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 thinking, intelligent 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

19 April 2010

The Environmentalists' Need for a Constant Crisis

Eli Kintisch has written an Opinion Editorial in the Los Angeles Times that says that
  • Cleaning sulfate aerosols from the air is increasing the effect of greenhouse gases and causing more warming, which the Clean Air Act required.
  • Carbon black from soot in the air has been adding to warming by about 60% of the amount caused by greenhouse gases.
He is not sure he wants to put the sulfate aerosols back into the atmosphere, but he does want a concerted effort to clean up the carbon black to reduce a warming effect to offset the cooling effect of the sulfate aerosols, which has been lost.  So, if reductions in CO2 emissions do not become severe enough, perhaps the elimination of carbon black soot will give the environmentalists another issue to campaign on.

There are a number of false statements about the science in this opinion piece, such as CO2 residing in the atmosphere for centuries.  In fact, CO2 emitted from smokestacks appears to have a half-life of less than 1 year.  Perhaps we should use this environmentalist multiplier factor of several 100s as a scale-correction factor for anything they say!  Of course, I tease a bit here.  In some cases, they are only exaggerating by a factor of ten.

I actually think that reducing carbon black from soot is a good thing, both to reduce breathing problems and to reduce visibility and staining problems.  Any slight cooling that may result is probably not too big a deal, though I do maintain that global warming is generally beneficial and that due to extra CO2 is surely beneficial to plants, the animals that depend upon plants, and the sea creatures which create shells.  In fact, we should just view increases in CO2 emissions as carbon black is reduced as a beneficial stabilization of the temperature due to decreased carbon black.  I see no reason to believe that we face a global warming crisis at this time due to any of the effects of man-made sulfate aerosols, carbon black, and CO2 emissions.  If we have any looming crisis, it may be due to the massive emissions of the Iceland volcano going on at this time.  It will be interesting to monitor the climate effects of that event.

Disclosure:  I have performed materials analysis for a client for the purpose of reducing carbon black and soot emissions.

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