The exchange and comments presented below by Andrew Bolt include something that is really explosive for anyone with the most basic knowledge of statistics. The Warmist scientist has undertaken to present changes that are not statistically significant (i.e. random changes) as if they WERE statistically significant. See the update at the foot of the article. Once again we see a total lack of scientific integrity among Warmists. The UEA is just a propaganda institution. It's not a real university's anus
CSIRO alarmist Barrie Pittock tells off Climategate scientist Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia for not presenting material that’s scary enough for green groups:
I would be very concerned if the material comes out under WWF auspices in a way that can be interpreted as saying that “even a greenie group like WWF” thinks large areas of the world will have negligible climate change. But that is where your 95% confidence limit leads.
Sorry to be critical, but better now than later!…
Dr A. Barrie Pittock
Post-Retirement Fellow*, Climate Impact Group
CSIRO Atmospheric Research
Hulme agrees to help, up to a point, to hide some doubts:
My reason for introducing the idea of only showing changes in T and P that *exceed* some level of ‘natural’ variability was a pedagogic one, rather than a formal statistical one (I concede that using ‘95% confidence’ terminology in the WWF leaflet is misleading and will drop this). And the pedagogic role of this type of visual display is to bring home to people that (some, much or all of) GCM simulated changes in mean seasonal precip. for some regions do *not* amount to anything very large in relation to what may happen in the future to precip. anyway…
The point behind all this is to emphasise that precip. changes are less well-defined than temp. changes *and* that we should be thinking of adaptation to *present* levels of precip. variability, rather than getting hung up on the problems of predicting future precip. levels. This pedagogic thinking is hard to communicate in a short WWF brochure.
Your concern about my message is well taken, however, and I intend to remove any reference to 95% confidence levels, to re-word the text to indicate that we are plotting precip. changes only ‘where they are large relative to natural variability’, and to reduce my threshold to the 1 sigma level of HadCM2 control variability (e.g. this has the effect of showing precip. changes for the majority of Australia even in the B1 scenario).
But I do not intend to abandon the concept. I think it important - even for Greenie groups - to present sober assessments of magnitudes of change. Thus making it clear that future changes in T are better defined that future changes in P, and also to point out that future emissions (and therefore climate change) may be as low as the B1 scenario (is B1 climate change negligible? I almost think so), whilst also being possibly as high as A2 is I think very important.
The alternative is to think that such a more subtle presentation is too sophisticated for WWF. But I think (hope) not. Thanks again Barrie for forcing me to think through this again.
Pittock then explains why he’s so keen to “improve” this material - and also illustrates just how close green groups are to the CSIRO (whose climate change risk expert Penny Whetton is married to a Greens politician):
I should perhaps explain my delicate position in all this. As a retired CSIRO person I have somewhat more independence than before, and perhaps a reduced sense of vested interest in CSIRO, but I am still closely in touch and supportive of what CAR is doing. Also, I have a son who is now a leading staff member of WWF in Australia and who is naturally well informed on climate change issues. Moreover, Michael Rae, who is their local climate change staffer, is a member of the CSIRO sector advisory committee (along with some industry people as well) and well known to me. So I anticipated questions from WWF Australia, and from the media later when the scenarios are released...
Hulme then alerts another colleague to this exchange, under an interesting header, as an example of the massaging of their message to fit an audience:
From: Mike Hulme
To: Jennifer F Crossley
Subject: Re: masking of WWF maps
... it illustrates nicely the nuances of presenting climate scenarios in different Fora
Word sure had got around the green traps about how helpful the University of East Anglia was prepared to be to green campaigners. Here is an email from green entrepreneur Adam Markham to Hulme, asking for “beefed up” scares and directing him to Pittock’s more alarming scenarios, as and example of what WWF likes:
From: Adam Markham
Subject: WWF Australia
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 09:43:09 -0400
I’m sure you will get some comments direct from Mike Rae in WWF Australia, but I wanted to pass on the gist of what they’ve said to me so far. They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative approach to the risks than they are hearing from CSIRO. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible. They regard an increased likelihood of even 50% of drought or extreme weather as a significant risk. Drought is also a particularly importnat issue for Australia, as are tropical storms.
I guess the bottom line is that if they are going to go with a big public splash on this they need something that will get good support from CSIRO scientists (who will certainly be asked to comment by the press). One paper they referred me to, which you probably know well is: “The Question of Significance” by Barrie in Nature Vol 397, 25 Feb 1999, p 657
Let me know what you think. Adam
There is an explosive admission in this exchange that needs to be drawn out and it is to do with the following comment:Your concern about my message is well taken, however, and I intend to remove any reference to 95% confidence levels, to re-word the text to indicate that we are plotting precip. changes only ‘where they are large relative to natural variability’, and to reduce my threshold to the 1 sigma level of HadCM2 control variability (e.g. this has the effect of showing precip. changes for the majority of Australia even in the B1 scenario
In statistics this is important because any 1st year undergrad is told that the scientific approach for testing for significance is a 2-sigma test; ie the 95% confidence interval. Results that are significant at no more than 1-sigma significant are as good as meaningless in the sense that they are no different to sheer randomness and would be laughed all the way out of a 1st year course on stats.
Nature will decide Earth's future
By Professor Bob Carter, currently aboard a research ship near New Zealand. He is a research professor at Australia's James Cook University - where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999 - and the University of Adelaide
AS the core samples from deep underground pass through the logging sensor before me, the rhythmic pattern of ancient climate change is clearly displayed. Friendly, brown sands for the warm interglacial periods and hostile, sterile grey clays for the cold glaciations. And for more than 90 per cent of recent geological time the Earth has been colder than today.
We modern humans are lucky to live towards the end of the most recent of the intermittent but welcome warm interludes. It is a 10,000 year-long period called the Holocene, during which our civilisations have evolved and flourished.
The cores tell the story that this period is only a short interlude during a long-term decline in global temperature - they also warn of the imminence of the next glacial episode in a series stretching back more than 2 million years.
Together with 50 other scientists and technicians, I am aboard the drilling ship Joides Resolution. JR, as it is affectionately known, is the workhorse of the Ocean Drilling Program, an international program that is to environmental science what NASA is to space science.
JR's drilling crew can retrieve cores up to 1km or more below the seabed and we are drilling today about 80km east of South Island in New Zealand. The ancient muds and sands that make up the sediment layers we pass through are the most important record of ancient climate that scientists possess. And they tell the tale that climate always changes.
Some core alterations are ruled by changes in the Earth's orbit at periods of 20,000, 40,000 and 100,000 years, others by fluctuations in solar output and others display oceanographic and climate shifts caused by . . . we know not what. Climate, it seems, changes ceaselessly: sometimes cooling, sometimes warming, oft-times for reasons we do not fully understand.
Similar cores through polar ice reveal, contrary to received wisdom, that past temperature changes were followed - not preceded but followed - by changes in the atmospheric content of carbon dioxide. Yet the public has been misinformed to believe that increasing human carbon dioxide emissions will cause runaway warming; it is surely a strange cause of climate change that postdates its supposed effect?
The now numerous special interest groups who continue to lobby for unnecessary and economically harmful carbon dioxide taxation need to appreciate that nature, not the world's governments, will determine future climate. Second, that there is no scientific evidence that warmings greater than the much-talked about 2C will cause environmental catastrophe; rather, this number is one plucked out of the air for reasons of political targetry and control. And, third, that to limit atmospheric carbon dioxide to 450ppm, also a widely touted figure, makes no sense, because past carbon dioxide levels attained more than 10 times this without known adverse environmental effects, while greening the planet.
Politically popular though it may be, the belief that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the primary driver of average planetary temperature is junk science. For instance, Earth experienced an ice age about 450 million years ago at a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are estimated to have been 15 times the pre-industrial level.
It is simply science fiction to believe that 450ppm of atmospheric carbon dioxide and 2C of warming are magic numbers that somehow mark a "tipping point"in Earth's climate system. Rather, they are politically contrived targets, erected for the purpose of stampeding scientifically innocent citizens into a gaping corral of carbon dioxide taxation.
The simplest explanation for the mild warming that occurred in the late 20th century is that it was part of Earth's ever-changing pattern of natural climate change and the job of scientists is to seek evidence to test that interpretation. They have and literally thousands of scientific papers to date have described climate evidence that is consistent with natural change.
Despite all the efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the expenditure of about $100 billion of research money since 1990, no scientific paper exists that demonstrates that the late 20th century warming, or the past 10 years of cooling for that matter, fall outside the rates and magnitudes of past (geological) climate change.
Melting glaciers (but, in some places, advancing), rising sea levels (but, in some places, falling), increasing numbers of storms (actually, currently at a 30-year low), increasing numbers of polar bears and changes in migratory patterns of birds may very well all have happened or be happening. But these facts say nothing about a human causality for such changes.
It is not for the independent climate scientists (the so-called "climate sceptics") to disprove that dangerous human-caused warming is happening. Rather, it is for the alarmist scientists of the IPCC and CSIRO to show that the simple idea of natural climate change can be invalidated. This they have failed to do.
The tide is turning: CNN Extensively Covers Viewpoint of Climate Change Skeptics
CNN made a real, day-long effort on Monday to address the climate-change debate as a debate, giving skeptics of manmade climate change a series of chances to match the leftist view, especially during its evening programming. CNN is also the only U.S. TV news outlet so far to send an anchor to the Climate Research Unit at the center of the ClimateGate controversy.
International correspondent Phil Black's interview of Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent skeptic of the theory of manmade global warming, ran four minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour. The “passionate skeptic on climate change,” as Black referred to him, traveled to Copenhagen for the UN’s climate change summit, and is one of the few skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change in attendance. The CNN correspondent actually compared belief in the theory to a religion at the beginning of his report: “Copenhagen’s Bella Conference Center has become an international temple for thousands of true believers, people who have no doubt the planet is warming and humankind is to blame. But there are a few people here who do not believe.”
Black included four sound bites from Monckton in his report, and two from manmade climate change believers- Rajendra Pachauri from the IPCC and Alex Steffen of the website WorldChanging.com:
MONCKTON: Most of the politicians don’t know any science-
BLACK: Lord Christopher Monckton is one of them. He’s a member of the British aristocracy and a passionate skeptic on climate change.
BLACK (on-camera): So you believe all of this is a colossal waste of time and money?
MONCKTON: There’s no need for it.
MONCKTON: None whatsoever.
BLACK: There are a lot of people here who disagree with you.
MONCKTON: Yes, but they haven’t studied the science, most of them-
BLACK (voice-over): Monckton says the planet is not getting hotter, its recent changes are natural, and there’s science to prove it. He’s among the skeptics who have been emboldened by the so-called ‘ClimateGate’ scandal. Monckton says e-mails hacked and leaked from an English university show climate scientists are fiddling with their figures and misleading the world.
MONCKTON: Those scientists have been fabricating, inventing, tampering with, altering, hiding, concealing and destroying data.
BLACK: The scientists who wrote the e-mails deny the allegations, but they have developed so much momentum they were addressed directly during the opening ceremony of the conference. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, who leads the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, defended his organization against what he suspects is a direct attack.
DR. RAJENDRA PACHAURI, IPCC: The recent incident of stealing the e-mails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts, perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC. But the panel has a record of transparent and objective assessment stretching over 21 years, performed by tens of thousands of dedicated scientists from all corners of the globe.
BLACK: At this conference, Dr. Pachauri enjoys a clear majority of support among activists, analysts, delegates- well, pretty much everyone.
ALEX STEFFEN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, WORLDCHANGIN.COM: It really has reached a point where climate skepticism has been pretty comprehensively debunked as a theory.
Lord Christopher Monckton; & Phil Black, CNN International Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgBLACK: Try telling that to Lord Christopher Monckton.
BLACK (on-camera): So what is your message to many thousands of people who have come here from around the world that surround us now?
MONCKTON: Go home, enjoy some quality time with your families- stop worrying about the climate.
Two hours later, Campbell Brown moderated two separate panel discussion segments with two climate change skeptics- Stephen McIntyre of the Climate Audit blog and Chris Horner, author of the book ‘Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed;’ as well as Professor Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, a proponent of the theory of manmade climate change. Anchor John Roberts also participated in the first segment, which was part of special coverage on Brown’s program titled “Global Warming: Trick or Truth?” Other than the first segment at the beginning of the hour, this special coverage took up the 8 pm Eastern hour. A transcript of excerpts from the first segment:
BROWN: Stephen, let me start with you here. You’re personally attacked in some of these e-mails. You’re called everything from a ‘bozo’ to a ‘moron’ to ‘the Joe McCarthy of climate change.’ How do you characterize what’s going on with the e-mails? Do you think this is an attempt to shut down criticism?
MCINTYRE: Sure they are. In discussion of the ‘trick,’ let’s be quite frank about it: it was a trick. The tree ring records went down in the late part of the 20th century. Instead of disclosing that in the 2001 IPCC report, they didn’t show the decline. In another document, the 1999 World Meteorological Report- that is the subject of the e-mail in question- they simply substituted temperature information for the tree ring information to show the record going up when it went down. There’s nothing mathematically sophisticated about that.
BROWN: Let me go to Michael here. Michael- Professor, you were a recipient of some of the hacked e-mails in question. To a layperson, I mean- Stephen just gave us two examples there. To somebody like me who is not a scientist, it does look like these scientists cherry-picked certain bits of information to make the case.
OPPENHEIMER: There was no deception here. I mean, let’s step back. From a scientific point of view, before this episode occurred, we knew the earth was warming, sea level was rising, glaciers are melting, the sea ice is retreating, the ocean is becoming more acidic, all due to the build-up of the greenhouse gases. Nothing in this episode changes any of that. Even if you think that the British group was somehow cheating, which I don’t believe it was, you could throw them out, and there are three other groups, the Japanese group and two American groups, who’ve done analysis on the temperature data and reached the conclusion that Earth is warming and the warming is unique in climate history. So there’s nothing here that changes the picture....
BROWN: One of the critics you just mentioned is Chris Horner, and Chris, I know you’re not a scientist. You’re an attorney. You’re a longtime critic of this- a skeptic, and you have long argued that scientists are cooking the data. But, I mean, what’s the motive for that?...
HORNER: Well, I don’t argue that they’re cooking the data. I named these guys names and I described what they were doing, relying in great part on Stephen McIntyre’s terrific work, among others, in ‘Red Hot Lies.’ It’s out there, and now we know, in their own words, what they were doing. And why is- well, you know, we’d have to perform brain surgery on these people, but the fact is scientists are people too, and they’re subject to every human motivation, including tremendous amounts and increasing amounts of taxpayer funding, which increases with the alarm, as well as ideology, in the President’s chief science adviser’s case, an anti-population bent, and so on....
BROWN: But it’s beyond this group. I mean, you’re talking about other people who found very similar results.
HORNER: Let’s talk about the falsified results. That’s ‘ClimateGate.’ ‘It’s the fraud, stupid,’ to oversimplify it, and that’s what we’re talking about. We don’t have to keep changing the subject. It’s not about locker room talk between scientists. It’s the fraud. Stephen proved it. These people have admitted it.
BROWN: But Stephen, let me just go back to you, because I know you are a skeptic and you have raised questions. But you’re- and tell me if my read is not accurate- your criticism is a little more nuanced than that. I didn’t read you as saying fraud, but you tell me.
MCINTYRE: Yeah. You’re right, my criticism is a lot more nuanced than that. There’s no question that it’s warmer now than it was in the 19th century. The battleground issue is whether it’s warmer now than in the 11th century, and whether the data that we have enables you to say that with any degree of certainty. One of the e-mails in the ‘ClimateGate’ letters is from Keith Briffa [of the Climate Research Unit], who says it was his opinion that it was as warm a thousand years ago as it is today. That’s something he doesn’t say in the IPCC reports, and it’s disquieting to read that in this correspondence....
BROWN [to Oppenheimer]: And let me get a bottom line sort of account from you, in your view.
OPPENHEIMER: Let me make two points. Number one is to the point of a massive fraud- individual scientists are people- big news. They’re fallible. But if you accuse the scientific community of a fraud, you have to say that the 2,500 scientists that are part of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change are part of a massive conspiracy. You have to say that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which looked at this specific issue several times, is part of a conspiracy. You have to say that the Bush administration, which conducted its own review of climate change, is part of a massive conspiracy. I’m sorry, I don’t buy that.
Later in the program, Brown featured another segment from Roberts with excerpts from his interview of Peter Liss, the interim director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (other excerpts from the interview were played earlier in the day during American Morning’s slanted coverage of ClimateGate). Roberts also toured the CRU’s facilities with Liss. The CNN anchor is the only major TV news anchor based in the U.S. to travel to the university to report on the ClimateGate scandal.
Climate change ‘ forcing polar bears to become cannibals’
But Inuit leaders have dismissed the idea, saying that it is a normal occurrence totally unconnected with global warming
A male polar bear dragged the grisly remains of a cub that it caught and killed in the Hudson Bay area, Canada, after separating it from its mother — one of a growing number of instances of cannibalism on record, according to climate change campaigners.
The bears may be forced into eating their own kind when the slower formation of Arctic ice leaves them with a shrinking platform from which to hunt seals, according to a study by American and Canadian scientists in 2006. The World Meteorological Association reported yesterday at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen that this decade is on track to become the warmest since records began in 1850, and 2009 could rank among the top five warmest years.
However, a local Inuit leader dismissed the idea of any link between cannibalism and climate change. Jose Kusugak, the president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, told reporters: “A male polar bear eating a cub becomes a big story and they try to marry it with climate change and so on. It becomes absurd — when it’s a normal, normal occurrence.”
Four Colossal Holes in the Theory of Man-Made Global Warming
Repeating the words "scientific consensus" over and over and telling sad stories about polar bears does not qualify as "science." So, why is it that the people who insist that Man-made global warming is based on science, not politics, always get shaky and defensive when people want to actually talk about the reasoning behind it?
When was the last time you heard a scientist get hysterical when you asked him to explain Einstein's theory of relativity? If you ask a scientist why nothing can move faster than the speed of light, he doesn't tell you a terrible story about how koala bears will die if you don't believe the theory is right, does he? Scientists who are confident and in command of the facts don't need to distort data and duck basic questions about the assumptions that are behind scientific theories.
So, why is it that the people who insist that man-made global warming is occurring right now can't come up with coherent answers to many of the most basic problems with the ideas that undergird their theory?
Climate change has been around as long as the earth: If you listen to global warming alarmists, you'd think the climate had been a flat line until mankind started industrializing, after which the temperature rocketed straight upwards. However, the reality is far different, as even the New York Times has been willing to admit:
In October, Dr. (Don) Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore's claim that "our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this" threatened change.
Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to "20 times greater than the warming in the past century."
So, the planet has had bigger temperature shifts than the one we're experiencing now. It has also been warmer than it is today:
The...warming before our last ice age was much warmer than anything we've had since. We had a warming that peaked 9000 years ago, another warming that peaked 5000 years ago. Both were warmer than today. Probably the Roman warming and the medieval warming were both warmer than today -- and we've had 8 warmings of the earth since the last Ice Age.
So how can we, given our limited knowledge of how the climate works, attribute the extremely limited amount of warming we experienced over the last century to mankind? The honest answer is: We can't.
The earth was cooling from roughly 1940-1976: Despite the fact that widespread industrialization was occurring during that 30 year time period, temperatures dropped so much that there were claims we were going into a dangerous period of "global cooling." If global temperatures are tightly bound to man-made greenhouse gasses and those gasses were being rapidly introduced to the atmosphere, then the earth should have been warming, not cooling during that period. The obvious conclusion is that global temperatures are not nearly as closely associated with man-made greenhouse gasses as some people would have us believe.
So, if it's global warming, why isn't there any warming occurring now? One of the many revelations from Climategate is that behind-the-scenes, scientists who buy into man-made global warming are admitting what skeptics have been saying publicly for years now: The globe has been cooling since 1998. Again, if global warming has its bootlaces hitched to the amount of man-made greenhouse gasses that are being produced and those numbers are increasing, why hasn't the temperature gone up as well? There's a simple answer: Man-made greenhouse gasses are not a decisive factor in raising or lowering the temperature of the earth.
Climate models can't accurately project the weather 100 years in the future: The truth is that we don't fully understand how our planet's climate works and thus, our climate models don't work very well. Since the climate models can't explain the climate over the last 25 years and they can't explain the leveling off of temperature since 1998, why would anyone believe they can predict conditions in 100 years? As computer programmers say, "garbage in, garbage out."
The Doomsday predictions from global warming alarmists are absolutely meaningless because they're based on climate models that don't work very well in the first place. As Dennis Avery, co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years has said:
I think they pull their predictions out of their hats and I don't think they have any validity whatsoever.
What the global warming alarmists are asking of people is no small thing. They want us to spend trillions of dollars, dramatically impact our economies, and change the way people across the world live for the worse. Those are not trivial changes and simply having scientists -- who've been put under enormous political pressure and make a living off global warming grants – say, "Trust us, it's real," isn't going to cut it for proof. If global warming alarmists can't even deliver plausible answers to the most obvious problems with their theory, then no one should take them seriously.
How it all works out in the weird world of Warmism
The EU Referendum blog has a fascinating story on how Cap'n Trade--or, as it's called in Europe, the "emission trading scheme"--works. It seems that the Corus Group, a London-based steel maker that is a subsidiary of India's Tata Group, is shutting down one of its plants--a plant the company bought just two years ago "as part of its strategy to give it better access to European (including UK markets) [sic]."
Closing the plant, the site explains, will give the company an ETS jackpot:
With redundancy and decommissions costs, very little of that can actually come from the process of closing down the Redcar plant. But, with a capacity of 3,000,000 tons of steel, closure of the plant will deliver further "savings" over 6 million tons of carbon dioxide, worth an additional £80 million per annum at current rates but around £200 million at expected market levels.So the company gets a windfall for moving jobs from Britain to India, and the new plant will produce no less carbon than before. Brilliant, isn't it? We can't wait till America has such a policy.
This, even for a company the size of Tara steel, is a considerable windfall, over and above the money it will already make from the EU scheme. But, with a little manipulation, the company can still double its money. By "offshoring" production to India and bringing emissions down – from over twice the EU level--to the level currently produced by the Redcar plant, it stands to make another £200 million per annum from the UN's Clean Development Mechanism.
Thus we see Indian plants being paid up to £30 a ton for each ton of carbon dixoide "saved" by building new plant, while the company which owns them also gets gets paid £30 for each ton of carbon dioxide not produced in its Redcar plant. That gives it an estimated £400 million a year from the closure of the Redcar plant up to 2012--potentially up to £1.2 billion. And that is over and above benefitting from cheaper production costs on the sub-continent.
Science czar's guru called for MORE carbon dioxide
With perfect logic that seems to be lost today
In the 1950s, before climate scientists had targeted carbon dioxide as a dangerous chemical, atomic scientist Harrison Brown, one of Obama science czar John Holdren's acknowledged gurus, called for a global increase in carbon dioxide, precisely because of its perceived greenhouse gas effects.
Harrison Brown – a geochemist who supervised the production of plutonium for the Manhattan Project – wrote in his 1954 Malthusian book "The Challenge of Man's Future" that the production of the food needed to feed an increasing world population could be advanced by human-manipulated greenhouse effects, including forcing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In 1986, science czar Holdren co-edited a scientific reader, "Earth and the Human Future: Essays in Honor of Harrison Brown." In one of his introductory essays written for the book, Holdren acknowledged he read Brown's "The Challenge of Man's Future" when he was in high school and that the book had a profound effect on his intellectual development. Holdren acknowledged Brown's book transformed his thinking about the world and "about the sort of career I wanted to pursue." Holdren further commented in glowing terms that Brown's book was a work "that should have reshaped permanently the perceptions of all serious analysts about the interactions of the demographic, biological geophysical, technological, economic and sociopolitical dimensions of contemporary problems."
Lamenting on page 140 that "the earth's atmosphere contains only a minute concentration – about 0.03 percent" – Brown observed, "It has been demonstrated that a tripling of carbon-dioxide concentration in the air will approximately double the growth rates of tomatoes, alfalfa, and sugar beets." Brown then argued on page 141 that "controlled atmospheres enriched in carbon dioxide" would be an essential component of enormous greenhouses built to grow plants in nutrient-rich solutions.
His conclusion? Pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in all regions of the world. "It would perhaps be easier to adopt methods which would increase the carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere as a whole than to attempt to build elaborate greenhouses to confine the enriched air," Brown wrote on page 142. "If, in some manner, the carbon-dioxide content of the atmosphere could be increased threefold, world food production might be doubled."
Brown was clear that world governments should cooperate to generate excess carbon dioxide, not to reduce human-generated carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "One can visualize, on a world scale, huge carbon-dioxide generators pouring the gas into the atmosphere," he wrote.
Brown went so far as to recommend burning more coal to generate electricity, precisely because burning coal emitted carbon dioxide. "There are between 18 and 20 tons of carbon dioxide over every acre of the earth's surface," he noted on page 142. "In order to double the amount in the atmosphere, at least 500 billion tons of coal would have to be burned – an amount six times greater than that which has been consumed during all of human history."
In the absence of coal, Brown recommended producing the needed carbon dioxide from limestone: "In the absence of coal, the equivalent in energy would have to be provided from some other source so that the carbon dioxide could be produced by heating limestone."
Brown ultimately rejected the construction of vast greenhouses or the use of a carbon-dioxide enriched environment because they would be too expensive, not because the methods would not work to stimulate food production.
Writing about algae farms in the tropics, for instance, Brown observed: "If air that is enriched with carbon dioxide could be used, even higher yields might be obtainable, but we have seen that operating costs, and in particular energy costs, become very large if carbon dioxide must be manufactured."
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