(Published in Volume 21, No. 2) I fully support John Risley’s call for better investigation of the real influences on the world’s climate (Volume 21, No. 1). With the plethora of “oscillations” (Pacific, Altantic, Arctic), El Nino, etc., and numerous other influences, the world’s climate is vastly more complex than the simple-minded Gore portrayal that blames everything on carbon dioxide.
First of all, the most important “greenhouse gas”, by far, is water. As vapor and cloud, water is responsible for up to 95 per cent of the so-called “greenhouse effect”. It overlaps CO2 in radiation absorption and it ranges up to four per cent of the atmosphere, while CO2 is a paltry 0.038 per cent. Carbon dioxide plays only a minor role.
Then, in addition to that, and what the Gores and Suzukis never mention, is the very complex story of water evaporation from the oceans and convective transport of the energy high into the atmosphere, where it becomes up to 60 per cent of the energy returned to space. Talk only of “greenhouse gases” indicates an incomplete understanding of the way that the world regulates its temperature.
Thus, Mr. Risley’s use of the words “polluter”, “harmful emissions”, and discussion of ways to reduce CO2 emissions indicates that, for all his obvious good will, there remains a residual lack of understanding that CO2 is not an important factor in how the world’s climate works. CO2 emissions are not pollution.
Any imposition of a “carbon tax” or “cap and trade” legislation would raise the price of everything that WE buy, while having zero effect on our climate.
Ian McQueen, BSc, MEngSc, chem.eng
Climate Truth Initiative