For decades – and I do mean decades – I’ve been saying that any environmentalist who is really serious about reducing fossil-fuel use and CO2 emission should be agitating to switch the power infrastructure to using nuclear plants for the baseload as fast as possible.
But when the facts change, I change my mind. I was wrong. There is new, direct, observational evidence that the most effective thing we could do to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere is pave over the tropical rainforests.
Don’t believe me? Look at this map of CO2 emissions by region. It’s brand-new data from NASA’s just-lofted Orbiting Carbon Observatory.
The official line on this is that the high carbon emission we’re seeing are produced by burning of biomass associated with the current Southern Hemisphere planting season. But there are two features of the data that make this rather obvious nonsense.
1. The tropical high-emission areas are much larger than the regions where slash-and-burn agriculture is practiced, and they’re the wrong shape – that is, not a core with a plume trailing in the direction of prevailing winds. The African one is especially problematic – if that was produced by biomass combustion it would extend north to the edge of the Sahel.
2. See that one dense area over northern China? That is totally in the wrong location to be associated with the rainforest biomes in the SW of the country, and it isn’t planting season there anyway. That can’t be burning biomass, it has to be Chinese industrial emissions or something else we don’t understand.
So the big Southern hemisphere emission areas are probably just plants normally exhaling CO2, and in the process dwarfing the CO2 emissions of all humans everywhere except northern China. Oops, how embarrassing for the religion of AGW.
It’s a delightful auxiliary pie in the face that several CO2 source areas more intense than the entire swathe of the developed world are located in the mid-Pacific Ocean.
Prediction: the tropical high-emission zones will not vanish with the end of spring planting. And the OCO is going to continue producing problems for the AGW religion until and unless the high priests get to ‘correct’ the data before anyone else sees it.