Thank God for Carbon: Overview

Ray Evans

Despite the gravity of the economic crisis arising from the collapse of financial and credit markets in the US and from thence to Europe and to the rest of the world, the Rudd Government continues to proceed with drafting legislation which will require emitters of carbon dioxide, notably coal-fired power stations, to purchase permits to continue to operate. This scheme of decarbonisation is based on the notion that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (the consequence of burning fossil fuels) have caused, and will continue to cause, global warming. Because 'carbon' fits more easily into newspaper headlines than does 'carbon dioxide', carbon has been substituted for carbon dioxide in political discourse, and has become the target of legislation.

In Europe, such a scheme, known as an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), has led to rapidly increasing energy costs and severe political tensions between EU nations and between governments and their peoples. An ETS is a euphemism for a carbon tax, but because in Australia it will be a tax imposed primarily on our energy-intensive industries, it will have particularly adverse consequences for our export industries and our import-competing industries. Many rural and urban enterprises will collapse. Investment in our energy-intensive industries will cease, and within a few years electricity blackouts will become commonplace. Britain is now facing this prospect in the forthcoming northern winter.

The arguments advanced in support of restructuring Australia's industries to a 'carbon restricted' economy are based on the theory that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide will cause catastrophic climate change. It is claimed that burning fossil fuels during the twentieth century has caused global temperatures to rise and that unless these emissions are drastically curtailed the world will reach a 'tipping point' that will trigger 'runaway global warming'. It is claimed that it will be the end of the world as we have known it for thousands of years.

As part of this doctrinal structure, the sixth element of the periodic table, carbon, has been cast as a symbol of mankind's malevolent behaviour towards the planet, and it has been demonized accordingly. This demonization of carbon is an absurdity. Carbon is essential to the biosphere. Carbon dioxide [CO2] is fundamental to life-supporting processes such as photosynthesis. Without carbon and carbon dioxide, there would be no life on earth. The average human body is 18 per cent carbon by weight.

The belief that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are responsible for raising the world's temperature during the last 30 years or so is shown here to be without any solid foundation. Annual increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, and anthropogenic emissions of CO2, show no correlation between the two variables. The mechanism which is promoted as the instrument of global warming is called the 'greenhouse effect'. The reader will find here a discussion of the greenhouse effect and may be surprised to discover the confusions and uncertainty surrounding this concept.

All of the predictions of rising temperatures, melting ice-caps, rising sea-levels, acidifying oceans, dying coral reefs, more frequent droughts, are all based on simulations carried out on very large computer models of the world's climate. All the models are constructed on the assumption of global warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO. These climate models have suffered major credibility setbacks in recent years. They have been unable to predict the temperatures we have actually experienced, particularly since 1998, as temperatures have remained stationary or, as in the last two years, declined by 0.7 degrees C, despite increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Furthermore, there have been major changes in the model predictions, but these have not diminished the faith of the global warmers (or carbonistas), nor of the policy makers who follow them. Early predictions included the idea of ever-increasing temperatures (as in the notorious hockey stick graph), but now we are told that global warming has been delayed until 2015.

The satellite and radiosonde (weather balloon) measurements taken of tropospheric temperatures in the tropical regions have shown no increase in the last ten years. Every climate model requires these particular temperatures to increase with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

It has been admitted by some of the climate modellers connected to the IPCC that their simulations cannot describe in any detail clouds or cloud formation. The type and extent of cloud cover over the earth has a very large impact on radiation input to the earth from the sun and on the earth's radiation to space. This is, therefore, a damning admission from within the global-warming community.

There is also widespread acceptance that computer models cannot predict climate processes on a regional scale, especially El Nino and La Nina events in the Pacific Ocean. Those Australians whose lives are dominated by rainfall or drought are well aware that El Nino-La Nina events control Australian rainfall. Australian droughts (48 of the last 144 years have been drought years) have been driven by El Nino events. Years of good rainfall have been driven by La Nina events.

Despite this basic understanding of Australian climate, many hundreds of millions of taxpayers' funds have been poured into attempts to reinforce and underpin the belief that we can control our climate, or perhaps even 'drought-proof ' Australia, by reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide.

Many scientists believe that the sun is the main driver of climate change here on earth. The very close correlation between the length of the sunspot cycle, and subsequent climate, continues to be a subject of very close attention. In this tract the events leading up to the Dalton Minimum (1795-1820) and the likelihood of a return of those conditions are discussed. Such an outcome will have very serious implications for world food production, amongst other outcomes.

The conclusion that carbon dioxide is a pollutant has no scientific foundation, and when carbon itself is regarded as a 'pollutant' the situation is utterly non-scientific. Furthermore, attempts to decarbonise the Australian economy in order to forestall climate catastrophe will have zero impact on our climate, but will be very damaging to our economy.

Lavoisier the Man
Bio and Image
Click above for latest SOHO sunspot images.
Click here for David Archibald on solar cycles.
Where is that pesky greenhouse signature?
Click here for David Evans's article.

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