NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Friday, April 15, 2005

We need better science than this - Watch out kids

Jim Hurley is worried about Global warming in our neighborhood, April 14, 2005

Let’s look at some of Mr Hurley’s statements:
First, no one disputes the fact that greenhouse gasses are on the increase in our atmosphere. Second, there is ample evidence elsewhere in the solar system of the dramatic effect of greenhouse gases on planetary temperature.
In this we agree, greenhouse gasses are on the increase, as they have during four interglacial periods over the last 400,000 year. As you can see from this chart.

vostock.jpg

More details on the chart here.

Have humans contributed to the this CO2, certainly, but is it enough to worry about? If we added all the atmospheric gasses up, can compared them to a football field, the total CO2 would be about 8 inches of the total field. Human activity would raise this 8 inches by a total by 1/8 of an inch.

Yes, we are seeing global warming on Mars, details here. Yet, according to Mr Hurley, “Mars is virtually devoid of atmosphere.” Really, please note that Mars has more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere than does Earth, but Mars has a lot less of everything else. The main global warming gas is water vapor, something now found on Mars, nor Venus. It seems that Mr Hurley has an Apple and Oranges argument.
We know that a major source of greenhouse gases is the carbon dioxide liberated through the burning of oil and gas in our power plants and cars.
Really, then what was the source of CO2 during the last four interglacial periods? Cars, SUVs, Power Plants? Please note that in the above chart, that the increase in temperature preceeded the rise in CO2, so how can CO2 be the cause?
So what is our current policy to reduce this pollutant? Continued reliance on oil from the Middle East? Drilling for more oil in the Alaskan Wild Life Refuge?
So, what does Mr. Hurley recommend? A hydrogen economy? Since we can not mine hydrogen, it takes energy to produce hydrogen, more than would be consumed if we just burned gas in our cars Where does this energy come from in Mr. Hurley’s world without oil? Nuclear? He does’t say. He only highlights problems, not sulutions?

As we compete for easy oil in the global market, the price per barrel will increase, until it reaches the point where it is economically feasable to extract oil from Canada’s oil sands, and the United States oil shale. By some estimates that is between $40 and $60 dollars per barrel, and the resource is over a trillion barrels. Who will control the global market then?

Tell me what you think

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