About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Futility of a Carbon Tax

(I'm posting the following in an attempt to use this blog to expound on my concerns about the current attempts to tax carbon as a way to limit climate change)

The Futility of a Carbon Tax
The current worldwide attempt to limit anthropogenic (man-made) “green house gases,” (AGHG), primarily CO2, is essentially the result of popular acceptance of what I call “climate change alarmists” (CGA) concerns.  However, many well-respected climatologists, who I call “climate change realists” (CGR), doubt the global temperature sensitivity to AGHG emission.  (While I have no claim to be a “climatologist” I side with the CGRs.)

The CGA’s believe the 35% increase in atmospheric CO2 above preindustrial levels to ~400 parts per million (ppm) is the reason “eleven of the past 12 years are the warmest since reliable records began around 1850”.  CGR’s, far from being “deniers,” believe climates have been changing for millions of years, the latest examples being the medieval warming period during the mid 1000’s followed by the “little ice age” in the mid 1800’s.  That the recent warmer temperatures are simply the continuation of the natural recovery; much of which occurred well before the increased AGHG.  (This “CGR” also questions how increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere from 0.03% to 0.04% could make such a difference)

The CGA’s seminal justification for global temperature sensitivity to AGHG emissions was an August 2007 Scientific American article; “The Physical Science behind Climate Change” described as “The Undeniable Case for Global Warming”.   (The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Annual Assessment Report (AR4) reflected this analysis) 

The authors used computer models with “forcing functions” to reflect the effects of natural and man-made drivers, positive or negative, on global temperatures.  The natural drivers included changes in solar activity and large volcanic eruptions. The primary AGHG drivers were carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and halocarbons. 

The authors’ concluded the only way their computer models would concur with measured temperatures was to increase the “forcing function” of the AGHG drivers.  As a result, forcing functions for AGHG increases were concluded to be 10 times those for solar energy.  It was this purported sensitivity that led to efforts to drastically reduce AGHG.  Even that sensitivity varied between computer models to the point where a doubling of atmospheric CO2 resulted in predicted global temperature increases ranging from 1.5 to 11.5 deg C. 

(This “CGR” questions what caused the far more drastic climate changes over the millennia and the lack of any “forcing function” from El NiƱo which was particularly strong in 1997-1998 (and more recently in 2014-2015) in their computer models.)

The other CGA rationale for AGHG as a cause for global warming was the claim ice core data showed global temperatures increased with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.  That some feed back mechanism with relatively small increases in CO2 (e.g. increased H20 vapor, a far stronger green house gas) resulted in significant global temperature increases. 

While there is some debate as to whether global temperatures increased before or after CO2, global temperatures later dropped while CO2 levels remained elevated long after temperatures had dropped.  This would “suggest” (at least to this CGR) that increasing atmospheric CO2 was the result of increasing global temperatures rather than the cause.  A likely scenario being increasing global temperatures increased the amount of CO2 emitted from the ocean and that reduced temperatures caused atmospheric CO2 levels to eventually drop from lower emissions. 

The last issue is what can Washington State do about reducing global AGHG emissions.  The reality is China’s planned increases (per IPCC agreement) between now and 2030, when they promised to stop increasing CO2, will dwarf all the purported cuts by other countries.  That whatever our state can do to reduce them won’t move total emissions by the width of a hard-lead pencil line.    

Again, I write this with no claim to be a “climatologist” but only to use this blog to expose this “CGR's” reasons why it’s premature to embark on the governor’s plan for taxing CO2 emissions or some sort of cap and trade approach to reduce climate change. 

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