[Fwd: [Fwd: Minnesota may lose her forests?]]

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Sun Jan 24 06:19:07 EST 1999

Larry stamm wrote:
> On 22 Jan 1999 00:10:36 GMT, kmorrisd at aol.com (KMorrisD) wrote:
> >larryst at vis.bc.ca (Larry stamm) wrote:
> >
> >>The question is whether (or how much) a slight
> >>increase in  atmospheric CO2 will lead to a increase in the
> >>concentrations of atmospheric H2O and methane.
> >
> >Do you consider a 25% increase in atmospheric CO2 a slight increase?  That's
> >how I read the numbers on the graph at
> >http://forestmeister.com/Davies/antarcticice.gif.
> >
> >BTW, another version of that graph is at
> >http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/ice/lec11/vostok3.htm.  This version shows
> >methane too.  The source of the data is the Vostok ice cores.
> >
> >KMD
> Thanks for posting the URL's, and sorry for not  being clearer in my
> last post.
> Before I try to answer your question, I'd like to point out two things
> from the graph of the ice cores: 1) the temperature on earth has
> varied widely in the last 150 K years, and if the graph had covered a
> greater time span the variance would be even more.  Changing climate
> is the norm for the earth and is to be expected in the future.

Yes, especially now that the Earth has several billion people with a 7
trillion dollar economy and that this massive number of people have
paved over a huge amount of the planet. Yes, for sure it will change,
but some people refuse to believe humans will have anything to do with
the temperature change.

> 2)From the graph page: "This record shows a strong correlation between
> greenhouse gases and temperature during the last 160,000 years.
> However, it is not clear what mechanisms are responsible for this
> relationship"  In other words, it is not clear whether increases in
> greenhouse gases lead to higher global temperatures, or vice versa, or
> if some entirely other factor is driving the changes.

Hmm... maybe higher global temperatures are causing an increase in human
population and industrial pollutants! It's all the fault of mother
nature. Maybe higher temperatures are raising hormone levels- witness
our president. He's a classic example of the evils of CO2. <G>

> Of course, I agree that a 25% increase in CO2 concentrations is a
> significant increase.  What I meant by "slight increase" pertains to
> the current debate over what measures,if any, should be taken to
> reduce the CO2 output from industrialized society.  The historical
> increase in CO2 concentrations is fait acompli, and we will have to
> live with whatever consequences ensue.

You don't sound too concerned. I can only presume you don't own a house
near the shore.

  The reductions in greenhouse
> gas emissions as proposed in Kyoto a couple of years ago really only
> amount to a minor reduction in the rate of increase of atmospheric
> CO2, and would require some fairly major changes to implement in the
> industrialized world.

Such as? Industry always fiercely resists any change, making it seem as
if such change will devastate them, dam cry babies.

> At least in Canada, there are lobby groups saying we urgently need to
> lower our CO2 emissions to meet the Kyoto standards, or environmental
> disaster awaits us.  I viewed the original post in this thread warning
> about the loss of Minnesota's forests as being of the same ilk.  If
> CO2 really is that potent in climate change, then we probably have
> already pushed the climatic equilibrium off centre, and the piddling
> reductions as proposed in Kyoto won't accomplish much.

And that's exactly the point- that it's only a beginning.

> Looking at it another way: if Canada instantly reduced its CO2
> emissions to the Kyoto standards and kept it that way for a century,
> the amount that it wouldn't put into the atmosphere is approximately
> equal to one day's output of CO2 from China, which is also rapidly
> increasing its CO2 output.  So unless we find a way to equitably
> reduce CO2 emissions in the developing world the atmospheric CO2
> concentrations will keep going higher.

Good point. One way is by international agreements which seem to be so
terribly resisted by American industry and low brow politicians.

> There is another aspect in which the atmospheric CO2 increase is
> slight.  CO2 is a opaque to only two narrow bands of infrared
> radiation, and is not a very potent greenhouse gas compared to water
> vapour, which is opaque to almost the whole infrared spectrum.  A
> slight increase in atmospheric water vapour has more effect on
> terrestrial heat retention than a very large increase in CO2.  H2O is
> really the culprit, and how do we control that?

And raising CO2 levels warms the earth, resulting in MORE H20 vapor.
It's called "the butterfly effect". Read that book called "Chaos" that
came out several years ago. Chaos is important to comprehend even if Don
Staples finds it disgusting. <G>

> These sort of arguments make basing any regulatory or management
> decisions on their effectiveness in mitigating global warming prone to
> criticisms of being ineffectual (probably rightfully so).  And given
> the fickleness of policy makers, what happens to these regulations if
> we get a series of cold winters?  Most likely an about face.

Only if you presume the public is a bunch of morons. I think they'll
listen to the scientists that we must take action. And to the argument
that much of the problem is due to cow farts, then I say let's all
become vegetarians. <G>

> But I believe there are very valid reasons (which are mostly moral and
> economic) for instituting changes that will lead to reduced CO2
> emissions that have nothing to due with climate change per se, and am
> afraid these reasons will be denigrated if the tenuous arguments of
> the global warming lobbyists prove to be misleading.

Then we'll add those arguments too to the equation, whatever they are.

> Getting back to forestry, the best way to manage for future climate
> changes is to encourage diversity and resilience, both of management
> schemes and of biomass, in order to keep a lot of options open.  But I
> can see some politician being convinced that Minnesota's forest is
> going to die off in the near future because of global warming, so it
> might as well be liquidated while it's still worth something and put
> some feller-buncher operators to work.

Politicians are dumb but not that dumb.

> When something as complicated and uncertain as climate change starts
> being broadcast on the mass media as certain and predictable, I start
> wondering who is making money out of this campaign.

Must be all those left wing environmentalists- getting rich over it.
That's their point - sucker the population to believe in this and make a
killing. <G>

> Rant from a cynic,

Rant from an ever greater cynic. A cynic over what industry tells us,
not environmentalists.

> Larry Stamm
> http://www.mcbridebc.com/luthier

Joe Zorzin, Practicing Forester
Michael Moore, working class hero

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