The Rise in Global Warming Alarmism coincides with the Decline in Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

Coal gave us the Industrial Revolution.  And it made America the world’s number one economic power.  But what does it get for transforming the world?  Allowing us to enjoy the air conditioned comfort of surfing the net at our local coffee house?  Those on the Left call it public enemy number one.  Poor coal.  The Rodney Dangerfield of energy.

So we’re building a lot of solar power and wind power to replace coal.  Spending a fortune.  But the only thing really reducing our use of coal has been our burgeoning reserves of domestic natural gas reserves.  That we’ve tapped with hydraulic fracturing.  Something the Left hates perhaps even more than coal.  Now that we’re burning coal cleaner than we’ve ever had before (see Coal Is History. Or Is It? by Christopher Helman posted 3/1/2013 on Forbes)

The good news for the anti-coal crowd, is that we’ve made coal a lot cleaner. Thanks to mandated installation of emissions-reduction technology, since 1990 U.S. emissions of sulfur dioxide have dropped from more than 15 million tons per year to less than 4 million tons.

But is this a good thing?  For one way to combat global warming is to mimic a volcano (see How Geoengineering Works: 5 Big Plans to Stop Global Warming by Andrew Moseman  posted 10/1/2009 on Popular Mechanics).

A volcanic eruption can bellow many million tons of sulfur-dioxide gas into the atmosphere, creating a cloud that blocks some of the sun’s radiation. By injecting the atmosphere with sulfur, some scientists believe they could likewise block solar radiation and potentially cool the planet.

Sulfur dioxide reacts with water in the atmosphere to create droplets of sulfuric acid, says Rutgers University environmental scientist Alan Robock. Those droplets are particularly good at scattering the sun’s light back out into space. And because sulfur doesn’t heat the stratosphere as much as other aerosols, it wouldn’t work against the cooling effect…

But while a volcano has intense underground pressure to propel sulfur upwards, human means to do so are limited. “There’s no way to do it today,” Robock says.

It seems like we’ve been trying to solve the wrong problem.  We’ve been trying to reduce sulfur emissions.  Instead of trying to get those sulfur emissions into the stratosphere.  Of course it is curious how the man-made stuff that causes global warming gets to where it needs to be to warm the planet.  But the manmade stuff that cools the planet doesn’t.  And it is coincidental that all the global warming alarms began right around the time we started lowering our sulfur emissions.  Making one to wonder if the climate scientists know what they’re doing.  For it sure seems the more they’ve changed our lives with environmental regulations the worse global warming got.

Trying to reverse global warming, should it exist, is an act of futility.  For the Chinese burn twice as much coal as we do.  Whatever we don’t burn we’re selling to them so they can.  The only one coming out ahead are the Chinese.  They’re getting more reliable electric power.  While the same amount of coal emissions are entering the atmosphere.


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A minor Volcanic Eruption in Japan creates Ash Clouds that hang around for Days

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 29th, 2012

Week in Review

We can do a lot to shape our environment to bend it to our will.  We can dam a river to produce electricity.  We can extract raw materials from our environment and transform them into useful things.  We can build a breakwater to block damaging waves from entering a safe harbor.  But other than a nuclear explosion there is nothing we can do to compare to the power of a volcanic eruption.  For they can cool the planet.  And they are erupting all of the time (see Volcano eruption in Kagoshima covers nearby city with ash by Adam Westlake posted 7/27/2012 on The Japan Daily Press).

Sakurajima Volcano has been steadily erupting for the last week, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, but a larger-than-average eruption on Tuesday has showered nearby Kagoshima City with rocks and ash… Meteorological officials have stated that there have already been more 600 minor eruptions since the beginning of this year alone…

As of Thursday morning, weather agencies reported visible ash clouds still lingering in the air, and with winds primarily coming from the southeast direction, residents have been warned that there may be more ash fall in the days to come. On July 24th, pilots reported seeing ash clouds as high as 8,000 to 12,000 feet, causing the Kagoshima Airport to briefly divert air traffic.

This is why volcanoes can change the weather.  By throwing up soot, ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere it blocks the sun’s warming energy from heating the planet.  Two days after this tiny little eruption ash clouds were still lingering in the air.  Imagine what a large volcanic eruption could do.  Or the aggregate of all the volcanic eruptions in the world.  And the cooling affect they have on the planet.

Interestingly volcanoes aren’t the only thing that throws soot, ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.  Coal-fired power plants do, too.  Well, at least before we started putting scrubbers on them.  Funny how volcanoes can cool the planet while coal-fired power plants warm the planet.  Not ‘ha ha’ funny.  By the ironic kind of funny.  Another interesting fact is that the planet started warming right around the time we started putting scrubbers on these power plants.  And did other things to limit the emissions from burning coal.  Coincidence?  Or have the environmentalists actually caused global warming because of their actions to prevent global warming?  Perhaps.

You can see this eruption at Video: Sakurajima Volcano Erupts in Japan, Showers Kagoshima City With Ash.  It’s a pretty awesome sight.  And it’s just a minor eruption.  Showing how much more nature can shape our world than we can.


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