Political Climate
Dec 16, 2015
Demonizing the Gas of Life

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

Back in the 1970s, the world was facing an energy crisis (Arab oil embargo) and the scientists, the government (CIA) and media were hyping the coming of the next ice age. Back then we had real pollution problems. Cars, homes and apartments, factories and power plants all were emitting real pollution into the air, and industry into the air, ground or water. The first environmentalists found a cause. I was one of them.

Many scientists were blaming the air pollution (called the ‘human volcano’ ) for the worrisome 1.35F cooling.

National Academy of Science Northern Hemisphere Temperatures

As an aside, NOAA made that cooling go away in the last 15 years gradually and low and behold instead of a cyclical change, we have more of a hockey stick and a greatly increased chance that every month and year will be the warmest ever or very close.

Northern Hemisphere Temperatures Reanalyzed

At the same time, some environmentalists warned millions would die as the exploding world population would deplete resources and lead to crop failures and massive starvation beginning in the 1980s even here in the United States.

Instead, thanks to exploration of energy and other resources and rapidly advancing technology, an explosion of industrialization improved the lives of Americans and billions in the west. We have in the last 4 decades, made huge progress in cleaning up the water and the air from particulates, hydrocarbons, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

You may have seen stories of how China and India recently suffered from serious air pollution. They know that their rapid economic growth depends on cheap energy. In this story that I wrote last week, I explained here how this is like the west 60 years ago at the beginning of the post war boom. As their economies grow, they will make some of the same changes we made to improve their situation.


In the 1980s, global temperatures rebounded in the 60-year cycle seen back hundreds of years.  Environmentalists and population control fanatics searched for blame, settling on fossil fuels and a new demon, carbon dioxide.

Is CO2 really a problem?  No, for a lot of reasons. First of all it is a trace gas. When I give a talk and ask people how much of our air is CO2. I usually get answers like 30%, 50% or even higher numbers. The real answer is 0.04%. Yes, man through, respiration, burning fossil fuels, deforestation and cement production add CO2 but the natural cycles still dominate. The oceans are the greatest storehouse and source/sink of atmospheric CO2. The bubbles in cold, soda or champagne you enjoy is CO2. You know how these bubbles come out and the drink gets flat when it warms. The same happens in the oceans.  On land, animals, and soils produce CO2 during respiration and CO2 and methane during their decomposition. Plants clearly play a key role in absorbing CO2.

Second, though CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it is a minor one. Water vapor, which ranges up to 4% of our air by volume, accounts for over 97% of the greenhouse effect. You see the effect in summer when humid days are muggy and warm at night.  Dry, warm days are more pleasant or even cool at night.

Without the greenhouse effect, the planet would be a lot colder, and in places uninhabitable. The climate models have failed miserably because they overestimate CO2’s importance and ignore the sun and oceans, the real drivers.  They projected major warming that has not occurred. The full earth coverage satellites tell us there has been no measurable warming globally for 18 years and 9 months now even as CO2 has increased 10%. Models projected a 1.3F warming in that period.


Routine claims of the ‘warmest ever’ is clearly shown by comparison to previous data sets to be due to massive data cooling of the past data not by your local hard working NWS but by a few ideologues at the National Climate Data Center controlled by the administration.

Greenhouse models tell us the warming should be greatest in the tropics but there has been no warming in the atmosphere or oceans there back to when satellite measurement began in 1979. Also the forecast increases in extremes have not materialized. Even though it may seem like it has in this internet and international media age where we see reports instantly on every storm or other natural catastrophic event.

I just finished authoring a paper with an Indian PhD climatologist from Canada showing how the only extreme that has really increased in any statistically significant way globally is winter cold and snow (remember the last few years?).

The reality is that carbon dioxide is a beneficial gas (too often people confuse it with the dangerous carbon monoxide). Plants use CO2 with water and nutrients from the ground and sunlight to produce plant cells and the fruits and vegetables and that feed us and the animals we eat. CO2 enriched plants are more vigorous and are drought resistant. Crop yields have increased three to five-fold at least in part due to this CO2 enrichment.  Plant life emits oxygen, also critical for life as they remove more and more CO2.

CO2 levels are actually coming off the lowest levels in the entire history of the planet, just above the threshold for plant growth. It has been as much as 20 times higher over the last 650 million years.


But isn’t it harmful to our health?  Not at all.  Smogs and air quality events have become a rarity in the United States and soot and other small particulates have declined in half and are well below air quality standards. CO2 is not the problem. Every breath you take emits 100 times more CO2 than is in the air. In the classroom and your workplaces, CO2 concentrations reach levels 4 to 5 times higher than in the outside air. The ‘carbon pollution’ term refers to the soot that comes from the old dirty coal, once a problem here, now one in China and India.

The ecologist and former co-founder of Greenpeace, Dr. Patrick Moore talks about the hypocrisy of the CO2 demonization and other environmentalist lies in this powerful video and in his book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. It may not feel like late December weatherwise east of the Rockies, but that is typical of stronger El Ninos, which get of to a notoriously late start but in many cases wild finish. I’ll have more on that soon.



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