carbon dioxide – the exhaled gas for discriminating breathers


This is a special post for my favorite climate contrarian, Sch00dles, a great guy, good writer and director, and extremely tall human. He raised some objections to the prior post and I have responses.

Hello again. Whereas, the climate worldwide may be getting warmer, it is not evident that this is due to CO2.

It’s pretty evident. Scientists have actually observed CO2 trapping heat in the atmosphere. But more importantly, at no point did scientists just assume that’s what was causing it. They spent decades doing painstaking research, which is available in the IPCC reports and elsewhere. But if you have the climate science evidence to overturn them by all means present it. You may be in line for a Nobel.

There are many inconsistencies in the facts which contradict this theory. Here are several. From the 1970s to the 1990s C02 production was at record highs, while scientists still worried about global cooling.

Wrong. There were some concerns about cooling in the popular press, and among a few scientists, but not in the science press and science research. Most climate scientists were not concerned about cooling and in fact some of the foundational research on warming began in the 70s.

Far greater levels of C02 have been present throughout the world’s history without apocalypse. After all, here we are.

Yes, you can find greater levels if you go back more than 650,000 years! That was before Homo sapiens. And it was probably quite a bit farther back before levels were higher than today. Check out this graph.

Historical records also show that CO2 levels follow rising temperatures rather than precede them.

Not too surprising to find examples of that in earth’s history since things other than CO2 can cause warming. And whenever it gets warmer, more CO2 is released. You get warming, then CO2, then more warming. Good explanation here. More to the point is, as noted above, there is very strong evidence that today’s warming is mostly caused by CO2. 

Singling out CO2 to label as a pollutant in not justified by research. Here’s more:

I might agree with you that COshouldn’t be labeled as a pollutant. It’s a semantic thing – how do you define “pollutant”? Maybe not like this.

As for that article — so a libertarian lawyer with the Heartland Institute denies the scientific consensus? He brings up specious, long debunked arguments and cites the Heartland Institute’s “Climate Change Reconsidered” publication for support. Heartland is the same group that fought against secondhand smoke legislation due to free market ideology rather than science.

This all comes down to my final point. The problem with the claim that CO2 is not the cause of global warming is that you have to search long and hard to find even a handful of actual experts in the subject who will provide any support for this. You can find some, just like you can find a few evolution deniers and anti-vaccinationists, but they are tiny minority.

Evidence behind CObeing the warming driver mounts and mounts. Most climate scientists across the globe agree. What would it take to convince you personally of this evidence?


2 thoughts on “carbon dioxide – the exhaled gas for discriminating breathers

  1. Hi Dan. Let me say before starting, that being a contrarian (or a brake) is not as fun as it might be supposed. The information and the graphs are all made available in handy publicity forms for the people who sign on to the current public band wagon. Disagreeing responsibly takes some diligence. Thank goodness this discussion is taking place in internet times. Otherwise, building a rebuttal of current hysteria would be a real tough task. So, to begin.
    Surely CO2 can serve to trap heat in the atmosphere, but as Dan’s study shows, so do many other molecules and particles. And surely the sun is the biggest provider of heat. One study does not the earth shake. And I doubt if you had the climate science to disprove this study, you would win a Nobel. Generally, negative studies are not selected for publication, or grants. Moreover, few scientists want to dedicate their lives following around other scientists in order to disprove their findings. Plus, billions of dollars have been spent to find a positive relationship between C02 levels and global warming. With several billion dollars in research grants I could probably find the bones of Adam and Eve.
    As for the second point, I believe Dan is cleaning up the historical record in hindsight. Check out this fun snippet from 1972:
    For the third point, you have to ask, “Gee, why does stop at 650,000 years ago?” Well, the final graph is quite instructive. If you look at C02 levels, proceeding back in time, they began to rise enormously about a million years ago – all accomplished without the benefit of modern industrial techniques.
    Now look at what the climate was like during these periods.
    (My graphs aren’t showing. But what it indicates is that we have been in an ice age for the past 3 million years approximately.)

    Finally, I’m very glad that Dan brought up the current legislation surrounding second hand smoke. The science of second hand smoke hazard has been very well debunked:
    But still we are stuck with the hysterical legislation which ensued.
    Well, not many people like to breath second hand smoke anyway. But when you make C02 a “pollutant” as defined by a federal agency… how would you feel about not being allowed to breath unless 50 feet from the entrance of any public building? Or, more realistically, about some bureaucrat determining your level of energy usage – entirely on the basis of their bureaucratic whim? E.g. No outdoor bbq? Drive less than 10 miles per day? Closure of important industries, and on and on…?
    Global warming cynics are not your enemy here, friends.

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