But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

WARNING: Composting Increases Your Carbon Footprint!


We are slowly coming to face the fact that many trendy “green” things actually harm the environment, instead of helping it.

Unfortunately, some of us are not learning their lesson, and new “green” activities are being pushed that are just as lacking in forethought, just as harmful to the planet.

One perfect example of this is the new composting fetish:

It is actually better for the environment to throw away garbage, than to compost it, if you’re worried about greenhouse gases, instead of just wanting good, free fertilizer.

Composting Releases Greenhouse Gas

Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are the second through fourth most significant greenhouse gases, after water vapor.

The materials in a compost heap contain nitrogen and carbon, locked away from the atmosphere.

The act of composing specifically converts nitrogen into nitrous oxide, and carbon into prodigous amounts of methane and carbon dioxide. No actual environmental scientist will deny this. It’s just a fact of chemistry…the two links above are pro-composting, environmentalist organizations, yet they confirm this.

Just to be clear on this:

  • Water vapor is the main source of the natural greenhouse effect, causing about 50% of all heat retention, depending on local humidity. All scientists agree that nothing humans can do changes the overall amount of water vapor in our atmosphere.
  • Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is the next greatest source, producing about 20% of warming.
  • Methane, CH4, is 30 times more powerful, but there’s less in the atmosphere, so it contributes about 6%.
  • Nitrous Oxide, N2O, is THREE HUNDRED TIMES more powerful, but even rarer, producing about 2% of natural warming. The biggest impact we could have, if any, would be to produce more of this more powerful, less common gas.

To be clear, composting produces extremely high amounts of nitrous oxide, as well as large amounts of methane, and even under the best conditions, more CO2 than almost anything else, in your entire household.

Landfills Reduce Greenhouse Gases

On the other hand, if you were to throw those compostables away, they would probably end up in a land fill. Recently, environmental scientists have bothered to actually check, and have realized that, in fact, materials in landfills do not rot the way they normally would, because of the way they’re compacted together. The International Encyclopaedia of Environmental Laws,  pointing out that paper and corn don’t rot in landfills, asks why one should even bother substituting paper for plastic, or “biodegradable” corn bags.

Again, those are environmentalists saying these things.

Environmental scientist and Green advocate Bill Rothje says that you can find readable newspaper that has been in landfills for at least 30 years. That means the carbon in newspaper (which comprises 19% of all landfill space) can be retained in the landfill for decades…or released into the atmosphere by composting.

So, according to Environmental scientists, trash in landfills is removed from the carbon/nitrogen cycle, staying out of the atmosphere. A landfill is, in fact, a tremendous REDUCTION in our “carbon footprint”.

In fact, next time you’re thinking about “recycling” paper, remember that this requires more energy, fossil fuel, and chemicals than making new paper…and that if you just throw the paper away, you’re removing its carbon from the atmosphere for the long-term.

It Gets Worse

Some governments are using taxpayer dollars to force the production of “worm composting”. Yet nitrous oxide is an inevitable by-product of worm composting. Remember, this is about 300 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2.


Earthworm Jim farts Nitrous Oxide into his space suit, compost worms do it in our atmosphere

Meanwhile, not only do landfills produce mainly methane, not Nitrous Oxide, but nearly half of the methane they produce can be captures for use as green energy. Methane engines simply produce water vapor as a waste product.

Jim Frederickson, senior research fellow at Britain’s Open University, says “”We need to investigate all alternative systems for greenhouse potential.

“The emissions that come from these worms can actually be 290 times more potent than carbon dioxide and 20 times more potent than methane. In all environmental systems you get good points and bad points.”

The whole “composting” craze, from expensive plastic countertop bins to government-mandated worm farms, is just another example of people not caring what is ACTUALLY good for the environment, but pushing any ill-thought-out plan down our throats.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | environment, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Our Fifth Year of Global Cooling: Coldest Since 1996


Chart documenting the five year global cooling trend

This is a graph made from NOAA's data for the past decade, showing how the global temperature has been falling for four years. It includes an early rough number for 2009, obtained from a contact there.

Well, it’s unofficially official:

2009 was, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the coldest year in a decade, and they expect 2010 to be worse, perhaps the coldest since 1996.

Oh, don’t worry, you won’t find this news posted on the main page of their website, or in any press releases. They quietly stopped posting charts of annual temperatures in 2006, when the cooling started. But you can find the numbers buried on their site, for example here, and my contacts at NOAA and NASA (I once was a consultant for both) affirm that they have the 2009 numbers, but that the mandate is to sit on them as long as possible, and find ways to present them that will do the least damage to the global warming cause.

Because their budgets depend on scaring people with the global warming myth, various government organizations and bureaucrats have desperately been spinning this cooling trend, even as they avoid directly mentioning it. Around 2006, there started a growing trend to refer to it as “climate change”, not global WARMING, because they wanted to re-brand it before the cooling became well-known.

Now, as the global cooling trend has continued for five years, you can actually find global warming profiteers saying as crazily anti-scientific things as “global warming will probably take a break for a while”, as if it were a tired old man, not a weather phenomenon.

Global Warming protesters proving they are tone-deaf to irony, while demonstrating the spread of the Al Gore Effect: The more they protest, the colder it gets.

The Climate Bogeyman

Now we’re all familiar with witch-hunt logic:

We throw the unpopular woman in the lake:

  • If she drowns, she was innocent.
  • If she floats and survives, she’s a witch and we burn her at the stake.

This kind of evil trick has been used by people seeking power through fear, for as long as recorded history.

It is one thing that Principles of Justice, and the Scientific Method, are supposed to counteract.

Sadly, this appears to be the same logic that the global warming profiteers use.

If the weather is warm, it’s proof of global warming, if it’s cold, it’s proof the weather has been disrupted by global warming.

The scientific method does not stop them, even though they are “climate scientists”, because they do not use it. They have long-ago abandoned the rules of hard science.

When we had an abnormally large number of hurricanes back around the time of Katrina, this was a result of global warming, and we could only expect things to get worse.

When the next few years were abnormally quiet, including one of the mildest hurricane seasons in history, it meant nothing.

When it’s really hot somewhere locally, they say it’s evidence of global warming.

When it’s really cold, it not only means nothing, “that’s weather, not climate”, but maybe it’s because global warming is disrupting the weather, so it proves global warming.

A few glaciers are shrinking faster than normal…global warming.

Some other glaciers are growing larger than in recorded history: Not worth mentioning.

The north polar ice cap had a significant melt: Warming.

The Antarctic ice sheet grew larger than in recorded history: Silence.

The Fall of Global Warming

Why do we hear about unusually warm local weather, but not unusually cold? The warming of the Arctic, but not the record ice of the Antarctic? The melting of a glacier, but not the last two unusually cold summers in the US?

As the actual global cooling trend creates an environment that dooms the global warming profiteers’ gravy train, it is accompanied by snowballing evidence of the fraud and money-motivation of those who perpetrated this scam in the first place.

  • Climategate, for example, was just the first in a series of revelations of actual attempts to cover up global cooling, and create an illusion of global warming, going back to 1996.
  • The Climate Change Timeline documents the pattern of claims that the earth was suffering runaway cooling, warming, cooling, then warming, every time the temperature naturally rose or fell in a perfectly healthy cycle.
  • For the third time, key Russian figures supporting global warming officially turn out to have been false, with the truth supporting global cooling.
  • A growing number of global warming “scientists” are reversing their positions, admitting to “mistakes” that created a false appearance of global warming…here is the latest.

Why haven’t they given up? There’s no money in that.

Like I was told by a NOAA exec when I was consulting for that organization:

A government agency can’t justify its budget by telling people GOOD news.

February 17, 2010 Posted by | environment, International, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4th Year of Global Cooling, NOAA Says


I was reading over some discussion of the Climate Change Timeline, and realized that people are failing to notice the most important news it contains:

We are, according to NOAA, currently in our fourth year of global cooling.

This is even more significant than the 114 year cycle of taking each minor change in temperature and projecting ice ages or global warming four different times.

NOAA and NASA avoid actually saying this, because they have a lot invested in profiting from global warming…but their own data say the earth is cooling, and has been for years. I will show this below, using their own numbers, without any changes made to them. I just don’t cut it off the details in the middle of the decade, like they do. I’m too honest.

Why Stop Reporting Temperature Changes?

You’ve probably seen that scary chart they like to show, where the temperature climbs way to the top. It’s pretty much everywhere on their side.

Here’s NOAA’s copy:

Notice that NOAA is still stopping their chart in 2006, although they have had data up to 2008 for a long time

Notice that NOAA is still stopping their chart in 2006, although they have had data up to 2008 for a long time

Notice that its dates are very vague, and that it stops in the middle of this decade, with the very last temperature actually declining a bit. You may need to click it to see the large version.

The big problem with the chart, hidden by the vague dating, is that it ends in 2006. I have been unable to find a NOAA chart that actually includes the last two years of data.

This makes no sense, because they have data all the way up to the beginning of 2009, and have for a long time.

Here is the data that is used in that chart, on NOAA’s own site.

All you hear about, these days, is that each new year is “one of the ten warmest on record”. But that is a spin on their data…2006, 2007, and 2008 were each cooler than the year before. Why not mention this cooling trend?

The Coldest Year Since 2000

Here, on the left, is NOAA’s global mean temp for each of the past 10 years. They measure this in ten thousandths of one degree from the 100 year average:

In this chart, using NOAA Climatologist data with clearer formatting, you can see that we are in a four year cooling trend, right now. Also notice that this entire chart encompasses barely more than one half of one degree. Click to zoom in for fine detail.

In this chart, using NOAA Climatologist data with clearer formatting, you can see that we are in a four year cooling trend, right now. Also notice that this entire chart encompasses barely more than one half of one degree. Click to zoom in for fine detail.

1998 0.5969
1999 0.4198
2000 0.3885
2001 0.5188
2002 0.5738
2003 0.5811
2004 0.5409
2005 0.6128
2006 0.5599
2007 0.5459
2008 0.4793

Blue is cooling, red is warming.

Why do those who are profiting from the global warming industry describe 2008 as one of the ten warmest years on record, instead of as the coldest year since 2000?

You can also see this, if you zoom in, on the chart at the right.

By the way, the trendline added in black is calculated from their data as an 11 year moving average, which makes sense to use just in case the sun is actually influencing temperatures on our planet. It is therefore very slow to show a reversal in trend…see how it falls behind the change in every other case. Yet it’s now showing a cooling trend, at the far right.

With the numbers on the left, you can see it is not only growing cooler, each year since 2005, but that it cooled fastest in 2008. If we graphed this trend, 0, -529, -140, -646…the curve says we should be in an actual ice age by 2020 or so. I did that last bit in my head, but if you work it out formally, send me a copy.

The Next Ice Age?

Why do we hear about unusually warm local weather, but not unusually cold? The warming of the Arctic, but not the record ice of the antarctic? The melting of a glacier, but not the last two unusually cold summers in the US?

Why do we hear about unusually warm local weather, but not unusually cold? The warming of the Arctic, but not the record ice of the Antarctic? The melting of specific glaciers, but not the last two unusually cold years in the US? Unusually bad hurricane seasons, but not unusually mild ones?

By the way, don’t actually worry about that cooling trend, yet. Real scientists know that static analysis is worse than useless. You can’t just take any four data points and assume they will go on that way forever. If you do that, you end up looking as foolish as “we have 20 years until the end of civilization” crackpots Thomas Maltus and Paul Ehrlich.

On the other hand, EVERY time you have a reversal of three points in the same new direction, on the above chart, it turns out to be a reversal in the overall trend.

For example, 2005-2008 is a mirror image of 1909-1913, where the cooling had reached its peak, and the global mean was about to move toward warming.

And, overall, global cooling is worse for humanity and civilization than global warming.

Whether by coincidence or not, many failures of civilizations and economies have appeared to hinge around sudden cooling periods. There is no corresponding evidence of warming bringing down societies.

Regardless of what the actual temperature trend is, if anything, or what actually is causing it, the motivation of people who report every year the global temperature rises, but are silent every year it falls, seems worse than suspect.

These people are no more to be trusted than a tobacco scientist, and for the same reason.

September 11, 2009 Posted by | environment, Politics, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Going Green is Bad for the Environment


green-evil-grey

Many of the wild claims made by Green lifestyle advocates are actually worse than doing nothing at all. They increase your carbon footprint, increase trash, and are generally bad for the planet, as well as harmful to people.

You may think you’re helping save the planet, or at least being a responsible member of society, if you recycle, avoid styrofoam, drive a hybrid, use electricity instead of fossil fuel, et cetera…

But, unfortunately, taking the advice of the “green living” trendies may actually do more harm than good.

“Green” environmentalism is chock-full of urban legends, inductive reasoning, and pseudoscience that end up harming the environment, as well as being directly bad for the people pushed to conform.

Here are some facts on the subject, gleaned from the Facebook group of the same name. JOIN Going Green is Bad for the Environment, if you want more info on the topic.

_______________________________

Government-mandated Recycling Pollutes

… (not the for-profit kind) is usually so inefficient that it produces more pollution than making new paper, glass, and plastic! 13 of the top Superfund hazardous waste sites were once recycling centers!

[1] New York Times: Recycling is Garbage

[2] http://Pen & Teller on Recycling

[3] Recycling Myths

[4] Not PC on Recycling

 

Biofuels Have Huge Carbon Footprint

…actually have a bigger carbon footprint than simply using fossil fuel, because they require the clearing of land for agriculture, AND the farmers use fossil fuels to run their farm equipment.

[5] New Scientist Magazone: Forget Biofuels, Burn Fossil Fuels and Plant Forests

[6] How Big is the Biofuel Carbon Footprint

[7] Carbon Footprint of Biofuels: Can We Shrink it Down to Size in Time?

[8] London Times: Biofuels Produce More Greenhouse Gas than Fossil Fuels 

Hybrid Cars are Worse than Normal Cars

…have batteries are so bad for the environment that you probably can’t drive one long enough to make up for the damage, before the battery goes bad and you need a new one, causing the problem all over again

[9] Prius Outdoes Humvee in Environmental Damage

Environmentalism Causes Forest Fires

Laws preventing the clearing of wood from “wild” areas, combined with efforts to prevent small forest fires, set up “tinderbox” situations, and are the reason the gigantic wildfires end up engulfing large areas

[10] Environmentalist Fires

Continue reading

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Economy, environment, Politics, Society | , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

   

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