Friday, October 19, 2007

Alice D. Millionaire On Global Warming

Augustus Owsley Stanley was an underground chemist and patron of The Grateful Dead. He's best known for his underground work in the production of the drug LSD, and also for innovation in audio engineering. A newspaper ran a story on him entitled "LSD Millionaire", which led to the song "Alice D. Millionare". That was the 1960's. Owsley now lives in Australia and is outspoken on a number of issues, including that of climate change. And he's known to be the master of the monologue.

I'm not particularly settled on whether global warming is a problem or not. I guess you could say I don't accept all the hype, but at the same time I'm not as skeptical about it as others. I am, however, very skeptical about the motivation of Al Gore and others. I think this would need to be an issue that would require rational consideration and discussion, not politicized fear-mongering. Rather than drawing a conclusion based on rational inquiry, it seems many (if not most) people who are pushing a frenzy on global warming are treating it as a "given". They have turned it into a sentimental dogma that couldn't be challenged. And no questioning of their dogma can be made without them slinging accusations of "heresy" or "evil corporate pawn".

For all I know global warming may be going on, or perhaps global cooling. I feel dreadfully uninformed in the relevant scientific facts, statistics, etc. to make a definitive decision on that. I know there are legitimate scientists on both sides of the issue. And I know there are people who don't know too much on both sides of the issue. And by all means I don't want the government and laws to be proposed as the solution to the global warming problem, if it is a problem in the final analysis.

Anyways, here is what Owsley had to say (this was written well before the current flood of media attention over global warming):

"The greenhouse effect is a myth. Extensive and complete measurements which show absolutely NO increase in the average global temperature have been taken over the entire surface of the planet by the Pan Global Temperature satellite, which follows a polar orbit, It and its replacements have been there since 1979. Measurements are taken at a consistent height above the surface, about 300 m, to avoid local variations in terrain. The change it measured is a constant, continuing decline in temperature of 0.01 degree C per year, thus the current glabal temperature is now a full quarter of a degree LOWER than it was 21 years ago. Perhaps the decrease is due to the melting of polar ice. Measurements showing a rise are taken exclusively from the temperate regions, and may reflect the transport of heat on its way to the polar regions. Quite simply, Global warming does not exist. There are so many buffers in the atmosphere that it is highly unlikely to ever happen, even if the so called "greenhouse gas" content were to increase hundreds of times over.

CO2, this important gas is the principle 'culprit' according to the eco-terrorists. The CO2 content in the atmosphere is only a very tiny amount, about 300 parts per million (.03%). This CO2 stays in the air in equilibrium with the CO2 dissolved in the oceans. Since CO2 has a very steep curve of solubility in water, the amount found in the air is critically dependent upon the sea surface temperatures (cold rain falling is an excellent CO2 scrubber). World CO2 measurements have traditionally been based on the levels tested in the air at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. The charts of the levels fluctuate seasonally, rising in the early summer and falling in the early winter. If the levels are compared to the actual sea surface temperature measurements taken at Hilo, which is at the base of Mauna Loa, the seasonal variations are seen to track exactly with the temperature. Even the gradual increase over time is duplicated in the temperature reading, as the average SST temperature at Hilo has been rising in exact lock step with the rise in the Mauna Loa CO2 levels. (The charts of these measurements are available, making this a trivial exercise if you wish to verify my statements).

Burning fossil fuels is probably one of the most important aids to the life cycle on this oxygen-rich, carbon-poor planet that man can do. Most of the primeval carbon is locked away in the oil and coal deposits formed over the ages by cell death of the phytoplankton (diatoms), which created the oxygen-rich environment by decarboxylating the CO2 in the primitive atmosphere. The limits placed on CO2 are unreasonable and impede the creation of wealth which benefits everyone, and are harmful to the plant life at the same time."




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