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There are some good thoughts here, which leads me to a basic question.

"Without cooperative societies and well regulated nations how will the mounting problems be ameliorated?" Forget the economics and politics, how will we survive? It's obvious that the present world system is hopeless in manging that endeavor.

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Hi Dan,

I want to tell you a bit about myself before I comment on your piece. I am self-employed, 80 years old, still working and I don't have to worry about what I say. My job will not be on the line if I say something that is seen as inappropriate.

I have made an observational study of climate change and have written a couple of blogs on the matter. The last post on the second blog was written when Trump was President, and it is here: https://wordpress.com/post/reality348.wordpress.com/33617

I say on that page:

The most important insight is to do with the nature of the ENSO phenomenon, its origin, the universality of upwelling phenomena in determining surface temperature, the identity between change in wind speed, change in cloud cover, and the warming of the sub surface and the impact of all this on the evolution of surface temperature playing out differently in the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres.

I doubt the existence of any 'greenhouse effect' that supposedly raises surface temperature to habitable levels and point to the Ocean that occupies about 71% of the surface of the planet, that in being transparent, is uniquely fitted to acquire and store energy. Its surface temperature is driven by evaporative and mixing processes and rather than insolation from the sun. The atmosphere is gaseous. It has very different properties to water. Radiation by the atmosphere is of minor importance in determining surface temperature. Gas expands when it is warmed and is immediately displaced upwards. It flies better than a kite. Inside a couple of minutes, the rising gas is subject to sub-freezing temperatures.

Sadly, or otherwise, depending upon your point of view, Western Civilization is imploding. The argument about climate is inseparably connected to the rise of China and the demise of Europe and the United States. The expression: 'a drowning man clutching at straws' is apt. Ethical Investment is a design for impoverishment.

If you want Australia and the West to go on the offensive against China, first, take into account the point of view of Martin Jacques, a man uniquely attuned to the desirability of adopting a well educated, appreciative, cross cultural point of view. Ray Dalio, a long-term student of China and the rise and fall of empires, also makes a lot of sense.

This distraction with 'climate' and sabre rattling in connection with China is ruinous and likely terminal.

The Southern Hemisphere, as a whole, has not experienced any increase in temperature in the month of January since the decade 1978-1987. Let that statement sink in.

Over the largest portion of the globe, for the largest portion of time, temperature is sub optimal for photosynthesis. All life depends on plants. Let that statement sink in.

If I were to add anything to those parting words at this time, it would be to say that the temperature of the air where you are standing has to do with where the air is coming from. The air at the surface is warmed or cooled by the surface over which it is travelling. It's instructive to look at the difference between the temperature of the surface and the temperature of the air at a meter of so in elevation according to latitude from pole to pole. If we do, we discover systematic differences that simply depend upon the direction of the prevailing wind. We can infer where the wind is coming from according to whether the temperature of the air is greater or less than the temperature of the surface.

Secondly, I would point out that most of the water that is in the air is transpired by vegetation in tropical latitudes. The humidity of tropical air is close to 100%. It's close to saturation. The circulation of the atmosphere if from cells of high surface pressure to cells of low surface pressure that results in the movement of the air towards higher latitudes that are cooler. At altitude, and at higher latitudes, where the air is cooler, droplets of moisture condense out of air that is cooled below its dew point. Depending on local temperature that moisture is in the form of either liquid droplets or a crystal of ice. Electromagnetic repulsion enables those particles to float in the air forming clouds, in the same way that a tiny spider can fly on a filament of web that carries an electromagnetic charge. Ice cloud forms at altitudes quite close to the surface through to jet stream altitudes about 9-12 km in elevation. Ice cloud is highly reflective. As it forms the temperature at the surface does not increase, it falls because less solar radiation can reach the surface. It is customary in 'IPCC type climate science' to turn this observation on its head. If we are cool, we walk into the sunlight. If we are hot, we seek shade. The IPPC would have is believe that the presence of ice cloud is associated with surface warming due to back radiation.

The amount of cloud that is reflecting solar radiation is extremely important. Consider the following phenomenon: The Earth is furthest from the sun in July, and this gives rise to a 6% reduction in the intensity of solar radiation. But the average temperature of the planet is several degrees warmer in July than in January because the vast landmasses of the northern hemisphere heat the atmosphere driving its temperature well below its dewpoint so that cloud evaporates forming invisible, non-reflective, water vapour. This allows more solar radiation to reach the surface.

Man is unable to measure the coming and going of cloud. Alternatively, we could try to measure the intensity of solar radiation reaching the Earth but it's not practical because the surface of the planet is predominately water that is constantly moving, tipping this way and that and falling over itself.

Between the wars there was a very clever guy called Dobson who lectured on climate at Oxford. He was fascinated to discover that the movement of the air is dictated by the distribution of ozone at Jet Stream altitudes. He developed an optical device to measure TOTAL COLUMN OZONE from ground level. The distribution of total column ozone turned out to approximate the distribution of surface pressure. It occurred to him to check the change in the direction of the wind as the electromagnetic field at the surface changed and discovered that the former depended on the latter. The electromagnetic field depends in part on emanations from the sun that we call the 'solar wind'. An eminent mathematician was appointed to a chair at oxford and the former lecturer was dismissed. That mathematician was religious and very much a believer in the English environmental movement. He became the first president of the IPPC and was instrumental in it declaring that the Earth's climate was warming, which everyone thought they knew, reversing a trend to cooling that was evident in the 1960s and seventies. Our inaugural chairman got the IPCC to declare that Man was the culprit.

The UN is full of well-meaning people who saw a possibility of getting rich countries to pay a penance to the poor countries to recompense for their industrializing sin that would cause the sea level to rise and drown coastal dwellers and fry the rest of us.

Surface temperature is very difficult to measure. Everyone who tries is constantly adjusting the data retrospectively. You shouldn't have a lot of confidence in their pronouncements.

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