Slide 1: Title
A possible means of escape from the horrors of carbon dioxide emission constraints
by Richard S Courtney
Slide 2: Pharaoh
Climate change is a serious problem and all governments national and local need to address it.
Climate has always changed everywhere and always will: this has been known since the Bronze Age when it was pointed out to Pharaoh by Joseph (the one with the Technicolour Dreamcoat). Joseph told Pharaoh to prepare for the bad times when in the good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the thousands of years since then.
That tried and tested policy is sensible because people merely complain at taxes in the good times, but they will revolt if they are short of food in the bad times.
Slide 3: Kyoto Protocol
But in 1990 several governments decided to abandon that policy and, instead, to try to stabilize the climate of the entire Earth by controlling it. The UK started that policy and intends to continue it. Many governments of many countries are doing the same.
This attempt at global climate control arises from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (AGW).
AGW does not pose a global crisis but the policy of attempted global climate control does.
AGW is a political issue. It is not a scientific issue.
AGW induced the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the Kyoto Summit in Japan in 1997. Both these events were attended by several Heads of State. And now we are confronted with CoP15; the fifteenth Conference of the nations that have signed the UNs Framework Convention on Climate Change. CoP15 is to be held in Copenhagen in December and it, too, will be inundated by Heads of State.
Scientists attend scientific meetings. Politicians attend political meetings.
I will deal with what is likely to happen at Cop15 (which I call the No-Hope-In-Hagen Conference), but first I want to discuss AGW so we know what the real problem is.
AGW has become the State Religion in many paces, notably the European Union.
Slide 4: TV advert
There may be some here who doubt AGW has become the State Religion. They need look no further than their television screens. The UK government is spending £6 million of our money on an advertisement that proclaims AGW is a horror story with which to frighten little children. According to that government advertisement, children are to be taught the future is not an opportunity for them to grow up into: it is a place of horrors where their pets are drowned and their homes are to be destroyed.
Teaching that to children is child abuse.
Slide 5: Fossil fuel statement
I repeat that AGW does not pose a global crisis but the policy of attempted global climate control does. And not merely because it is a tool to give children nightmares. The policy threatens constraint of the use of fossil fuels and that constraint would kill millions probably billions of people.
The use of fossil fuels has done more to benefit human kind than anything else since the invention of agriculture.
Most of us would not be here if it were not for the use of fossil fuels because all human activity is enabled by energy supply and limited by material science.
Energy supply enables the growing of crops, the making of tools and their use to mine for minerals, and to build, and to provide goods, and to provide services.
Material Science limits what can be done with the energy. A steel plough share is better than a wooden one. Ability to etch silica permits the making of acceptably reliable computers. And so on.
People die without energy and the ability to use it. They die because they lack food, or housing, or clothing to protect from the elements, or heating to survive cold, or cooling to survive heat, or medical provisions, or transport to move goods and services from where they are produced to where they are needed.
And people who lack energy are poor so they die from pollution, too.
For example, traffic pollution has been dramatically reduced by adoption of fossil fuels. On average each day in 1855 more than 50 tons of horse excrement was removed from only one street, Oxford Street in London. The mess, smell, insects and disease were awful everywhere. By 1900 every ceiling of every room in Britain had sticky paper hanging from it to catch the flies. Old buildings still have scrapers by their doors to remove some of the pollution from shoes before entering
Affluence reduces pollution. Rich people can afford sewers, toilets, clean drinking water and clean air. Poor people have more important things they must spend all they have to get. So, people with wealth can afford to reduce pollution but others cannot. Pollution in North America and Europe was greater in 1900 than in 2000 despite much larger populations in 2000. And the pollution now experienced every day by billions who do not have the wealth of Americans and Europeans includes cooking in a mud hut using wood and dung as fuel when they cannot afford a chimney.
The use of fossil fuels has provided that affluence for the developed world. The developing world needs the affluence provided by the development which is only possible at present by using fossil fuels.
We gained our wealth and our population by means of that use.
Slide 6: population growth graph
The energy supply increased immensely when the greater energy intensity in fossil fuels became available by use of the steam engine. Animal power, wind power and solar power were abandoned because the laws of physics do not allow them to provide as much energy as can be easily obtained from using fossil fuels.
The greater energy supply enabled more people to live and the human population exploded. Our population has now reached about 6.6 billion and it is still rising. All estimates are that the human population will peak at about 9 billion people near the middle of this century.
That additional more than 2 billion people in the next few decades needs additional energy supply to survive. The only methods to provide that additional energy supply at present are nuclear power and fossil fuels. And the use of nuclear power is limited because some activities are difficult to achieve by getting energy from the end of a wire.
If anybody here doubts this then I tell them to ask a farmer what his production would be if he had to replace his tractor with a horse or a Sinclair C5.
So, holding the use of fossil fuels at its present level would kill at least 2 billion people, mostly children. And reducing the use of fossil fuels would kill more millions, possibly billions.
That is not an opinion. It is not a prediction. It is not a projection. It is a certain and undeniable fact. Holding the use of fossil fuels at their present levels would kill billions of people, mostly children. Reducing the use of fossil fuels would kill more millions or billions.
Improving energy efficiency will not solve that because it has been known since the nineteenth century that improved energy efficiency increases energy use: as many subsequent studies have confirmed.
So, in a period of a few decades we have moved from the tried and tested climate policy that has stood the test of time since the Bronze Age, and we have replaced it with quasi-religious political madness which if not stopped will pale into insignificance the combined activities of Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot.
Slide 7: The AGW hypothesis
How did we get into this mess? It came about because governments have adopted the AGW hypothesis.
But that hypothesis always was implausible and it is now known to be wrong.
The AGW-hypothesis says increased greenhouse gases notably carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air raise global temperature, and anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing the carbon dioxide in the air to overwhelm the natural climate system.
The hypothesis is founded on three assumptions: viz
(1) It is assumed that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is the major cause of the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration
(2) It is assumed that the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is significantly increasing radiative forcing
(3) It is assumed that the increasing radiative forcing will significantly increase mean global temperature.
There are reasons to doubt each of these assumptions. But if any one of them were known to be false then the entire AGW hypothesis would be known to be false.
Think about it.
The hypothesis is that a trace atmospheric gas which is the very stuff of life itself may if it increases its atmospheric concentration become Shiva, the Destroyer of Worlds. In fact, its worse than that. Nature emits 34 molecules of CO2 for every molecule of CO2 emitted by human activities so AGW suggests that a minute increase to the annual emission of this essential trace gas could cause Armageddon. Furthermore, in the geological past and during ice ages the atmospheric CO2 concentration has been more than ten times greater than it is now.
If you had never heard of AGW and somebody came in off the street and tried to sell it to you would you say, Oh dear! Of course, we must change the economic activity of the entire world?
Slide 8: Empirical evidence refuting AGW
But, implausible things do exist so we need to check the AGW hypothesis against reality.
Empirical evidence says the hypothesis is wrong.
1. The anthropogenic emissions and global temperature do not correlate.
2. Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration follows change to global temperature at all time scales.
3. Recent rise in global temperature has not been induced by rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
Global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose to 1998, and has fallen since. Thats 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming. Global temperature is now similar to that of 1990. But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased at a near constant rate and by more than 30% since 1940. It has increased by 8% since 1990.
4. Rise in global temperature has not been induced by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.
Over 80% of the emissions have been since 1940 and the emissions have been increasing at a compound rate. But since 1940 there have been 40 years of cooling with only 28 years of warming. Theres been no significant warming since 1995, and global temperature has fallen since the high it had 10 years ago.
5. The pattern of atmospheric warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent.
The hypothesis predicts most warming of the air at altitude in the tropics. Measurements from weather balloons and from satellites both show cooling at altitude in the tropics.
So, the normal rules of science say the AGW-hypothesis is completely refuted.
Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed, and the opposite of some of its predictions are observed.
But some people promote the hypothesis. Theyve several reasons (personal financial gain, protection of their career histories and futures, political opportunism, and
). But support of science cannot be one such motive because science denies the hypothesis. So, additional scientific information cannot displace the AGW-hypothesis and cannot silence its advocates. And those advocates are not scientists despite some of them claiming they are.