Optimistic world view

To the Editor:

In my recent communications, I have (apparently “time and time again”) made the statement that although CO2 levels continue to increase, there has been no global warming for 18 years, 9 months. That is even though man’s CO2 “influence” has increased during that 18-year period.

Recent letter writer Steve Eddy claims this is not true. But he is mistaken, not I, at least based on satellite data from several sources: RSS global mean temperature change data for the 225 months from February 1997 to October 2015.

If I wanted to make a larger claim, we could say: “No Statistically Significant Satellite Warming for 23 Years.”

I don’t use the 22 year quote very often, as the key to that figure is the word “significant,” which means using 95 percent confidence limits to the data as plotted. I get enough flack with just 18 years.

One thing Eddy needs to understand, the Earth is actually very low on CO2 in the atmosphere to sustain plant growth. At 250 parts per million (ppm), growth was about to shut down, and would have below 150 ppm. Also, if one looks at the data on CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the selection of 292 ppm as being the average between 1860 and 1950 was arbitrarily chosen by Stewart Callendar in 1938. It is based on a lot of atmospheric CO2 mean values taken across Europe, North America and Peru between 1800 and 1955.

Actually, there are some 90,000 measurements accurate to within 1 to 3 percent, that showed CO2 levels from 350 ppm to well over 400 ppm were not unusual.

Eddy brings up the “consensus” word again. Well, there is no consensus on global warming. As an example, in February, there was a list of some 48 new peer-reviewed papers refuting “Alarmist CO2 Science” and show natural cycles indisputable. That was just January – February 2016. The same author: Pierre L. Gosselin, had posted another 250 peer-reviewed papers on the topic for 2015.

I will certainly agree with Eddy that “the cost of solar panels has dropped,” and I’m sure wind turbines “are better engineered” now. But they are still far, far away from being a cost-effective source of energy. It is not possible to pay back the investment in either solar or wind without government subsidies.

Further, for broad scale use, electric grids must balance supply and demand, and there are periods when the sun doesn’t shine or the winds don’t blow.

The Earth’s fossil fuel supply is not infinite, but it’s not going away anytime soon. My suggestion for Maine is to invest in technology to cost-effectively store power generated from solar and wind. It really hasn’t been invented yet. Tesla is likely to lose its bet unless it can find better ways to store power for their vehicles.

While I invest in Exxon, and have been somewhat unsuccessful in my oil drilling ventures (and wind farms too), I am not a paid member of the petroleum industrial complex.

I do support the following quote by author Alex Epstein: “A moral energy policy is one that liberates all the energy technologies, including fossil fuels, nuclear and large-scale hydro, and lets them compete to the utmost to provide the most affordable, reliable energy for the most people.”

Tom Rolfes


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