Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff at PostGlobal

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Germany

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a Senior Director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy and grant-making foundation. He overseas the fund's policy programs. He was previously the Washington bureau chief of the German newsweekly, Die Zeit. Close.

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

Germany

Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff is a Senior Director at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy and grant-making foundation. more »

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Fight Global Warming

Germany/USA - Congress must address global warming. No international treaties are needed. The U.S. can do it on its own and lead others.

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ANGELOS BACKUS:

GLOBAL WARMING or GLOBAL COOLING?

By: Angelos Backus

Only a moron would have an answer!

Most likely it is the same moron that will make the claim that they know which came first: the Chicken or the Egg? all without asking about the role of the rooster!

INTRODUCTION

It is embarrassing to constantly read about or hear educated politicians, news reporters, news commentators, quack scientists, and even a past Vice President of the United States making claims that the planet Earth is undergoing a period of global warming or global cooling. It is especially disturbing when these claims are made without first offering any logical scientific or mathematical evidence. Listening to some of these unsubstantiated statements, I can’t help myself from wondering what century we live in. Is it during the life of Aesop, where we were governing our thoughts by Aesop’s fable The Wind and the Sun or maybe during the eighteenth century and The Caloric Theory?

If this is indeed the twenty-first century, then we must be aware of the historic Brownian Movement and the advancement of Dalton’s molecular and atomic theory, which led to the conciliation that all matter is composed of molecules.

THE PROBLEM

There is one overriding problem now surrounding the global warming/global cooling debate. It is this problem that is arguably causing much of the overwhelming confusion among the public. Simply stated, the central problem is that both the interested and disinterested parties to the debate have no solid or tangible scientific and mathematical understanding of what temperature and heat actually are.

Obviously, most anyone can provide a definition of the words temperature and heat. A normal person would define the word heat as how hot something is or feels. That same person would likely define temperature in mostly the identical way. While those definitions sound logical and correct, they are in fact complete misrepresentations of what temperature and heat are in a scientific and mathematical sense.

Unfortunately, in our society, the social and educational systems do not work to provide their students with the correct understanding of how the living world truly operates. Our societal and educational systems would rather have students memorize a basic and uninvolved definition, and then force this definition to be regurgitated, all for the quest to earn a phony grade. Thus, students are not inspired to actually think what the meanings are behind the words like temperature and heat. Instead, because the teachers, school faculty, and politicians are more concerned with making money, they push students through school as quickly and as easily as possible.

The result stemming from having our educational and societal systems push students through school, is that students do not gain a true understanding of what the school subject matter actually is. More importantly, these corrupted systems fail to allow students to understand the true meanings and workings of the world in which they live. As already stated, the system would rather have students memorize a definition rather than allowing the students to discover and understand what the defined word actually is and what the defined word actually does. In plain terms, it is like putting the cart before the horse.

This lack of actual knowledge is a perpetuating problem and one that has contributed immensely to the many prevalent misconceptions surrounding the global warming/global cooling debate. Most of the scientists, politicians, professors, and reporters discussing this environmental debate are victims of our societal shortcomings. These experts are causing undue panic and confusion all over the world and are doing so in a reckless manner. These parties need to seek clarification on the subjects they are speaking of because MOST OF THEM HAVE NO TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!

WHAT HEAT AND TEMPERATURE REALLY MEAN

Temperature is the word that describes the method by which we can measure the height of a form of energy, but not the amount of that energy. The interesting fact about heat is that it is never fixed in any one particular form. Additionally, heat is always in a constant state of motion as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere from the Sun, as it leaves the Earth on its way to outer space, and as it changes the state of existing matter on Earth. Heat also is constantly moving when it is being converted to another form of energy, such as water vapor or plant and animal cell material.

Heat in transit is known as sensible heat and is heat that can be detected by the temperature method of thermometer measurement. However, because the Earth is round and rotates on its axis at an incredible speed, there is a constant potential difference of temperature level at all times. Therefore, heat is directed in every possible direction in an attempt for it to reach one constant level. This characteristic of heat is what contributes to the formation of rain, snow, or hail (sublimation) due to the voids of equal heat levels existing throughout the atmosphere. Like the changing levels of ocean tides and waves, the heat levels are constantly changing.

In addition, how in the name of science can anyone make a determination whether the Earth is gaining heat or losing heat by the use of a thermometer (temperature scale) reading? How is it possible to obtain the Earth’s heat content by measuring the height of sensible (unused) heat, where the Earth’s heat content is converted into latent heat and cannot be read by a temperature (thermometer) scale!

The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in Al Aziziyah, Libya on September 13, 1922. The second-highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley, California in 1913. Does that mean that the Moon is hotter than the Earth? Certainly not, for the Moon ranges from daytime highs of about 265 degrees Fahrenheit to nighttime lows of about -170 degrees Fahrenheit.

UNPROVEN THEORIES

Many unproven theories surround this debate. One such unproven theory involves the existence of man-made gases in the Earth’s atmosphere (vapor state). It is forgotten that gases are unstable vapors and the slightest change of the latent heat will cause a change in state. In turn, this change will cause the gases to return to liquid form. Moreover, our modern society is causing heat transmission from the Sun to be slowed down or reflected back to space. The overall result stemming from the potential difference of heat between the Sun and the Earth is that engineered gases will slow down the movement of heat in our atmosphere. Therefore, with the movement of heat being restricted, the existence of a long-term global cooling theory can be supported as existing in our atmosphere.

This theory of global cooling becomes clearly probable when analyzing the physical actions using a simple visual demonstration. Imagine a bucket that is placed under a flow of running water. Now imagine that a water-deflector is placed in between the water source and the bucket. Do we know what the ratio of gains and losses will be as a result of potential difference of intensity between Object One and Object Two (i.e., Sun to Earth)?

And as in another example, the Ocean’s level in relation to the polar ice caps. If we use a glass pitcher with water and on the outside of the pitcher mark the water level with a marker, then place an uncracked raw egg in that water. We will quickly see that the water level has risen! The egg will be 90% immersed in the water, only about 10% of the egg will be above the water level, similar to that if a piece of ice was put in water. After the water level in the pitcher with the egg has equalized, we will now put a mark at that level. If we break the egg and drop the total substance of the egg in the pitcher, what will the water level be now?

CONCLUSION

To those who advocate the theories of either global warming or global cooling, on what did they base their conclusions and viewpoints? What evidence have they found after thoroughly investigating the critical subjects and concepts I have outlined below?

It must be understood that no substantive conclusions surrounding this debate can be reached without first determining the answers to the following questions:

What exactly is matter?

What is energy?

What is the basic energy on Earth?

What is the name of the Earth’s basic energy?

What are the sources of basic energy?

Why are all other forms of energy derived from the basic energy?

What effect does basic energy have on matter?

What is sensible heat?

What is latent heat?

What is specific heat?

What is super heat?

What is subcooling?

What is saturation?

What is the first conservation law of thermodynamics?

What is the second conservation law of thermodynamics?

What are the effects of potential difference?

What are the three methods of heat movement?

What are the three states of matter?

What influences the three states of matter?

What is Absolute Zero?

What effect does the level Absolute Zero have on matter?

How do we measure the quantity of heat energy?

How do we measure the level (intensity) of heat?

Which form of energy do we use as a standard to measure the specific heat of all forms of energy?

What is Temperature, and what does it represent?

What are the differences between the concepts of heat and temperature?

What is diffusion?

What percentage of the Earth’s waters make up the polar ice caps?

What effect does the weight of the polar ice caps have on the level of the Earth’s oceans?

What percentage of the polar ice caps is part of the ocean levels?

What happens to the ocean levels when the polar ice caps melt, and their weight decreases?

What percentage of land erosion is deposited in the oceans daily?

What effect does the daily land erosion of the Earth have on the oceans’ level?

What percentage of the total Earth contents as in solid, liquid, and vapor states 50 years ago?

What changes have occurred in the Earth’s states 50 years later?

What was the Earth’s vapor state diameter 50 years ago? What is it 50 years later?

What was the atmospheric pressure at ground level 50 years ago? What is it 50 years later?

How many total units of heat energy are required to be converted into latent heat from the creation of one cubic foot of rain, and how many for the creation of a cubic foot of snow?

How many tons of latent heat did the planet Earth contain 50 years ago? How many 50 years later?

How much of the Earth’s totals latent heat was distributed among the solid, liquid, and vapor states of the Earth 50 years ago? How does this vary 50 years later?

These are only a few of the subjects and concepts that need to be thoroughly investigated. These alone cannot determine the loss or gain of heat content on Earth. Many other questions also need to be investigated before a conclusion can be drawn. That is the reason to keep politics and ignorance out of the debate, so the scientific body can do its work without any undue pressure.


Nicole:

Good site! I'll stay reading! Keep improving!

Nika:

Good site! I'll stay reading! Keep improving!

viper:

UP THE GUNNERS!

f:

fff

KELLY, TOLEDO, OHIO:

Priority is the issue. Global warming is tops on the list. For those who feel it isn't a problem maybe they need to take their head out of the box, stop thinking of (me, myself and I). The issues they are putting all of their energy into will be useless if we do not take a stand now and conserve what we have. More money, longer lives and bigger houses will not mean a damn thing if we don't have anywhere to put them. Not to mention the rise in disease and other causes of death that will bring about our own demise.

I don't know how people can act as if nothing is wrong. It's all around us we just need to look at it. Put your cell phones and computers down, stop taking the kids to practice, forget about the new boat, car or house you just can't wait to buy. All of this will be irrelevent if you do not open your eyes now and see what is happening to earth. Global warming isn't something that only effects nature lovers. It's going to be the end of life on earth if we don't start to reverse the effects now.

It's up to us, the same people that caused the problems to take the initiative and restore what we have.

Sincerely,
Kelly Carrillo

Justin Lansford, Atlanta Georgia, USA:

I agree with LoneWolf that we cannot slow down the rate of emissions fast enough to get us to the balancing point. We must look at ways to pull carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

My suggestion is to develop huge oceanic algae farms, then to harvest those farms and transport the processed algae sludge to a polar region for freezing. This would lock the CO2 into sheets of ice.

Some would suggest using the algae for fuel, but this only releases the CO2 back into the atmosphere making it a CO2 neutral initiative. Locking the algae into sheets of ice would remove the CO2 from the atmosphere.

Yes this would be a monumental effort, but if each nation did their fair share, we could all work together to make the farming initiative successful.

Brad Arnold, Mpls MN, USA:

It is unrealistic that the world will dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fast enough to prevent rapid climate change, because of a fast growing population and fast growing per capita energy demand.

Furthermore, as the earth warms, carbon sinks become carbon emitters bigtime. In other words, in the future while nature will be absorbing less CO2, the earth will be emitting more GHG than humans.

The only solution is to remove the CO2 from the air after it has been emitted. I suggest using genetic engineering to improve the rate at which nature aborbs CO2. Perhaps seeding a GMO into the ocean.

Climate models have consistently underestimated the rate of warming/sensativity to GHG increases. While warming has been only .2C/decade, that is expected to expotentially increase with business as usual anthropic GHG emissions.

LoneWolf, Maine, USA:

We are all in this together! Everyone one of us has to take steps to curb emissions. If you are in the denialist camp then reduce your energy use to free America (or what ever country you live in) from dependency on foreign oil.

There are too many unknowns in Global Warming not to act immediately. There have already been some major under estimates of the speed at which Global Warming is occurring. The melting of permafrost is releasing far more Green House gases than previously thought and many of the known negative feed back loops are more robust than thought. What new natural mechanisms are going to appear without any warning?

No one has yet addressed what the effect on the techtonic plates might be as all the ice in Greenland and Antarctica is redistributed into the worlds oceans. Just think what an increase in vulcanism would add to the existing levels of Green House gases. The human race is playing Russian Roulette and every decade we delay in taking serious action is like placing another bullet in a chamber. At some point there is a 100% certainty that the game is over and WE ALL LOSE!

There are some simple steps that the US Congress could take right now to make an immediate difference:

Start to educate the American public to become energy efficent consumers.

Prohibit the sale of all incandescent light bulbs that already have an energy efficent equivalent and provide financial incentives for people to replace their old bulbs.

Put in place national building codes that require homes to be more energy efficent. Replace the present tax deductions with a system that makes it easier for poorer families to upgrade the energy efficencies of their homes. Put in place better DARPA incentives.

Set high energy efficency standards for all electronics sold or at minimum mandate labelling of all electronics as to there energy efficiency.

Set up an incentive program for electrical usage based on kilowatt hours per person with a base allowance built in for the house. If you go over the amount you pay a penalty per kilowatt. If you go under it you get a credit per kilowatt.

Automobile efficency needs to be addressed on the consumer level, as well as, on the manufacturing level. The manufacturers will follow the market. Again an incentive based program which could use the present pay at the pump readers. Allowances could be made for car pooling. If phased in over several years consumers would have the time to trade in their gas guzzlers for higher efficency cars.

Require labelling on all products sold in stores. Consumers should know that the sneakers made in Asia also produced a given amount of CO2 to be transported to their local store. Local grown produce should have an incentive built into the price while produce from the other side of the country should be discouraged. While not every item is available locally there should be incentives for stores to offer comparable local products to consumers. Companies should be encouraged to manufacture products locally using local raw materials whenever it is possible and for produce to be grown locally. While this might not be possible for complexed goods like cars and computers or for produce like bananas, it would work for many construction materials, some clothes, and basic house hold items.

Encourage local agriculture and "victory" gardens with property tax deductions and education. If the worst case scenario for global warming is true and food shortages occur, you will already have a public that has the knowledge and a garden plot to help eleviate the shortages.

Provide better incentives for renewable micro power generation like solar and wind and encourage the growth and development of the industries to supply these products.

Forget about Nuclear Power. The plants take to long to build, have long down times and are really not as clean a source of power as we believe. People forget that the nuclear fuel first has to be mined and enriched for these plants. Most ore is very low yeild per ton and a small mountain has to be processed to extract enough fuel. The amount of CO2 given off in the process by those huge machines is equal to that of a small coal fired electric plant. The fuel enrichment process also requires huge amounts of energy. Finally We have yet to figure out what to do with all the spent fuel and it may end up requiring large amounts of energy to make it safe or to build and maintain a facility to store it.

This is just some of what congress could do right now. Many of these ideas have been around for a While. They will not work in every situation, but many could be implemented now.

alec:

2 little time to much to do

me:

to little time to much to do

Anonymous:

i think we should stop global warming today not tommorw by then it will be 2 late

Salamon, Canada:

Without doubt Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff suggestion is corect very timely. But there is a prerequisite for the USA to take such steps, it must repair the fiscal imbalance of the Federal Government, and at the same time take strong measures torebalance its international indebtedness. Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff's suggestion without reference to nuclear power is also somewhat remiss, bio-fuels, wind, geothermal heat source are incapable of balancing the USA's energy requisite [excluding transport]. I am unsure how nuclear power would go down the scientifically illiterate majority of US voters. Especially now after 6 years of terrorizing the polpulus by the present administration [all the red alerts...].

There is hope that Mr. Gore's movie and the related information might change the minds of the voters in a year or two. One can hope.

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