Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

03 January 2019

On the Choice of Charities

My father and mother had a favorite charity:  St. Jude's Children's Hospital.  This is a choice some of my siblings have made and the choice is particularly reasonable in that St. Jude's Hospital has worked wonders to save the life of a young great nephew who had bone cancer in a leg.  My own choice of charities is different as I just explained in an e-mail to my siblings.

I wrote:

St. Jude's Hospital is a worthy cause.  However, many will give to medical institutions, while few care enough about the many and broad rights of the individual to support the think tanks that fight so hard to preserve and expand our freedom to exercise our many rights as individuals.  For this reason, I do all I can to support the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Capital Research Center, The Institute for Justice, Cato Institute, The Independent Institute, The Atlas Society, the Foundation for Economic Education, The Right to Work Committee, Judicial Watch, National Federation of Independent Businesses, The Mercatus Center of George Mason University, The Institute of Humane Studies at George Mason University, Americans for Prosperity, some very select activities of the Heritage Foundation, CFACT, and SEPP.  The last two are primarily about environmental and climate change sanity.  Because almost every educational institution and most of the press and media are advocates of ever greater collective power over the individual, these independent, pro-liberty think tanks are critically important.

It is our individual freedoms that make our standard of living possible and which allow us to choose our own values as goals in our own lives.  We must never allow anyone else to take over the management of our own lives.  Unfortunately, most Americans do want to exercise some control over the lives of other Americans, without even the obligation of knowing those they would dictate terms to and very often while knowing they are actually harming some, usually with the excuse that it is for the "greater good."  The "greater good" is always the demon that devours our individual freedoms and self-ownership.  The only greater good any of us actually share in common is our own liberty.  Other than that, we need the freedom to think and act independently and the freedom to associate with others as we choose.  It is those freedoms that then allow us the freedom to cooperate with others.  Individual freedom is not anti-social as many try to portray it.  Individual freedom is the means to make ourselves individually valuable and worthy of the respect and cooperation of others.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in admiring the work of St. Jude's Children's Hospital, aside perhaps from the religious name and the idea that by supporting it, you are doing good work that will win you the approval of the One God and a reward of Everlasting Life.  Freedom of conscience and freedom of association allow one to make this choice to support St. Jude's Hospital for Children.

Without them, one might be forced to instead support the Institute for Xi Thought, as a Red Chinese propagandist recently insisted when I refused to entertain a delegation from Red China at my laboratory.  Yes, the Chinese will impose Xi Thought upon us, he insists.  Given the weakness of our educational system and the collectivist ideology of the schools, many young Americans who embrace socialism, the media, the governments, and many other institutions in America, this is a possibility, though probably under some future Chinese Great Leader.

29 December 2018

Let's do follow the climate money! by Paul Driessen

Climate Crisis Inc. gets billions to promote imaginary manmade cataclysm – but attacks realists  

The climate crisis industry incessantly claims that fossil fuel emissions are causing unprecedented temperature, climate and weather changes that pose existential threats to human civilization and our planet. The only solution, Climate Crisis, Inc. insists, is to eliminate the oil, coal and natural gas that provide 80% of the energy that makes US and global economies, health and living standards possible.
Failing that, CCI demands steadily increasing taxes on carbon-based fuels and carbon dioxide emissions.
However, as France’s Yellow Vest protests and the latest climate confab in Poland demonstrated, the world is not prepared to go down that dark path. Countries worldwide are expanding their reliable fossil fuel use, and families do not want to reduce their living standards or their aspirations for better lives.
Moreover, climate computer model forecasts are completely out of touch with real-world observations. There is no evidence to support claims that the slight temperature, climate and weather changes we’ve experienced are dangerous, unprecedented or caused by humans, instead of by the powerful solar, oceanic and other natural forces that have driven similar or far more serious changes throughout history.
More importantly, the CCI “solutions” would cause unprecedented disruption of modern industrialized societies; permanent poverty and disease in poor countries; and serious ecological damage worldwide.
Nothing that is required to harness breezes and sunshine to power civilization is clean, green, renewable, climate-friendly or sustainable. Tens of billions of tons of rock would have to be removed, to extract billions of tons of ores, to create millions of tons of metals, concrete and other materials, to manufacture millions of wind turbines and solar panels, and install them on millions of acres of wildlife habitats – to generate expensive, intermittent energy that would be grossly insufficient for humanity’s needs. Every step in this process requires fossil fuels – and some of the mining involves child labor.
How do CCI alarmists respond to these points? They don’t. They refuse to engage in or even permit civil discussion. They rant that anyone “who denies climate change science” is on the fossil fuel industry payroll, thus has a blatant conflict of interest and no credibility, and therefore should be ignored. 
“Rebuttals” to my recent “We are still IN” article cited Greenpeace and DeSmogBlog as their “reliable sources” and claimed: I’m “associated with” several “right-wing think tanks that are skeptical of man-made climate change.” One of them “received $582,000 from ExxonMobil” over a 14-year period, another got “$5,716,325 from Koch foundations” over 18 years, and the Koch Brothers gave “at least $100,343,292 to 84 groups denying climate change science” in 20 years, my detractors claimed.
These multi-year contributions work out to $41,571 annually; $317,574 per year; and $59,728 per organization per year, respectively – to pay salaries and overhead at think tanks that are engaged in multiple social, tax, education, medical and other issues … not just energy and climate change.
But let’s assume for a moment that money – especially funding from any organization that has any kind of financial, regulatory or other “special interest” in the outcome of this ongoing energy and economic battle – renders a researcher incapable of analyzing facts fairly and honestly.
Then apply those zero-tolerance, zero-credibility Greenpeace-DeSmogBlog-CCI standards to those very same climate alarmists and their allies – who are determined to shut down debate and impose their wind, solar and biofuel policies on the world.Where do they get their money, and how much do they get? 
Billionaire and potential presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg gave the Sierra Club $110 million in a six-year period to fund its campaign against coal-generated electricity. Chesapeake Energy gave the Club $26 million in three years to promote natural gas and attack coal. Ten wealthy liberal foundations gave another $51 million over eight years to the Club and other environmentalist groups to battle coal.
Over a 12-year period, the Environmental Protection Agency gave its 15 Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members $181 million in grants – and in exchange received quick rubberstamp approvals of various air quality rules. It paid the American Lung Association $20 million to support its regulations.
During the Obama years, the EPA, Interior Department and other federal agencies paid environmental pressure groups tens of millions in collusive, secretive sue-and-settle lawsuit payoffs on dozens of issues.
Then we get to the really big money: taxpayer funds that government agencies hand out to scientists, computer modelers and pressure groups – to promote global warming and climate change alarmism.
As Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore noted recently, citing government and other reports: 
* Federal funding for climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014, with an additional $26.1 billion for climate change programs and activities provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
* The Feds spent an estimated $150 billion on climate change and green energy subsidies during President Obama’s first term.
* That didn’t include the 30% tax credits/subsidies for wind and solar power: $8 billion to $10 billion a year – plus billions more from state programs that require utilities to buy expensive “green” energy.
* Worldwide, according to the “progressive” Climate Policy Initiative, climate change “investment” in 2013 totaled $359 billion – but this “falls far short” of the $5 trillion per year that’s actually needed.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change echoes those greedy demands. It says the world must spend $2.4 trillion per year for the next 17 years to subsidize the transition to renewable energy.
Bear in mind that $1.5 trillion per year was already being spent in 2014 on Climate Crisis, Inc. research, consulting, carbon trading and renewable projects, according to the Climate Change Business Journal. With 6-8% annual growth, we’re easily looking at a $2-trillion-per-year climate industry by now.
The US Government Accountability Office puts United States taxpayer funding alone at $2.1 billion per year for climate change “science” … $9.0 billion a year for technology R&D … and $1.8 billion a year for international assistance. Total US Government spending on climate change totaled $179 billion (!) from 1993 through 2017, according to the GAO. That’s $20 million per day!
At the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, 29 leftist foundations pledged to give $4 billion over five years to their new Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming campaign. Sea Change Foundation co-founder Nat Simons made it clear that this “is only a down payment”!
And I get pilloried for working with organizations that received $41,571 to $59,728 per year from fossil fuel interests … questioning claims that fossil fuels are causing climate chaos … and raising inconvenient facts and questions about wind, solar and biofuel replacements for coal, oil and natural gas.
Just as outrageous, tens of millions of dollars are squandered every year to finance “studies” that supposedly show “surging greenhouse gases” and “manmade climate change” are creating dangerous hybrid puffer fish, causing salmon to lose their ability to detect danger, making sharks right-handed and unable to hunt, increasing the number of animal bites, and causing US cities to be overrun by rats.
Let’s apply the Greenpeace-DeSmogBlog-Climate Crisis, Inc. standard to all these organizations and researchers. Their massive multi-billion-dollar conflicts of interest clearly make them incapable of analyzing climate and energy matters fairly and honestly – and disqualify them from participating in any further discussions about America’s and the world’s energy and economic future.
At the very least, they and the institutions that have been getting rich and powerful off the catastrophic manmade global warming and climate hustle should be cut off from any future federal funding.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT.org). He has written numerous studies and articles on energy, climate change, human rights and other topics.

Note by Charles R. Anderson:  I am a donor to CFACT, SEPP, The Heartland Institute, The Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Capital Research Center, all of which are catastrophic manmade climate change skeptical organizations.  I support these groups because, as I have explained in many ways through the years, the physics claimed to support catastrophic warming by man's emissions of infrared-active (so called greenhouse gases) is crazy wrong and not even applied consistently by the climate alarmists.

19 December 2018

Stephen Moore asks if the Climate Change Industrial-Scientific Complex is Biased

Actually, both Stephen Moore and I are very convinced that the Climate Change Industrial-Scientific Complex is biased.  An impending doom justifies their income as experts and as green energy companies.  Questioning whether a mere 1.5°C temperature increase would represent a catastrophe for the world is met with outrage by those raking in the money on the basis of the Great Scare.  I have experienced this and Stephen Moore noted the outpouring of anger after comments he made on CNN about how the income stream based on catastrophic man-made global warming alarm caused bias on the part of its supporters.  The left always believes that money causes bias unless that money is spent by the government for purposes with which they agree,.  So, the trillions of dollars spent on the basis of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis cannot create bias in favor of the hypothesis.

Moore says:
This tsunami of government money distorts science in hidden ways that even the scientists who are corrupted often don't appreciate. If you are a young eager-beaver researcher who decides to devote your life to the study of global warming, you're probably not going to do your career any good or get famous by publishing research that the crisis isn't happening.
He goes on to say:
Now here's the real scandal of the near trillion dollars that governments have stolen from taxpayers to fund climate change hysteria and research. By the industry's own admission, there has been almost no progress worldwide in combating climate change. The latest reports by the U.S. government and the United Nations say the problem is getting worse, and we have not delayed the apocalypse by a single day.
Has there ever been such a massive government expenditure that has had such minuscule returns on investment? After three decades of "research" the only "solution" is for the world to stop using fossil fuels, which is like saying that we should stop growing food.
Really? The greatest minds of the world entrusted with hundreds of billions of dollars can only come up with a solution that would entail the largest government power grab in world history, shutting down industrial production (just look at the catastrophe in Germany when they went all in for green energy), and throwing perhaps billions of human beings into poverty? If that's the remedy, I will take my chances on a warming planet.
Stephen Moore is absolutely right.

17 December 2018

Contrary to the Washington Post, a Company Should Spend its Hard-Earned Income Based on its Own Judgment

The Washington Post's top of the Business Section article on Sunday, 16 December is headlined "How have corporations spent their tax cut windfall?"  Thomas Heath, the author, notes that many experts believe that corporations should spend the money no longer taken from them by force to build new facilities, buy equipment, invest in R&D, hire more employees, and pay their employees more.  Stock buybacks and higher dividends for stockholders are rather immoral and not in the spirit of the tax cut law.

You see, the government taxes a business, forcibly depriving it of the income it worked hard to earn in a competitive global economy.  The government thereby gains the moral right to expect the company upon the government's graciously deciding to take a bit less of the company income to spend that income according to the government's wishes.  Those wishes require that the company creates more and better jobs and does so in a way that is as obvious to the voters as possible.

What has become of the money that companies are now able to keep since the tax cut last year?  Business investment by Standard & Poor's 500 largest public corporations on new equipment and factories is up 19% in the first three quarters of 2018.  Research and development spending increased by 34%.  A Federal Reserve statistic shows that independent businesses in general increased business investment by 16% so far this year, which is the highest increase since 1993.  For years, capital expenditure by business has been very weak and productivity growth has been less than 1% per year.  Private sector employee average earnings are up 2.8% in 2018, after many years of stagnation under the Obama Regime.

The 2018 increases in business capital expenditures, R&D, employee earnings, and the expected increases in productivity should make Americans very happy.  Unless you are a Democrat socialist, in which case you bemoan the fact that stock buybacks cost companies $579 billion in the first 3 quarters of 2018.  This will set a new record for a year, replacing the record of 2007, just prior to the Great Recession.  Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin says "It's just wrong for big corporations to pocket massive, permanent tax breaks and reward the wealth of top executives with more corporate stock buybacks, while workers are given pink slips and face layoffs."  Never mind that unemployment is at a record low, that millions of open positions cannot be filled with qualified workers, and that average employee earnings are up 2.8% this year.  Never, ever allow the facts to get in the way of a very emotional argument for the villainy of businesses.

The left also complains about the fact that dividends to shareholders this year will set a record previously set in 2017. 

There is a very unrealistic expectation in the criticisms of the Democrat socialists which we are not supposed to notice.  The management of a large corporation now able to keep enough of its earnings to contemplate building a new facility first has to evaluate a number of purposes for that facility, where it will be built, design it, get building and environmental permits, find and hire the people to build it, evaluate and purchase the equipment to put into the facility, and find and hire the people to be employed in the facility.  If you have just had a substantial change in the parameters under which your business operates, you are also likely to have to hire more managers to make all of these decisions and kick this whole process into gear.  How much of this process can be accomplished in the first 3 quarters of operations under the new tax conditions?

Consider R&D.  You have long been doing less R&D than your company should have been doing because too much of your company earnings were taxed away and the regulatory environment was too expensive.  During the Great Recession and the numbingly glacial recovery, you released many company scientists and engineers or did not expand their numbers.  Your company did not invest much in analytical equipment, your laboratories, the training of your technical experts, prototyping capabilities, and your forward-looking plans for R&D were scaled to your very modest means to do R&D.  Now conditions have changed.  You want to invest in R&D, but you have to figure out what directions to explore and develop with your greater R&D effort.  You consult with your technical people, make decisions on new directions based on evaluations of markets and technical possibilities, figure out what laboratory equipment is needed, evaluate the instruments available from vendors, prepare facilities for their installation, and hire more people to operate the equipment and to solve the technical problems.  By the way, the people with the brains, the dedication, and the training for these R&D tasks are hard to find.  What fraction of this process is likely to be completed within 9 months of a changed tax environment?

So, while your company is trying to become more productive and to offer new products and services, but is limited on the rate of its spending by these limits of time and resources, what do you do with your suddenly increased available funds?  Rationally, you use it for some combination of paying back debts, buying back stock, and offering improved dividends to your shareholders.

Not only is this rational from the company viewpoint, but it is hardly bad for the economy.  Lower company debt makes companies more able to weather future downturns and to minimize the layoffs of valuable employees when a downturn occurs, as they always will.  The buyback of stock, puts more money in the hands of investors who will then either spend that money or invest it in other firms that need that investment.  The increases in dividends help many investors to be able to spend more money in the economy and helps pension funds to be less unstable, as so many of them are.  To be sure, some of this money will go to foreign investors.  Some of these foreign investors will put their money back into US investments because our economy is about the best in the world.  Some will leave our economy.  But, if we suppose that money had been left in the hands of the government, what fraction of it would have been utterly wasted and gone to not only unproductive use, but to uses that cause our national productivity to have negative components?  Yes, the Democrat socialists believe that government spending is the Gold Standard for the good use of our money.  But you have to be loony to think that is the reality.

10 December 2018

Climate lunacy takes center stage in Poland by Paul Driessen

IPCC Poland conference presents fictional climate chaos and fake renewable energy salvation 


The unwritten rule seems to be that each successive climate report and news release must be more scarifying than any predecessors, especially during the run-up to international conferences.

Thus Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report 15 claims governments worldwide must make “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,” spend $40 trillion by 2035 on renewable energy, and impose carbon taxes that climb to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030. Or temperatures could climb another 1 degree F (0.5 C) and bring utter cataclysm to human civilization and our planet.

Not to be outdone, the 1,700-page 2018 US National Climate Assessment wailed that failure to eliminate fossil fuels and roll back American industry and living standards would send global temperatures soaring 15 degrees F by 2100! Chaos and food shortages would ensue; US economic growth would plummet.

The hyperbole continues in Katowice, Poland – where 30,000 activists and bureaucrats (and a few scientists) are meeting to finalize regulations to implement the 2015 Paris climate treaty and compel wealthy nations to give trillions of dollars in “adaptation, mitigation and compensation” money to poor countries that have been “victimized” by climate change, even as the rich nations de-industrialize.

All of this certainly plays well with those who orchestrated these reports and programs, are ideologically opposed to fossil fuels, or get paid to advance climate chaos and renewable energy narratives. However, a very different response among other audiences is increasingly evident around the world.

People look out their windows and realize the “unprecedented climate and weather chaos” isn’t actually happening, is little different from what they and previous generations experienced, and cannot possibly be attributed solely to fossil fuel use. They know the sun and other powerful natural forces have driven frequent climate changes throughout history, and play equally important roles today.

They understand that the scary headlines are the product of “scenarios” conjured up by computer models that blame climate change on greenhouse gases. They see the boy who cried “fifty 20-foot-tall wolves” far too often. They don’t buy the notion that today’s incredibly wealthy, high-tech, energy-rich societies are somehow less able to deal with climate change than those that lived through the Little Ice Age, for example. They typically put climate change at the bottom of any list of pressing concerns.

More and more people understand that fossil fuels provide 80% of US and global energy – and are essential to lifting billions more people out of crushing poverty. They see Asian and African countries building thousands of new coal- and gas-fired electrical generating plants, and making and driving millions of new cars. They know even Germany and Japan are burning more coal, as they realize that wind and solar subsidies and facilities raise energy costs, kill jobs and hurt poor families the most.

People resent being scammed and get angry when they realize their taxes and energy payments often line the pockets of climate activists, scientists, bureaucrats, politicians, and wind, solar and biofuel cronies.

Above all, a growing number see the proposed solutions as far worse than the wildly exaggerated and even fabricated climate disasters. They won’t tolerate having their livelihoods and living standards disrupted or destroyed by carbon taxes, even higher energy prices or fossil fuel bans – especially when the antipathy toward those fuels is combined with plans to terminate nuclear and even hydroelectric power.

In recent weeks, millions of mostly poor, working class and rural French citizens have joined the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement, protesting and even rioting against President Macron’s proposed carbon tax hikes on their driving and living standards. Even a French police union has sided with the protesters. A shaken Macron finally postponed the tax for six months, then scrapped the plan entirely.

The protests are the first serious backlash against international eco-imperialism. They won’t be the last.

In Africa alone, twice as many people as live in the USA still do not have electricity, or have it only rarely and unpredictably. Can you imagine your life without electricity? And yet they are told by the EU, environmentalists, the World Bank and others that they must restrict their ambitions to what is possible with wind, solar and biofuel energy. Would you accept such carbon colonialism? Can actual, real-world climate risks possibly be worse than the horrid poverty, deprivation and disease that afflicts them now?

The World Bank recently said it would kindly give poor countries $200 billion during its FY2021-25 cycle, for “adaptation and resilience” in the face of manmade climate change. But still nothing for fossil fuel or nuclear power. The White House should read it the riot act, especially if US money is involved.

Poor countries don’t need climate cash. They need to develop: energy, infrastructure, factories, jobs, health, living standards. They need to do what rich countries did to become rich – not what (some) rich countries are doing (or at least saying) now that they are rich. Thankfully, many are doing exactly that.

Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity, motor fuels and factory power creates its own prosperity; its own ability to improve roads, hospitals, schools, homes and so on; its own “drop dead money” to tell carbon colonialists to take a hike. “Green” energy is insufficient, unsustainable and ecologically harmful.

With America likely being joined soon by Brazil in rejecting the Paris climate trap, poor nations are on firm ground. Ontario (Canada), Poland. Australia, China, India and other countries have also rejected carbon taxes and coal use restrictions. The Paris deal is fast becoming a climate Potemkin Village.

But what about that National Climate Assessment? Wasn’t that a Trump White House document? It certainly needed some adult supervision, to ride herd on the 1,000 Deep State scientists and bureaucrats who prepared it. However, the White House let them prove how loony climate alarmism has become.

Indeed, as Nick Loris, Roger Pielke, Jr. and other experts have pointed out, the NCA was based on absurd assumptions (eg, vastly increased coal use and no energy technology advances over the next 70 years) and a ridiculous worst-case global temperature increase of 15 degrees F by 2100. That’s twice as high as even the IPCC’s worst-case projections, and far worse than Garbage In-Garbage Out climate models are predicting. It’s more than 15 times the total warming our Earth has experienced since 1820!

The NCA is also based on rampant cherry-picking of data, to wildly inflate climate risks; an almost total failure to factor in the incalculable benefits of fossil fuels; and a refusal to consider the plant-fertilizing benefits of more atmospheric carbon dioxide. It just depicts the CO2 we exhale solely as a dangerous climate-changing pollutant. The NCA also ignored the fact that actual observations show no increases in drought, no increases in the frequency or magnitude of floods, no trends in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. It didn’t mention the 12-year absence of Category 3-5 hurricanes making US landfall.

Just as egregious, the Deep State NCA claimed continued fossil fuel use would hit the United States with $500 billion in annual climate related costs by 2090. That’s more than twice the percentage lost during the Great Depression. It’s 10% of the US economy in 1971. Even with modest economic growth, it’s likely to be a trivial 0.6% of America’s GDP in 2090. The NCA bogeyman is a little stuffed bear.

But based on IPCC and NCA fear mongering, America and the world are supposed to keep their fossil fuels in the ground – including what the US Geological Survey says is the “largest continuous oil and gas resource potential ever assessed!!” Over 46 billion barrels of oil, 280 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in just part of the Texas-New Mexico Permian Basin.

No one denies that the climate changes, or even that human activities have some effects on climate and weather. But there is no real-world evidence that human CO2 emissions have replaced the sun and other natural forces; that another degree of warming would be cataclysmic; or that humans can control climate changes and weather events by tweaking the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Want some facts and common sense? See what CFACT and Heartland have been saying in Poland, and read books by Dr Roy Spencer, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts and others. They’ll be a breath of fresh air.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of books, studies and articles on energy, climate change, the environment and human rights. 


My Comments:

Dr. Roy Spencer and Anthony Watts are luke-warmers who believe that CO2 causes less warming than the alarmists say it does and that the warming is less than catastrophic.  They both hold the consensus view of thermal radiation, which is seriously in error.  Dr. Roy Spencer engages in discussions with great patience, but some critical physics he just does not understand.  Anthony Watts has called me nasty names because I advocate that the temperature increases caused by additional CO2 in the atmosphere are insignificant and much lower than than what he thinks they will be.  Despite their limitations, however, both of these men have played major roles in opposing the excesses of the global warming alarmists.  So be nice to them.

I am a supporter of and donor to the Heartland Institute and CFACT.




06 December 2018

Posts Evaluating Earth Energy Budget Problems

Here is a list of some of the posts in which I discuss some of the many problems in the Earth Energy Budgets put forth by the advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming:

Using Heat Transport Powers of the NASA Earth Energy Budget to Prove that Carbon Dioxide has an Insignificant Effect on Surface Temperatures, 15 June 2018
















05 December 2018

Changes in the Relative GDPs of the G20 Nations over the Last 25 Years

The American Enterprise Institute has an interesting graphic on the relative GDPs of the G20 nations over the last 25 years.  Who's GDPs increased as a relative percentage of the total GDPs of the G20 nations and who's fell over that time?


Note that the European Union as a whole has a membership in G20, but not being a nation is excluded from the chart above.

What I am interested in is the change in the relative percentage of the GDP of the G20 nations over the past 25 years.  Let us look at the fraction of the 2018 percentage divided by the 1992 percentage beginning with the nations that had the highest percentages 25 years ago:

USA, 30.90/31.96 = 0.9668
Japan, 7.77/19.11 =  0.4066
Germany, 5.86/10.38 = 0.5645
France, 4.12/6.85 = 0.6015
Italy, 3.08/6.43 = 0.4790
United Kingdom, 4.18/5.77 = 0.7244
Canada, 2.63/2.90 = 0.9069
Russia, 2.51/2.25 = 1.1156
China, 19.50/2.09 = 9.3301
Brazil, 3.28/1.96 = 1.6735
Mexico, 1.83/1.78 = 1.0281
South Korea, 2.44/1.71 = 1.4269
Australia, 2.11/1.59 = 1.3270
India, 4.14/1.39 = 2.9784
Argentina, 1.02/1.12 = 0.9107
Turkey, 1.36/0.77 = 1.7662
Saudi Arabia, 1.09/0.67 = 1.6269
South Africa, 0.56/0.66 = 0.8485
Indonesia, 1.62/0.63 = 2.5714

If an underdeveloped nation is not determined to shoot itself in the foot, it can commonly make easy gains on its share of the world's GDP over time.  Similarly, the lesser developed nations of the G20 could easily have done so over the last 25 years.  Some of them have, the most remarkable one being China.  India has had the second greatest GDP surge among the G20 nations.  Third place belongs to Indonesia.  Turkey, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Australia, Russia, and Mexico have improved their relative positions in that order from more to less.  The gains of Russia and Mexico are actually very unimpressive.  The losers among the smaller economies of the G20 nations from biggest loser to smaller loser are South Africa and Argentina, though both were at one time relatively leading economies in the world.

Japan and the major nations of the European Union have suffered huge reductions in their significance, while the USA and Canada have seen relatively minor reductions in their relative economic significance.  The least bad performer of the major European Union nations has been the United Kingdom.  France has been the distant second least bad.  The former Axis nations of WWII have done relatively poorly with Germany being only 0.5645 as significant and Italy becoming only 0.4790 as significant.  Japan has many anti-competitive restrictions in its home economy and has a rapidly aging and shrinking population among its problems.

Both Canada and Australia have done far better than the United Kingdom, which I believe has been held back by its membership in the European Union.  If the United Kingdom simply makes a break from all of the European Union's collectivist requirements and bureaucracy, while it will likely do worse for a while as it adjusts to the new reality, it will do much better in the long run.  The United Kingdom should aim to be more like the USA as a dynamic economic power in the world and increase its trade with the USA, Canada, Australia, and India especially.  These are all nations doing comparative well, while France, Germany, and Italy are sinking rapidly.

The EU has smothered itself with many largely irrational safety and quality control policies, which I can see as such from the standpoint of being active in materials analysis and testing.  They are using these policies to suppress goods and services from outside the EU, but the effect is to increase costs and to make local companies lazy and unresponsive in an anti-competitive environment.  In addition, the EU has been following very foolish energy policies and has swallowed the catastrophic man-made global warming fraud hook, line, and sinker, with disastrous economic results.  The inability of the bigger economies of the EU to keep up in economic growth is the result.  The USA, for all of its increased regulations and the many anti-business policies of the Obama regime, has performed much better in comparison.  With Trump decreasing the burden of unreasonable regulations and following rational energy policies, the USA is improving its relative position in the world economy.  We can do even better to the extent that we can arrange truly free trade agreements with nations around the world.




17 November 2018

US Postal Service Subsidizes Chinese Package Delivery

Edward Hudgins, Ph.D., Research Director of the Heartland Institute, has written a very interesting article on how the Universal Postal Union (UPU) agreement forces the US Postal Service to subsidize the delivery of small packages sent from China to American addresses.  The USPS lost about $75 million in 2014 due to it having to deliver small packages from China.  It costs less for a Chinese business to send a package thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean to most American addresses than it costs an American business to send a similar package 600 miles to an American address.  This is an unfair trade practice.  The Trump administration tried to get the UPU to change its archaic rules, but the US gets only one vote among 192 nations in the UPU.  The UPU basically shrugged the US off.  The Trump administration has responded with a termination of our membership in one year if the problem is not corrected.

16 November 2018

Climate Change and Forest Fires - Alarmists Desperation to Promote Fear

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says:
Large wildfires in the United States burn more than twice the area they did in 1970, and the average wildfire season is 78 days longer.
Research shows that changes in climate, especially earlier snowmelt due to warming in the spring and summer, have led to hot, dry conditions that boost this increase in fire activity in some areas. For much of the U.S. West, projections show that an average annual 1 degree Celsius temperature increase would increase the median burned area per year as much as 600 percent in some types of forests.
DW.com, a German news organization, says:
Unusually large wildfires ravaged Alaska and Indonesia in 2015. The following year, CanadaCalifornia and Spain were devastated by uncontrolled flames. In 2017, massive fires devastated regions of Chile - and now, a deadly blaze in Portugal has claimed dozens of lives. 
 So, have wildfires actually increased globally, or does it just seem that way because we're tuned in more to bad news and social media? 
Science suggests that over the past few decades, the number of wildfires has indeed increased,especially in the western United States. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS),every state in the western US has experienced an increase in the average annual number of large wildfires over past decades.
Extensive studies have found that large forest fires in the western US have been occurring nearly five times more often since the 1970s and 80s. Such fires are burning more than six times the land area as before, and lasting almost five times longer. 
National Geographic says:
Fires are natural in California: Many of its ecosystems, from the chaparral of Southern California to the northern pine forests, evolved to burn frequently. But since the 1980s, the size and ferocity of the fires that sweep across the state have trended upward. Fifteen of the 20 largest fires in California history have occurred since 2000

The graphic above shows why: Most of the state’s hottest and driest years have occurred during the last two decades as well.
Over the past century, California has warmed by about three degrees Fahrenheit. That extra-warmed air sucks water out of plants and soils, leaving the trees, shrubs, and rolling grasslands of the state dry and primed to burn. 

Let us provide some perspective and context to the relationship of forest fires to climate change by looking at a graph of US acreage destroyed by forest fires that Prof. Howard "Cork" Hayden drew to my attention:


We see that claims that "wildfires" are at an all-time high in the last couple of decades or that they are more severe in the 1999-2018 period than they were in the 1895-1914 period are clearly cases of cherry-picking the data to make a bogus point.  That bogus point is the claim that man's use of fossil fuels resulting in carbon dioxide emissions is the cause of more "wildfires", a scarier term than forest fires.  To be consistent with the claims, the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide would have had to be at their maximum in the 1930s and they would have had to drop off greatly in the 1940s and 1950s, before rising slightly since 1999.  Unfortunately for these storytellers, carbon dioxide has generally risen throughout this time-frame.  But they count on the public not cross-examining them.  They only care to frighten people to get them to adopt energy policies that will cause energy use costs to soar and make energy supply much less reliable.  Their game is very similar when they claim that severe weather events are on the rise and caused by man's use of fossil fuels as well.

The Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming and Climate Change alarmists are ever more desperate to create the fear they need to further damage free markets and the voluntary, cooperative associations people form to pursue their own self-chosen values and their own dreams.  A substantial fraction of these environmentalists literally want a planet with billions fewer people on it.  The welfare of mankind is not on their agenda.  The alarmists generally want ever so badly to scare people into giving up the exercise of their individual rights and to subject themselves to the ever-increasing demands of governments controlled by those elitists who claim they know better than we do what is good for us, or if not for us, for the planet.  They are sure that if we will only succumb to their use of force to micromanage our lives, they can provide us with better lives or with worse lives in the name of some planet god.

Of course those of them who actually do gain control of the levers of power do not actually care whether our lives are made better or not.  They have the track record to prove that their priority is power, not the improvement of our lives.  And now Nancy Pelosi is back to tell us that legislation has to be passed so we can find out what is in it.  There could not be a more blatant demonstration that it is the power given the government that is the real reason for the laws the elitist power-lusters want, not the welfare of the people. The Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming scare is but one of their tools to acquire power, not just national power, but worldwide power.  To gain that worldwide power they must also subvert the U.S. Constitution in the name of a superior globalist law.

04 October 2018

The Goods-Producing Jobs Picture -- Trump Period Compared to Obama Period

In the last 21 months, namely for all of 2017 and 2018 to date, there has been a sky-rocketing increase in goods-producing jobs compared to the prior 21 months.  These goods-producing jobs are jobs in mining, construction, and manufacturing.  Charles Payne pointed this out in Strongest Economy Ever?

Trump last 21 months:  825,000 new goods-producing jobs

Obama prior 21 months:  275,000 new goods-producing jobs

Remember that the "New Normal" economy under Obama was said to have no place for less-educated Americans except in the low-paying portion of the service economy.  Their unemployment rate was expected to remain high forever.  They were doomed to be replaced by robots to the extent that goods-producing jobs were even going to be part of our American economy.  Goods-producing jobs were said to be planet-destructive and therefore we should be happy to see them become extinct.  The Obama regulatory agencies were tasked with seeing that large segments of the goods-producing industries were driven into bankruptcy.  Besides, American goods-producing industries simply could not compete with the low-cost labor overseas it was said, so they were doomed anyway.

The reality is that goods-producing industries were doomed to extinction under Obama, but not under Trump.  It takes a murderous hand to kill off the economic vigor of Capitalism and Obama with his determination to transform America had just such a murderous hand on the neck of goods-producing American capitalists.  Trump simply stopped trying to strangle goods-producing American capitalists and they responded by increasing the rate of new goods-producing jobs by a factor of 3.

Now tell me that that difference is not critically important to a great many American workers and their families.  Tell me that healthy American goods-producing industries are not important to our national security.  I will have a hard time suppressing my laughter at such foolish notions.

09 August 2018

Progressive Experts are Superior to Parents in Raising Children -- So They Claim

The 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and Protection under the Hoover administration claimed that progressive experts were superior to parents in raising children in the Progressive Age because "it is beyond the capacity of an individual parent to train her child to fit into the intricate, interwoven, and interdependent social and economic system we have developed."

Do not wonder why the public schools to which parents are forced to send their children are so disdainful of parents and their values and their attempts to play an important role in the education of their own children.  If individual parents were incapable of performing these roles in 1930 because society and our economic system was so complex, then in 2018 parents must be vastly less capable.  Indeed, that job is a hard one.  Yet, I have seen no evidence that Progressive Experts are better able to handle that difficult task.  Indeed, they have proven themselves to be unusually blind to the reality of our society and of our economic system.  If the average parent is wanting in this task, it does not follow that the Progressive Expert is not vastly more wanting in the job of raising children.

The public schools are used as a wedge between parents and their children.  Many parents are inclined to forfeit much of their role as parents to the schools and in some cases to government agencies other than the schools.  In effect, the government becomes a force that diminishes the role of parents and substitutes its one-size-fits-all ideas for raising children.  This control over children allows them to form children as willing subjects of ever-increasing government incursions against individuality, independent and rational thinking, and individual rights in favor of collectivism and a willingness to accept the authority of government officials.

But since the Progressive Experts (Elitists) have declared the parents incompetent in the raising of their own children, this is all done for the good of the child.  The parents have been designated the Deplorables since at least 1930 by the Progressive Elitists.  Actually, they were so designated by some socialists in America about 100 years before that.  Never mind the wondrous claim that these Progressive Experts implicitly make that they do not even have to know any more about your child than will fit into a simple classification system.  Every child is a stereotype of that simple classification system.  What decent parent can tolerate this treatment of our children?  We, unlike the Progressive Elitist Education Experts, at least know our children as individuals.  What could be more important than that knowledge in educating children and preparing them for adulthood?

03 August 2018

The Climate Alarmists Oppose Air Conditioning

When it is hot outside in the developed nations, we turn on our air conditioners at home, at work, and in our cars.  This includes the alarmists who claim that greenhouse gases are dangerously warming the Earth.  Insofar as the Earth should warm, we would use more air-conditioning to mitigate its troublesome effects.  But no, we are now told that the current generation of refrigerants cannot be used because they are greenhouse gases.  Those who are convinced that the Earth is catastrophically warming want to disarm many by making air-conditioning much more expensive.

Let us examine the background of this story.  The Montreal Protocol, ratified as a global environmental treaty by the U.S. Senate in 1988, restricted the production of refrigerants then in use because they were said to be destroying ozone.  Bill Clinton's Dept. of Energy also required air-conditioners to become 30% more efficient, which required larger and more expensive air-conditioners.  I remember well because I had to replace a home air-conditioning system with a much more expensive one using the new refrigerants that replaced the restricted ones.  I also had problems with the refrigerant in the air-conditioner in my well-used and aged car.  I was not happy with my government for causing me these problems.

Now we come to the present crisis.  The Obama people decided that the Montreal Protocol should be used to force the end of the production of the supposedly ozone-friendly refrigerants developed to replace the less expensive and highly effective refrigerants that preceded the Montreal Protocol.  The new refrigerants developed by Honeywell and Chemours and others will replace refrigerants priced at $6 per pound with refrigerants priced at more than $70 per pound.  Home air-conditioner units may use 15 pounds of refrigerant at a cost of more than $1050 for the new refrigerants.  Honeywell and Chemours and other refrigerant manufacturers are lobbying hard to have the U.S. government force us to replace our current air-conditioners once again and replace them with air-conditioners using their newly developed gold-plated refrigerants.  The reason is the terrifying prospect of catastrophic man-made global warming.

Except, there is no catastrophic man-made global warming.  Carbon dioxide has a trivial effect on the Earth's surface temperatures.  Whatever effect the present generation of refrigerants has is trivial in comparison to the trivial effect of carbon dioxide.  But, never let a potential scare tactic go unused when someone can profit from it.  And what is a government for if not to provide the means to force the People to do as some special interest group wants them to do.  In this case, we are to be forced to make it easy for the producers of the new air-conditioning units and the new refrigerants to make a killing in the air-conditioning market.

Perhaps the added costs of air-conditioning will then reinforce the claim that global warming would be a catastrophe, making many environmentalists very happy.  That would provide them with hopes of an easier path to gaining even more power over the People.  Meanwhile, the Democrats who most further these environmentalist power games will be degrading the lives of Americans and others around the world, most especially the poor who can least afford the new gold-plated air-conditioning systems.  Once again, the Democrats have put the lie on their pretended care for the poor and the less fortunate among us.  There is no statement more terrifying than that of the Democrats saying that they are the party that cares for you.  When they do that, they really mean that they intend to subjugate you.  They are saying they have a place for you on their plantation.  In this case, a hot place with no air-conditioning.

02 August 2018

The Nested Black Body Shells Model and Extreme Greenhouse Warming

And Lessons from this Model that Show Us How Limited the Greenhouse Effect Actually Is


In a previous post, Critique of The Steel Greenhouse by Willis Eschenbach, I wrote about the Willis Eschenbach thought experiment model of a perfectly conducting sphere closely surrounded by a concentric perfectly conducting shell in which these bodies behave like black body radiators and the only energy loss mechanism is thermal radiation.  That black body thought experiment was not presented as a good model of the greenhouse gas effect for the Earth.  It was presented to illustrate that there is a warming effect due to thermal radiation absorption in the atmosphere, which many call the greenhouse gas effect.  I pointed out that Eschenbach is right that the surrounding shell causes the inner sphere to have a higher temperature than it would if it were only surrounded by vacuum at T = 0 K because it loses radiant energy more slowly.

But Eschenbach makes a very serious error in common with almost all scientists because he believes the surrounding shell radiates the surface of the inner sphere with the same radiation that the outer shell radiates from its outer surface toward T = 0 K surroundings.  I have explained why this is an error in my post Solving the Parallel Plane Black Body Radiator Problem and Why the Consensus Science is Wrong.  By making this error, he multiplies the photon energy density by a factor of 3 in the space between the sphere and the shell, making this one of many ways that the catastrophic man-made global warming advocates greatly strengthen the greenhouse gas effect.  I pointed out that the current NASA Earth Energy Budget amplifies the photon energy density in the atmosphere even more by a factor of 12.8!  This is critical because the warming effect due to greenhouse gases is proportional to the photon energy density at a wavelength times the absorption cross section at that wavelength.  Consequently, increasing the photon energy density by a factor of 12.8 increases the warming energy by a factor of 12.8 at all wavelengths at which absorption occurs for the gas molecule.

In this post, I will provide the radiative equilibrium solution for a black body sphere with 2 surrounding black body shells.  This might seem important because the mean free path length for absorption of longwave infrared photons that can be absorbed by water vapor and carbon dioxide is very short at the primary absorption wavelengths, though it can be much longer in the wings of those primary absorption wavelengths.  The solution will then be generalized to N surrounding black body shells since the absorption of photons of different wavelengths by a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere can take different numbers of spheres in a model.  In fact, for a given infrared-active molecule, the number of shells is a function of the absorption cross-section as a function of the wavelength because the mean free path length varies over orders of magnitude from the main absorption wavelengths out into the tails or wings of those principal absorption peaks.

Having developed this nested shell model for black body absorbers/radiators, I will then generalize this model to account for a sphere surface which has an emissivity different from the emissivity of the shell surfaces.  Because the absorption of greenhouse gases is over a substantially smaller range of frequencies than is that of the black body material, one might expect a major change in the result for the inner sphere equilibrium temperature based on the effective emissivity/absorptivity of the inner sphere surface and of the nested shell surfaces that might be an analog to greenhouse gases.  This result proves to be very interesting.

The results will inform us of interesting properties of an energy loss problem dominated by radiation loss and absorption.  However, this model is not a good model of the Earth’s greenhouse gas effect.  Energy loss and transport from the Earth’s surface is not dominated by radiant energy loss and absorption.  It is dominated instead by the effects of the Earth’s gravitational field moderated by convection and the evaporation-condensation cycle of water.  The temperature of the Earth’s surface and of each successively higher layer of air in which an infrared-active molecule will absorb the longwave radiation from the Earth’s surface or a lower layer of air is not determined primarily by radiation transport of energy, but by gravity, convection, and the water cycle.

One has to remember that there are many competing effects in determining the Earth’s climate, including many cooling effects by both water vapor and carbon dioxide that are too often underestimated.  Radiative cooling of the surface is much less than NASA and the UN IPCC claim it is.  The alarmist rendition of greenhouse gas warming does everything it can to amplify that effect, to ignore the many cooling effects, and to over-emphasize the role to carbon dioxide relative to that of water vapor.  Finally, I will adapt a portion of the shell model to make an estimate of the total greenhouse gas effect in the real world of the Earth’s climate.  I will then proceed to make an estimate for the size of the greenhouse effect for the first 400 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and discuss briefly what one can expect as one adds higher concentrations of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.  These estimates are not precise, but they are of the proper scale and will inform us that the warmer Earth surface compared to its overall radiative temperature as seen from space is in very little part due to the absorption of longwave radiation by carbon dioxide.  It also makes it clear that the infrared-absorbing effect due to water vapor is also a small fraction of the 33K effect normally attributed to greenhouse gases, though that effect is many times the effect due to carbon dioxide.



The inner core sphere section of unit area has a power input of Q, the temperature of the sphere is TS and the power per unit area of surface it emits is PS.  The first closely surrounding concentric shell has no power input except that radiated by the sphere.  Its own temperature is TO1, which when the power to the sphere is turned on is 0 K and the shell is only then warmed by radiation from the sphere which travels at the speed of light to it.  It radiates no photons toward the sphere, but does radiate photons as its temperature rises toward the second shell with power PO1.  The second concentric shell has the same parameters but with a 2 in the subscript, rather than a 1.  It also starts from T=0K.  Only vacuum exists between the sphere and the planes so that there are no heat losses except by means of thermal radiation.

When the power Q to the sphere is first turned on, the sphere has an initial temperature of TSI, given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, since the sphere is at that instant surrounded by T = 0K.

Q = PSI = σTSI4

Let the thermal equilibrium values of each parameter be denoted with the addition of an E in the subscript, then at thermal equilibrium:

Q = PSE = PO1E = PO2E

Q = σ TSE4σ TO1E4 = σ TO1E4σ TO2E4 = σ TO2E4

We can see that

TSI = TO2E

From the right side of the equilibrium equation we see that

TO1E4 = 2 TO2E4

Then plugging this value in the part of the equilibrium equation involving TSE, we have

TSE4 – TO1E4 = TO2E4

TSE4 – ( 2 TO2E4 ) = TO2E4

TSE4 = 3 TO2E4 or TSE = 30.25 TO2E = 30.25 TSI  = 1.3161 TSI, since TO2E = TSI

With one surrounding shell, the equilibrium temperature of the enclosed sphere was given by

TSE = 20.25 TSI = 1.1892 TSI

Thus the second shell causes a sufficient reduction in the cooling rate that the equilibrium temperature of the sphere is 1.067 times higher than it would be with one surrounding shell.  The rise in the sphere temperature is less with each added shell.

The Nth surrounding shell results in a radiative equilibrium sphere temperature of

TSE = (N+1)0.25 TSI

Thus,

For 10 shells: TSE = 1.8212 TSI

For 100 shells: TSE = 3.1702 TSI

For 1000 shells: TSE = 5.6282 TSI

Imagine modeling the absorption of surface radiation by water vapor using such a model.  Of course, water vapor is not a black body absorber or radiator of longwave infrared radiation.  For most of the radiation that it absorbs, it has a mean free path for absorption which is short, though in the wings of an absorption maximum, the absorption cross section can be much lower and the corresponding mean free path is much longer.  But for a crude model, one might say that the absorption mean free path is something like 10 meters.  One might then say that to account for water vapor absorption out to 8000 meters altitude, one needs 800 shells.  Of course, one would think each shell would absorb only a fraction of the power that a black body would and it would emit only a fraction of that energy also.  Carbon dioxide has a longer mean free path and it absorbs a smaller fraction of the power that a black body would compared to water vapor, but it also does not have a relatively sharp cut-off in its density at higher altitudes in the atmosphere.  One might model it with a much smaller fraction of absorption compared to water with a shell every 40 meters but with 300 shells to get to an altitude of 12000 meters.

Let us see what happens in this simple model if we assign an emissivity to the sphere surface, ɛS, and an emissivity to shells representing absorptions by a greenhouse gas, ɛG.  The equations for a two-shell model then become:

Q = ɛS σ TSI4

At equilibrium,

Q = ɛS σ TSE4 - ɛG σ TO1E4 = ɛG σ TO1E4 - ɛG σ TO2E4 = ɛG σ TO2E4

ɛS σ TSI4 =  ɛG σ TO2E4, so TO2E = (ɛS/ɛG)0.25 TSI

TO1E4 = 2 TO2E4

ɛS TSE4 = 3 (ɛG TO2E4) = 3 (ɛS TSI4)

TSE = 30.25 TSI, the same solution for the equilibrium sphere temperature we had for the black body emitters and absorbers.

Consequently, for N greenhouse gas shells we have:  TSE = (N + 1)0.25 TSI just as with N black body shells.

So, the greenhouse gas hypothesis is looking as though it could indeed cause a disastrous increase in the Earth’s surface temperature even though greenhouse gases are far less efficient absorbers and emitters than are black body absorbers, right?

Wrong.  There is a fatal flaw in the model.  That fatal flaw is the assumption that the only way that heat is transported from the surface of the Earth is by means of thermal radiation.  In reality, much more heat is transported up through the atmosphere by means of the water evaporation and condensation cycle and by convection currents.  Let us look once again at the NASA Earth Energy Budget:




There is no back radiation of 100% and the surface radiation given as 117% in terms of the top of the atmosphere solar insolation is hugely exaggerated by NASA.  The real thermal radiation from the surface is the difference between these values or 17%.  This is perhaps a decent value for the loss from the surface itself and of this 12% is lost immediately to space.  This leaves only 5% of thermal radiation from the surface that is absorbed by the atmosphere along with 5% attributed to convection and 25% lost by water evaporation.  So, in this energy balance only 5% / (5% + 5% + 25%) = 0.143 of the surface energy is absorbed by the atmosphere as radiation from the surface.

Even this is a huge overstatement of the fraction of the surface energy carried off by means of transport by radiation from shell to shell.  This is the fraction that is absorbed by the first shell of the many-shell model.  Once that first absorption occurs, the absorbing greenhouse gas molecule passes off the absorbed energy to the nitrogen and oxygen molecules and the argon atoms that collide with it 6.9 billion times a second at sea level and 2.1 billion times a second at 10 Km altitude in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1976.  Yes, the greenhouse gas molecule very quickly comes into temperature equilibrium with the molecules in the same layer of air with it.  These greenhouse gas molecules can radiate thermal energy to the layer of air just above which is slightly cooler, but the time between such radiation events is extremely long compared to the gas collision frequency.  Water molecules radiate only about every 0.2 seconds and carbon dioxide molecules radiate only about once a second.

Consequently, almost all of the 5% of surface energy that is radiated to the first shell and absorbed is thereafter transported by convection.  The assumption in the model above that all energy is transported through the atmosphere as radiation and in stages could not be more wrong.  In fact, while the little bit of further radiation transport from one layer of air to a cooler layer of air a short distance above it would be handled in the nested shell model as a further warming of the surface.  But, this should actually be viewed as a cooling effect, because any energy transported from air layer to air layer is transported to higher altitude faster compared to the alternative transport mechanism of convection.  These realizations constitute a good lesson in the need to check your premises!

Based on almost all of the 5% of surface radiation being absorbed by the first shell and then thereafter being transported by convection, about what surface temperature might we expect?  Recall that in the one shell case, the surface equilibrium temperature is given by

TSE = 20.25 TSI = 1.189 TSI

At a thermal radiation fraction of 0.143, the greenhouse gas effect temperature rise would be about 0.143 (0.189) = 0.027 times TSI.  If one takes TSI = 255 K, the radiative temperature of the Earth system as a whole with respect to space, then the change of temperature attributable to the greenhouse gas effect for our present atmosphere is 

ΔT = 6.9 K

Note that 6.9 K is only 21% of the 33K difference of the surface temperature with respect to the Earth’s effective radiative temperature as seen from space.  Consequently, the claim that this temperature difference is due to the absorption of longwave infrared radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface is exaggerated by nearly a factor of 5.

Almost all of this 6.9K warming effect is due to water vapor, not the 400 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  The absorption by carbon dioxide compared to that by water vapor is about 8 times less.  Thus the portion of the total infrared warming effect due to carbon dioxide is one ninth of 6.9 K, which is 0.8 K.  My recent post Using Heat Transport Powers of the NASA Earth Energy Budget to Prove that Carbon Dioxide has an Insignificant Effect on Surface Temperatures, estimated that the present 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere causes a temperature increase of only 0.2 K, but this is the result of a different approach to the issue and it took into account the increased absorption of solar insolation caused by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  The fraction of the 6.9 K net greenhouse gas temperature increase that can be attributed to carbon dioxide overall is then about 3%.

Given that the 0.2 K net warming effect of carbon dioxide is already mostly saturated, additions of further carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will have very little effect on the surface temperature of the Earth.  What is more, the feedback effect of water vapor at present common levels of water vapor is more likely negative than positive and is certainly very small.

The reason that the surface of the Earth is about 33 K warmer than the effective radiative temperature of the Earth system as a whole as seen from space is because most of the energy dissipated by the Earth’s surface and through the troposphere (the lower atmosphere) is transported upward by a combination of water evaporation and convection.  It is very important that transport by thermal radiation is a much more minor actor in the transport of heat in the troposphere.  It is critically important that most of the Earth’s heat is radiated to space from the upper part of the troposphere which is at temperatures that are close to those of the Earth system as observed from space.  This actually forces the air at the altitudes where most of the radiation to space occurs to be near and slightly lower than this low effective radiative temperature of the Earth system.  Once that is a given, then the temperature gradient in our troposphere due to the Earth’s gravitational field dictates the surface temperature with adjustments due to such cooling mechanisms as convection and the effects of the water cycle and clouds.