Saturday, May 28, 2011

Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory (Amazon Reviews)

I'm having a very enjoyable exchange on concerning reviews of "Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory."

One reviewer commented:
"you can transfer energy to the earth from a reflective green house layer even if the energy level of the earth is higher."

To which I replied: (The charts I show are not part of my Amazon reply because I could not load them on Amazon. I wish I could. They support my replies very well)
"This reviewer confuses insulation with reflection. He also confuses a greenhouse which prevents the air warmed by the heated earth from mixing with the outside air, with the insulating effect provided primarily by water vapor in the atmosphere. If he would look at the historical record he would find many periods when warming began long before CO2 increased, and when cooling began when CO2 was much higher. In both cases warming and cooling soon - in 800 years or so - caused the oceans to release or absorb CO2, respectively.

If CO2 has always been driven by climate change, and has never been the driver, how did it get behind the wheel now when even current levels of CO2 are historically very low? It is much easier to understand current warming of one degree F per century to be a rebound from the end of the Little Ice Age 300 years ago, than as a product of a very recently increase of an atmospheric trace gas.

Compare a night in an equatorial desert to a humid, summer night in Michigan - the atmosphere above each containing the same tiny concentration of CO2 - and then determine what you want to do with your coat. It goes on, in the desert, and stays off in Michigan. And water vapor does its balancing magic, just as it has for billions of years.

My reply generated the following from "Freedom Ride":
The commenter fails to understand radiative forcing, fails to recognize that this massive, geologically near-instantaneous increase in GHGs is unique in climate history, fails to recognize the fundamental difference between H2O and the other GHGs, and apparently does not know that the increasing absolute humidity is a feedback effect of increasing concentrations of the persistent GHGs, principally CO2.

In short, Mr. Combs does not know what he is talking about. He *is* skilled at repeating some rather old, shop-worn denier talking points, at least. No doubt he finds them reassuring, bless his heart.

Which inspired me to reply:
Freedom Ride makes many misstatements, none more egregious than that the increase in CO2 is unique, since for most of the Earth's history atmospheric CO2 has been multiples higher. The fundamental difference between H2O and other so-called greenhouse gases is that H2O comprises over 95% of the total, and that the increase of water vapor from warming provides a negative feedback through clouds and through heat transport in the atmosphere to increased warming.

Freedom Ride continues the alarmist method of making sweeping statements without providing any observational proof or support. As an example, the existence of six periods of greater warming since the end of the Ice Age just over 10,000 years ago are robustly supported by world-wide studies, as is the fact that these periods were characterised by stable atmospheric CO2.

Current sea level rise is unremarkable at eight inches per century and slowing, and can be compared to 420 feet of increase since the end of the Ice Age - an average of over four feet per century.

Also sea level studies have shown coral thrived about 6,000 years ago three to six feet above what is now sea level. Even an alarmist must concede that higher sea level then, evidenced by coral growth, proves greater warmth then.

My points are not old, shop-worn denier talking points. They have come from the reading of numerous compilations of historical facts by such climate greats as H. H. Lamb, and primarily are just repititions of what the Earth is telling us. Vineyards in England 1,000 years ago, where they fail today, is a fact that knows no politics.

Soon Freedom Ride replied:
Again, Combs reveals his ignorance. He apparently does not know (unsurprising, since apparently he gets his information from non-scientific sources) that in ancient times of much higher CO2 concentrations, insolation was much lower.

Combs posts a number of non sequiturs and moldy-oldie denialist assertions which may be disregarded. He's is an AGW denier, the intellectual equivalent of HIV/AIDS deniers, evolution deniers, moon landing deniers, etc. He employs the same tactics: anomaly hunting, cherry picking, Gish galloping and flat-out bs'ing. He is an ideologue--a Libertarian, perhaps?--oppressed by the irresistible march of science. Science is his enemy: he carefully ignores the unanimous, published affirmations of every major scientific professional association in the world. He searches the internet for comforting propaganda, which he presents here to insulate himself from cognitive dissonance. While it may satisfy him, it is transparently silly to anyone aware of the facts.
And I immediately countered:
"Combs reveals his ignorance. He apparently does not know (unsurprising, since apparently he gets his information from non-scientific sources) that in ancient times of much higher CO2 concentrations, insolation was much lower."

Freedom Ride, your ad hominem attacks far exceed your science. About insolation, "Earth's Climate: past and future," William F. Rudman:

"Insolation has varied around a constant long-term mean and has followed the same tilt and precession cycles for millions of years. Consequently, its fundamental character has stayed the same. As a result, we can use the same insolation curve throughour the full 3-Myr history of northern hemisphere glaciation illustrated by this conceptual model."

Mr. Ride. So far I have seen no science in any of your posts. Will any be forthcoming?

Has Mr. Ride gotten off the bus, or is he finally searching for some facts to throw back at me?

So far he is pitching a "no fact-er".

This Amazon exchange is very satisfying. If I presented similar comments on a website like, they would never be posted.

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