Skepticism rises over need to reduce CO2 levels

Skepticism rises over need to reduce CO2 levels


Keeling curve, wikimediaIt’s not even Halloween, but this sounds scary. The San Francisco Chronicle headline warned, “High Carbon Dioxide Levels Set a Record.”

CO2 is a greenhouse gas of the type that AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, is designed to reduce.

At the top of the Chronicle article is a chart of what’s called the Keeling Curve (another version is displayed nearby). It shows that C02 levels have risen in the past 50 years from 310 to 401.25 parts per million (ppm) as of April 29, 2014. According to the Chronicle, this is the first time in human history that C02 has broken the 400 ppm level.  The source of this data is the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at U.C. San Diego.

The Keeling curve is self-named after the late Charles Keeling, who first compiled recent historical C02 data from measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.  Keeling’s son, Ralph, has continued to compile the measurements from Mauna Loa to stay “on the cutting edge of what we’re doing to the planet.”

Ralph Keeling said, “The programs have been supported over the years almost entirely through a bundle of federal grants, typically lasting three years or so, with several grants running at one time.”

The food chain of this funding has recently been difficult because several grants have expired.  Keeling called the funding situation “very urgent.”


Charles Keeling was famous for interpreting the increase in C02 as correlated with the amount of fossil fuels burned per year.  But the Keeling Curve does not show any correlation to rising temperatures and industrialization. That is just assumed.

New York physicist John Droz was asked if he was a global warming scientist or skeptic and if he would comment on the announcement that C02 has exceeded 400 ppm.  He replied:

“I would categorize myself as a Scientist, plain and simple. I go where the Science leads me.  The San Francisco Chronicle article is grossly biased in several regards — and typical of how politics (not science) is what the Human Caused Global Warming issue is all about.

“For example they write that CO2 is increasingly saturating the atmosphere — yet their own figures say that it is a 400 parts per million. Since when is a concentration of 0.0004% called saturation?

“Another unscientific conclusion is that it’s all the fault of fossil fuels. The reality is that there are a wide range of CO2 sources and sinks, and we do not have an accurate handle on their exact amounts or interrelationships. Yet another blathering remark is to call the atmosphere ‘a waste dump for carbon pollution.’ Regardless of their credentials, people making such statements are promoting a political agenda, not genuine Science.”

Paul C. Knappenberger, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote by email:

“400ppm CO2 is cause for celebration rather than consternation as it is a reminder of our continuing success at expanding the global supply of energy to meet a growing demand. That success ultimately leads to an improvement of the global standard of living and a reduction in vulnerability to the vagaries of weather and climate.”

Why Keeling Curve Wiggles

The Keeling Curve is not a curve at all but a wiggling straight-line relationship between the level of C02 and the number of years since 1958 (see above). The reason the line in the chart wiggles is that C02 is lowest in the Northern Hemisphere in warmer July, then quickly rises in colder November.  As scientist John Kehr wrote in his book, “The Inconvenient Skeptic: The Comprehensive Guide to the Earth’s Climate”:

“Of course the earth is also substantially cooler in November even though the global C02 level is higher than it is in June” (p. 71).

If C02 is causing global warming, why is the highest concentration of C02 during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere?  This self-contradiction in the Keeling Curve was not explained to readers of the Chronicle article.

According to Kehr’s account of geological history, the earth is in a C02 drought today compared to the last 600 million years.  Over 500 million years ago, C02 was at 7,000 ppm and about 150 million years ago was over 2,000 ppm, compared to slightly over 400 ppm today. That is shown in the following chart:

Global temperatures



So Ralph Keeling’s claim that the level of C02 is the highest in millions of years is not inaccurate. But it does not follow that it has anything to do with industrialization, climate change or global warming.

Former NASA scientist and emeritus professor of physics Les Woodcock of Great Britain said this past week, “the term ‘climate change’ is meaningless.”

Refuting both Keelings, Woodcock said, “There is no reproducible scientific evidence C02 has significantly increased in the last 100 years.”  Woodcock called the kind of science that Keeling does “anecdotal evidence [that] doesn’t mean anything in science, it is not significant.”

Ralph Keeling’s money problems are an indication that the days of automatic funding for global warming/climate change projects may be over.

However, in California so far there is no serious movement on calling into question the need for AB32 and its mandates for cutting CO2.


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  1. Ted O'Steele, CEO
    Ted O'Steele, CEO 5 May, 2014, 21:16


    Have fun with this nonsense !

    Reply this comment
  2. Irv
    Irv 5 May, 2014, 21:20

    Yep,more bull crap from the wackos!!

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted O'Steele, CEO
    Ted O'Steele, CEO 6 May, 2014, 06:53

    That’s right Irv– these deniers are first cousins of the birther crowd—- in time—- this ignorance will be the sad end for conservatives—- this rejection of science is just sad—– thankfully the rest of the world sees the truth— yet another case of American exceptional — ism……..

    Reply this comment
    • Sean
      Sean 6 May, 2014, 07:29

      Your right, the rest of the world is catching on. That’s why high sulphur Illinois coal is being shipped to the Drax coal fired power plant in the UK. It’s why the Germans are importing Appalachian coal. With natural gas cheap in the US and Europe’s slow economy and high electricity prices there, carbon credits are cheap enough to burn lots of coal.
      And don’t forget the efforts of the China and India. They are building out coal generation as fast as they can. Here is what is really happening in the electricity generating business:

      “over the past half decade or so, just the growth in coal use is equal to about 25 times the contribution now being made by all of the world’s solar projects. And the coal-fired power plants that have been built over the past few years are likely to run for decades. – See more at:

      It must be great to be in this administration’s inner circle. They are so smart and so bright that they can operate in an intellectual bubble and ignore the reality that less intelligent peons live in.

      Reply this comment
  4. vonborks
    vonborks 6 May, 2014, 13:22

    Predictions of doom and gloom matter not, in the real world people expect climate change; it’s called summer, fall, winter and spring. Natural gas (a fossil fuel) is becoming the main energy source in those countries that have it or can afford to buy it; others will continue to burn coal, wood and animal dung as their populations continue to increase. All peoples aspire for something better and every step up the economic ladder produces a logarithmic increase in consumption. Learn to adapt and live with it, it is what it is and neither Obama nor the UN/IPCC can change it.

    Reply this comment
  5. vonborks
    vonborks 6 May, 2014, 13:50

    Second reading the article: I always thought that the age of the dinosaurs must have been about as close to the Garden of Eden as it gets, nice warm weather and plenty to eat, the articles atmosphere/temperature chart confirmed my thought: The dinosaurs lived in a world of plenty, the earth was warm, wet and very green with no big brother governments, what’s not to like about that, and CO2 was only 2500ppm, we have a long ways to go…

    Reply this comment
  6. afrequentreader
    afrequentreader 7 May, 2014, 10:07

    Ahh and Teddy is superbly qualified in debunking physicists and scientists with a few strokes on his keyboard. To quote him “sorry little buddy”, but your way out of your league.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted O'Steele, CEO
    Ted O'Steele, CEO 8 May, 2014, 06:47

    I can read and see that the VAST majority of climate scientists agree with me— I am sanquine Dr. Frequent.

    Reply this comment
    • Irv
      Irv 8 May, 2014, 08:33

      Its amazing you Hoax supports can go on reports of a few when over 1300 highly respected scholars on climate says all this is a bunch of “BS”!! Go figure!!! If all this Climate crap is TRUE, then why has the number one perpetrator, Al Gore, is living in s mansion it has been said is worth, in today’s market, 12 million, in a city that he says is going to be under water in a few years. Then what about the ice caps?? Gore said they would be melted by now but are growing instead of melting!! Maybe Climate Hoax supporters need to look at all the available data and not just what you want to read. No I am not a scientist but a layman and we laymen in more ways than one are much smarter than the average educated idiot!!! Go figure again!!!

      Reply this comment
      • Ted Steele, Manager
        Ted Steele, Manager 8 May, 2014, 08:58

        LOL— and Al Gore’s wealth has what to do with this???

        LMAO—- Turn off the TV and shuffle back to your cubicle little buddy!

        Reply this comment
        • Irv
          Irv 8 May, 2014, 09:14

          Well sir, I use that term loosely. Gore has a lot to do with all this crap if you would open your eyes instead of having blinders on. People like you who want only one side known are the largest part of the problem. And I’ll bet you are an environ “MENTAL” est also. One of the whiners who cry and cry when they don’t get their way or don’t go along with their ideas and conclusions are!! WA!! WA!! WA!! Go north young man. The ice caps have melted. You can bask in the northern sunshine, but it might be a good idea to take a winter coat with you. What a “FOOL”! Oh I’m sorry, the ice caps might just be black due to all soot. Have you taken the time to looked at the latest report showing that US GHG levels are at 1992 levels and the US has basically curtailed CO2 emissions?? What a “FOOL” twice!!

          Reply this comment
  8. Newport_Mac
    Newport_Mac 11 May, 2014, 06:23

    Mauna Loa Observatory research should be funded on a continuing basis. Keeling is a research scientist who focuses on accurate measurement of CO2 levels in Hawaii. He isn’t making any claims about the impact of CO2.

    An accurate record of CO2 levels is important as a benchmark.

    The money California wastes in a month would pay for decades of honest research.

    There’s nothing wrong with research nor an open scientific debate regarding climate science. There is something very wrong with a rush to judgement without proper due diligence.

    Reply this comment

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