Skip to comments.Earth in Carbon Dioxide Famine, Says Scientist
Posted on 02/28/2009 7:17:29 AM PST by Delacon
No, Dr. Will Happer is not a celebrity. He is merely a physicist of considerable renown who happens to agree with many of the worlds other leading scientists that the current panic over climate change is a lot of hysterics about carbon footprints. Dr. Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics at Princeton University, testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on February 25. He told them:
Many people dont realize that over geological time, were really in a CO2 famine now. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geologic epoch) 280 (parts per million - ppm) thats unheard of. Most of the time [CO2 levels] have been at least 1,000 (ppm) and its been quite higher than that, Happer told the Senate Committee.
Earth was just fine in those times, Prof. Happer noted. The oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So its baffling to me that were so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started, Happer explained. Happer also noted that the number of [skeptical scientists] with the courage to speak out is growing and he warned children should not be force-fed propaganda, masquerading as science.
Global-warming alarmists are pushing for incredibly wasteful and expensive carbon sequestration and carbon cap and trade schemes that will have virtually no impact on global CO2 levels or global temperatures. But rising CO2 levels shouldnt be worrying us anyway.
I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind, Happer told the committee. He cited the well-known evidence from other researchers that increasing CO2 levels will greatly benefit crop yields, meaning more food for the worlds people and animals. Dr. Sherwood Idso and other scientists have published extensively on the numerous benefits to be derived from increasing CO2 levels: more robust forest and vegetation growth, greater plant resistance to stress, greater drought resistance, reclaiming of deserts and barren lands.
What about the frightening consequences of increasing levels of CO2 that we keep hearing about? Dr. Happer asked rhetorically. In a word, they are wildly exaggerated, just as the purported benefits of prohibition were wildly exaggerated, he answered. At least 90% of greenhouse warming is due to water vapor and clouds. Carbon dioxide is a bit player, he explained. But the climate is warming and CO2 is increasing. Doesnt this prove that CO2 is causing global warming through the greenhouse effect? No, the current warming period began about 1800 at the end of the little ice age, long before there was an appreciable increase of CO2. There have been similar and even larger warmings several times in the 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age. These earlier warmings clearly had nothing to do with the combustion of fossil fuels. The current warming also seems to be due mostly to natural causes, not to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Over the past ten years there has been no global warming, and in fact a slight cooling. This is not at all what was predicted by the IPCC models."
Professor Happer is a former director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy. He has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Happer has joined the more than 650 distinguished scientists from around the globe who have provided statements challenging the alleged scientific consensus frequently sited in support of human-caused, or anthropogenic global warming. Those statements are available in a 231-page report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
These scientists represent more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 report for policymakers. But the AGW scientific consensus fraud becomes even more ludicrous when the results of the Global Warming Petition Project are factored in, since more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto the document urging the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
Earth was just fine in those times, Prof. Happer noted. The oceans were fine, plants grew, animals grew fine. So its baffling to me that were so frightened of getting nowhere close to where we started, Happer explained.
Thats all that needs to be said to any enviroweenie that gets in your face next time.
Earth to Obama, Earth to Obama, “hey buddy got your ears on?”
wouldn’t it be funny that we wipe out the human race because the gas that we thought will kill us so we try to eliminate it, is actually the gas that keep us alive
That would be funny.
I’m surprised Boxer didn’t call him a heretic to his face.
This testimony was probably given with maybe 2 or 3 Senators in attendance at this Committee meeting.
None of which were swayed from their present path.
“wouldnt it be funny that we wipe out the human race because the gas that we thought will kill us so we try to eliminate it, is actually the gas that keep us alive”
Ironic? Yes. Funny? No. ;)
Will this report put an end to the cap-and-trade bs?
The CO2 and other carbon hysteria has nothing to do about science and everything to do about stirring up emotions so huge new hidden taxes can be levied. Obama and his fellow travelers know that once they enact the recently announced “soak the rich” taxes, the only way they can raise significant money from the personal income tax is to tax the “middle class” and the lower classes who pay no income tax. Those voters would then wake up so they have to find hidden taxes to levy on the middle and lower classes.
The recent hike in the cigarette levy was the first stealth tax enacted and it falls primarily on the lower classes. Carbon taxes will also not be visible on one’s paycheck stub as those taxes will be paid by business. Fuel prices (oil, natural gas, electricity) will go up to cover these big new taxes and the politicians will proudly tell their constituents it is evil oil companies and utilities preying on them. More show trials in front of a few committees until the people go back to watching American Idol and forget about it.
In some ways the carbon tax is a less efficient way to impose the European “value added tax” (VAT) on the US taxpayer. Instead of taxing added value at each step in the supply chain, it taxes only the consumption of carbon emitting energy.
Oh no... lets PANIC because we don’t have much CARBON DIOXIDE. Oh wait, I’ll open a can of soda and plant a tree.
Didn’t you read about Dr Happer’s testimony already? It was pasted all over the front pages of the major newspapers. Sarcasm now switched to off.
Just by the sheer size of the natural generation of carbon dioxide from ongoing life processes, whatever feeble little amount that man produces shrivels to total insignificance.
Despite rulings to the contrary, carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant, and attempts to picture the substance as being so, are either displaying willful ignorance, or knowingly propagating a falsehood. Carbon dioxide is so bound up in our very life processes, it cannot ever be disentangled. We are a carbon-based life form, for cat’s sake, and plants NEED carbon dioxide to even exist. Carbon dioxide is an essential part of the life cycle of all humanity, the entire animal kingdom, the entire plant kingdom and a great many inorganic reactions that take place in the earths crust, oceans, atmosphere, and the interior of the planet, and MUST be preserved at all costs.
Water vapor is from some twenty to over 100 times as potent a “greenhouse gas” as carbon dioxide could ever be. And it would be totally pointless to regulate water vapor.
The sea-level composition of air (in percent by volume at the temperature of 15°C and the pressure of 101325 Pa) is given below.
Name - Symbol - Percent by Volume
Nitrogen - N2 - 78.084 %
Oxygen - O2 - 20.9476 %
Argon - Ar - 0.934 %
Dioxide - CO2 - 0.0314 %
Neon - Ne - 0.001818 %
Methane - CH4 - 0.0002 %
Helium - He - 0.000524 %
Krypton - Kr - 0.000114 %
Hydrogen - H2 - 0.00005 %
Xenon - Xe - 0.0000087 %
Water vapor is a highly variable component of the atmosphere, ranging from less than 1% to more than 4% of the volume of a given amount of air, and is expressed as “relative humidity”.
CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
by David R. Lide, Editor-in-Chief
Know this and know it for a certainty: Carbon dioxide is plant food. Without it, plants wither and die. It is our OBLIGATION to increase carbon dioxide to the degree we are able, to aid our plant life on this planet to grow and extend to its maximum limit.
There is no climate “cure”, because there is no climate “disease”. We rely on carbon-based fuel, and the excess carbon dioxide merely goes into accelerated and extended plant growth. So long as we encourage plant growth at every juncture, by cultivation and land management, the content of carbon dioxide shall never rise much above about 0.05% concentration in the atmosphere.
Plants require carbon dioxide to conduct photosynthesis, and greenhouses may enrich their atmospheres with additional CO2 to boost plant growth, since its low present-day atmosphere concentration is just above the “suffocation” level for green plants. A photosynthesis-related drop in carbon dioxide concentration in a greenhouse compartment can kill green plants.
“Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geologic epoch) 280 (parts per million - ppm) thats unheard of. Most of the time [CO2 levels] have been at least 1,000 (ppm) and its been quite higher than that, Happer told the Senate Committee.”
Senate Committee : “Don’t confuse us with the facts”
“ouldnt it be funny that we wipe out the human race because the gas that we thought will kill us so we try to eliminate it, is actually the gas that keep us alive”
If we’re dead, we won’t be around to laugh.
It also needs to be pointed out that to define and enforce an arbitrary “ideal” environmental standard for our atmosphere is the ultimate in arrogance. Who is to say what is the perfect condition?
All we hear about are the hundreds of physicists who applauded Algore at the recent AAAS meeting in (where else) Chicago. For a real barfer, check out the press release at http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2009/0215am_gore.shtml
The AAAS meeting was held concurrently with the winter meeting of the AAPT (American Assn of Physics Teachers) so a whole bunch of high school physics teachers to the full Gore treatment.
Increased CO2 levels are also having a beneficial effect on crops. What environmentalism wants to call a “pollutant” is feeding us all and greening the planet.
"I do!.....I'm the expert here!...See?...I've got glasses that make me look kinda smart and everything"
(even though the +1.75 correction on her lens is higher than her IQ)
“Will this report put an end to the cap-and-trade bs?”
You’ve got to be kidding. Here’s the playbook:
If a scientist (or non-scientist or complete ignoramus) says CO2 is destroying the planet, that equals “concensus”.
If a scientist, no matter how distinguished, says the concerns over CO2 are overblown, that individual (or those tens of thousands of such individuals) does not exist, so far as the politicians and MSM are concerned.
The only problem with that is that there'd be no one around to laugh at our lunacy.
Click on POGW graphic for full GW rundown
Ping me if you find one I've missed.
Or they try the “shoot the messenger” attack instead of trying to refute the messenger’s facts.
“Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who heads the committee, said after Happer’s testimony that he is affiliated with an institute that received hundreds of thousands of dollars from ExxonMobil over the past decade.”
Well the current CO2 in Hawaii is averaging ~.04% so it has risen from the 1997 numbers you quote. Never-the-less, you are exactly right. This level means nothing anyway.
Indoor air concentrations of 2500 ppm are considered non hazardous so why not outside air? What I tell my deluded friends is that far from being a hazard, CO2 is the stuff of life. All the carbon is all of us was once CO2 converted into plant hydrocarbon and then by ingestion it became us. Cut it off and we die.
All the carbon we burn from oil, gas, and coal was once in the air. Since we will never be able to find let alone access all of this sequestered carbon, we are in little danger of over saturating the atmosphere.
ExxonMobile and about every other oil company that could be named contributes to groups on ‘both’ sides of the global warming debate. Boxer should be ashamed of herself for her dishonest tactics.
“ExxonMobile and about every other oil company that could be named contributes to groups on both sides of the global warming debate. Boxer should be ashamed of herself for her dishonest tactics”.
One should ask Boxer how much money does she get from global warming alarmist groups and “green” investment groups such as Al Gore’s that stand to benefit from global warming alarmism.
I’ve been saying this for years. If we were to find a non-hydrocarbon energy source that could easily and cleanly meet all our needs, the environmentally responsible thing to do would be to dig up all the oil and coal and natural gas we could find and burn it anyway. CO2 is the building block of life. All the carbon removed from the biosphere needs to be returned to it. Perhaps that is Man’s real purpose. Perhaps the lack of CO2 is why there are few megafauna left.
If they choose to guess, they inevitably get it wrong (guessing waaay high) before I tell them that CO2 is roughly 3.4 ten thousandths of our atmosphere.
Then, if I'm in a verbally combative mood, I'll ask if they know what percentage of the atmospheric CO2 is man-made.
(It's about 3.5%).
Many of my fellow "scientists" are blissfully clueless and unbothered by these simple, and demonstrable facts.
Exactly. There's much more special interest money funding Boxer and the LW fringe alarmists than people who are rational about climate.
Don’t confuse the true believers with facts.
It has nothing to do with the climate and EVERYTHING to do with stealing money from the people.
bump, for comment if I feel like it. I kinda wish someone would explain the downsides of extreme rates of change to the esteemed Dr. Happer.
By a simple extension of the argument, the cap-and-trade crowd are the plant genocides of the planet, monstrous walking mass-herbicidal maniacs, gorged on power and bulging with unholy impulses to kill and destroy.
Or something like that.
bookmark for later read - thanks for posting
The 'problem' with that, Dr. Happer, at least according to Algore, and the Church of Environmentalism, is that the areas that would benefit from the increased CO2 to sustain more life, are exactly those areas where the Population Police have been trying to reduce the numbers of births for years. Can't have all those 'brown people' you know, using up all the earth's resources.
That would be impossible, because she has no shame, only ideology.
Satellite imagery proves there is more forested land on earth today than there was when the first weather satellite, TIROS-1, was launched in 1959.
Accordingly, if we are producing more CO2 today than we did fifty years ago -- it's going to a good purpose. In fact, you might say that coal-burning power plants and sheep farts are doing their part in "saving the rain forest"...
LOL! The esteemed Dr. Happer was trying to do just that to the Senate! His point was that we have had many extreme climate changes on the Earth over millions of years; some more extreme than others. His point was that there were times, which were amenable to life, which had higher CO2 counts than we have now, so obviously, life, and the Earth survived them. He also made the point that warmer temperatures are not necessarily a BAD thing, because it makes for better growing conditions to help sustain human life on the planet.
True, but without the CO2 the atmosphere would be stone cold and little water vapor would exist. The earth's oceans would be frozen with only slush during the daytime near the equator. The CO2, albeit small, gives us a base GH effect that lets water vapor do the rest.
That basically jives with the article. Without CO2 we are screwed. With "too much" CO2, we might have some problems, but those pale in comparison and can be easily mitigated.
“Senate Committee : Dont confuse us with the facts”
Senate Committee : Dont rain on our power grab
Here’s a great (and simple!) site with some information.
After taking into account the “effectiveness” of the various gases to hold in heat, man-made CO2 provides about 0.117% of the total effective greenhouse effect. (Other chemicals, methane etc. that we produce bring the total man made contribution to something like 0.28%).