Physicist throws global warming under the bus

Shrieks of “HERESY!!” and “APOSTASY!!” must be echoing through the Cathedral of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming right about now, as a former University of Ottawa professor says that fossil fuels are insignificant to the amount of CO2 in the air:

The present (2010) historic maximum of anthropogenic (caused by humans) fossil fuel burning is only 8% or so of global primary production (GPP) (both expressed as kilograms of carbon per year, kg-C/y). GPP is the rate at which new biomass (living matter) is produced on the whole planet. And of course all biomass can in principle be considered fuel that could be burned with oxygen (O2) to produce CO2 gas, H2O water, energy, and an ash residue.

This shows the extent to which anthropogenic energy production from fossil fuel burning is small in comparison to the sun’s energy delivery to Earth, since biomass primary production results from the sun’s energy via photosynthesis.


Given all the fuss that is made about the present rate of fossil fuel burning (2010; 0.8 x 10^13 kg-C/y where 10^13 = 10,000,000,000,000 with thirteen zeros), it is important to keep in mind that this represents an amount of CO2 release comparable to or somewhat less than the CO2 released by simple breathing from humankind and its domestic animals [LINK]. The combined biomass of humankind and its domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, pets, etc.) is in turn estimated to be only 0.04% of Earth’s living biomass (all expressed as kilograms of carbon, kg-C), which is a lot more CO2-producing breathing. (Ants, for example, are estimated to represent ten to one hundred times the biomass of humankind and ants can be argued to have “transformed” the planet and its ecology far more than humans.)

Emphasis added.

Dr. Rancourt has a very Left/Progressive outlook, but a portion of his conclusion is worth quoting:

For left progressives to collaborate with First World governments that practice global extortion and geopolitical wars in order to pass carbon schemes to undemocratically manage and control the developments of non-First-World communities and sovereign states is obscene, racist, and cruelly cynical.

This conservative finds it hard to disagree. Well, except for that “global extortion” and “geopolitical wars” part. Can’t have everything…

But he touches on a good point: the AGW cultists and alarmists not only want to cripple Western economies and establish bureaucratic-statist control over the lives of individual citizens, but they want to keep poor countries poor, too, by denying them the very means the industrial and post-industrial nations used to become wealthy. It’s no wonder that both China and India have refused to sign on to the global-warming farce; the measures the alarmists demand we take to fight a problem that does not exist would absolutely derail their economic development.

In the great scheme of things, this is just another small crack in the vaunted scientific consensus. By itself, it means little. But, the more cracks appear, the sooner comes the day when the AGW cathedral collapses.

via WUWT

UPDATE: Is the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming the Beauvais Cathedral of our time? Via Dan Collins.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

4 Responses to Physicist throws global warming under the bus

  1. steveegg says:

    Oh snap. Of course, you do realize the next step will be to call for the decimation of humans to combat Gorebal “Warming” (or whatever they’re calling it this week).

  2. Yes, atmospheric CO2 is rising. In fact, it has been rising for the past eight thousand years, ever since man started clearing the forests for farming. Air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice cores display man’s impact on the composition of air. [“How Did Humans First Alter Global Climate?” W. F. Ruddiman, Sci. Am., March 2005, 46.]

    Yes, atmospheric CO2 has been rising faster in the last two hundred years. That parallels an exploding human population, accelerated deforestation of the tropics, and increased burning of fuels. It’s not just fossil fuels. Our ancestors didn’t just sit home shivering in the dark waiting for the discovery of petroleum; they burned everything from wood to whale blubber. They all released CO2.

    Yes, atmospheric temperatures seem to be rising. Global warming may be upon us. Global warming is just the high part of our normal climate cycle. This isn’t the first period of global warming. History reports two earlier episodes: the most recent ran from the ninth to the fourteenth century AD. The one before that ran from the third century BCE to the third century AD. There may have been earlier ones, but the data are a little fuzzy that far back. The effects of both global warming periods were profound. Roman civilization blossomed during the first. Europe prospered during the second , but the Americas suffered. [“The great warming: climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations,” Brian Fagan, Bloomsbury, (New York, 2008)] No one knows what the next one will hold.

    Atmospheric CO2 rose before and during the last two global warming periods. But CO2 didn’t cause them. CO2 continued to rise steadily through the mini Ice Ages between them. Global temperatures are not correlated with CO2 levels over recent millennia.

    Greenhouse gases didn’t cause the last two global warmings, and they won’t cause the next one. Greenhouse gases are only one minor factor in global warming. The climate is more complicated than that. [“The deniers: the world renowned scientists who stood up against global warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud and those who are too fearful to do so,” Lawrence Solomon, Richard Vigilante Books, (Minneapolis, 2008)] Geological factors like the precession of the planet’s poles and the cycles of the sun have greater effects on the weather.

    Rash restrictions on CO2 will not prevent or even delay global warming. They will not even reverse its atmospheric build up. The ocean holds fifty times as much CO2 as the atmosphere, and there’s more in the soil. Both would outgas to maintain current levels for generations to come.

    Rash restrictions on CO2 will stifle our economy and threaten our standard of living, but they won’t do a thing about the weather. Let’s not overreact to CO2.

  3. Zachriel says:

    Is even the presence of humans significant on the rough and diverse thin surface of this planet?

    Of course humans are significant. Humans have stripped forests, polluted air, streams and rivers, transferred invasive species, and significantly increased carbon in the atmosphere. The impact is such that there is a mass extinction occurring.


    As climatologists don’t claim this is the source of global warming, that is irrelvant.

    Given all the fuss that is made about the present rate of fossil fuel burning (2010; 0.8 x 10^13 kg-C/y where 10^13 = 10,000,000,000,000 with thirteen zeros), it is important to keep in mind that this represents an amount of CO2 release comparable to or somewhat less than the CO2 released by simple breathing from humankind and its domestic animals

    This one’s just funny. Simple breathing is *carbon neutral*. That means any carbon emitted into the atmosphere by the simple breathing of animals came from carbon that was fixed by plants. As net carbon is what matters, this is irrelevant.


    What matters is atmospheric carbon. The entire mantle could be made of carbon, but it’s irrelevant to global warming. We *know* that atmospheric carbon has increased and is continuing to increase significantly.

    To date there has been no direct experimental validation of a change in ocean pH, nor has there been a conclusive demonstration that ecological damage arises from increased ocean acidity.

    Byrne et al., Direct observations of basin-wide acidification of the North Pacific Ocean, Geophysical Research Letters 2010. See also NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.


    Humans should be able to overcome the challenges of climate change, by limiting its worst effects, and by predicting the unavoidable changes in order to adapt.


    You never actually argued to a conclusion.

    Whereas humankind has relatively little impact on the quantity and diversity of life in the biosphere …

    Just about everyone knows that’s false. The rest of the syllogism is a non sequitur.


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