Climate Alarmists turn back the Clock

Written by Viv Forbes,

Three centuries ago, the world ran on green power. Wood was used for heating and cooking, charcoal for smelting and smithing, wind or water-power for pumps mills and ships, and whale oil or tallow for lamps. old wind powerPeople and soldiers walked or rode horses, and millions of horses and oxen pulled ploughs, wagons, coaches and artillery.

But smoke from open fires choked cities, forests were stripped of trees, most of the crops went to feed draft animals, and streets were littered with horse manure. For many people, life was “nasty, brutish and short”.Then the steam engine was developed, and later the internal combustion engine, electricity and refrigeration came along.

Green power was replaced by coal and oil. Carbon energy powered factories, mills, pumps, ships, trains, and smelters; and cars, trucks and tractors replaced the work-horses. The result was a green revolution – forests began to regrow and vast areas of crop-land used for horse feed were released to produce food for humans. Poverty declined and population soared.

But new environmental problems emerged. Smoke pollution from burning cheap dirty coal in millions of open fires, old boilers and smelters produced massive smog problems in cities like London and Pittsburgh.The solution was improved technology, sensible pollution-control laws and the supply of coal gas and coal-powered electricity to the cities.

The air was cleared by “Clean Coal by Wire” at the flick of a switch and “Piped Coal Energy” at the click of a gas-lighter. In some places use of hydro, geothermal and nuclear power also helped.In recent years, however, affluent urban alarmists have declared war on the carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and gas. They claim it is a pollutant and it causes dangerous global warming. 

The pollutant claims are easy to refute. The worst air pollution in the world today is the Asian smog. Smog is very visible – but carbon dioxide is a transparent gas that is exhaled by all living creatures.Smog is air polluted with particulates and noxious gases – but there are no particulates or noxious components in carbon dioxide.

Therefore carbon dioxide plays no part in creating smog. Smog consists of ash particles, unburnt fuels and noxious gases produced by the inefficient combustion of anything, usually in open fires or obsolete boilers engines or smelters with no pollution control equipment. Wind-blown dust, bush and forest fires, blue haze from forests and drifting volcanic ash add to the smog.

Modern coal-fired power stations with efficient pollution controls do not release detectable particulates or noxious gases. Bans on dirty combustion and more clean electricity will clear the smog of Asian cities. All gases in the atmosphere have an effect on global climate, usually a moderating one, reducing the intense heat of the midday sun and reducing the rate of cooling at night. But only in theoretical climate models does carbon dioxide drive global warming – real evidence contradicts them.

The unrelenting war on carbon fuels has far greater risks, with some zealots advocating “Zero Emissions”, while also, incredibly, opposing nuclear and hydro-power. They would take us all back to the BC Era (before coal).Already urban environmentalists are polluting city air by burning wood (“biomass”) and briquetted paper in stoves and home heaters; and trying to prevent millions in Asia and Africa from getting cheap clean electricity.

Other misguided nations are clearing forests and transporting low-energy wood chips to burn in distant power stations. And the high costs of green energy are already forcing some poor people to burn old books and strip parks and forests for fire-wood. In addition, crops that once fed people are now making “green” ethanol to fuel cars, and native forests are being cleared and burnt to make way for more fuel crops. Our modern “Iron Horses” are eating the crops again.

The use of carbon fuels in the production, fertilising, transport and storage of food has been a major factor in allowing the world population to grow by several billions since the start of the industrial revolution. If climate alarmists succeed in turning back the clock, food and energy will again become reserved for the rich and powerful, and billions of poor people will die of starvation or exposure.

For those who would like to read more:

Wood burning stoves are encouraged but they produce soot:

The Fireplace Delusion: raiding National Parks for Firewood: power station converts from burning coal to burning wood: New Dark Green Age coming to Britain: storms envelope Iran:

Most of the trees in England had been cut down to make charcoal for iron making. Britain was the first country to reach crisis point over the shortage of wood and charcoal. The industrial revolution faltered because of the shortage of timber in England. Then a bright spark, Abraham Darby, came up with the idea of making iron with coke. His first pour was on 4/1/1709 in Coalbrookdale (where there was low-Sulphur coal). After that Coalbrookdale became the centre of the British iron industry.
Source: Robert Raymond, “Out of the fiery furnace”, MacMillan, Australia, 1984.  ISBN 0 333 38024 X.Some thoughts on coal power and The Asian smog:

Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Planetary Physics


    Here is the evidence to support what I have explained with thermodynamics …


  • Avatar

    Planetary Physics


    This PSI blog is becoming farcical with people trying to claim Earth’s surface temperature is explained with 340W/m^2 of insolation entering the surface.

    Only 48% of the solar constant gets through the atmosphere and then spread over four times the area of the orthogonal circle with same radius as the Earth through which it passed before reaching Earth. That’s physics!

    The fact that moderators don’t correct them gives a very bad impression to the silent readers.

    Then when moderators delete valid responses based on real physics it must make that impression even worse. No wonder the blog receives hardly any comments if I don’t write and point out the errors. Readers no longer trust PSI.

  • Avatar

    Planetary Physics




    [b]And still you can’t explain this PSI members …[/b]

    All planets and satellite moons exhibit a temperature gradient based on -g/Cp which actually runs from the center to the tropopause. So why is it that the temperature gets down to the right level (in radiative balance with the Sun) at just the right altitude. Is it coincidence? No. It is because the temperature profile builds up from the level where there is radiative balance down towards to core, by downward convective heat transfer.

    You can’t prove me wrong without proving the Second Law wrong. Your problem is just that you don’t take the trouble to read, understand and think about it. (now in English and German)



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    Planetary Physics



    [b]Our group of physicists will refute all blog posts that continue to promote the false IPCC radiative forcing conjecture.[/b]


    See what our growing group of physicists (who all agree with me) does to the reputation of your blog site that continues to promulgate the false IPCC physics that IR-active gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane etc) cause surface warming. Clearly water vapor reduces the temperature gradient. How could it possibly raise the surface end of the temperature profile at the same time, thus leading to enormous imbalance in net radiative flux at TOA? You have no understanding of the relevant physics Anthony, and you certainly are in no position to judge my physics in which I have qualifications and decades of experience, like John Turner who reviewed my book as below …

    [i]”Doug Cotton shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it.”[/i]

    John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator)

    Others in our group will be posting plenty until you get it right about the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient and the convective heat transfers which (in accord with the Second Law) are establishing thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy.


  • Avatar

    DJ Cotton


    This week saw the formation of a new group “Planetary Physics” in the fight against climate alarmists…

    (Please forward the following to any you know with physics qualifications)

    I am forming a world-wide group called “Planetary Physics” whose website will be [url=]here[/url] at this stage. Group submissions may be added to that site after suitable review processes. I will also coordinate comments from the group on climate blogs.

    At some stage in the future we may produce PowerPoint productions and/or youtube videos which may be used at meetings anywhere that members can talk and spread the word in any country they live or visit.

    Any wishing to join should just send name, address, qualifications etc to the email address on our website and they will receive emails from time to time and of course be welcome to comment and contribute material.

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