Interview with William Happer on Climate Change

By Andy May

While attending the latest Heartland Conference on energy in New Orleans, I ran across a pamphlet that contained an excellent TheBestSchools.org interview with Professor William Happer, the famous Princeton physicist, on climate change. As described in the pamphlet, Professor Happer has been heavily involved in climate science since before he was a co-author of the landmark book The Long-Term Impacts of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels, edited by Gordon J. MacDonald (Ballinger Publishing Co., 1982). Some have tried to claim that we should ignore what he says about climate change since he isn’t a “real” climate scientist, only one of the most esteemed physicists in the world and the developer of adaptive optics. This is silly since the development of adaptive optics requires a thorough understanding of atmospheric physics. It is a testament to his stature that Greenpeace tried to trap Professor Happer by sending him a fraudulent email in 2015, pretending to be a Middle Eastern potential client asking him to write something about the benefits of CO2. This fraudulent trap failed miserably since Professor Happer made it clear in the subsequent email exchange what his position on CO2 was and said he would write it up only if the “client” agreed with his position.

No author or date are given for the interview by TheBestSchools.org, but the comments suggest the interview was conducted in early 2016. It covers the full range of topics on climate science. It is well worth reading in full. It contains an interesting biography of Professor Happer, his estimate of climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 (1-degree C as opposed to the IPCC estimate of 3 degrees), a full and clear explanation of the benefits of more CO2 and his opinion about the so-called “consensus.”

https://thebestschools.org/special/karoly-happer-dialogue-global-warming/william-happer-interview/

New York Times Lies about Trump Lies

By Andy May

The New York Times published a list of Trump’s “lies,” told during the period January 21 through November 2017, on December 14, 2017 here. It contains 106 unique Trump statements. I’ve classified these statements, in as objective a way as possible, but obviously many of these judgements are subjective and others might classify them differently. To help others review my work, I prepared a spreadsheet database that can be downloaded here. The database contains the date, the “lie,” an explanation, one or two sources for more information and context, the category for the “lie,” an explanation for the category, the New York Times (NYT) category, and an explanation for the NYT category. Table 1 is an example table entry and Table 2 describes the categories. Continue reading

Stephen, Why Global Warming is not a problem

 

By Andy May

The following is a quote from my book Climate Catastrophe! Science or Science Fiction?

“99.9 percent of the Earth’s surface heat capacity is in the oceans and less than 0.1 percent is in the atmosphere. Further, CO2 is only 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. It beggars belief that a trace gas (CO2), in an atmosphere that itself contains only a trace amount of the total thermal energy on the surface of the Earth, can control the climate of the Earth. This is not the tail wagging the dog, this is a flea on the tail of the dog wagging the dog.”

One would think that this is clear, but to some it clearly is not. A commenter on Amazon.com named “Stephen” thinks it is “Scientific gibberish” and explains as follows:
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Commuting to work: car, train or bus?

By Andy May

The United States Department of Transportation tells us in their online report “Public Transportation’s Role in responding to Climate Change” that we should use public transportation to reduce our greenhouse emissions. This claim is also made in Time’sGlobal Warming Survival Guide.” Even the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommended public transportation, in 2017, as “one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse emissions.” Public transportation does reduce congestion during peak traffic hours, but data from the National Transit Database suggests that cars are cheaper and use less fuel per passenger-mile traveled, so this claim is suspicious. Let’s examine it.
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The End of Oil and Gas

By Andy May

The end of oil and gas has been predicted on a regular basis since 1885, yet today we use more of both than ever before and no end is in sight in the data available. Figure 1 shows worldwide energy consumption by fuel since 1965 and projected to 2035 by BP in billion tonnes of oil equivalent, it shows substantial growth in both oil and gas.
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Poverty and Energy

By Andy May

Poverty and access to energy are closely related. Although it probably isn’t possible to show that access to energy is the key reason so many have been lifted out of poverty in recent decades, the data and logic suggests that this so. In the United States, the average person uses about 300 million BTUs of energy per year according to the EIA. This is equivalent to the manual labor of 69 healthy people working hard for 6 hours per day. Worldwide, the average person uses 73 million BTUs, the equivalent of 16 hardworking people.

Prior to the industrial age, which began with the first practical coal- and wood-fired steam engines between 1712 and 1776, slavery, bonded servants and serfs were common, this group made up over 90% of the world’s population in 1800. For a few people to live well they needed lots of servants and domestic animals to do the manual labor for them. Now, in the age of electricity, petroleum and nuclear powerplants, most manual labor can be done by machines. No longer do a few wealthy people live from the labor of others, everyone who has access to energy can live well. Before the industrial age, nearly everyone was extremely poor as seen in Figure 1, today fewer than 10% are extremely poor. Continue reading

Does Global Warming increase total atmospheric water vapor (TPW)?

By Andy May

Some have speculated that the distribution of relative humidity would remain roughly constant as climate changes (Allen and Ingram 2002). Specific humidity can be thought of as “absolute” humidity or the total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. We will call this amount “TPW” or total precipitable water with units of kg/m2. As temperatures rise, the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship states that the equilibrium vapor pressure above the oceans should increase and thus, if relative humidity stays the same, the total water vapor or specific humidity will increase. The precise relationship between specific humidity and temperature in the real world is unknown but is estimated to be between 0.6 to 18% (10-90%ile range) per degree Celsius from global climate model results (Allen and Ingram 2002).

Carl Mears and colleagues (Mears, et al. 2018) have recently published a satellite microwave brightness record of TPW from 1988 to 2017 showing TPW, over the world’s ice-free oceans, increasing in lockstep with global mean temperature. This surprised me since Benestad (Benestad 2016), (Partridge, Arking and Pook 2009), (Miskolczi 2014) and (Miskolczi 2010) have previously reported that TPW, as computed from weather balloon data, has gone down recently, although their time periods were earlier and longer than the record shown in Mears, et al. Continue reading