(Editor’s Note: To many in the know, Dirck T. Hartmann, who worked on the Apollo Space Program and many other significant NASA projects, was a fighter pilot in WWII, flying P38s. So when this gifted scientist/engineer/physicist and 87-year-old hero felt compelled to answer the questions of Man Made Global Warming, not only his son and grandchildren knew he had something to say with factual substance, truth and knowledge. What he has to say is clear and concise and should be read by everyone.)
What is your carbon footprint? That is the wrong question to ask. A more meaningful question is—How much carbon dioxide does it take to grow the wheat required to produce a loaf of bread? Or—How much carbon dioxide does it take to grow the corn for the chicken feed required to produce a dozen eggs?
Far from being a pollutant, man along with every animal on land, fish in the sea, and bird in the air is totally dependent on atmospheric carbon dioxide for his food supply.
Some politicians complain that the United States with only 3% of the world population uses 25% of the energy. But the clean carbon dioxide which we produce is increasing food production everywhere on earth. China, on the other hand, is building new power plants at a record rate using the abundant domestic supply of coal they have and has now passed the United States as the leading producer of carbon dioxide. Although their coal has a high sulfur content, they are building the new plants without any pollution controls. The sulfur dioxide which these power plants are releasing to the atmosphere, besides smelling like rotten eggs is, in sunlight, readily converted to sulfur trioxide, the highly solublegas responsible for most acid rain.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, using energy from sunlight, convert carbon dioxide and water into high energy fuels. It is responsible for all the fuel that feeds forest fires, and for the rapid grow-back of fuel after a fire. But even with the hundreds of millions of tons of coal and the billions of barrels of oil and gasoline that are burned annually, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere remains about .04%.
It has been estimated that more than two hundred billion tons of atmospheric carbon are fixed yearly by photosynthesis, 10%to 20% by land plants, and the remaining 80%to 90% by plant plankton and algae in the ocean, which constantly resupply us with oxygen. Atmospheric carbon dioxide acts like a thermostat for plant growth, increases triggering vast blooms of ocean algae, and spurts in the rate of growth of land plants. As long as man burns coal and oil responsibly, that is with pollution controls that minimize the production of acid rain, the earth can never have too much carbon dioxide. The plants will not permit it.
Anyone who has lived in a desert area where the relative humidity is frequently below 5%, knows that dry air is a lousy green house gas. It can be 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) during the day yet cool off so rapidly that a sweater is needed two or three hours after sunset. Despite the heat sink of the ground with rocks hot enough to fry an egg, the heat is radiated rapidly away through the dry air to the clear night sky. Since dry desert air has about the same .04% concentration of carbon dioxide as air everywhere else, it is not credible to conclude that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.
Water vapor is the most effective greenhouse gas by far. With high humidity, even without cloud cover, the night air cools at a rate so slow as to be nearly imperceptible, particularly if you are trying to sleep without air conditioning.
High humidity is the reason nights are so balmy in the tropics. At 100 degrees F and 100% relative humidity, water vapor accounts for only 2% of the atmosphere. It has a greater effect than all other greenhouse gases combined but, since it cannot be regulated, is rarely mentioned as a greenhouse gas.
If human activity is not the cause, why are the ice sheets on the earth poles receding? They are melting for the same reason that the polar caps on Mars are melting. For the 200 years or so that a record of sun spot activity has been kept, it has been observed that global temperatures on earth correlate closely with sun spot activity,very low activity corresponding to a mini ice age, and high activity to global warming.
Every second the sun converts 564 million tons of hydrogen into 560 million tons of helium, consuming its mass at the rate of 4 million tons per second. It has been doing this for 4.5 billion years and has about 4.5 billion years to go before all its hydrogen is used up. At that time it will have consumed less than 1% of its mass. This enormous solar furnace is responsible for climate change as well as all weather on earth.
The U.S. has a domestic supply of coal that is alone sufficient to meet our present power needs and projections for growth for at least 1,000 years, even without building any new nuclear power plants. Burning the coal responsibly and releasing the carbon locked up in it as clean carbon dioxide will benefit crop yields all over the earth. The great atmospheric patterns of air movements ensure a steady supply of carbon dioxide for crop growth, and a steady supply of oxygen for animals and people. To increase the rate at which photosynthesis removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a respected scientist proposed to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, seeding the ocean to trigger algae blooms. This practical, inexpensive, highly effective means for sequestering carbon dioxide would benefit the food chain in the oceans and increase fish populations. But because it did not impose hardships, require trading carbon credits, punish the U.S. or any other nation, or require increased governmental control, the IPCC rejected it. The IPCC uses the hoax of man made global warming to increase its power and that of a corrupt, anti-American United Nations that has proven itself impotent in combating world wide acts of terrorism, genocide in Sudan, the real threat of nuclear proliferation in the mid-east from Iran and Syria, or human rights violations in China and Africa.
Our mainstream media uses every opportunity to hype the hoax of man made global warming by repeated reporting of data and events that appear to support it, and ignoring those that contradict it. When the NFC championship game In 2007 between the Packers and the New York Giants was played at Green Bay in record low temperatures and blizzard conditions, there was no mention of global cooling; nor was there any in 2007 when below freezing temperatures threatened the vegetable crops in the south and the citrus crops in Florida. The drought in California is the result of colder than normal conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and the fact that ocean temperatures along the Pacific coast have been falling for the last three years is never mentioned. But after hurricane Katrina we were fed a host of dire predictions which warned of the increasing severity of storms, the melting of the polar ice caps, and the flooding of coastal areas from rising sea level, if we do not drastically reduce the release of greenhouse gasses to combat global warming. Which greenhouse gasses is not specified. We already have pollution controls in the smokestacks of most power plants, steel mills, and factories that minimize the release of sulfur dioxide.
The only completely uncontrolled exhaust gas is carbon dioxide, and photosynthesis automatically controls its atmospheric concentration for us.
Three billion years ago when the earth’s atmosphere was an unbreathable brew of noxious gases with almost no oxygen, a small green algae evolved in the ocean which, using the energy from sunlight over a few million years, completely altered the earth’s atmosphere. This oceanic green algae, the first plant to use photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide and water into high energy fuel, was of course followed by the evolution of an almost limitless number and variety of carbon dioxide consuming plants.
Fortunately for mankind and all animals, fish,and birds, all of whom are totally dependent on plants, the oceanic green algae continues to perform its magic in the oceans of the earth today. Every three centuries all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and dissolved in the waters of the earth goes through the cycle photosynthesis, decay, photosynthesis, with the cycle constantly renewing the earth’s supply of oxygen.
People on the left claim global warming is real, a threat to the continued existence of mankind, and the debate as to its cause is over! Although none of this is true, it nevertheless is what four of my grandchildren were taught in high school. Most politicians on the left have little respect for truth and no regard for clarity, and apparently many high school teachers reflect their views. My oldest granddaughter just graduated from MITwhere she was spared the political rhetoric of the left on global warming. However Caltech’s Argyros Professor and professor of chemistry, in an article titled “Powering the Planet"states “The carbon dioxide we produce over the next 40 years, and its associated effects will last for a timescale comparable to modern human history. This is why, within the next 20 years we either solve this problem or the world will never be the same.” This is nonsense. It ignores the more than 200 billion tons of carbon that is sequestered yearly through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide In the atmosphere. Since this has been known for 40 years, I can only assume he is politically motivated to make such a statement. Hopefully man made global warming will come to be recognized for the hoax It truly is.
Dirck T.Hartmann is a retired Aerospace Engineer living in Huntington Beach. slar activity, water vapor,
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