our protection from the climate of outer space, where the temperature is -18?C. Carbon is the building block of the planet and without CO² plants die and life is sniffed out. When life began on the planet, CO² levels were well above 1000 parts per million and if life at that time hadn’t been so abundant, there’d never have been the quantities of coal or oil deposits. But here’s what doesn’t tally, all the bad things we’re told that will happen from elevated CO² levels have happened before, and much worse, all while CO² levels were low. Here’s some examples: year 1000 Europe’s rivers dried up, 1022 venturing out in the sun, men and animals fell down dying. 1132 Europe’s rivers dried up. 1705 France was like a glass furnace, meat could be cooked by exposing it to the sun, 1846 Paris temperature was 125?F… it’s the same with floods, fires and hurricanes! The information is there if you care to look… it has gone on and on through recorded history. From time to time scientist have warned of an impending ice age. Why did the Vikings call it Greenland, around 1000 they were growing grapes there. When there’s such an obvious discrepancy in the narrative, surely it’s fair to question.

  The earth’s climate is a complicated beast with many influences, the sun is surely the main one and there a few reasons for its variability, remember the 1709 Great Frost? The earth’s elliptical orbit is another, and the earth has its wobbles from time to time. There are geological factors, like the Laki haze, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tectonic plate movement, and even meteor impacts. Whatever is on the earth’s surface impacts climate.  That button activates again at the realisation that governments, including the UN, have no ability of controlling any of those variables, but hang on… they’ve facilitated carbon credits and they can enforce emission controls or squeeze money out of us because of them. It could be argued they’ve created another form of tax.

  If the Kyoto Protocol and successors were resolute about reducing CO² emissions, on day one they would have placed an embargo of all rainforest timber and found a fair way of compensating countries that would therefore be deprived of income. At the same time, those countries should have been required to use their compensation to establish sustainable production forests, perhaps using the same tree species, so in time the industry could restart and compensation could then be halted. Difficult to implement…yes, impossible… no. Sure, rainforests aren’t the best sequesters of CO², but they are vital to the world water cycle.

  The powers that be should also have understood and taken steps, serious steps to protect the best sequester of CO²… the ocean and large bodies of water… within them dwell seaweed, algae and phytoplankton, especially Diatoms and Coccolithophores, when they die they form limestone, CaCO³ on the sea floor. (Dover’s white cliffs) This is the safest store of carbon. So why are waterways and oceans still used as dumping grounds? They should be pristine!

  Methane frankly has me baffled, despite the historically huge populations of wildebeest and bison, we’re told that domestic animals are bad for the planet, get rid of cows and sheep! But from wetlands, methane is apparently good, because government’s encouraging the establishment of them. Worldwide, wetlands cause the most methane emissions. Mind you, I’m for wetlands. Here’s some rough logic: If we were serious about methane, why isn’t it captured at sewerage treatment stations and on dairy farms (no not the burps, the other end)? IPCC first said methane was 21 times more potent than CO² as a greenhouse gas but have regularly been upgrading it to 28 and now I see some say it’s 80 times worse! But methane is an energy source we’re allowing to float away into the blue. I’ve seen one cow produce enough biogas to cook a family’s meal and to light their room. Burning methane makes water and the awful CO², but according to the IPCC figure, the potency would be 80 times less harmful than allowing raw methane into the atmosphere! Methane is a wasted energy source when energy is at a premium. However it would appear that wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are easier to implement than sensible conservation principles that should have been implemented regardless of any climate emergency. If you really want to know why CO² and methane are being called the bane of life on this planet, you just have to follow the money, look at the ideology… and not be deluded.


Submitted: August 13, 2021

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LE. Berry

Global climate and mans exact role in it is a continuing problem. Of course our Earth is participating in natural changes and those in science understand something of planetary evolution as a part of the shifting universe. But the destruction of massive areas of forest caused by human action is also a factor.

Fri, August 13th, 2021 7:10pm

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Yes I think its fair to say, the difference between mankind nd animals is that animals don't allow numbnut to lead their pride/herd/pack. Thaks for reading it all. Usianguke

Fri, August 13th, 2021 2:58pm

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