Need a novel New Year’s Resolution? Try Climate Obsession!
Written by Dr Klaus L E Kaiser
(somewhat tongue-in-cheek) If you are thinking about making New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs) to soothe your conscience, I suggest you venture from the beaten path. Pumping iron and exercising on the old treadmill type resolutions never last long before being forgotten and postponed for another year.
Be honest now: Didn’t you make such last year – and the years before?
Clearly then, you need another kind of NYR, one that’s more modern, catchy – and easy to follow!
My suggestion: Try a new type of resolution, especially one that nearly everyone else thinks is important, like what has been described as “Climate Obsession.”
Jump on the Climate Obsession Bandwagon!
No matter what you see on TV, hear or read, you’ll find numerous references to this obsession. They come with terms like “Climate Crisis” or “Climate Emergency” or even “Climate Breakdown.”
Politicians, religious leaders, bureaucrats, journalists and pundits of various kinds appear to support the notion that mankind needs to “protect” or “save the climate.” They think that there is a dire a need to lower “emissions” (see below) by taxing carbon-based energy sources for heating, cooking, or cooling, and scrapping all “fossil fuels”-driven internal combustion engines, meatless Monday dinners, etc. For example, one high-level politician in Germany is already advocating to ban pickup trucks there.
It’s easy to jump on this climate bandwagon – no experience necessary. But what does “climate” actually mean? Few folks who use the term appear to know.
What is “Climate?”
This is in stark contrast to the term “weather.” The “weather” is what you see or experience at any moment, the “climate” is a long time average of all those weather experiences. And this “climate” varies substantially with your location on planet Earth and also during the 30-year period.
If you live close to the equator, the seasonal temperature changes are miniscule. However, the closer you live to one of the Earth’s poles, the more dramatic they are. Indeed, the changes can be traumatic, like sweating in the summer’s heat and high humidity to “freezing your buns off” in deep winter.
Just imagine what the residents at latitudes closer to the Earth poles experience every year. Between 24-hours of sunshine and 24-hours of total darkness with the temperatures at similar extremes, ranging from +30 to -50 °C over a whole year, it’s a kind of boom-bust cycle. For example, Fairbanks’ (Alaska) climate, classified as subarctic, with long cold winters (at -40 C) and short warm summers (near 30 C), has an annual mean temperature near -3 C.
The long-term mean of the daily temperatures, termed “climate,” does not give any information on the seasonal variability or its current weather. Living at a place that has, for example, a year-round variation +/- 5 degrees of what one may consider comfortable, is not the same as living at a place where the seasonal variability is in the order of 70 degrees, though their respective medians may exactly be identical.
Fact: Weather and Climate are not the same!
What’s wrong with the term “Carbon Pollution?”
Watching TV or reading newspapers, the pictures that come with the assumed or purported evidence of such “carbon pollution” often show power stations’ cooling towers that emit nothing but clouds of steam. When seen against a bright sky, such “emissions” appear to be black but, in reality are white. In reality, this steam is nothing but water vapour that condensed in cooler air to droplets and not carbon dioxide. Watch closely any video and you’ll notice, nearly everywhere, this steam dissolves a short distance from the source — back again into invisible water vapor.
Whichever way anyone thinks of or defines “carbon pollution,” it’s definitely not the invisible gas carbon dioxide. That much maligned carbon dioxide (CO2), in fact, is an absolutely vital trace component of the earth’s atmosphere. Without it — and its steady replenishment from the many natural sources, like volcanoes — all life on earth would quickly come to a stop. It nearly happened already, when the atmospheric CO2 levels reached a low of around 200 ppm (parts per million).
Fact: Carbon dioxide is vital to life on earth!
Now to the sad News
A real bummer: CO2 is said to cool the earth! Yes, the crux of the matter is that CO2 (widely referred to as “carbon pollution”) in the upper atmosphere acts as a coolant. If you don’t believe me, see the new book “Sky Dragon Slayers: Victory Lap.”
In case you still doubt those findings, just look at NASA’s daily records of surface temperatures at planet Mars’ equator, where it’s only MINUS 1 °F during the day and MINUS 145 °F at night – all that with 96% CO2 in Mars’ atmosphere, versus only 0.04% on Earth. Need I say more?
But, please, don’t let me discourage you from making any New Year’s resolutions! If they go the way of the previous ones, there’s always next year.
With my best wishes for the year 2020!
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