Letters to the Editor

Climate change

May 17, 2008

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To the editor:

Wind power, solar heating system, geothermal heat pumps, photo-voltaics and other renewable choices are the promise of the future, not coal. The reason?

"The reservoir of oxygen in the atmosphere is large but not infinite. It amounts to 1.2 million gigatons. Since eight tons of oxygen are used up for every three tons of carbon burned, and we are burning six gigatons of carbon per year (1990 data), we might expect that the oxygen is being used up at the rate of about 13 parts per million per year. Thirteen parts per million should be measurable." - Freeman Dyson from his essay "Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere & Biosphere," 1990.

According to a recent study by scientists from the Scripps Institute there is less oxygen in the atmosphere today. The study, which interpreted data from NOAA monitoring stations all over the world, has been running from 1989 to the present. It monitored the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decline in oxygen. The conclusion is that, as carbon dioxide (produced primarily by burning fossil fuels) accumulates in the atmosphere, available oxygen is decreasing."

As every schoolchild is supposed to know, the burning of fuels uses up oxygen from the atmosphere, and the growth of plants puts oxygen back. If the natural ratio is upset by cumulative practices since about 1900, then you have climate change.

Sven Erik Alstrom,

Lawrence

Comments

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh Poor Das! Thou hast no sense of humor! Canst thou not see the dripping sarcasm here? So much of the "global warming" now "climate change" crowd acts so very hysterically that it is funny to watch.

OnlyTheOne 7 years, 2 months ago

Two very relevant and revealing posts, thanks for sharing your "thoughts" on the LTE with us.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

Cool,IF you got a case GO FOR IT!"i am a licensed architect in five states with national reciprocity / what you are saying (and have said today)is actually slander.do you want me to pursue this with LJW and my attorney ?"Otherwise SHUT UP wit the idle threats.BTW, did YOU read the Scripps institute "report"? oOBviously not, because it is not "atmospheric oxygen" content, it is Oceanic Oxygen content in the study. So you and Sven neither read the article (it is not a "study) and there are many more inputs than the CO2.Why do you think I posted my first post they way I did. NOBOCY got the issue that the Scripps "article" was about Oceanic content of Oxygen.You have to know science and the history of science to understand what is going on. Currently the GW crowd defaults to a "sky is falling": mode, and everyone that opposes their version of "science" is a heritic, on the payroll (never mind the payroll of Al Gore, and Moveon.org), and those oppose to the premiss of Human induced CO2 Global Warming are completely nuts, so sure are they of their GW propaganda.

not_dolph 7 years, 2 months ago

I think cool is a licensed practicing attorney in 5 states as well.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Something Dyson had to say:"I'm not saying the warming doesn't cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I'm saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans."http://www.umich.edu/news/index.html?DysonWinCom05

bisky1 7 years, 2 months ago

hey sven, to what extent do you participate in our economy?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Ban any new buildings. Also ban designing new buildings, especially if they would be as ugly as a mud fence.

jlw53 7 years, 2 months ago

Let's see. Does bloviating add oxygen or carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

7 years, 2 months ago

There's still hope, Sven. New advances in solar power mean that over 30% of the sun's energy can be converted into power. These newer model solar panels are using a glorified magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays. Little by little, we're weaning ourselves off the fossil fuel teat. We can only hope that there's still time left to turn things around.

camper 7 years, 2 months ago

"Wind power, solar heating system, geothermal heat pumps, photo-voltaics and other renewable choices are the promise of the future, not coal. The reason?"I have always taken the position that maybe nobody will ever know or prove climate change is occuring or if these indicators are simply cycles. However, the options mentioned by Sven make so much sense, and it would be foolish to not implement them now and I think it is better to be safe than sorry.I was talking to someone the other day and he pointed out that we are in the same boat now as the gas crush in the 70's. Even Nixon vowed that we should never again be so dependent on foreign oil at the time and that we needed to change our course. I guess things changed and we became complacent. Instead of being pro-active I think our energy policy has been complacent after Nixon....ie don't fix what is not broke.Even if global warming is not occuring (and I say if), I like the idea that these alternate technologies can boost our own economy by creating high-tech jobs. I'm sick of depending on the Middle East. We should divorce ourselves from this relationship.Some will say, and they are correct, that our market system will make changes when we have to. While this is true, it will be a shame to see our economy go into the tank before doing anything about energy. We should have gotten the ball rolling 30 years ago.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 2 months ago

Man-made "global warming" is a man-made myth. While most people would agree that conservation and avoiding pollution of natural resources are laudable goals, the ridiculous panic-mode spewings of cretins such as Al Gore are an embarrassment to common sense.

deskboy04 7 years, 2 months ago

Great letter! I am going to go plant some stuff! Thanks, Sven!

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Let's see. Using the figures provided and doing basic division. At the rate of consumption stated, assuming no replacement due to photosynthesis, we run out of oxygen in 200,000 years??? Quick! Someone alert Congress! Lets pass a law! Lets get a regulation! We're running out of air!

bisky1 7 years, 2 months ago

cool/sven if you were such a great archietect you would not have so much time to piss away on this board and you wouldn't be needing to remind us/yourself of your fabulous credentials.

camper 7 years, 2 months ago

One last point. Even if the market system will make changes if say gas stays over 4 bucks a gallon....be prepared for a LONG process. These changes will not happen overnight. Our economy is like a huge tanker. It takes miles and miles to make a turn. Maybe this is the reason we have not gotten started on this. Get ready for some staggering inflation and terrible down-turn in the economy. It will take a long time to get our ducks lined in a row.Funny how we are arguing about pennies and not payin attention to our dollars (ie minimum wage arguments). Make no mistake, oil overides everything in our economy. Raising the minimum wage has no impact or is certainly miniscule.

BigPrune 7 years, 2 months ago

Stop eating vegetables, stop eating meat, and please stop my momma from making her delicious chili!

ilikestuff 7 years, 2 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says: IGW / please stopi am a licensed architect in five states with national reciprocity / what you are saying (and have said today)is actually slander.do you want me to pursue this with LJW and my attorney ?we will begin the process on MONDAY - you can save yourself some grief by retracting this comment - i am very much an architect.---------------------------------Oh please!!!! You're running your mouth on a message board. If the comments you receive are damaging your sensibilities then stop posting.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Somebody's doing some solicitation using the LJW board? I just delete cool's emails to me without opening them. Maybe I've missed a chance to buy some swamp land.

hornhunter 7 years, 2 months ago

cool (a.k.a Sven)I asked 1 question, then you send me 2 personnal messages.What is with that B.S?I have plenty of investments now and NO I would not like to invest in anything you come up with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh, BTW, that website cool is plugging is part of a certain 'forum' where you can see reposts of all the knowledge and youtube links cool posts here. I recommend using a proxy server if you want to check it out.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 2 months ago

13 PPM is .0013%. Oxygen is 20.9 at STP at sea level. The increas in CO2 even by the GW Crowd is a rise in 345 (IPCC baseline level) to 380 PPM, which is a rise of 35 PPM, and totally attributed by the GW crowd to Climatic Change. Oxygen levels would have to drop a lot more than this article states that it has in order to be "measurable" and have "measurable" effects. This is clear propaganda and just because there are some numbers used, do not mistake for "science" nor as anything like a "firm grasp" on atmospheric, physical and environmental chemistry.This letter by "Sven" illustrats a total lack of understanding of the basice of matter, as in "It cannot be destroyed". The Oxygen is her, but in different applications, such as in CO2, O3, and other oxides and this is good news because metals will not corrode as quickly, but fuels will not burn efficiently with a lower level of oxygen.This LTE is sophomoric and idiotic and oversimplifies the CO2/O2 cycle, and lacks deeper understanding of Phisics and thermodynamics.These are the voices and visions that will lead us??

jlw53 7 years, 2 months ago

OnlyTheOne (Anonymous) your comment is revealing as well. Almost as much as cool (Sven).You are welcome to share the "thoughts".BTW, is yours relevant?

hornhunter 7 years, 2 months ago

cool says,i am a licensed architect in five states with national reciprocityWhich states?

notsobright 7 years, 2 months ago

(Yes, I did do the math!) But don't miss the point: We are FAR from putting even a "dent" into this temproal world. WIth entropy- everything will die out anyway- what will occur after that?? So flying from Moscow to far east Russia- eight times zones- trees as far as the eye can see. . . Now we tell our kids to panic and plant a tree in the back yard. How ridiculous. . . . like spitting in the ocean will raise the tide!Should we take care of this world we have been given? "Absolutely." Have human beings done well? "No." But when someone starts talking about 100 years of climatoligical ebbs and flows (let's see. . . a fraction of a fraction of one percent) and we are now going to burn it up and run out of oxygen!!! . . . Good grief. . . life is very short and we are now paying BILLIONS for decisions based on celebrities who think so much of themselves they REALLY think they make that big of a difference. . . Of course, I guess they do, has anybody looked at the price of gas lately? The arrogance of mankind!Nice day for a cookout! I sure hope the sky is not falling and the sun does not get too hot. I will try to limit the baked beans, I would hate to harm the atmosphere.

notsobright 7 years, 2 months ago

Someone always wants to quote a "study." Where is the coverging evidence? Study geography and geology. Look at the vastness of an untouched world. People freak out about getting oil from the wilderness as if the hundreds of thousands of untouched miles of wilderness were their back yard. I am a conservationist and spent many weeks, months, and years in the wild. I do not want to see it wasted and uncared for. . . but these small ideas that take on life size proportions are ridiculous. Climate change is a weak- at best- idea. Yet we are spending (and paying) millions and billions for nonsense. Far more than gas prices- I have to change every light bulb in my home . . .let alone all the $$ we spend on EPA and other things- much of which is useless babble, all because of a "idea" propagated by celebrities and Chicken Little. Silly. . .

Grammaton 7 years, 2 months ago

I'm sick of this. People like the author of the above letter don't really care about the planet -- not in the abstract. They're only concerned with having a clean place to live. They're worried that at some point they'll be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self interest doesn't impress me. Barf.

notsobright 7 years, 2 months ago

Well, it must not be a part of evolution, where everything defies the second law of thermodynamics. . . Has anybody had geography and understood the magnitude of this planet? Good grief- you could put EVERY person in the world in a 4 family household, put them in an average size lot, in 1500 s.f. homes and you could fit EVERY person in the world in a piece of land the size of Texas and Okla. And now we are using up oxygen ??Did I see Chicken Little somewhere?

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Das, you did not get my point. You missed it entirely. The argument here is that we humans are consuming too much oxygen and that at some point in the future we will deplete the atmosphere. May I draw from some history. When I was in high school back in the 70s the big scare then was that the globe was cooling and we were going to experience an epoch type ice age. There were cover stories on major magazines, celebreties talking about it, and all the same hype that we get now about global warming. Oddly, it seems it is the same or similar groups now beating the drum on global warming. Conveniently, now that evidence is coming to the fore that during the last few years the global temperature has actually declined and in the face of evidence that some significant pieces of "evidence" for global warming may have been fabricated, those same folks have changed the focus to "climate change". This is a very smart move by them. With this new title they can be correct whether the climate cools or warms. They can now advocate, as they did back in the 70s, for massive government programs, curtailment of peoples' freedom to choose, all in the name of preventing climate change. The real focus of these people is NOT the climate. What they seem to really want is to end what little freedom we have and subject all of us to a totalitarian government that will regulate and dictate everything all in the name of preventing climate change. It is curious to note that the almost universal first focus of these groups is to end the concept of private property. Under their plan, ALL property, is public and subject to control by regulation and government. This is directly opposite of the ideals of the founders of the United States who found that, among other sources, the freedom of individuals is directly linked to their ability to own and do with their property as they please. No, this is NOT about climate change. This is about government change and it will be a change that will be destructive of the very ideals of freedom and liberty.

7 years, 2 months ago

Hrm...If anyone was interested I found the article about those new-style photovoltaic panels. http://www.realitysandwich.com/extreme_solar_0Looks like a step in the right direction.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

As Freeman Dyson said in 2005: "...I'm not saying the warming doesn't cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I'm saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health."

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

cool, stop emailing me. I've asked you before to not do that. I delete them from my inbox without opening them.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years, 2 months ago

As we all know the earth has heated and cooled during its life. So now we find that it has warmed 1 degree since 1960. Please tell me what proof there is to declare 1960 as the perfect barometer of earths temprature??

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

To supertrampofkansas:I could give you numerous references but this one may suffice as it seems to congeal the issue. Here is the link: http://www.bitterroot.com/grizzly/ENVRONMT.HTMYou may have to copy and paste that into your browser. What I find alarming is that this article summarizes the opinions of several environmental groups who ALL call for the abolition of private property. Interestingly enough, Karl Marx claimed that one of the first things that had to be done to achieve the communist utopia was the abolition of private property. So, as I said, when the "greens" start spouting the same language and using the same methods the communists did why should I not be alarmed? Both groups seek, either through violence, imposition of regulation, laws, or lawsuits to end the existence of private property. If there is no private property, i.e., no one owns anything, then who does own it? The government? What does that sound like? Take a good hard look at the former Soviet Union and you will have your answer. Was the Soviet Union free? Not hardly! So, what the "greens" really want is an all powerful government to control all property, dictate to the citizens how and where and what all in the name of the environment. If the government can so control, then where does one find individual liberty and freedom which are the underpinnings of American civilization?

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"Look, if you want to believe that a group of thousands upon thousands of people are lying in an attempt to try and erode your personal freedoms"I heard it was only something like a couple hundred - scientists who may have made a guess if they weren't bribed. The "thousands" are those who have outsourced their brains. And they are indeed those who would love to make people suffer - whether it's through Y2K, global warmism, or the next popular hype.

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Conversely, supertramp, you could google the following: envrionmentalists and private property. Be prepared for some rather pedantic articles, but the theme is still the same. The "greens" want to end private property and your freedom.

Jayhawker1 7 years, 2 months ago

You can find arguments for both sides SVEN...any knucklehead, like yourself, can google and argue...I'm not stupid enough to say something like "maybe might almost could possibly". You better tell your peeps at the nature food stores to check their produce for excessive levels of lead... Or are you just that retarded?

supertrampofkansas 7 years, 2 months ago

Response to bkgarner:Sorry I am not following you. Please explain how the "climate change movement" uses the same methods, philosophies, and outcomes as "communism"?

Jayhawker1 7 years, 2 months ago

sven...when will YOU be "most likely nearly extinct" like maple syrup.Your weak arguments are laughable.

dirkleisure 7 years, 2 months ago

This thread is fun, mainly to see how many times igw gets deleted.I commend those of you clinging to your anti climate change beliefs. At least you aren't just calling poor cool names.

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Dear Das: Please read the following:"Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property." (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged) "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." (Frederic Bastiat, The Law) "The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property." (John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government) Communism argues that only collective ownership of the means of production through a polity (though not necessarily a state) will assure the minimization of unequal or unjust outcomes and the maximization of benefits, and that therefore private property (which in communist theory is limited to capital) should be abolished. (Extracted from Wikipedia article on property)If those in the "climate change" movement advocate the same methods, philosophies, and outcomes that the now discredited communist theory does, why should I not be suspicious of their motives, objectives, and desires?

Flap Doodle 7 years, 2 months ago

"cool" and "tool" are 75% the same, as spelling goes. In reality, the likeness may be even higher.

hornhunter 7 years, 2 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says: hornhunter:i answered your question which really is kind of irrelevant to the issue of coal & climate change - so what are you complaining about ?Yep, you answered my question then you also sent 2 messages, 1) the same that you posted here, 2) then you asked if I wanted to make an investment. You brought this on not me. COOL, you really are a Richard Noggin !!!!!

dirkleisure 7 years, 2 months ago

IGW, your 3:27 pm comment looks awfully familiar.I'm having this odd sense of deja vu.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Why does the writer post totally unrelated juvenile youtube videos instead of discussing the topic?

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

This letter to the editor is evidently shockingly wrong. Wrong or a lie. Which is it?

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Silence? From this very prolific author and poster?

Brent Garner 7 years, 2 months ago

Cool:Perhaps you could post a link here that outlines Mr. Suzuki's position on private property? As for good stewardship being the only objective of "greens", I do not believe it. Not when they shout down any questioning of their position. Using such tactics demonstrates openly their contempt for anyone who does not agree with them. What they seem to want is to be the ones calling the shots, dictating to all of us what "good stewardship" is, and our only option is to salute smartly and say "YES SIR!". That would be tyranny and death to it!

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

The writer of this letter to the editor was evidently not intelligent enough to understand Dyson's writing, or he just read an article about it, or he just made his point here up. He constructs out of thin air an implied proposition that Mr. Dyson simply has never said: that the world should be concerned about O2 depletion. Although Dyson and others have written extensively about the impacts of declining world oceanic O2 levels, Mr. Alstrom takes this and makes up a scarier thesis that is simply not at issue: that the world is running out of Oxygen.This letter is more than just lacking in intellectual integrity. It is either stupidity or a lie. Or a little of both.

hornhunter 7 years, 2 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says: 'hope that you are prepared for the demise of your viewpoint because the current generation below 21 know very well that things have to change !'I'll catch crap for this but here goes.The 21 and under generation is IMO, are the people causing the most damage. With all the lastest tech triing to keep upwith the Jones'. Kids having kids. The majority of that generation only here the crap that is told to them from people like 'COOl'. Until people live with out all the extras in life things will not change, no matter how much smoke you blow...

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

(Remember, the LTE cites as his authority Mr. Freeman Dyson)More of Freeman Dyson interview on climate change:Q: Can you give an example [of things being said about climate change which misconstrue the science]?"A polar bear sitting on a melting piece of ice. The poor bear is going to drown, and it's a tear-jerker. But in fact, the bears are doing very well. The numbers of bears in the Arctic are increasing rather than decreasing. On the whole, they like it to be warm."Just because you see pictures of glaciers falling into the ocean doesn't mean anything bad is happening. This is something that happens all the time. It's part of the natural cycle of things. We know from measurements that glaciers have been melting for 200 years at least. So it's certainly long before human activities could have caused it."What we also know, going back 4,000 years, is that the glaciers were actually a lot smaller. They actually grew in the meantime. So it seems to be some sort of cyclical process. They grow and shrink and there's no particular reason for being worried just because they're shrinking at the moment. I'm not saying there's no climate change. Of course there's climate change. Climate change is part of the normal order of things, and we know it was happening before humans came. There is also human-induced climate change. That's certainly happening too. But I don't think there's reason for worrying about it."Q: So climate change has been politicized?"There is this very strong organization, the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It's a group of officially anointed experts who produce statements every five years. This community of people is regarded as sacrosanct. And they're very intolerant. They always regard any criticism as a hostile act that has to be fought. I think they have behaved pretty badly" . . .

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Would the writer complains that his letter has been edited.Would the writer please provide any omitted sources to substantiate his apparently personal concerns about oxygen depletion.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Doesn't the writer of this letter want to explain his total misquoting and misuse of Freeman Dyson's article?

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps the author is actually buying and reading some Dyson books?

acoupstick 7 years, 2 months ago

As I posted on another thread:Freeman Dyson is a theoretical physicist whose main criticisms are of the politicization of global "WARMING," and of the predictive value of current climate models given the inability of models to account for cloud formation and activity. Freeman Dyson does NOT dispute the increase in CO2 due to anthropogenic causes, the ability of CO2 to have a large and possibly drastic impact on climate, or the understated importance of plants and deforestation in regards to potential carbon resequestration.In all, seems to be a cautious, measured stance based on good science and an appropriate level inquiry-based skepticism. Hysterical fringe elements from both sides would do well to imitate.

dirkleisure 7 years, 2 months ago

Um, professor? The author's favorite message board tactic is to post, post, and repost.Much like you're doing right now. Sort of gives you the same level of credibility as he has.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Freeman Dyson on climate change:"We have no reason to think that climate change is harmful if you look at the world as a whole. Most places, in fact, are better off being warmer than being colder. And historically, the really bad times for the environment and for people have been the cold periods rather than the warm periods. The fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn't scare me at all. There's no reason why one should be scared."Freeman Dyson, Salon Magazine interview, September 29, 2007.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Evidently the author has written more than one letter to the editor about this very topic. So I am sure he has researched the subject very carefully. Let's see what the explanation is.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Would the writer of the letter to the editor please furnish any statement of Freeman Dyson relating to his concern regarding depletion of the worlds oxygen (NOT depletion of the ocean's oxygen, which Dyson and Scripps are well known for).

acoupstick 7 years, 2 months ago

" I thought I would mimic him, perhaps unwisely, to allow a wider audience to read the "real story" of Mr. Dyson's opinions."If you wanted to mimic, you should have just posted Youtube and Ben and Jerry's links that no one follows.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

acoupstick writes acurately about Dyson's opinions and writings, unlike the letter to the editor author, Mr. Alstrom. However Dyson is not concerned or scared of anthropogenic warming as it is generally now discussed.In fact he finds today's discussions of potential climate change to be "greatly exaggerated."Dyson has spent a lot of time pondering the carbon sequestration cycles afforded by various plant biota. He believes/hopes that we can genetically engineer a great increase the efficiency of trees to take up CO2 and produce liquid fuels as a product. Interesting stuff.

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Leisure. Evidently the author of this letter sometimes uses multiple posts to bring attention to issues of his choosing. I thought I would mimic him, perhaps unwisely, to allow a wider audience to read the "real story" of Mr. Dyson's opinions.

Bossa_Nova 7 years, 2 months ago

how much oxygen does it take to produce a can of beer? how much beer can we make given the current supply of oxygen?

professormarvel 7 years, 2 months ago

Acoupstick, you are probably correct. But I don't even go to those places. I am going to dig out one of Dyson's book for what looks like a nice book reading weekend.

tunahelper 7 years, 2 months ago

global warming is the biggest scam of the 21st century!obama bin laden is gonna lose!

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