Letter to the Editor: The Most Abundant Greenhouse Gas is Not Co2 — It’s Water Vapour

By Gateway Gazette

May 18

Part seven in a ten-part series on the unsettled science of climate change from Grassroots Alberta

Would you be surprised to know that when it comes to the greenhouse gases vilified by climate alarmists, the primary culprit is water vapour?

In Jeff Jacoby’s Boston Globe report on Scott Pruitt (the new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), it’s noted that CO2 is certainly a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, but hardly the primary one. The report states:

“Water vapor accounts for about 95% of greenhouse gases. By contrast, carbon dioxide is only a trace component in the atmosphere: about 400 ppm (parts per million), or 0.04%. Moreover, its warming impact decreases sharply after the first 20 or 30 ppm. Adding more CO2… to the atmosphere is like painting over a red wall with white paint—the first coat does most of the work of concealing the red. A second coat… has much less of an effect, while adding a third or fourth… has almost no impact.”

Alarmists and those vilifying CO2 often overlook the fact that the list of variables affecting climate is not restricted to carbon dioxide. Important factors include sunspots, solar activity, volcanoes, clouds, changes in the earth’s rotation, ocean cycles, and much more.

Patrick Moore says that climate alarmists ignore these many factors. For decades, Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field. Cofounder of Greenpeace, he served nine years as president of Greenpeace Canada and seven as a Greenpeace International director. He holds an earned Ph.D. in ecology.

Moore says he quit the environmental movement when it traded science for radical activism. He says that after the Berlin Wall came down, peace activists were drawn to the environmental movement, and brought their far-left agendas with them.

“The environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism… than with science or ecology,” Moore says.

Moore also explains why the UN’s Climate Change Panel (IPCC) can’t be trusted by its very mandate: “By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate.” Moore further states that if the UN’s IPCC didn’t find humans responsible for global warming, they’d all be out of a job.

All throughout earth’s history, Moore says, CO2 levels have been drawn down steadily by plants, from around 3,000 ppm to roughly 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution. If that trend had continued, he says, “the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth.”

Moore says that burning fossil fuel and clearing land for crops helped boost CO2 from its lowest level in history to roughly 400 ppm today. Even so, he adds, plants remain on a CO2 “starvation diet,” because the optimum level of CO2 for plant growth is about 1,500 ppm.

Moore summarizes by saying that the followers of the UN’s IPCC “have given us a vision of a world dying because of CO2 emissions. [Yet] the earth would be a lot deader with no CO2, and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. [We should] celebrate carbon dioxide.”

About Grassroots Alberta

Grassroots Alberta Citizens Initiative was established to promote the responsible and efficient use of tax dollars and to carry out an educational role with respect to wealth creation and responsible public policy. Grassroots Alberta Citizens Initiative is a project of the Grassroots Alberta Landowners Association. “At the Grassroots” is a feature service of Grassroots Alberta. The author, Kevin Avram, is a director of Grassroots Alberta.

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