Salvaging the Unsalvageable: HFCs and the UN Climate Change Fiasco
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
Support for the global warming/climate change agenda is becoming increasingly desperate, hysterical, and illogical. The causes are many, but chief among them are a plethora of contradictory evidence and growing public skepticism or at least disinterest. There are bizarre parallels to the Frankenstein and Dracula stories. The monster of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) collapses as it turns on the scientists who created it. Dracula needed the energy of blood but knew the dangers of exposure to sunlight. The IPCC failure to consider the Sun is a similar exposure and is causing their demise.
The latest desperate move involves the agreement on the reduction of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The Paris Climate Agreement is disintegrating for a variety of reasons all of them inherent in the science and politics from the start of the AGW deception. Promoters of AGW needed a victory, an agreement that appeared to show success in dealing with the alarmism they created. They had to show that Protocols, like the Kyoto Protocol or its replacement the Green Climate Fund (GCF), are effective. They reached back to the Montreal Protocol that they claim was successful. HFCs became a crossover vehicle, a political/science hybrid.
The Montreal Protocol is the world’s most successful environmental treaty, already doing double duty saving the ozone layer and curbing climate change. With global climate action needed now more than ever, sealing an HFC deal under the Montreal Protocol is the biggest thing that can be done this year to build on the Paris agreement and protect our children’s future.
In fact, the Montreal Protocol only appeared to succeed. This is because they applied the major distorting assumption of most environmental disaster claims. A natural change occurs and it is exploited as an unnatural change. Most people think that all change is gradual over long periods of time and variation in nature is almost non-existent. From this, it appears logical to claim that any change is unnatural and caused by humans. The ozone, like all other natural variables, varies considerably over short time periods.
A few years ago I was summoned to appear before the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Ozone in Ottawa. I did not want to go because I know these are orchestrated charades. The truth is not the objective for government or opposition but simply for politicians to promote either a party or a political agenda. It turned out that it was quasi-judicial and I had to appear. A few things happened at the hearing that relate to the current HFC claims.
A delegation from Dupont attended but remained, to my surprise, quiet. I spoke with some of them after. They knew the science was wrong. The silence was because they had a replacement ready and stood to make more money and also gain a PR coup. As Dupont note
Today, DuPont manufactures hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as alternatives to CFCs for the air conditioning and refrigeration industries.
A York University (Toronto) professor made a presentation on ozone levels over Toronto. He failed to tell the politicians that there were no ozone readings for Toronto at the time. His data was computer model generated. The politicians did not know it because I asked them.
I pointed out at the hearing that ozone reduction due to CFCs claim was an untested, unproven hypothesis. It was doomed to fail because it assumed that insolation, including ultraviolet radiation that creates ozone, was constant. In an interview afterwards I also warned that the replacement (HCFC) was potentially more damaging.
Since then we learned among other things that UV varies considerably, Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC) affect ozone destruction, there is no empirical evidence that CFCs were destroying ozone. The evidence put forward came primarily from Susan Solomon, a bureaucratic scientist at NOAA who was contributing author to the IPCC Third Assessment Report (2001) and co-chair of Working Group I (the Physical Science Report of the Fourth Assessment Report (2007). Because of Solomon’s connection, I explained in an earlier article how the ozone issue was a dry run for the global warming deception.
They are making claims that a reduction in HFCs will reduce global warming
Over all, the administration estimated that the agreements announced on Tuesday would reduce cumulative global consumption of HFCs by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025. That is about 1.5 percent of the world’s 2010 greenhouse gas emissions, or the same as taking 15 million cars off the road for 10 years.
A modern claim equivalent to the medieval question of how many angels on the head of a pin, and equally meaningless. All this is based on assumptions and claims made about HFCs by the IPCC that are simply wrong. Much of it revolves around the designation of HFC as a greenhouse gas with a specific Global Warming Potential (GWP). This was a designation, an artifice, created originally because of the minimal amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Cattle and their methane were identified in claims by people like Jeremy Rifkin as the greater threat to the atmosphere, the planet, and humanity in a book and campaign titled Beyond Beef. Their problem was that methane is only 0.00017% of the total atmosphere and 0.36% of the total greenhouse gases. They needed a multiplier, and it became the GWP. Estimates of problems with this index are wide ranging and constantly changing.
The global warming potential is an attempt to provide a simple measure of the relative radiative effects of the emissions of various greenhouse gases. The index is defined as the cumulative radiative forcing between the present add some chosen time horizon caused by a unit mass of gas emitted now, expressed relative to that for some reference gas (here CO2 is used).
Derivation of GWPs requires knowledge of the fate of the emitted gas and the radiative forcing due to the amount remaining in the atmosphere. Although the GWPs are quoted is single values, the typical uncertainty is ± 35%, not including the uncertainty in the carbon dioxide reference.
They determined the original GWP values on a decision taken at the Conference of the Parties 3, 1997.
GWP values to be used by Parties for reporting any emissions and for any other commitments under the Kyoto Protocol are the 100 year GWP values from IPCC (1996)
All GWPs depend on the AGWP for CO2 (the denominator in the definition of the GWP).
This hasn’t changed because Assessment Report 5 says,
Emission metrics such as Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Global Temperature change Potential (GTP) can be used to quantify and communicate the relative and absolute contributions to climate change of emissions of different substances, and of emissions from regions/countries or sources/sectors. The metric that has been used in policies is the GWP, which integrates the RF of a substance over a chosen time horizon, relative to that of CO2.
One of the problems is the original observation said,
The uncertainty in the AGWP for CO2 is estimated to be ±15%, with equal contributions from the CO2 response function and the RF calculation.
But there is a bigger problem. The original calculations assumed an atmospheric residency time for CO2 was 100 years.
The diagram and the comments are a combination of the original graph and quotes from Lawrence Solomon’s book The Deniers. As Solomon explained
“The IPCC chose to assume CO2 remained in the atmosphere for up to 100 years (red bar in graph). If a shorter residence time was assumed, the IPCC climate models would not be able to predict the accelerated warming that is hypothesized to be caused by human CO2 emissions.”
I know there are arguments about what residency time means, but it is irrelevant because the IPCC used the 100-year value in their calculations of GWP. The cumulative error means that HFC has a much lower GWP than is used to promote the claims of the success of the Montreal Protocol. But while important, that is a minor part of the complete fiasco that summarizes as follows.
1. No empirical evidence exists to show that CFCs were creating “holes in the ozone.”
2. Ozone levels and their variability were and are natural.
3. False science was created to prove CFCs were a problem.
4. A political structure was set up that used the false science to impose completely unnecessary restrictions on a wide range of manufacturing, business, and everyday activities.
5. Dupont produced CFCs originally as an inert, safe, replacement mostly for ammonia in refrigeration equipment.
6. Dupont did not oppose the ban on CFCs because they already had a replacement, HCFCs, and later HFCs, to advance crony capitalism.
7. Politicians pushed by the environmental lobbies produced the Montreal Protocol, that is similar to my description years ago of Kyoto as an unnecessary political solution to a non-existent scientific problem.
8. Most countries were part of the Montreal Protocol but were not required to take any action.
9. A similar deception was created around CO2 with attempts to produce a political solution, the Kyoto Protocol. Again most countries were not required to take action.
10. The Kyoto Protocol collapsed when the false science was exposed through leaked emails.
11. A replacement, the Green Climate Fund, although approved at COP 21 in Paris, is failing.
12. Failure of the Paris agreement required a victory.
13. Elimination of HFCs offered the opportunity to keep the focus on a human cause, link it to the false success of the Montreal Protocol and keep the entire AGW debacle afloat.
14. Dupont will likely produce the replacement refrigerant, and crony capitalism will continue. It is crony capitalism, not good business, because they know the proper science and make a conscious corporate decision. If they don’t know the science, then their license should be revoked.
The developing nations suffered from the original CFC ozone destruction claims. The developed world reduced their percentage of food loss between the farm and the table from approximately 60 percent to 30 percent. This was denied to the developing world when CFCs were banned. It was another example of Paul Driessen’s Eco-Imperialism, the imposition of western green agendas that are harmful to people in the developing world.
A major problem with globalization or unilateral policies, the one-size-fits-all mentality, is that it never really fits anyone. This is the case with the HFC agreement. There is a contradiction between the claim that the planet is threatened by anthropogenic greenhouse gases and dispensation for some of the largest producers and potentially biggest users. Consider that
Some developing countries, specifically India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the Gulf states will not freeze their use until 2028. China, the world’s largest producer of HFCs, will not actually start to cut their production or use until 2029. (My bold)
How many more refrigerators does this mean? How many more air conditioners?
There never was a problem with CFCs or CO2. Artificial science was created using these beneficial gases to advance a political agenda. Perhaps the ultimate irony in this Alice in Wonderland, but frightening scenario, is the proposal that CO2 become the replacement refrigerant gas for CFCs, and guess who is behind that proposal.