I might take some flak for this post, but this is how I feel and these are my opinions on the matter. I believe that climate change is real, I believe that humans do hold most of the responsibility, I believe that green technology is very good and should be encouraged, and I also believe that we are going to take steps to “fix” climate change that are going to ultimately hurt the planet even more than we already have.
Little back story. Years ago I was a denier of climate change as a result of human activity. This was about 10 or 11 years ago. I was young and misinformed. At the time I found a website called an www.aninconvenientfarce.com which, thankfully, is no longer around. When I first found it, it claimed to show scientific evidence against man-made climate change. It had links to university websites such as Stanford and Princeton and articles published in respectable journals. I thought that it was the real deal. It did not disprove climate change, just set out to disprove that humans were responsible for climate change. I am not sure when the website went away, but I had gone back to it since I first discovered it, and it had changed dramatically. It no longer had links to any respectable sources of science and was nothing but rhetoric for completely denying climate change. I was disappointed.
Even though I was not convinced the burning of fossil fuels was the cause of climate change did not mean I thought that burning fossil fuels was good for the planet. Smog, turning our oceans into acid, choking off plant and animal life, no I did not think CO2 was good for the environment. I have always felt that reducing carbon emissions to be a good thing. I think that finding a renewable clean source of energy should be our number one goal. Green technology is not only inevitable, but it could revitalize American manufacturing if we take the lead and get there before everybody else.
To reiterate, I believe in climate change and I believe that humans do have most of the responsibility for climate change. I just am not sure if carbon emissions are the biggest thing we need to worry about. They contribute, but I think that carbon emissions take up more of the attention than they deserve. I think we need to be more concerned about the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere than carbon. Water vapor is more abundant that CO2 and it is a more effective greenhouse gas. The only thing CO2 has on water vapor is that CO2 stays around for much, much longer. I keep looking and climate scientists agree that water vapor magnifies the warming caused by CO2, by almost doubling it, but since the water cycle is so short it is not considered the main cause. CO2 warms things up bit, allowing more water vapor to be absorbed into the atmosphere, causing more warming, allowing for more water vapor to be absorbed. I will be the first to admit that I could be wrong, but I just have this feeling that the scientist are missing something when it comes to water vapor. So, as the temperature goes up, more water vapor can be absorbed into the atmosphere, causing temperatures to go up even more. It is called a positive feedback loop and it is getting more and more attention. I am not saying that CO2 does not play a part, I am just not convinced it is the leading role.
Another little bit about water vapor. Water in a reservoir evaporates at a greater rate than water in a river because there is a greater surface area and plant life both of which increase evaporation. There are over 38,000 dams over 50ft tall in the world. That is a lot of reservoirs holding back a lot of water, increasing evaporation. That is on top of all of the environmental devastation that dams create, which are legion.
I am in the minority of people who believe in climate change but do not think that the main culprit is CO2. My biggest fear is that the majority are going to do something to attempt to “fix” the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. I am not talking about emissions, lets reduce those as much as possible. I am talking about what is currently in the atmosphere. I am afraid that they are going to try and fuck up the planet even worse, because the situation is not fully understood. I also do not trust the climate models and their dire predictions. It has been my feeling that if they cannot predict the weather a week away, how can they predict the climate in 80 to a 100 years from now. My smart, funny, beautiful wife has sent me a few articles addressing this that all say I am wrong. Climate scientist say that comparing weather forecasts to climate predictions is like comparing apples to oranges. Okay, lets do that. They are both fruit, they both grow on trees, they contain vitamin C, they have a protective skin, they have juicy meat under that skin, they have seeds on the inside, and they can be used to make juices. They taste different, they are different colors, the meat on the inside is different, the thickness of the skin is different, you can eat apple skin, and I have never heard of orange cider. No offense to climate scientists, but there are a lot of similarities between apples and oranges. But I get the what they are trying to say, the data that is inputted into the models is very different. But the models are just not accurate enough at this time to give a proper prediction of future climates. Do not take my word for it here is word from NASA, http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/role.html. They are studying water vapor and cloud formations, but they do not have enough data yet to make climate predictions with enough accuracy.
Those are my thoughts on climate change. Yes, it is an issue. Yes, humans hold a high degree of responsibility. Not sure if CO2 is the main culprit. I think water vapor might be the main culprit, and that human activity has been the cause, including pumping other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. I think the models need to have a greater degree of accuracy before we start trying to fix a problem because of the models. I am in favor of reduction in carbon emissions. Finally, I think that Americas scientific and manufacturing communities need to focus on clean, renewable energy, ways to store it, and products to that can use it.