Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Skeptical about Common Sense

I've been a greenhouse gas believer for quite some time now. The logic of it seemed obvious to me. Greenhouse gasses capture heat from the sun. We are producing an ever increasing concentration of greenhouse gasses by fueling our industrial age with fossil fuels. Therefore we are putting gasses into the atmosphere that capture the sun's energy as heat and this is causing global warming. Makes good sense to me.
Along comes a little graph in a little booklet from Australia and all of a sudden I'm a skeptic. I suppose I should test this graph before I believe it, but before I do that, I'll share this little booklet with you. The graph is a bar chart on page 8 and it titled "As Carbon Dioxide Increases it Has Less Warming Effect". Combined with the line graph on page 5 showing global temperature variation verses carbon dioxide concentration between 150,000 and 100,000 years ago derived from Greenland ice core samples, the graph on page 8 shakes the greenhouse effect argument right to the core. Yes carbon dioxide causes a greenhouse effect, but the effect significantly - logarithmically - decreases as concentrations of CO2 increase to the point where the increases we are seeing now are insignificant. I had been led to believe that the logarithmic effect was just the opposite of what this bar chart shows.
So the pamphlet is called The Skeptic's Handbook. It is on a PDF file (2.72 MB).


Anonymous Joanne Nova said...

Thank you Bill. I can't tell you how nice it is to hear someone just read the science, and think for themselves. I too was concerned about carbon dioxide, but like you, then I found out about the 800 year lag. On it's own it doesn't prove that carbon is not a problem, (it sure questions cause and effect) but the thing that startled me was that I hadn't read about it? How honest has this debate been? That's when I looked into it further.
As far as the log graph goes, I don't think anyone will disagree that the absorption of CO2 directly is logarithmic (so more co2 makes less difference).
If you've seen upward curves that look more like an exponential curve, it's because it's the modeled predictions of (potential) temperature rises, and they depend on the assumption that if carbon pushes up the temperature, that will increase water vapor (in the form of humidity and clouds), which will in turn cause more heating. It's this feedback which is critical (it doubles carbons effect), and doesn't appear to be happening.
Thanks for reading with an open mind. I couldn't ask more...

12:54 PM, May 27, 2009  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Along comes a little graph in a little booklet from Australia and all of a sudden I'm a skeptic.

So...you weren't a "skeptic" before?
Hmm. Odd.
I don't think that word means what you think it means.

I suppose I should test this graph before I believe it, but before I do that, I'll share this little booklet with you.

Testing, yes.
That would be a good idea.
Maybe a little research first?
Did it ever occur to you to...vet this "little booklet"?
Did you ask yourself who wrote this?
Who promoted it?
Who paid for it?
Can you say the word "propoganda"?
Did you do any research on the book at all?
If the tobacco industry put together a handy-dandy "little booklet" that raised "legitimate scientific concerns about the tobacco-cancer link" would you suddenly have a big re-think on your position about lung cancer?

Here's some links for you...
Who is Joanna Nova
What is the Heartland Institute.
Here's a review of the stupid thing. It pulls no punches.

You want to understand science?
Ask the scientists.
Go directly to the scientists.
Do not pass go.
Do not collect $200.
Start with NASA, for example.
They actually do the work.
In fact, ANY SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY ON THE PLANET will be happy to spell it out for you.

Global warming is happening.
We are responsible for it.
This is bad.

Don't sit around on your hands and wait for some "nice" person to give you a slick "little booklet".

How much do you know about the history of how scientists investigated global warming?
If you don't understand the history, then you sure won't understand the science.
Get informed.

2:03 AM, February 21, 2010  
Blogger Bill said...

For some reason I can't help but feel that this Cedric Katesby has attempted to attack me, you know, the old ad homonym trick. and that last link he gave under "Get informed" where this Olympia Snowe lookalike claims she isn't into character assassination just before she eviscerates the character of one skeptic... Whoa baby!
As for the other links, instead of adding scientific clarity to my knowledge base, they just reinforce my skepticism. I mean, wouldn't you think that if the effects of doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere were seriously understood, scientists would have narrowed it down to something more precise than somewhere in the range of 1.5 degrees C to 4.5 or maybe 6 or even more? That's a pretty huge range of uncertainty if you ask me.
There just seems to be a big focus here on ad homonym attacks against the skeptics, rather than actual clarification of the scientific evidence.

2:09 PM, February 21, 2010  

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