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Chapter 5 – The Earth’s Energy Budget

by Michael Belsick

As noted in chapter 3, science indicates that the TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) of 340 W/m2 (watts per square meter) is the average level of solar radiation (sun’s energy) reaching the top surface of the Earth’s atmosphere.  As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Figure 13 is a depiction of the Earth’s energy balance from NASA.

Figure 13. Earth’s Energy Budget

This energy balance depiction is complicated mainly because of a closed loop feedback back system where energy is bounced around a bit between the ground and the atmosphere.   Eventually, the original 340 W/m2 are radiated back into space leaving a net balance of approximately 0 W/m2.  The most important aspect of this chart is that the Earth used the sun’s energy, bounced it around a bit between the ground and the atmosphere (keeping us warm at night), but eventually allowed it to escape back into space.  Without any greenhouse gases, the Earth would freeze at night.  The Left loves to demonize carbon dioxide, as a greenhouse gas, saying that increasing levels of CO2 is going to kill all life on Earth.  Instead, CO2 is keeping life from freezing at night.

I would also like to add a comment about all the numbers mentioned in this chapter.  There is a lot of debate among scientists as to each of these specific numbers.  NASA uses 340.4 W/m2.  If one looks at different sources, there will likely be other differences.  Whatever the differences of opinion/data are, the conclusions will be the same.  Energy in equals energy out with the additional benefit of some energy bouncing around a bit at night.

For completeness, I have two additional thoughts to convey.  Albedo is the property defining how much energy is reflected off something.  Albedo can cause large differences in reflective energy numbers.  Something that is pitch black would have an albedo of zero (reflecting nothing and absorbing everything).  A mirror would have an albedo of 100% (reflecting everything and absorbing nothing).  Fresh fallen snow would have an albedo of 80% to 90%.  Desert sands might have an albedo of 40%.  A forest might have an albedo of roughly 15%.  I am mentioning this to say that all the reflective energy numbers used above are a property of the albedo.  Think about what happens to the energy balance after fresh snow fall.  It changes with more energy being reflected into space and less being absorbed by the Earth.  How about large concrete cities replacing forests or grasslands?  There will be a shift of energy balances because the albedo has changed.  These types of changes due to man-made development (clearing grasslands/forests and replacing it with concrete/asphalt) can have a larger effect on the climate than carbon dioxide per some of these man-made climate change models.

In summary, life on Earth depends upon the solar radiation affecting the Earth.  Some of that thermal energy is immediately bounced back into space.  Some of that energy makes it to the surface of the Earth, warming it.  A lot of this thermal energy is bounced around between the atmosphere and the surface.  This aspect is the only thing that keeps us warm at night.  Without it, life could not exist on Earth.  How much of this energy is bounced around is dependent upon the ground’s albedo and the greenhouse gases (water vapor and CO2).  With water vapor having the most significance, the amount and type of clouds have a significant impact.  This will be addressed more in the next chapter.

Chapter 4 – The “Relativity” of Time and Temperature

By Michael Belsick

This chapter about time may seem irrelevant to a discussion about climate change.  I have included it because it may provide a better comprehension of time with respect to the Earth’s climate over the eons.  In the previous chapter, we discussed how orbital mechanics of the Earth’s rotation around the sun changes every 100,000 years.  That is an extremely large number to comprehend.  The birth of Jesus Christ was just over 2,000 years ago and that seems to us a very long time ago.  So how can anyone truly comprehend the age of the Earth and everything that has occurred on Earth during that time?  No person can truly understand the almost infinite.  When it comes to the creation of the heavens and Earth, the age of the Earth is incomprehensible because it is so far beyond the limits of our own lifespans.  Let me try to convey nearly infinite time as if it were condensed down to a 24-hour period that we can comprehend.  If the Earth was formed out of gases and rocks 24 hours ago (4.54 billion years ago actually), then here are some milestones in geological time:

  • After 4 hours and 10 minutes, bacteria-like life first appeared in the seas (3.5 billion years ago)
  • After 12 hours and 31 minutes, an oxygen atmosphere formed (the beginning of weather)
  • After 18 hours and 46 minutes, the first multi-celled organisms appeared (600 million years ago)
  • After 21 hours and 47 minutes, the first vascular plant life appeared
  • After 22 hours and 24 minutes, the first reptile appeared
  • After 22 hours and 46 minutes, the first dinosaur appeared
  • After 23 hours and 39 minutes, dinosaurs became extinct (That was 65 million years ago)
  • After 23 hours and 53 minutes, apes first appeared
  • After 23 hours and 59 minutes and 58 seconds, homo sapiens arrived on Earth
  • After 23 hours and 59 minutes and 59 seconds, wooly mammoths became extinct (4,000 year ago)
  • As the clock strikes 24.00-hour, modern man is finally on Earth (still long before Jesus Christ was born)

There are few points to be made from above.  First and foremost, no one was around when the Earth was formed to document the process.  Carbon dating (estimating the age of something due to the radioactive decay of carbon from when it was originally formed) greatly helps in determining the age of fossilized bones and organic matter.  But carbon dating only works for something less than 75,000 years old.  If something is older than that, then comparative aging is used to determine how old something is.  For example, if a find is made and one can determine the age of the rock around it, then you have a good guess as to the age of the object.   The bottom line is that all the science can do is to look back at geological and fossil evidence to piece together the best guess of what happened and approximately when it happened.  As such, it is merely a hypothesis, the best that modern science can provide.

Figure 12. Continental Drift

Additionally, the Earth has undergone massive changes in land masses, shown in Figure 12.  Using known plate tectonics, scientists speculate the existence of one super continent, Pangea, some 200 million years ago (22 hours and 56 minutes ago per the above analogy).  These plates slowly started to drift apart over time forming the continents that we have today.  Consider this.  We know that gas and oil deposits were created back when large amounts of organic matter grew, died, and were buried by earth.  Over millions of years, this “fermented” and became oil.  I for one cannot envision massive amounts of organic matter growing in the Arctic or Middle East as they are today.  What if these areas used to be tropical rain forests near the equator when the organic matter was deposited?  During the “fermenting” period, these large land masses moved to where they are today?  If land masses can move, then everything that one currently envisions as a stable climate is also subject to change.

Since I like analogies, here is one.  Imagine a 1-mile long picture that depicts the entire history of the Earth and life on Earth.  Cut that picture up into jigsaw puzzle pieces and dump most of the pieces into the trash never to be seen again.  Now there are only a few remaining pieces left, most of which are from only one end of the puzzle (representing human’s existence “today and recent past”).  Scientists sort through these remaining pieces of the puzzle and try to accurately place them on the puzzle board where they belong, trying to reconstruct the entire puzzle.  Since no one was around to see or know of all the different puzzle pieces, scientist can never prove exactly what happened and how the pieces fit together.  What we have today is the collective best guess of all scientists.  This does not prove scientists are wrong.  It merely means that scientists can never prove that they are 100% correct.  That is important to remember.

I wrote this chapter in order to provide a perspective for the reader.  Mankind thinks of time in terms of his personal existence.   We expect tomorrow to be just like today.  Essentially, we anthropomorphize history.  Conversely, history does not give a hoot about humans.   The important “take away” from this chapter is two-fold.  First, the notion of time is relative per our understanding.  Science does the best that it can to determine “what” happened and “when”.  It is their collective best guess, even if they attempt to make it sound absolute.  Second, pre-historic temperatures are also merely the collective best guesses from scientists.  There were no thermometers or people to read them in pre-historic times.  In other words, be skeptical of anyone trying to “sell” you some supposedly absolute truth.  That advice includes even this author.  I am merely providing the information that I have been taught or read.  I am here trying to provide everyone the facts as I know them plus the uncertainty surrounding those facts.

 

 

Chapter 3 – The Sun is the Source of All Heat for the Earth

By Michael Belsick

If we do not count periods when the Earth’s molten rock escapes to the surface with volcanoes, the sun is our only source of heat for us on the Earth’s surface.  The question to be addressed in this chapter is whether this heat is constant.

Let me start with an analogy.  Anyone that has ever gone camping and sat around a campfire understands the basics.  After you built your fire and set up your chair at a comfortable distance from the fire for just the perfect temperature, the fire starts to burn down.  At first, you move your chair closer to the fire.  Finally, after someone puts more wood on the fire, the flames flare up forcing you to move your chair farther way from the fire to be comfortable.  The sun is just like that campfire, but we do not get to control where our chair is placed.

First, the sun does not give off a constant source of “heat”.  It varies with time, including its 11-year solar cycle.  The sun is not a solid object.  It is a gaseous mass in constant internal motion.  Occasionally, “solar flares” send out massive amounts of solar material 30,000 miles or more out from the sun’s surface.  There are also sunspots that appear as dark spots on the surface of the sun.  On an average, the sun’s energy level, after travelling about 93 million miles, and first reaching the top stratosphere of our Earth’s atmosphere (about 40 miles above the ground) is 1,361 watts per square meter (W/m2).  (Just as a reference, watts are how you measure the effectiveness of your electric heater.   Think about when you put air into your tires, you add air until the pressure reaches the acceptable level of psi – pounds of force per square inch.  The number above is similar in nature to your tire pressure – some force acting upon a flat square surface area.  The only difference is the type of “force”, pressure or watts, and the units of measure, inches or meters.)  The 1,361 W/m2 is based on a flat surface perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Since the Earth is spherical, the sun’s energy is calculated for the curved area of the Earth. They call this number above the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI).  An average of 340 W/m2 is typically used.  The actual energy is higher at the equator and lower at the poles and varies by season. During the maximum solar output of the sun during sunspot activity, the energy level from the sun increases by 0.07%.  (For perspective, please note the comparison of sun energy varying by 0.07% for an 11-year cycle while CO2 has recently varied by 0.01% after several decades.)  So, by going back to my campfire analogy, our campfire changes over time but not by very much.  Let’s examine the chair spacing to the fire analogy in the next paragraph.

The Earth revolves around the sun as shown in Figure 6.  However, the path of the Earth around the sun varies over time from a nearly circular path (slightly an ellipse) to a far more elliptical path.  Additionally, the Earth’s axial tilt and “wobble” as it spins on its axis all vary over time.  Collectively, the total effect of these variations creates alterations in the seasonality and severity of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.  These are called the Milankovitch Cycle.

Figure 6. Earth’s Path Around the Sun

The Earth’s 1-year orbit around the sun is constantly changing within a cycle of around 100,000 years.  When the orbit is almost circular (only slightly elliptical), Figure 7, the distance from the Earth to the sun ranges from 91 to 94.5 million miles for one year.  When the Earth’s orbit is at its most elliptical path (100,000 years later), also Figure 7, the distance from the Earth to the sun ranges from 80 million miles at its closest point to 116 million miles at its farthest point during a one-year period.  That difference in distance has a significant change in the amount of solar radiation (TSI) that reaches the Earth.  Instead of around 340 W/m2 constant heating during an almost circular Earth orbit, solar heating ranges from 395 W/m2 (a 16% increase) at the closest distance to the sun to only 272 W/m2 (a 20% reduction) at the farthest distance to the sun for a full elliptical orbit.   During a nearly circular orbit, the angular velocity of the Earth around the sun is almost constant.  However, during a more elliptical orbit around the sun, the Earth’s angular velocity speeds up near the sun, but slows down farther from the sun.  The total time around the sun remains constant at 1 solar year.  That means that the higher solar heating of 395 W/m2 does not last very long, but the lower solar heating of 272 W/m2 lasts much longer.   Geologists tell us that there is evidence of major ice ages across the Earth that occurs about every 100,000 years.  Everything just mentioned above explains why this is so.  It has occurred since the beginning of time (for the Earth) and will forever continue.  Just to reference back to my campfire analogy, we learned that the campfire remains relatively constant (0.07%).  However, our chair location from the campfire is constantly changing over a 100,000-year cycle.  If one got to decide when you are born, it would be better to be born at a time when the Earth’s orbit is nearly circular.  Keep in mind however, our ancient ancestors survived ice ages without modern technology when the Earth’s orbit was at its most elliptical.

  Figure 7. Near Circular vs Elliptical Orbits

At the end of chapter 2, there was a chart of CO2 concentration and Earth temperature over an 800,000-year period (Figure 5).  All the low temperature time periods are about 100,000 years apart.  This represents known Ice Ages on Earth due the Earth’s orbit being elliptical (Eccentricity).  Obliquity and Precession cause “ripples” in the Eccentricity wave pattern as shown in Figure 8. When man-made climate change scientists evaluate the contribution of carbon dioxide variability, they ignore the variation of orbital mechanics which is six times the value of carbon dioxide variability as a greenhouse gas.

In terms of the Earth’s tilt (Obliquity) and wobble (Precession), this also affects the sun’s energy distribution over the surface of the Earth.  During the summer, the northern hemisphere receives more heating.  Conversely, during the same summer months, the southern hemisphere receives less heating.  Obliquity (tilt) varies from an angle of 22.10 to 24.50 over a cycle of 41,000 years.  Currently, the tilt is 23.50.  If there were no tilt at all, then there would be no change of seasons.  Any given spot on Earth would receive the same amount of solar radiation every day of the year.  Since the Earth does have a change of tilt over the 41,000 years previously mentioned, there is a change of severity of the seasons.  With the smaller tilt, solar radiation is more evenly distributed between summer and winter.  With the larger tilt, solar radiation is less distributed causing more severe summers and winters.  During the equinoxes (March and September), it is that transition between summer and winter such that there is effectively no tilt with respect to the sun.

Precession is the slow wobble as the Earth spins on its axis.  Because the Earth is not a sphere (radius of the Earth from the center to the equator is 13 miles greater than the center to either pole), non-uniform gravitational forces of the sun and moon causes the Earth to wobble over a 26,000-year cycle.  Currently, the North Star is Polaris.  In 13,000 years, this wobble will cause the Earth axis to point to the star Vega, which will become the new North Star.  During this period, winters will be colder, and summers will be warmer.  Then 13,000 years later, Polaris will once again be the North Star.

 

Figure 8. Milankovitch Cycles – Orbital Variations

 

There is one final orbital variation that affects climate.  That is Nutation, which is the rocking and swaying motion in the axis of Earth rotation caused by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon.  During Precession (wobble), Nutation causes a small change to the tilt angle (Obliquity) which causes a relatively short-term disturbance to the seasons and tidal behavior over an 18.6-year cycle.  In 2006, the tidal changes brought large volumes of warmer water into the Arctic which melted polar ice at a faster rate.  This was the beginning of the current hysteria of man-made carbon dioxide warming the planet, even though this was not due to carbon dioxide at all.  As noted here, it was simply an unusual but regular natural occurrence due to orbital mechanics.  All of this will likely happen again in 2024.

Summation of Milankovitch Cycles

Figure 9 shows the interaction of the three Milankovitch cycles.

Figure 9. Milankovitch Cycles

 

The chart in the upper corner is enlarged in Figure 10 with the past starting on the right side of the graph.

Figure 10. Enlarged Chart of Milankovitch Cycles Interaction

 

The result of these 3 Milankovitch cycles in terms of Earth’s temperature is shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11. Glacial-Interglacial Cycles Over the Past 450,000 Years

Let’s recap what we have learned in this chapter.  We learned that the sun is not a constant temperature, but that variation is not significant.  We learned that the Earth’s orbit around the sun is highly variable in regular cycles between a near circular orbit to an elliptical orbit.  This natural change results in significant heating differences for the Earth due to differences in the distances between the sun and the Earth.  We learned that the Earth’s rotation about its own axis is naturally variable which is also significant in terms of how much heat distribution there is across the surface of the Earth. We learned that all of this can lead to significant differences in climate for the Earth and none of it is associated at all with carbon dioxide.  For completeness, I must add one caveat regarding the influence of the Milankovitch cycle.  While accurate in proposing how orbital mechanics can affect the climate, the timing of these events compared to the reconstructed (what paleontologist believe it was) paleo-temperatures does not match up 100%.  There is something else going on as well which is not fully understood.  Currently, this is a problem for the Milankovitch cycle explanation or what the paleontologists believes.

Chapter Summary

We have we learned that

    • Known orbital mechanics (how the Earth revolves around the sun and how the Earth spins on its axis) can cause significant changes to how much solar energy reaches the Earth.
    • All these events have regular cycles that interact with each other to either amplify or diminish the changes in solar energy reaching the Earth.
    • These differences in solar energy reaching the Earth cause changes to the Earth’s climate. For example, there are known Ice Ages about every 100,000 years.
    • Per Figure 11, today’s average Earth temperature is lower than what it was about 140,000 years ago.
    • Orbital mechanics, the Milankovitch cycles, can affect tidal currents, which in 2006 caused faster melting of Arctic Polar ice.
    • These significant climate changes are independent of CO2 variability.
    • Just for my personal speculation, what do we know about what happens during the winter, especially in the northern land masses? Decaying organic matter gets cold and even freezes, this halts the decay process.  The normal decay process in warm weather generates lots of CO2.  Getting back to my previous question, periods of cold temperature would likely result in lower CO2 concentrations due to lack of normal decay process.  So, temperature changes can cause CO2 concentration changes.  Just as confirmation of my speculation, Al Gore once in 2007 admitted under questioning that CO2 concentrations lag temperature changes.  As a side note, there are about 1600 gigatons of organic carbon stored in soils around the world, compared to about 750 gigatons of CO2 in the atmosphere.  If soil decomposition increased by 10%, then CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere would increase by 20%.  Just for completeness, there is also a known fact that CO2 is stored in the oceans which release it slowly back into the atmosphere.

For anyone wanting more info on Milankovitch cycles, the following is a good link to a discussion:  http://www.stableclimate.org/milankovitch-cycles

Volcanos

I did not give a discussion of volcanoes its own chapter, but I did wish to mention the impact of volcanos.  As previously mentioned, volcanoes can be a source of heat to the atmosphere or to the oceans.  In fact, 85% of are underwater.  It is also known that when volcanic rocks cool, they release monstrous amounts of CO2 and other gases.  Climate scientist generally account for this released CO2, but only from the visible 15% of volcanoes above water.  They ignore the impact of 85% of the volcanoes including the CO2 released underwater.  It is also known that CO2 in the oceans is released into the atmosphere.  Instead of blaming all CO2 emission on the burning of fossil fuels, shouldn’t they also consider volcanos, both above and below the water?

Chapter 2 – Carbon Dioxide Is Not a Pollutant

By Mike Belsick

While it is true that increasing industrialization is generating more carbon dioxide over pre-industrial ambient levels, the increase is a very modest percentage.  Keep in mind that the industrialized burning of fossil fuels adds two different components to the atmosphere: soot or other particles and carbon dioxide.  It is the soot that causes smog.  Carbon dioxide is invisible.  However, the Left talks as though carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant formed from burning fossil fuels.  That is a very misleading description.  Another source of CO2 is you.  In every exhaled breath of air, you put slightly more CO2 in the atmosphere than what you breathed in.  That is called respiration and every living animal on Earth does exactly the same thing.  We need oxygen (O2) to survive – to power the engines inside our bodies.  The byproduct of our internal engines is CO2.  Essentially, every human is like an automobile.  We need fuel and air to run.  We also create byproducts that we do not need.  Is our exhaled breath air pollution?  Consider this, while animals give off CO2, plants need that CO2 to grow.  In the process of photosynthesis, plants use CO2, water, a few minerals and organic matter, in the presence of sunlight to grow.  The byproduct of a plant’s internal engine is oxygen.  This is a perfect symbiotic relationship between plants and animals.  Since all animal life on Earth is dependent directly or indirectly on plants and plants can only grow with CO2, carbon dioxide should never be considered a pollutant.  Just like oxygen, CO2 is critical for all life on Earth.  In fact, satellite imagery shows a much greener planet thanks to the current slightly higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Look at it this way.  While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” wants to illuminate CO2, slightly increasing levels of CO2 is making the Earth far greener.  Isn’t that ironic?  Maybe AOC should call her plan the “Brown New Planet”.

What is the composition of air?  By volume, dry air contains 78.09% of nitrogen, 20.95% of oxygen, 0.93% of argon, 0.03% of carbon dioxide, and small traces of other gases, as shown in Figure 4.

Please note the incredibly small percentage of CO2 that is normally in the atmosphere.  We know from deep ice core samples in Antarctica that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere constantly changed up and down over the last 800,000 years.  On the average, CO2 is about 250 ppm (parts per million) with peaks around 300 ppm.  Currently, it is said that CO2 levels are about 400 ppm.  So instead of normal CO2 levels being around 0.03% of the atmosphere, it is currently around 0.04%.  That represents a change of 0.01% of the atmosphere.  Could a change that small wipe out all life on Earth?  Very doubtful.

Figure 4. Composition of Air

Water vapor is also a component of normal air, but it varies a lot due to conditions such as temperature and location.  Water vapor can be as high as 4% (100 times that of CO2) in tropical regions.  On the average, water vapor would be between 2% to 3% of the atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide and water vapor are considered as the main components of “greenhouse gases” that blanket the Earth to keep it warm at night.  Again, please note that water vapor, as a percentage of what is considered as a greenhouse gas, is significantly higher than carbon dioxide.  As such, water vapor has a much larger impact on the climate than carbon dioxide ever can.  However, no “man-made climate change believer” discusses water vapor.  All the greenhouse gases are critical for life on Earth to keep us warm.  On average, these two gases together only amount to 2-3% of the total atmosphere.  It is amazing, in a very positive way, that such a very small percentage of air can have such a beneficial bearing on life on Earth by keeping us from freezing at night.

When sunlight first hits the Earth’s outer atmosphere, some of the sun’s energy is bounced back into space, about 30%.  Some of this energy is absorbed by the atmosphere, about 20%.  The other half of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the Earth and warms it. At night, when there is no more heat from the sun, the heat absorbed by the Earth wants to radiate back into cold space.  However, the atmosphere, specifically greenhouse gases, traps some of this heat from escaping.  Water vapor and carbon dioxide prevent us from freezing at night.  In a later chapter, I will go more into this energy balance.

Just to end this chapter with an important fact.  The average Earth temperature (everywhere on Earth at the same time), if it did not have an atmosphere with greenhouse gases, would be -0.40 F (-180 C).  That would be well below freezing just like the planet Mars that has very little atmosphere.  Instead, the average temperature is 590 F (150 C) which is very habitable.  Greenhouse gases (water vapor and carbon dioxide) make this possible.  Instead of killing the planet Earth, carbon dioxide and water vapor are making it livable.

To be fair to the man-made climate change believers and to be honest about the presentation of data, there is one chart, Figure 5, that man-made climate change believers like to rely upon.  It supposedly shows the correlation between CO2 concentrations and Earth temperature.

Figure 5. Correlation of Earth Temperature and CO2

At first glance, there appears to be some relationship between the two measures.  It would be easy to imagine how someone could become worried about a drastic rise of CO2 ending up causing a significant rise of the Earth’s temperature.  However, there are some questions to consider before someone starts running around saying the “sky is falling” (reference to Chicken Little).

    1. Deep Antarctic core samples supposedly can determine CO2 concentrations back 800,000 years. While I can imagine how ancient samples of air, including CO2, could be trapped in years upon years of falling snow, how do you know what the temperature was over this 800,000-year period?  (See next chapter on Milankovitch Cycles)
    2. As one pulls up these core samples from Antarctic, how do you know how old the sample of CO2 is? Carbon dating is the normal process of determining the age of something, but that is only valid for 75,000 years ago and not 800,000 years ago.  So how do you know that the last sample pulled up is 800,000 years old?  I am speculating that the age is merely an educated guess.  See chapter 4.
    3. However one determines or guesses what the CO2 concentration was, when it was that concentration, and what the temperature was at that time, the next question to ask is which one (temperature or CO2 concentration) is the cause of the other (CO2 concentration or temperature) or is this merely a coincidence with something else causing both to react in a similar manner?

As persuasive as this chart may be used to prove an idea, there are too many questions in my mind that are unanswered to consider this chart as persuasive.  Naturally, no one of the man-made climate change believers is addressing these questions.  Why should they when 97% of all scientists believe in anthropogenic climate change.

In summary, CO2 is not a pollutant but rather is critical for humans and animals to exist. CO2 concentrations and temperatures have fluctuated throughout hundreds of thousands of years yet it is not certain if the changes are the results of one acting on the other or which order. CO2 concentration has increased since industrialization and currently is about 0.04% of our atmosphere (from pre-industrialization high of 0.03%).  Keep in mind that water vapor, the other greenhouse gas, ranges from near zero in incredibly dry places to around 4% of the atmosphere in incredibly wet places.

By Mike Belsick

Chapter 1 – 97% Agreement ????

To lead off my climate change discussion, I would like to address the claim from the Left that 97% of all climate scientists believe in anthropogenic climate change.  Let me ask you a simple question.  When, in your experience, have you ever found that 97%, basically everyone, agree on something?  I am not just talking about just a small group of friends or family.  I am asking about the entire US and even the entire world.  Ask people what their favorite ice cream flavor is, and you may get more than 31 flavors.  Ask for the best football team and you will get 32 different answers.  Yet somehow through all of this “diversity” of opinions, the Left claims that 97% of all scientists agree on man-made climate change.  Would you like to know where that number came from?

Climate Researcher John Cook reviewed 11,944 scientific papers on climate change written between 1991 to 2011. 66.4% of those papers made no reference at all to humans causing climate change.  These papers discussed natural phenomena that have caused climate change for millions of years.  The remaining 33.6% of those papers alluded to possible human causes.  Of that 33.6%, 97% of them specifically concluded that anthropogenic CO2 had caused the climate change noted.  So, the 97% number of man-made climate change believers used by the Left is really 97% of 33.6%, which is less than 32% of all climate scientists from around the world during the time period in question.  If you are wondering why we do not hear from the 66.4% of climate scientist, that is a very good question.  The main answer is that they are not allowed to speak on any Media network.  The “powers that be” in the science community also try to silence these scientists.  However, there are many books in circulation that provide an honest discussion of climate change.  A much later chapter in this series will address the politics of man-made climate change and how these voices have been silenced.

I will add that no one knows exactly what the percentages are for the anthropogenic “believers” versus the so-called “deniers” are today.  There appears to be a lot of corruption in this scientific endeavor for political and financial reasons.  The important take away from this chapter is that the current Left’s claim is inaccurate because there are still lots of scientists that do not believe even significant changes in carbon dioxide concentrations could trigger a climate change event and there are a lot of scientists that do not believe that humans cause a significant difference in any climate change.

Dr. Michael Crichton said:

“There is no such thing as consensus science.  If it’s consensus, it isn’t science.  If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.”

Climate Change Articles

By: Mike Belsick

Introduction

The Democratic Left is pushing the notion that made-made (anthropogenic) carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels is heating the climate to the detriment of all life on Earth.  This notion started in the 1960s but greatly expanded later.  Interesting that in the early 1970s, there were some scientists predicting a pending ice age with temperature data like Figure 1.  Personally, I do not recall any ice age occurring after this prediction.

Figure 1. Recorded Changes of Annual Mean Temperature of the Northern Hemisphere

In the April 28, 1975 edition of Newsweek, the article discussed these predictions of a pending ice age.  However, by the later 1970s, more scientists were predicting much warmer temperatures with data and predictions like Figure 2.

Figure 2. Global Mean Estimates based on Land and Ocean Data

Please note the similarities and differences of the two figures above.

  • Both charts indicate real temperature data.
  • Figure 1shows the temperature during 1940 to be 0.6 degree C higher than the mean, but the lower charts shows the same peak but only 0.1 degree C.
  • Figure 1shows a steep decline in temperature from 1940 to 1970, leading scientists to predict global cooling. However, the lower chart shows a gentler slope to almost level slope from just after 1940 to the mid-1970s.
  • Figure 2shows temperatures after 1970 significantly increasing. (Remember this chart when you see the temperature data presented in Chapter 7.)

What finalized the man-made climate change hysteria was the “Hockey Stick” graph of average Earth temperature greatly increasing which was presented by Dr. Michael Mann PhD in 1998 shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Hockey Stick Average Earth Temperature Graph by Dr. Mann

The temperature data and the “scientifically normalized” data (the gray “fuzz”) greatly alarmed the world as these scientists started predicting catastrophic higher temperature climate conditions due to anthropogenic higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).  (Please note that the prediction was solely based upon increasing concentration levels of CO2.)  The purpose of my article is to tell you that all this ranges from simply misleading to a purposeful lie.  While addressed in later chapters, the temperature data shown by Dr. Michael Mann is not supported by data from other scientists.  Was Mann’s data falsified or did Mann purposely ignore data that he did not like?  Me simply stating that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax is no different than the Democratic Left stating that it is a “fact”.  The difference is the presentation as to “why”.  Whenever you hear a Democratic politician, someone in the Left-Wing Media, or the supposedly scientific experts claim that man-made climate change is “real”, their only presented evidence is a statement that 97% of all climate scientists believe that it is so.  At best, they show you the photo of a poor stranded polar bear on a small piece of ice.  Conversely, my plan is to provide you with a series of articles explaining the science behind all of this.  I will make it as “down to Earth” as possible and try not to allow it to become too confusing, with lots of technical jargon and explanations.  Certain sections must have some technical information just to explain the “larger picture”.

The man-made climate change debate is critical during our pending election cycle.  Democrats want you to abandon the use of fossil fuels as an energy source.  Instead, Democrats are promoting renewable energy sources that do not give off carbon dioxide.  While maybe a noble goal, our economy and our lives currently depend upon fossil fuels.  Democrats want you to only drive electric vehicles, but that does not explain how that electricity is generated.  Democrats want you to stop using air travel, but these politicians fly around in private jets.  Democrats are using scare tactics to convince you by saying that unless we act right now, we only have 12 years left before the damage to the Earth will be irreversible.  Take for example Greta Thumberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who spoke to the United Nations on September 19, 2019 about the pending calamity of man-made climate change.  She was honestly terrified and angry about her and her generation having no future if the world fails to act right now!  When I heard her speech, I felt sorry for her.  Her panic was real, but her facts are not.  She has been duped into believing that the world will end in 12 years.  Her happy childhood has been stolen from her by those on the Left that are using her as a “useful tool” to promote their political agenda.  Sadly, thanks to years of public schooling lead by the Liberal Left, millions of young people believe in this anthropogenic climate change apocalypse.

Right now, Democrats, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (commonly known as AOC), are pushing the “Green New Deal” to combat man-made climate change for a “modest” estimated cost of 51–93 Trillion dollars over a decade.  That comes to only $600,000 per American household.  If you object only to the cost, then how do you put a price on your life and your family’s life?  The only sound argument against the Green New Deal is to debunk the underlying notion and the “science”.  I am at a loss to understand why Conservative Republicans are not debating Democrats on the issue of man-made climate change. For Greta, for all her generation, and for everyone that has been led to believe in the so-called pending apocalypse caused by man-made carbon dioxide, I am committed to share with all of you as to how I know that anthropogenic  CO2 is not something to be overly concerned.  If nothing else, my goal in this series is to encourage you to question whatever someone is trying to convince you.  Dig deeper into the facts and do not be bamboozled by some “expert” that may have a hidden agenda.  This warning includes even me.  As such, everything I mention in this series of articles can be verified.  If I offer an opinion, it should be obvious that it is only an opinion.

That leaves one last thing to mention in this introduction.  Who am I and how am I qualified to say all of this?  My name is Mike Belsick and I am a Fredericksburg, TX resident.  As for my qualifications, I should first say that Bill Nye, the “Science Guy” from TV is a very vocal believer of anthropogenic climate change.  His only expert qualification to push anthropogenic climate change is a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.  I also have a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.  However, I also have a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology, which provided a broad background in geology, ecology, and the life sciences.  So, I am twice as qualified to address the issue of climate change as Bill Nye, even though I do not have a show on TV. 

Boot Ranch water consumption is "excessively wasteful", "not fair to the city taxpayers", "not economical to city", and if continued it would place "unsustainable demand on city"

This is what Mo Saiidi has been telling Fredericksburg City Counsel. He has been studying this issue for years. Now he has compiled the data to back it up. The following link is a .pdf of Mo's work.

You will not get this information from The Standard or City.

Do you really want to subsidize Boot Ranch?

 

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Property Taxes

I have been following and studying the proposed 2020 city and county budget reviews. I have made presentations supporting the argument that the proposed tax rates need to be reduced both at city and county to offset the ever-increasing property appraisal valuation.  Here is why?

The proposed city and county effective tax rates (the tax rate that would produce the same revenue as the preceding year) have been declining in the past five years.  The lower effective tax rate is reflective of continued increases in property appraisals along with additional new developments (residential and commercial), plus the increasing sales tax revenue.  However, the city and county proposed tax rates continue to trend upward above the effective tax rates drawing even more revenues.  For 2020 budgets, the proposed city tax rate is 1.83 cents and county tax rate is 3.75 cents above effective tax rates respectively.  The city budget leaves $3.49m cash over the required 90-day expenditure reserve by the end of September 2020.  Similarly, the county budget leaves $9.6m cash reserve, while proposing the max tax rate close to the rollback rate (the threshold rate that require voter's approval if higher).

The data indicates the proposed adopted tax rates (city and particularly county) should follow the downward trend close to effective tax rates. The fact that this year is the last opportunity to raise the property tax rate up to 8% without voter’s approval (Next year the cap is lowered to 3.5%) should not be an excuse to burden taxpayers any further. The notion that our tax rates are lower than other communities is disingenuous, since any reduction gained from lower tax rates are wiped out by higher property valuations to the point that taxpayers end up paying more in tax dollars. The citizens do deserve lower tax rates.

Mo Saiidi            September 9, 2019

If you look only at the resume of Joseph Kopser the Democrat US House candidate for our district you might think he would hold conservative values, a WestPoint graduate, an Iraq veteran, and a small business owner – but don’t let that fool you. Some of his ads even leave out his party affiliation. He is a card carrying liberal democrat who is endorsed by Elizabeth Warren, Steny Hoyer and Planned Parenthood. He is in favor of bigger government by supporting universal healthcare, paid family leave, surrender of guns , raising the corporate income tax, higher taxes, increased fee on carbon emissions, more federal involvement in water rights and control. The list is even more extensive – but the bottom line is all of these translate into more control and regulation of your lives and businesses by the federal government.

• His Republican opponent, Chip Roy also has a conservative, yet different, background, one that demonstrates positions that are for less big government control, enforcement of constitutional rights, securing the border and lower taxes. Chip previously served in several top leadership positions for Texas elected officials, State Attny General Ken Paxton. , Sen. Ted Cruz Texas Governor Rick Perry and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).. Chip prosecuted gang members and drug runners as while serving as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Chip Fought alongside Attorney General Ken Paxton against federal overreach, illegal amnesty and attacks on Voter ID and the Texas Women’s Health pro-life law and also Advised former Governor Rick Perry on a conservative Texas budget, defending the 10th Amendment
Chip Roy is endorsed by Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert, Mark Levin – all strong constitutionalists. Your vote on Nov 6 for Republican Chip Roy is a vote for simplified taxes, securing the border, restoring healthcare freedom, reduced federal spending and deeply reducing regulations

wind

If it has to be subsidized maybe it is not that great.  Charles Blain, Enpower Texans writes (Oct. 10, 2018) subsidies for renewable energy in Texas has cost taxpayers more than $13 billion the last 12 years (Texas Public Policy Foundation).  Negotiations for these subsidies are exempt from public disclosure due to Texas Supreme Court decisions.  Citizens in Brown, Coleman, Clay, Montague and Val Verde Counties are opposing wind farms since project sponsors like to tie up a few leases and then go after the counties and school districts for tax abatements.  These local subsidies are in addition to federal government supported subsidies for wind farms with taxpayer dollars.

 

Anyone who has traveled I-20 through Abilene, Texas, or driven US Hwy 84 between Rosco and Post, Texas couldn’t help but observe the forests of wind turbines trashing our landscapes.   (The above photo is a wind farm between Clovis and Logan, New Mexico,  courtesy of Al Smith).  Numerous other examples can be found in the Southern Plains states.  As important as being an eyesore, these wind farms take valuable agricultural lands out of production.  Because there isn’t enough population to consume the electricity produced by these wind farms, large transportation lines must be constructed to deliver the electricity from its source to consumers.  More land must be taken out of production to accommodate the transmission lines.

 

Government agencies have seen wind farm projects as a means of accumulating more land under government control.  This is accomplished through Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) President Clinton incorporated as part of the Endangered Species Act as a supposed means of speeding up the permit process.  The Bureau of Land Management approved 500 wind turbines as a first phase wind project in southern Wyoming.  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) approved Incidental Take permits for killing up to 14 golden eagles and 2 bald eagles per year.  The project could have as many as 1,000 turbines as reported by Fox News, (Associated Press, January 18, 2017.  Critical federal approvals for massive Wyoming wind project).

 

Earlier the Associated Press (May 4, 2016.  New administrative rule would permit thousands of eagle deaths at wind farms).  The Obama administration revised Federal rules allowing wind-energy companies to operate high speed turbines resulting in killing or injuring federally protected bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years.  Up to 4,200 bald eagles could be killed or injured a year without penalty.

 

The USFWS issued the first-ever “Incidental Take” permit for the California Condor when they issued unveiled the Tehachapi Uplands Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan which encompasses nearly 142K acre HCP.  Of this, 129K acres of the Tejon Ranch Company will be permanently conserved.  Of note, an incidental take permit is issued for 30 years but land dedicated under a HCP is tied up in perpetuity.  The HCP allows the permit holder to harass but can not kill California Condors and 24 other protected species during construction and operation of 106 wind turbines.  (Tehachapi News, May 14, 2013.  First ‘take’ permit issued for endangered condor).

 

The Endangered Species Act needs to be reviewed by Congress, not USFWS, and changes made in the legislation; especially as it relates to the use of HCPs to provide compensatory mitigation for impacts due to construction and operation of a major project.  In the real world emphasis is placed on selling the landowner on the monetary value of selling land for mitigation under a HCP but glossing over the fact the landowner gives up control of their land in perpetuity.  The project stakeholders need to be held financially accountable for removing the wind turbines, in their entirety, once the project is over.  Abandonment of a project should not be an additional burden on the landowner or the taxpayers.

 

We need to request our federal and state Representatives and Senators:

 

  1. Stop federal and local subsidies for green energy projects;
  2. Demand the Endangered Species Act be reviewed and changed legislatively to reduce overregulation of permits created by  the Endangered Species Act; and,
  3. Stop federal land grabs via the use of HCPs to provide compensatory mitigation.