June 30, 2014

Global Warming: a contrarian view

Here are some contrarian thoughts:

Considering the persistence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (centuries), it could be that the warming we have seen through the 20th century is the accumulated effect of increased coal use in the 19th century to power the "industrial revolution". And the slowing down of warming seen in the past decade or so could be due to the move from coal to oil in the transition from the 19th to the 20th century a hundred years ago. And with increasing efficiency and use of natural gas instead of oil over the latter half of the 20th century, along with the curbing of ozone-destroying CFCs and powerfully warming HFCs, we should continue to see a moderation of the warming trend (at least of what can be attributable to anthropogenic carbon dioxide). However, that moderation would be threatened by continued renewed growth of coal use in China and India (to cheaply power their "development") and the continued burgeoning of animal agriculture (which, among other things, emits methane, a greenhouse gas with 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide, and drives the clearance of carbon-capturing forests), not to mention of the human population itself.

environment, environmentalism