March 9, 2017

The Dawning Of The Age Of Stupid

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in an interview with CNBC, “I would not agree that CO2 is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see. I believe that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. ... We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”

What ineffable twaddle, to quote Dr. Watson. The idea that there is tremendous disagreement or that we need to continue studying this is always the last line of defense for those who would rather roll the dice on the world their grandchildren live in rather than sacrifice that last dime of profit to be squeezed out of coal.

The greenhouse effect was first postulated in 1824 and scientifically demonstrated in 1859 by John Tyndall, who measured the radiative properties of specific greenhouse gases. In 1896, Svante Arrhenius made the first quantitative prediction of global warming due to a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Translation: This science has been around for a long time.

In 1829, British coal production was 15 million tons. In 2006, world coal production was 6.2 billion tons. At the turn of the 20th century there were about 8,000 cars in use in the United States. At the turn of the 21st Century there were 450 million or so world-wide. Common sense tells us that if you start out with an atmosphere that contains a certain level of greenhouse gases that results in a given average temperature, and then the industrial revolution injects a massive amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, then something has to change. Logic says that at least one component of that change will be warmer temperatures in the atmosphere because that is what greenhouse gases do.


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