We’ve been told by paid “scientists” that landfills are bad when they are actually good for the climate. We’re told that recycling paper and plastic Is good when it is actually bad for the climate. And we’re told that cutting down forests is bad when it is actually good for the climate. The truth is, in the 1970s, the plastics industry paid for the ads that vilified landfills and promoted plastic recycling so they would not have to buy new expensive oil.
We are fast approaching a cross-over point where the decreasing cost of clean energy will push down the demand and combustive value of fossilized petroleum, while increasing demand for non-combustive (carbon sequestering) uses such as lubricants, solvents and plastics will push up the value of fossilized petroleum. At this cross-over point, the oil will become too valuable to burn.
This cross-over point is only a few years away and climate change will no longer be the disaster that the climate alarmists are expecting. We can speed up this cross-over point by consuming MORE plastic and NOT recycling any of it. This forces the plastic manufacturers to buy new oil, pushing the non-combustive value even higher thus ending fossilized petroleum combustion and its resulting carbon emissions forever.
But, what about all the plastic floating in the ocean? This is not plastic’s fault; it is our habit of tossing our trash in the wrong places. For every ton of trash floating in the ocean, there is a million tons of trash that didn’t float. I am more concerned about poisoning our seas with heavy metals and “forever” chemicals than with floating plastic. Plastics should be buried in segregated landfills so we can dig it up again in about 1000 years.
Putting plastic back in the ground where it came from is a carbon neutral transaction. Using plastic and plant fiber for permanent applications, such as building houses out of trees, effectively removes 200% of that carbon from the biosphere. The new plant matter that replaces the removed tree consumes carbon at a faster rate than the old growth. The carbon bonds in plastic are quite stable and should remain intact nearly forever if sequestered in a dark place.
By the way, recycling aluminum and other metals is very important because mining and smelting ore is very bad for the environment. Also, the creation and extinction of species is a natural part of God’s design, and we shouldn’t be worried about every little frog, but we probably should worry about bees. We need them.
In reality, the global benefits to humanity of climate change greatly outweigh the costs. Back when this carbon was in the biosphere, dense forests reached the shores of the Arctic Ocean and jungles covered eastern Montana and Wyoming, and food was so abundant that animals grew to be the size of houses. All the excess carbon emissions we generate now will be consumed by increased biomass production.
If you simply look at the top of a globe, you will see that most of the planet’s land mass is north of 45 degrees latitude. Our real national security threat is that Russia and Canada will become the world’s major food suppliers and global economic powers and billions of refugees will be moving north.
Salmon are not native to the Columbia River system. Salmon evolved about 20 million years ago during a period of a few million years of a very warm, ice-cap free, climate that hadn’t been that warm for the previous 20 million years and hasn’t been that warm for the 20 million years since then.
For the next 15 million years the salmon survived somewhere else just fine as the ice caps returned but the climate was still much warmer than anything we’ve seen in the last 5 million years. During that entire period the Columbia Basin would have been far too hot and dry for any salmon to survive.
As the earth continued to cool, eventually the natural solar radiation input cycles resulting from planetary orbit cycles became the primary influence on our climate. For at least the last million years there has been at least ten 100,000-year climate cycles with a glaciation (ice age) period that lasts about 80,000 years and an inter-glacial period that lasts about 20,000 years. The salmon and early human beings have lived through all ten cycles with no apparent adverse effects. We will stay with the salmon story and get back to early humans in a little while.
During each of those 10 warm periods the earth’s climate was much warmer than it is now. The Columbia Basin would have been far too hot and dry for any salmon to survive. During each of those 10 cold periods the earth’s climate was much colder than it is now. The Columbia Basin would have been far too frozen for any salmon to survive.
The steeper downward climate slope pushed the salmon migration routes south too fast for them to visit the Columbia Basin. During the upward climate slope, they can spend about 10,000 years here before things get too toasty for them. Unfortunately, they have already been here for 9,900 years and have less than 100 years left before it is time to leave the Columbia Basin and continue their return to their native migration routes.
The conclusion of this analysis is that the salmon have lived somewhere other than the Columbia Basin for 19.9 million years out of the last 20 million years (99.5%) and will continue to thrive somewhere else and there has been no climate period in the last 40 million years that is too hot for salmon. Why we need more dams and not fewer dams will be explained in the last section.
Climate change deniers are ignorant and climate change alarmists are lying to you. If you only look at the negatives and ignore the much greater positives of climate change, then you are exactly as ignorant and close-minded as the climate change deniers.
As a software engineer, I've developed environmental modeling tools that have actually been misused by government agencies and businesses to support their predetermined positions. Global warming has been happening since the "native" Americans discovered America.
The alarmists are hiding the fact the climate cycles are a closed-loop self-limiting system and that a one-percent increase per year in carbon intake by existing plants would consume all the CO2 produced annually from fossil fuel combustion. Anyone who knows gardening knows that a greenhouse environment can grow much larger plants and a CO2 rich atmosphere would be even more productive. Also, every CO2 molecule from combustion comes with an H20 molecule. So, we will have significantly more fresh water than we have now, and the warmer air will hold more fresh water. Fossilized petroleum is just stored water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight that got trapped by geologic events millions of years ago and we are just releasing that water, carbon dioxide and sunlight.
Stopping fossil fuel combustion will not stop the global climate cycle. Mother Nature's power should not be underestimated. We need to prepare for a future with some real engineering challenges. Cities will need to relocate to higher ground. Sea-ports should just offload containers onto self-driving rail-cars that deliver the goods to the appropriate Amazon distribution center.
This question is tricky to answer because of the signal to noise ratio problem. The signal we are trying to see is the very small long-term climate change through the noise of very large short-term climate changes. Climate “scientists” think we are at or near the warmest period of the cycle. They have absolutely no idea if they are looking at signal or noise. I can prove that the last ice age is not over yet, and we have much hotter temperatures ahead for a very long time and there is nothing we can do about it. The last ice age should be over in 100 years or less at which time the next warm period will begin and it will be hotter and last longer than any of the past 10 warm cycles.
Fossilized plant material found at the bottom of an ice core, drilled through 5000 feet of ice in Greenland over 50 years ago and kept frozen, has been recently analyzed. The ice had been analyzed extensively but no one had previously looked at the dirt at the bottom and they found evidence of geologically recent plant life. About 400,000 years ago there was a warmer and much longer inter-glacial period that would have certainly thawed Greenland. The important fact is that the presence or lack of the Greenland ice sheet appears to fall within the dynamic range of the recent climate cycles. The last ice age may not end until Greenland is green again and the next ice age isn’t scheduled to start until 60,000 years from now, if ever.
We are now at the steepest part of the upward temperature slope as the last of the continental ice melts. At this rate I would expect Greenland to be green in 100 years or less. Although it is impossible to see it through the noise, the climate is changing faster now than at any time in recent cycles.
Here is the problem. This past ice age ended 20,000 years behind schedule and the next warm period could be longer and much hotter than usual. In fact, it is possible the next ice age will be cancelled altogether if the climate reaches the same level as 5 million years ago when it was too hot for any glaciation other than at the poles. If Greenland melts, Antarctic ice will also be substantially reduced and sea levels will be much higher than feared.
Humans in our modern form evolved about 230,000 years ago as nomadic hunter/gatherers that followed the animals as the climate shifted north and south on each cycle and nomadic fisher/gatherers that followed the coasts as the climate shifted north and south on each cycle.
During the warm period, human population probably expanded to about one billion people before collapsing, due to war, disease, and starvation, to less than 10 million by the dawn of civilization.
As the climate started to warm 12,000 years ago, numerous tribes of nomadic fisher/gatherers followed the coasts north, as the glaciers retreated inland, crossing from Russia to the Americas over the Bering Strait land bridge. The first tribes arriving in North America had to travel far south to find a habitable climate.
There is evidence that the Nez Perce were originally a coastal fishing tribe who arrived here about the same time that the salmon migration route had moved north to the Columbia Basin. The salmon provided a reliable source of high quality protein which allowed coastal tribes to move inland and settle in the Columbia Basin.
When the sea level started returning to normal as the glaciers melted and currents between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans resumed, the land bridge was washed away.
When seas were lowest during the peak of the last ice age, there was only about 40 miles of water between Australia and Asia. There are also isolated tribes in the western Amazon of South America that have been found to have some Polynesian DNA and they could have arrived by boat at any time.
Meanwhile, in the Fertile Crescent, the climate was ideal for nomadic tribes to put down roots, develop permanent settlements and invent agriculture. After 5000 years, the climate “sweet spot” had moved north and all that was left was sand blowing in the wind. At about the same time, permafrost in northern Russia was no longer permanent or frost. Its organic material was carbon dated as 6300 to 4000 years old. This is a good example of the signal to noise ratio problem. That short warm spike was greater than the entire temperature change in the last 10,000 years.
It is illogical and irrational that we think our current climate is the “best” climate ever. Those countries in the 20-50 degree-north-latitude club, like this climate. Those countries in the 50-80 degree-north-latitude club would like to see the “sweet spot” move north first and then lock it in. Look at a globe to see who belongs to each club.
It is illogical, irrational, and more than a little arrogant that we think we can lock-in this climate forever against the power of God’s natural cycles.
It is irrational to think that humans and salmon can’t survive this cycle after we have survived about ten ice age cycles during the last million years.
It is insane to tear down our dams which provide increasingly important irrigation, clean energy and flood control as the climate gets warmer and wetter, just to protect the salmon who will continue migrating further north anyway. If we become sensible and change some priorities, we can use the reservoirs as giant batteries to store excess wind energy.
It is hilarious that climate scientists think they can model our future climate when they can’t even model tomorrow’s weather without getting ten different results none of which are correct.
Global warming, a.k.a. climate change, is real, unstoppable, a national security threat, and we had better get prepared for some serious economic and population disruptions.
California will need to choose between people or farms. They don’t have enough water for both.
The dust bowl of the plains will become a permanent weather feature and tourist attraction.
Texas and Oklahoma will be sand dunes and oil wells with an occasional “enclosed” city.
Florida, which is just a big old sandbar, will just wash away one night while no one is looking.
Wild weather patterns and agricultural zone shifts will make farming even riskier than it already is.
Develop new rechargeable battery technologies for electric vehicles.
Keep reducing the cost of photovoltaic cells.
Keep building wind farms.
Build more dams for flood management, irrigation, recreation and power generation and storage.
Build permanent infrastructure with wood, paper, and plastic to remove 200% of that carbon.
Don’t recycle plastic, dispose it properly.
Don’t try to regulate carbon emissions. It is not worth the trouble.
Build my smart-rail robotic cross-country transportation system.
Build homes smarter, not smarter homes.
There is a very popular trend in new residential home design that is very stupid from a energy efficiency and comfort point of view.
Everyone wants a two-story open-concept living area with a two-story foyer or a two-story main living area, overlooked by open-concept living areas on the second level.
If you live in a climate that needs heating or cooling, this does not work. The upstairs spaces are always too hot and the lower level is always too cold and the whole space is exposed to heat gain or loss through the roof. Grand foyers worked in the old days, because all the bedrooms upstairs were closed off from the hallway.
Vertically stacking your living spaces with a separating door between vertical open spaces and horizontal open spaces is the most efficient space design. When the weather cooperates, you can leave the doors open.
My house has a 35 foot tall entry atrium with stairs leading to 3 floors of open-concept living spaces. Each living space has a full-view french (double) door opening out to a landing overlooking the atrium.
The three story atrium drives a convection envelope that makes my cooling cost nothing and my heating cost almost nothing.