Forest Gump and the Skepsies

Sometimes they just write themselves. I’m concerned about misinformation, short sightedness and unclear thinking in any debate. Certainly the climate issue is not uncommon in having background support for agents working to muddy the waters but $100,000,000 can buy a whole lot of internet blog-corrupters along with newspaper ads, school visits and booklet printing. The waters are well muddied by now and the following arose on a friend’s Facebook account. Out of the blue but I thought “Hey, ride with this”. So I did and I reckon it’s quite fun as well as informative in a range of ways.

I could be totally wrong but this is it as briefly edited:

Forest Gump and the Skepsies

Posting said:  “Google “algae lamp” or Pierre Calleja and you’ll find plenty of information”. You get a modern folly.

Joanne They are using Algae to extract CO2 at coal powered stations to the point they have barely any CO2 emission plus you have a by product which can be sold for a profit. Nature does have a way of dealing with life. Unfortunately humans thinks they know all the answers.

Chris Every 1% increase in co2 equals a 10% increase in crop production. Removing Co2 would cause a significant drop in crop yields potentially starving millions. Any increase well you get the idea.

Me  This is a nice fantasy posting and discussion David, and I love the suggestion that the last couple of hundred years have given exponential increase to botanic productivity with around 40% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels already.

Algae are great but equivalent to coppicing and essentially carbon neutral.

Joanne Chris do you really think humans have got that equation right. I don’t think they have.

Me Which equation?

Me Fantasy:

Venice to Get Half of Its Electricity From Algae

Most talk of algae and renewable energy on TreeHugger involves liquid biofuels, [ This is a ludicrous suggestion that Venice could power itself on algal harvest]

Joanne I think I miss understood…haven’t seen that one before. I do know they were looking at burning the dried algae but only to supplement coal or other fuel powered stations. Most of the algae looking as a food source for animals etc.

Me Like this guy, Ozzie Zehner, I’m deeply Green and looking for sane routes forward. We must, however, be realistic!

Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism [ An excellent book pointing to truly green routes ahead as opposed to tinkerings such as solar power and windmills]

Joanne This is being used in Oz

Australian-first project at Tarong Power Station uses algae to absorb carbon emissions

MeWhich is much better than the UK proposal to pump the captured gas into now drained oil wells and “sealing” it there. It’s shelved now, anyway, cos it costs too much.

Joanne Bloody Brits…can’t think outside the box..

Me Beaureafatcats, I’m afraid!

Chris CO2 levels have not increased 40%. Measured in PPM sure its increased 40% but what does that mean? As a percentage of atmospheric gas it hasnt changed much.

And using this silly way of measurement, in your home co2 levels rise 1,000%

And in prehistoric time co2 levels where 2,000% times higher than today measured in PPM.

But in actuality CO2 remains around .03% and optimum vegetation growth would be around around .20%

Figures dont lie, but liars figure

Me OK, Chris, if you want to play “How do we look at these statistics?” how’s about this: “There’s now an extra trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide up there in the atmosphere”.

CO2, like water vapour and other gases up there, have more of a catalytic effect – they enable heat retention and a seemingly small increase in concentration has a large effect on heat retention.

In prehistoric times atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were indeed much higher at times. In the age of the dinosaurs they were typically 1000 ppm. There were also no polar ice caps and a lot more water in the seas!

Optimal vegetation growth is, of course, dependent on a range of variables – CO2, temperature, moisture, minerals, air pressure even. At ecological steady state a balance is found, usually restrained by one limiting factor of those given. But “optimum” is dependent on the species present – thus today’s vegetation is greatly different from Jurassic.

“Figures don’t lie – but liars figure”. Well, what can I say? Oh yes, “Go figure”.

Chris I hear a lot about what the effects of CO2 are going to be, yet every climate model put forth seems to be not only wrong but in a direct opposition to reality.

Increased temp, moisture and CO2 levels will result in a direct increase on vegetation.

Which by the way is exactly what you’re so afraid of. BUT………..

The industrial revolution started some 200 years ago, and not much has changed.

In the ‘70’s scientists were sure humans would cause an ice age. Then [in] the 90’s it was warming, and now in 2000 it’s change. It seems being wrong so many times before that they decided to set the bar low enough that no one would trip over it.


File:Hockey stick chart ipcc large.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

[Posting the hockey stick diagram, although he never said why – nor can I imagine how it helped his drift. Sigh.]

Joanne  A model is only as good as the information that is put into it. For the last few years we have been having trouble with our Bureau of Meteorology in their flood predictions for our large river system here. They have been getting it wrong… and very badly due to the fact they have not put enough information into their models of past floods. Also each flood had different events happening so no one flood is going to be the same the most of us long term locals can get it right by looking up the past events so why can’t they and they have the degrees. They eventually listen but often not until too late.

Joanne I did read somewhere that Scientist where going to re assess the recorded temps for the last 200 years as they considered them too low. That to me is manipulation of the the facts.


The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?

[This reference is to Freedomain Radio which “is the largest and most popular philosophy show on the web” and this was the most pathetic “There is no such thing as man made climate change” tirade I’ve seen in a while!]

Me Please, give me more vegetation – that’s what I’m pushing for!

[I had to push my blog so this seemed an appropriate one to put up for it!]

Comb through the Five Trillion Trees site and you’ll find quite a wide perspective on climate change and its relationship to human activities

Chris There were no ice caps? Well that’s funny because ice core samples are how we are sure of the co2 levels from that long ago.

And in that time of high co2 the world went through multiple ice ages.

Chris The planet was here long ago, and will be here after us. It’s only people so bold in their ignorance that can think they can save the planet when they can’t even take care of themselves.

MeThere were no ice caps 60 million years ago. Our ice core record is not counted in millions of years but hundreds of thousands at best. See:

Me“People so bold in their ignorance”? You mean me? Or could it just be you? I least I get my facts clear.

Chris Dating methods on ice core are nothing more than a guess as deeper ice blends together.

But this being said do the deeper layers show more or less co2.

If ice ages are a more recent phenomenon shouldn’t you be more worried about everyone freezing to death the. Getting 1 degree warmer

MeNo, I’m not, because we’ve supercharged our atmosphere with greenhouse gases to last a thousand years or more and, anyway, we lived through the last few ice ages perfectly well – and without central heating in our caves or semi-automatic spears to kill our prey. Then, we could simply move south to where it was warmer and stay near the coasts – which were some 120 metres lower than today. The UK – my home – was not an island then but joined directly to Europe by vast plains, where there is now the North Sea. Similarly there was no Baring Strait and one could walk to “Russia” from “Alaska”. Fun times, eh?!

Chris Lol! The industrial revolution started 200 years ago. So if global warming is true obviously you should have a 200 year trend. But 20 years ago everyone was sure of global cooling and even today scientists steer away from saying global warming

Chris And also just as land has sunk into the sea, land has also Risen from it. Did global warming cause new land to appear in other areas ?

Joanne  Guys…I see common points in your logic but to me core sampling of ice is only good if that ice was actually there when all the things were happening. All it takes is one or two volcanic eruptions and it alter our climate significantly.

Me“Common points to our logic”, Joanne? Please – at least I have logic!

200 years from a very low start so obviously very low impact. There’s been more industry in the last thirty years than the rest of human history put together. And tropical forests have shown a similar decline over the same period – cut down by us. It’s NOW this is all happening – hence the concern.

Sure land moves anyway, relative to the rest, and this complicates measurement. So the Himalayas have been pushed up quite recently, but that’s still 50 million years ago. The ice age ended little over ten thousand years ago – hardly any time at all! It seems the UK, being at the edge of the great glacial ice sheet, had vastly more ice over Scotland than the south. When it all melted the loss of physical weight over Scotland allowed the earth to literally spring back up. In turn this has pushed the south down into the seas more, pivoted around the middle somewhere!

No “global warming” does not cause land to rise from the sea.

Yes, Joanne, a Krakatoa type volcanic eruption pushing vast amounts of ash into the atmosphere could have a strong impact but it would pass, leaving little change to the greenhouse gas concentration of the atmosphere. Whether the ash would be called climate changing I doubt as it is temporary. Carbon dioxide and other GHG stay up there and have significant, long term impact.

Joanne Chris [That’s me, not the other contributor]…you have not researched well on the period from 1783-85. It killed over 6 million people and desimated the land. And lets not forget poor old Mississippi freezing over down in the South which it had not known to have done. I am not with you actually I find your reasoning to be disjointed. I don’t think anyone will disagree that the world has been warming up since the mini ice age. And besides it was darned hot before the 13th Century so what caused the Earth to cool down for that period. We seem to be more alarmed at getting warm than we are that we could get very cold.

Volcanic activity and shifts in subsurface plates will cause land to rise or fall. Given that 80% of volcanic activity is underwater I would think there is more movement under the ocean than scientists will ever get to measure. Also what about the Jungles and Dinosaurs that roamed Australia. That was before the mini ice age. Australia has been drying out for years yet people claim it is only recent.

The fact is there are numeous models on “global warming” yet so many unanswered questions.

MeJoanne, you castigate my research as disjointed and yet supply an odd group of unconnected observations which demonstrate nothing other than this is clearly not your subject. It is mine and I know a great deal about the nature of the present imbalances and the factors that have led up them. Further I have extensively researched relevant short, medium and long term historical and archaeological data so as to give a clear and, yes, balanced assessment.

For medieval era history and analysis I refer you to Professor William F Ruddiman, University of Virginia. His book “Plows, plagues and petroleum” is a short, clear depiction of events and is drawn from much, detailed research.

Read it and if you’ve any further questions or observations I’ll be happy to help you develop an objective understanding of this complex subject.

Joanne What research…I put up a link about one of the biggest Volcanic eruptions that has happened in recent years 1783 -1785 and you quote “Krakatoa”…”Yes, Joanne, a Krakatoa type volcanic eruption pushing vast amounts of ash into the atmosphere could have a strong impact but it would pass, leaving little change to the greenhouse gas concentration of the atmosphere. Whether the ash would be called climate changing I doubt as it is temporary. Carbon dioxide and other GHG stay up there and have significant, long term impact.” Kradatoa pales into insignificance compared to this.

Chris So I’m confused are you worried about global warming or cooling?

MeExpanding the scope, Joanne, I referred to Krakatoa (  which seems to me to be similar in scope and effect to the Icelandic one, and it’s been repetitive, to boot, so will happen again. I agree that Laki was big and not pleasant! My points remain, though. The effects pass in a couple of years. Sulphur dioxide is rained out of the skies very quickly – the same acid rain we get from burning dirty coal, in fact – and ash filtering out the sun can be the longest lasting effect. Little carbon dioxide is released by volcanic activity, no matter how big the volcano.

But Chris I’m not actually worried about the increase in mean global temperature. It’s not got much impact on me that I can tell. It usually rains in Wales, anyway. Just don’t get much snow in the winter any more, but that’s no bad thing. Cooling back to ice age seems many thousands of years away now, post human fossil fuel combustion, so, again, little to worry about. Increased atmospheric turbulence – storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, very heavy rainfall and the like – plus regions with severe drought will be par for the course and far more immediate worry to those concerned.

And the slow, inevitable rise in sea levels, drowning cities like New York will, like as not, be quite boring to watch – not as portrayed in “The day after tomorrow” where one tidal wave did it! Who knows, there may come a tipping point. Greenland ice sheets look increasingly precarious as melt waters flow rapidly through and underneath them. The vast area of Doggerland was suddenly drowned, it seems, by the collapse of a Scandinavian ice sheet some 7000 years ago.

But our cavalier attitude towards the natural environment and the blase manner in which we attempt to extract whatever we want from it whilst putting little back, save pollution and a decimated landscape, both worry me a lot. “Green” fantasies – such as the lamps which launched this discussion – they worry me, too, because they’re simply that – fantasies – and a kind of fraud. And the longer this goes on, the greater the worry.

Chris So you’re worried about something, but you cant really define what it is. But….you’re sure it’s from CO2 and the only way to stop it is give more power to the government, which by the way is largest polluter in the world.

Yes this seems legit.

Me  I am concerned by a lot, as I clearly describe. Carbon dioxide release is one of a number of factors involved – cutting down forests leads to the release of a lot of CO2 but it also devastates the natural environment, rendering many species extinct, driving soil loss and so increasing flooding risks downstream. It’s complicated, see? But, yeah, extra CO2 in the atmosphere is altering our climate. Year on year on year and frankly there’s no point worrying. It’s gonna happen whatever.

Who said ANYTHING about increased government power. Not me, for sure. What the hell do they know or ever achieve – look at the Venice reference I posted earlier.

As the great American Forest Gump so clearly said “That’s all I’ve gotta say on this matter” So me with this chat. Ciao folks, and thanks for the space, David.



About greencentre

Non grant supported hence independent scientist, green activist, writer and forest planter.
This entry was posted in Acid rain, Biodiversity, Climate carbon history, Climate chemistry, Climate politics, Green politics,, Volcanic action and climate. Bookmark the permalink.

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