We Need the Facts on Climate Change

 

Hello, My name is Michael and I have been invited to contribute to Taetske’s Guest Writers page.

 

Have we caused Climate Change?

There is a significant argument going on in the US of A.  It is related to ‘Climate Change” and the lack of trust in the scientific community, the politicians, the President of the United States (POTUS), and the media.  The fact that the world is warming is indisputable.  What is under dispute is, if any part of climate change is related to human activity

 

Our earth is warming up!

Ok, I just made a statement that some will argue with, that the warming of the earth is indisputable.  Some will argue that over the last decade, the climate has cooled.  The fact is that the global average temperature has increased by approximately 1.4°F since the early 20th century.

 

Industrial air pollution

Industrial Air Pollution

 

Over the same period of time, concentrations of greenhouse gases (specifically carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)) have increased.  This is a verifiable fact and is not in dispute.  What is in question is the contribution (if any) of human consumption of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas).

 

The increase in fossil fuels

Another thing that is indisputable is that humans have been burning more and more fossil fuels since the start of the industrial age (about 1760).  With the advent of the industrial age, we have power generators producing electricity to power mills, factories and light our homes.  Before this age, we used wood (which is regrown so its use is basically carbon neutral), coal on a small-scale, peat and animal dung to heat our homes.

Since the industrial age, we have seen the development of coal-fired boilers to produce heat/steam/electricity and we have developed ingenious ways to consume a product that was initially thought of as a worthless byproduct (gasoline).

 

big city bad air

Big City bad air

 

The website ProCon.org gives a somewhat unsatisfactory but balanced review of 13 issues (both pro and con).  You can find the discussion at www.climatechange.procon.org .  I say unsatisfactory because I would like to see a point-counterpoint argument of each factoid that is presented.  Will one study outweigh the thousands of others?  Who sponsored the studies and what were the basic assumptions when the study was initiated?   I want full accountability and I want to have full access to any and all studies.  Yes, I may not be able to read all of the documents but there are millions (dare I say billions) of people out there that have a vested interest in the truth.

Many of the documents in favor of human climate change are produced by government-funded studies (see below).  A large part of the articles opposed to human-caused climate change is funded by “non-profit” organizations such as The Heritage Institute and the Koch Brothers.

The web page http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Heartland_Institute reports:

The Heartland Institute, according to the Institute’s website, is a non-profit “think-tank” that questions the reality and import of climate change, second-hand smoke health hazards, and a host of other issues that might seem to require government regulation. A July 2011 Nature editorial points out the group’s lack of credibility:

“Despite criticizing climate scientists for being overconfident about their data, models, and theories, the Heartland Institute proclaims a conspicuous confidence in single studies and grand interpretations….makes many bold assertions that are often questionable or misleading…. Many climate skeptics seem to review scientific data and studies not as scientists but as attorneys, magnifying doubts and treating incomplete explanations as falsehoods rather than signs of progress towards the truth. … The Heartland Institute and its ilk are not trying to build a theory of anything. They have set the bar much lower, and are happy muddying the waters.”[1]

An August 2014 Travis County Texas court ruling highlighted President and CEO Joseph Bast‘s lack of credibility and reliability:

“Mr. Joseph Bast, president, and CEO of the Heartland Institute testified for the Intervenors regarding the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Programs (“TTSGP”), a school voucher bill that failed in the 82nd Legislative Session. As a threshold matter, this Court finds that Mr. Bast is not a credible witness and that he did not offer reliable opinions in this matter. While Mr. Bast described himself as an economist, he holds neither undergraduate nor graduate degrees in economics, and the highest level of education he completed was high school. Mr. Bast testified that he is 100% committed to the long-term goal of getting government out of the business of educating its own voting citizens. Further, his use of inflammatory and irresponsible language regarding global warming, and his admission that the long-term goal of his advocacy of vouchers is to dismantle the “socialist” public education system further undermine his credibility with this Court.”[2]

 

The Koch brothers

A large portion of supporting funds for the Heritage Institute appears to be from a group of individuals that are interested in limiting the US Governments influence and or control over the economy.  The Koch brothers are part of the Heartland Institute supporters and helped create a broad network of nonprofit groups that control hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into politics.

While they are “very concerned and worried about our government evolving into a very controlling, socialist type of government” they are unconcerned about the preponderance of the evidence that shows climate change must be addressed, whether it is by government help or not.

 

A document of the New York Times

Two weeks ago, a significant document was brought to the public’s attention by the way of the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/climate/climate-change-drastic-warming-trump.html ).  This document is titled “U.S. GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PROGRAM” (https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3920195/Final-Draft-of-the-Climate-Science-Special-Report.pdf ) and can be accessed by clicking on the link just displayed.

The coordinating lead authors are from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with additional help from:

University of Washington, Texas Tech University, Columbia University, Northern Arizona University, Rutgers University, North Carolina State University, Columbia University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Global Change Research Program, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, NOAA National Ocean Service, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA Langley Research Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Naval Postgraduate School Remote Sensing Systems, National Center for Atmospheric Research, DOE Office of Science.

 

Updated every 4 years

This is an impressive group of well-respected organizations and should not be ignored.  What is more important is that this report was mandated by Congress to be updated every four years so it is not subject to the whims of the current administration.

 

Final publication of document vetoed by the president?

That is the concern here, that the current President of the United States will subvert or prevent this document from being finalized.  It has gone through 5 separate drafts and, being an environmental engineer and having personal knowledge of how the federal government likes to document what it decides to publish, going through five drafts shows it has performed due diligence to ensure all data is correct.  Now, it is on the President’s desk and the question remains, will he allow the final publication of this document?

As I stated earlier in my discussion, and to quote an old tv program, I want “just the facts, mam, just the facts.”  I think this issue is too important to allow one man to stand in the way of its publication.  I have presented a link to the draft and several other documents for you to have a full understanding of the issues.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, we do not have any time to lose. If no immediate action is taken, we are all in deep yogurt.

 


Photo Source: Pixabay

Comments

Michael

A news flash/update. The President of the United States has just disbanded the National Climate Assessment group, the ones that were mandated by Congress to asses climate change on an ongoing basis. The one just produced will be the last one. Change is necessary if we are to understand the affects of climate change. See the attached Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/20/the-trump-administration-just-disbanded-a-federal-advisory-committee-on-climate-change/

Aug 21.2017 | 04:59 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Michael,

    Now that is indeed bad news, a so-called setback. Will we be able to avoid the looming catastrophe or is it too late already. It won’t take us long to find out.

    Regards, Taetske

    Aug 21.2017 | 05:14 pm

Ciara

Thank you for putting out this post on climate change. I am an environmental scientist and I find it frustrating and unbelievable how so many independent groups (e.g., Koch Brothers, Heartland Institute, etc.) are allowed to leverage political decisions on climate change. It’s sad to see them promote false and misleading information to the public at large for their own benefit. Many people are misinformed about what climate change even is… the more popular term is ‘global warming,’ which is a misleading term itself. Thanks for sharing your post and keep up the good fight for our planet!

Sep 05.2017 | 08:20 pm

    Taetske

    Good morning Ciara,

    Thank you for visiting my web page.  Yes, a lot of people are uninformed and a lot of those who you think should be informed refuse to believe the numbers because it does not fit with what they perceive.  I applaud your earning your Masters in Environmental Science and working to make a change.  We all need to encourage or even explain to the general public that the little perturbations in the data do not negate the truth of what is being observed.  I think we have seen that climate change has affected weather patterns and will make them much more extreme.  Extremes like heavy snows in New England in May and an increase in the catastrophic hurricanes and cyclones.  Right now we are worried about a new hurricane but India and Bangladesh are suffering from catastrophic storms as well.   Keep up the good work and keep the faith that science will be trusted again.

    Michael and Taetske

    Sep 06.2017 | 02:00 pm

Joe Joson

Global warming is not what I am seeing. This past two months we have seen many parts of the US FREEZING OVER. Please Google the words US freeze over. It is hard to connect what is happening to global warming.

Feb 28.2019 | 02:26 pm

    Taetske

    Good morning Joe and thank you for leaving a comment on my post.

    Did you download your free pdf?

    I know what you are experiencing. I have experienced 52 degrees F below zero, and it is darn right cold. However, you have to realize that on the opposite side of the globe, the island/continent of Australia has just experienced record heat waves. As you can see from the attached link, Australia has experienced the warmest night temperatures ever. ( https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191272-australia-swelters-in-record-temperatures-with-warmest-ever-night/ )

    When thinking about Global Warming you have to think globally not locally. One thing I have tried to remind people when talking about climate change is that the increased temperatures in the oceans create thermal rises in the air above the ocean and this has the ability to affect the jet stream as well as the polar vortex (you have recently heard about this term).

    When warm air rises in a confined system (and in this scenario, confined is anything between the earth’s surface and the stratosphere), it displaces cold air somewhere. That is until it transfers its heat energy to the cooler air and creates a more even distribution of temperature. As you were experiencing very cold temperatures in the lower 48, the temperatures in the artic are much warmer than normal. If you watch the following link, you will see the Polar Vortex travel down through Canada into the Lower 48 and observe that the temperatures behind the vortex start rising ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/02/26/one-strongest-arctic-outbreaks-winter-is-ready-surge-into-lower-early-march/?utm_term=.3b5f14e35594 ). It is like a pocket of extreme cold moving down. This same event happened to the north east part of the States and Canada for the past 3-4 years. I have been saying to my friends for more than 10 years that Global Warming is destabilizing the Jet Stream and causing it to migrate deeper into the south every year. What is more disturbing is that when summer comes around, temperatures in the southern hemisphere will drop and temperatures in the northern hemisphere will reach record highs. Unfortunately, I believe this is going to be the new norm for the US and any country in the northern hemisphere. Until we can get climate change under control, I recommend buying more thermal underwear. And I do not see the political will to change, so expect this to continue for a very long time.

    Regards, Michael

    Feb 28.2019 | 03:17 pm

Wealthfather

Awesome! What an incredible and great blog post; Thanks for this wonderful enlightenment. This is extensive information that is very hard to come by on any blog and I must say it is an eye-opener for me.

There is no doubt that the earth is seriously warming up from all indications, I love to study anything that has to do with climate and your article has given me good information on that.

Feb 28.2019 | 02:33 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for your comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    The situation has become very serious and there is not much time left. Just recently I heard that scientists, who previously had said to expect a 2-degree rise in temperature, are now saying it will be 4 degrees. This will have catastrophic consequences for the world. I live in Spain and with this temperature rise, nearly the whole country would be converted into the Sahara.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 01.2019 | 07:30 am

ajibola40

Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming  livestock

This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. And if something is not down with it. Is just a sorry case for human race. as unbelievable as it is, many are playing politics what want is important to our environment and human race in general 

Feb 28.2019 | 02:39 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Ajibola,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comments.

    When the government does not protect us and the environment we will have to vote for better people. There is not much time left and the serious consequences of our actions are already here to see for all who want to look. To say Global Warming=Climate Change is nonsense for sure is the wrong way to react. The problem will not go away with that type of attitude

    Regards, Taetske. 

    Mar 01.2019 | 07:22 am

Kenechi

Ahhh your last sentence in your article got me laughing aloud. Honestly if no immediate action is taking, men are in deep yoghurt. Government has to do something about this global warming and warming of the net. Though when I think of this,  a lot of questions will be left on my mind. How can government stop this? 

Feb 28.2019 | 02:41 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Kenechi,

    Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.

    Governments can, of course, make positive decisions. Laws to protect the environment. Change from coal and nuclear power to green energy. There are countries which have made that change or go in the right direction. Sadly there are still too many governments who insist on the old and harmful ways. We have to vote for people who protect us and the planet.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 01.2019 | 07:17 am

abdft17

Talking about Climate Changes. The earth’s climate has changed a lot since the evolution of Modern Human, and unfortunately, the climate has changed to the worse and it still keeps changing and changing without our notice what will happen to the entire earth? The changing climate will also risk the lives of human being and their health simply due to the polluted air that they breathe especially in modern and crowded City

Feb 28.2019 | 02:43 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon, and thank you for leaving a comment on my post.

    Did you download your free pdf?

    The climate has indeed changed but more notably since the start of the Industrial Revolution (late 1700’s). I agree with you that humans have been the significant factor in our current struggles.  The advent of the use of coal as a major energy source (and by default the use of petroleum after that) has directly contributed to pollution in the cities and the ill health of a significant portion of the city’s population.  I recall seeing photos of parked cars in Pittsburgh and the coal dust from the steel mills coating them with a thick layer of ash. You may also recall that automobiles used to use leaded gasoline until there was a definitive link between lead and the health problems of our children.

    The fact is that we must stand firm in our belief that climate change must be addressed, and now.

    Regards, Michael

    Feb 28.2019 | 05:29 pm

Henry

Hi Taetske! This is really tragic. I initially thought POTUS would not do such things. But it seems he’s more than whiling. Still giving the benefit of doubt, there must be well supported reasons. 

This is a very interesting debate. And I agree with you that the concentration of greenhouse gases increase is a fact and isn’t under dispute. 

Thank you for mentioning ConPro. I’ll also check that also.

Feb 28.2019 | 02:47 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Henry and thank you for leaving a comment.

    We have watched the politics in the US for quite a few years and it is not only the current POTUS but many on Capitol Hill as well. The willingness to advocate for drastic change must come from a real belief in the issues and I do not believe the legislators or the presidents have had the political backing for such drastic (and necessary) measures. The loss of jobs in the coal industry must be met with knowledge that the environmental industry can hire those people who have lost their jobs and keep their families safe. I have worked in the environmental field since 1974 starting with working at the sewer plant.  My friends wondered why I would want to work at such a place, and I said, it is steady work and employment. A few years later, they would ask how they could get the job.

    Keep reading about the science behind climate change and you will come to understand it all.

    Regards, Michael  

    Feb 28.2019 | 05:26 pm

Dr. SD

Nice article.

Global warming, Ozone layer depletion, Climate change all are human-made issues and unless the governments of all countries take some real steps (instead of fake), the problem will grow up continuously. Being a researcher in chemistry and former environment chemistry lecturer I am pretty aware of this huge problem, which may be controlled by human only. 

The politicians of all countries broadcasting that they are taking steps but in reality, many are not taking any steps at all. Because, if they try to control factories, money will not come. 

I think European countries and Japan are very serious in this matter. Finland, the greenest country is taking all steps to stop global warming and climate change.

Factories, Cars, plastic, refrigerants everything are responsible for the huge change in climate. Can human replace all? This is really a big question!

SD

Feb 28.2019 | 02:49 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Dr. SD and thank you for leaving a comment on my post.

    Did you download your free pdf?

    I appreciate someone who has taken the time to understand the environmental world.  I have worked more than 90% of my working years in the environmental field in one way or another.  I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and like you, am very aware of the mechanics of global warming and (unfortunately) the politics of change. We as individuals, have only two ways to make change happen. Through the ballot box and the pocket book. Buy from companies you think are working toward change and vote out those who will not work to improve the environment.  All else is secondary.  If you do not have a world to live on, you won’t need anything else.

    Regards, Michael  

    Feb 28.2019 | 05:25 pm

Seun Afotanju

Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges faced by the society today Over the years, the pan-European region has seen an increase in the rate and magnitude of extreme weather conditions. As a result of longer dry periods and more frequent heat waves, countries in the region are increasingly experiencing water stress. Storms and floods are also intensifying in both frequency and force. Thanks for this informative article I wish the government and everyone at large will see this. 

Feb 28.2019 | 02:56 pm

    Taetske

    Good afternoon Seun, and thank you for leaving a comment on my post.

    I grew up and lived most of my life in the U.S. It wasn’t until 2016 that I moved to Spain and in that time, I have witnessed the summer droughts as well as very little rain in the winter.  I have seen the devastation of the heavy rains when they do come, washing cars and people out to the sea. I have heard of the stories of how the weather has changed here. It used to be much less drastic and there were some seasons. Now there is just a cool winter and very hot summers. I fear that birds will change their migration patterns and we won’t see them anymore. I agree with everything you have commented on and can only think of what it will take to convince people that we need to address our impact on this world.

    Regards, Michael

    Feb 28.2019 | 05:31 pm

Mary

Thank you for sharing this well detailed post on Climate Change. The damages expected from climate seem to get worse with each new study, recently like the reports from U.S Global Change Research Projects bearer of bad news. Change is necessary if we are to understand the effects of climate change.Thank you!

Feb 28.2019 | 02:57 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Mary,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? You are right, change is needed but often governments do not want to change. Next time we have to vote for people who do understand this is getting urgent. Only if all countries go green we can solve the problem.

    Regardsm Taetske

    Mar 01.2019 | 07:12 am

Md moinul Islam

Hi,

We are all known to the fact of heating of mother Earth. Due to different burning of fuels, coals and other products run in the mills and factories. That’s increasing the temperature of mother Earth. The amount of CO2 and CH4 is in great amount. People use different things as bi-product to heat up their body during winter, which increases the amount of greenhouse gases. This causes a great impact on climate change. We need to be aware of this matter . 

Thanks for making us aware of this problem. 

Mar 01.2019 | 05:49 am

    Taetske

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my website. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Many countries worldwide have realized that using green energy is the way to go. Sadly not all countries share that view and insist on coal and nuclear power. With this attitude, it is not going in the right direction and we will all have to bear the consequences.

    Regards, Taetske

    Mar 01.2019 | 07:09 am

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