Fart tax lacks facts

Here are the facts that find the “fart tax” lax. Let’s get physical. With physics.

To northern hemispherites, climate-centred farming taxes mean little, since they affect only farmers and who cares about farmers? It’s not as though they’re important to the economy or anything.

But Kiwis knowing the abiding value of farming to their prosperous way of life say, you toucha my farmer, I breaka you face.

Here are more reasons for our politicians not to toucha my farmer. This will keepa them safe.

Dr Tom Sheahen, in a timely post at WUWT, sets out why we need not fear the effect of methane on the world’s temperature. Whether it originates in termite mounds or farming, the warming effect of methane is reduced effortlessly to a redundancy by both carbon dioxide and water vapour — trumped twice by physics.

We can release all the methane we like and it will never heat the air more than CO2 and water vapour already do. Here’s how.

Dr Sheahen says: “To understand methane’s role in the atmosphere, first it’s necessary to understand what absorption means” and he shows a graph.

Absorption percentages of atmospheric gases

Many readers will have seen this diagram. I must confess I’ve never really understood it. Tom tells us what it says.

“When light passes through a gas (sunlight through air, for example), some molecules in the gas might absorb a photon of light and jump up to an excited state. Every molecule is capable of absorbing some particular wavelengths of light, and no molecule absorbs all the light that comes along. The process of absorption has been studied in great detail. In a laboratory set-up, a long tube is filled with a particular gas, and then a standard light is set up at one end; at the other end of the tube is a spectrometer, which measures how much light of each wavelength makes it through the tube without being absorbed.”

“Because water vapour … is much more plentiful in the atmosphere than any of the others, H­2O absorbs vastly more energy and is by far the most important greenhouse gas. The second most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), which (on a per-molecule basis) is six times as effective an absorber as H2O. However, CO2 is only about 0.04% of the atmosphere (400 parts per million), so it’s much less important than water vapour.”

For full comprehension, I encourage you to study the full article at WUWT. His conclusion: “Methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas.”

The conclusion for our politicians is that New Zealand’s world-class farmers aren’t warming the world, they’re feeding it. Nobody produces food as well as they do.

The Ministry for the Environment says that in 2011 agriculture was the largest contributor to the country’s emissions (at 47 per cent) followed by the energy sector at 43 per cent.

Including our emissions of agricultural methane in the inventory, together with saying methane’s greenhouse effect is 21 times more than that of CO2, has the effect of approximately quadrupling the country’s contribution to global warming. Read correctly, farming would fall behind the energy sector.

Because Tom Sheahen lays out the scientific mechanism why the contribution to global warming of atmospheric methane is precisely nil.

Hope this fart facts lack soon lets these lactic farmers lack tax.

Views: 141

18 Thoughts on “Fart tax lacks facts

  1. Mike Jowsey on 14/04/2014 at 10:52 am said:

    Reading through the comments on that article is interesting, with many opposing, technical and confusing views expressed. But the one I really like, for simplicity and non-technicality, is this one:

    Coach Springer says:
    April 11, 2014 at 6:08 am

    I think of the history of the world and vast herds of grass eating animals and I can’t help but snicker at people scared by cow farts.

  2. Magoo on 14/04/2014 at 11:02 am said:

    Does that mean that I’m not destroying the world by eating hot chili? What a relief, in more ways than one I might add:


    I’ve been thinking, if CO2 is so damaging then shouldn’t there be an emission tax on green politicians and supporters on bicycles – they’re breathing out an awful lot of CO2 with all that physical exertion. Doesn’t anyone think of the children anymore?!

  3. Alexander K on 14/04/2014 at 2:48 pm said:

    It always takes time, but eventually the bit in the human brain that asks for actual evidence kicks in and forces us, one by one, to ask ‘What Eejit thought this total bollocks up? Cow farts, indeed!’
    Sad but true, men really do go mad in crowds and return to sanity one by one!
    Our society is very slowly inching back toward each of us asking for evidence, which Green politicians hate because they are afraid everyone will eventually wake up to the realisation that said Greens couldn’t give a flying fig for the environment; and as for farmers, aren’t they the nasty rich bastards that drive those evil/big CO2-belching utes and 4WDs into town.
    It’s complete control that the Greens hunger and thirst for and CAGW is just a means to acheive that aim.
    Democracy certainly throws up some bizarre mutations, but it’s the best system Man has come up with yet.

  4. HemiMck on 14/04/2014 at 4:38 pm said:

    One of my major gripes on the subject of methane, discussed in great detail on this site, is that the number for methane of 21 is an IPCC invention and should be about 6.

    That discussion now seems trivial seeing the overlaps in absorption bands make CH4 ( and it would seem NO2) irrelevant.

    While these are not currently taxed they are used to hits us round the head in our global reporting eg our per capita emission stats and erroneously make up about half those numbers.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 14/04/2014 at 6:54 pm said:

    Another graph showing the 3 little spectroscopic methane blips:


    Meanwhile, outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) keeps outgoing:


    NI NZ doing very well (fart away NI cows – it’s not your problem), SI a bit tardy (cork it you SI sheep – you’re pulling down the average).

  6. Australis on 14/04/2014 at 10:03 pm said:

    Another major discovery since AR4 is that the suspected shortage of hydroxyls (OHs) in the atmosphere is groundless.

    The AR4 and earlier IPCC Reports worried about the fact that every atmospheric hydroxyl molecule that was used to oxidise a CH4 molecule, meant one less available to oxidise ozone molecules. This worry caused them to increase the Global Warming Potential of methane from about 16 to 22 to cover “indirect” effects.

    Now they know that the incidence of hydroxyls in the atmosphere is nearly limitless. But they haven’t got around to reducing the GWP of methane.

    • HemiMcK on 15/04/2014 at 4:09 pm said:

      Yes and if you also took out the other “indirect ” pulse effect and O3 effects, also unfounded, you would come right back to 6.4 times. Your right, the number of 21 has been falsely written in stone for 15 years.

  7. Doug Cotton on 15/04/2014 at 12:48 pm said:

    The greenhouse conjecture would violate the laws of physics. It is totally wrong.

    My study showing water vapour cools is not hard to replicate. To prove me wrong you would have to produce a similar study proving water vapour warms by about 10 degrees for each 1%, as is in effect claimed by GH advocates.

    The Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube provides evidence of the gravito-thermal effect. You would need to provide contrary empirical evidence.

    You would also need to produce a valid (but different) explanation as to how the necessary thermal energy gets into the Venus surface in order to raise its temperature by 5 degrees during its sunlit hours.

    BigWaveDave considers the gravito-thermal effect (seen in the vortex tube) worth your time thinking about …

    “Because the import of the consequence of the radial temperature gradient created by pressurizing a spherical body of gas by gravity, from the inside only, is that it obviates the need for concern over GHG’s. And, because this is based on long established fundamental principles that were apparently forgotten or never learned by many PhD’s, it is not something that can be left as an acceptable disagreement.”

  8. HemiMcK on 15/04/2014 at 4:05 pm said:

    Here we go. The country emission reports


    “Emissions in 2012 grew by 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, reflecting 900,000 tonnes or 2.9 per cent more from the energy sector, as a dry year reduced hydro-electricity production, and an 800,000 tonne or 2.4 per cent increase in agricultural emissions as the dairy herd grew.”

    The methane number making up the 800,000 tonnes is made up of the CH4 multiplied by 21 and the NO2 (which is measured in parts per billion) multiplied by 200.

    Take out these bogus numbers and we would likely be the lowest emitters on the planet.

  9. Richard C (NZ) on 16/04/2014 at 12:06 pm said:

    ‘3 reasons not to trust the new IPCC report’

    Donna Laframboise


    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/04/2014 at 5:13 pm said:

      4th, 5th, and 6th reasons not to trust the new IPCC report (as all previous) – the presumptive mandate, the policies arising from the presumption, and the lack of climate data monitoring:

      1.6 The IPCC Assessments of Climate Change and Uncertainties

      The WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the IPCC in 1988 with the assigned role of assessing the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for understanding the risk of human-induced climate change. The original 1988 mandate for the IPCC was extensive: ‘(a) Identification of uncertainties and gaps in our present knowledge with regard to climate changes and its potential impacts, and preparation of a plan of action over the short-term in filling these gaps; (b) Identification of information needed to evaluate policy implications of climate change and response strategies; (c) Review of current and planned national/international policies related to the greenhouse gas issue; (d) Scientific and environmental assessments of all aspects of the greenhouse gas issue and the transfer of these assessments and other relevant information to governments and intergovernmental organisations to be taken into account in their policies on social and economic development and environmental programs.’ The IPCC is open to all members of UNEP and WMO. It does not directly support new research or monitor climate-related data. However, the IPCC process of synthesis and assessment has often inspired scientific research leading to new findings.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/04/2014 at 2:46 pm said:

      ‘A Clear Example of IPCC Ideology Trumping Fact’

      by Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger

      Within the U.S. federal government (and governments around the world), the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is given deference when it comes to climate change opinion.

      We endlessly point out why this is not a good idea.



      7th reason not to trust the new IPCC report

  10. Alex Hamilton on 19/04/2014 at 5:05 pm said:

    You are totally wrong in thinking that methane or carbon dioxide is a primary cause of warming.

    Radiation in just a few spectral bands from carbon dioxide can never cause a warmer surface to increase in temperature. It can have a minuscule effect slowing down radiative cooling, but virtually all the slowing of surface cooling is by conduction at the surface-atmosphere boundary. The energy thus absorbed primarily by nitrogen and oxygen molecules subsequently finds its way by diffusion into water vapor, carbon dioxide and other radiating molecules, all of which act like holes in the nitrogen-oxygen blanket, radiating energy out of the atmosphere.

    There is no need for any warming by radiation anyway. It is now well-known and proven empirically that a thermal gradient forms at the molecular level in the tropospheres of any planet with a significant atmosphere. On Earth the surface temperature would be a few degrees hotter if there were no water vapor, but it is cooler because water vapor and other radiating molecules (carbon dioxide included) help to cool the lower troposphere by radiating energy to higher altitudes and to space.

    That is what physics tells us. From my reading of what climatologists have assumed, I find their writings to be a complete travesty of physics.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/04/2014 at 1:51 pm said:

      >”You are totally wrong in thinking that methane or carbon dioxide is a primary cause of warming”

      Who is “you” Alex?

      There’s nothing in RT’s post that states “methane or carbon dioxide is a primary cause of warming”

  11. Sorry to be OT – but Kiwis have another sceptic in their midst.

    Global Warming alias Climate Change [the non-existent, incredibly expensive, threat to us all, including to our grandchildren]
    by Dr David Kear (former Director-General, NZ DSIR; United Nations consultant; & South Pacific geoscientist)
    I remember Dr Kear as Director of the NZ Geological Survey when I was at University in the early 1960’s – hence my interest in his article now.

  12. Richard C (NZ) on 21/04/2014 at 1:45 pm said:

    There was a brief reference to climate change in TV3’s Sunday 20 Apr 2014 interview with Admiral Samuel J Locklear III, commander, US Pacific Command. It wasn’t recorded in TV3’s text report of the interview ‘NZ relationship with US best in 30 years’ (why was the climate change bit dropped i wonder?) and I can’t find the video either.

    However, this was what Locklear was on about last year (he’s added water shortage now):

    ‘Climate change cited as biggest threat’

    The United State’s top military official in the Pacific says the biggest long term security threat in the region is climate change.

    In an interview with the Boston Globe Admiral Samuel J Locklear III, commander, US Pacific Command said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.”

    He told the Globe that people were surprised to hear that warning from him.

    “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level,” he said.


    Locklear is echoing the Slate interview with retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley:

    ‘How the US military is preparing for climate change war’ [condensed version]


    Slate: Eric Holthaus: “Climate Change War” Is Not a Metaphor
    The U.S. military is preparing for conflict, retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley says in an interview [full version]


    Why the US military climate change angst you might ask? Try this response to a posting of Slate’s Titley interview in WUWT comments:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    April 20, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Today’s (Obama’s) military is subject to prizes and promotions and money WHEN THEY PROMOTE the Obama administrations propaganda – most specifically the Obama’s administration’s policies and climate change and on homosexual relations. When today’s military does say anything against the Obama administrations policies – remember, the America they sworn to protect and defend? … Well, those military members are promptly and immediately fired. The programs and bureaucracies that don’t toe the Obama administration’s lines and lies about climate change? They get defunded. The admirals and generals who promote climate change? They get promoted and re-hired – as the examples you cite.

    Thus, does it means ANYTHING when a “military” so-called expert claims anything with respect to “climate change”? Does it mean ANYTHING when the USAF spends more on “ecological fuel” than any other bureaucracy on the face of this planet?

    No. And you are a propagandizing fool to further that propaganda.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/04/2014 at 2:14 pm said:

      I see Steven Mosher again revealing his true colours (Warmist troll) in that WUWT Dr. Craig D. Idso – NIPCC essay thread too.


      “Clowns” apparently, drawing the inevitable contempt following e.g.

      John Whitman says:
      April 20, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Moshpit kindly illustrates another ‘fact’.

      He illustrates that for a certain type of lukewatery clones it is necessary to label the NIPCC authors clowns. N’est ce pas? [Isn’t that so?]

      # # #

      The NIPCC report must be stamped out by Warmists at all costs as explained by the Idso essay header:

      NOTE: This op-ed is apparently too hot for some editors to handle. Late last week it was accepted and posted on politix.topix.com only to be abruptly removed some two hours later. After several hours of attempting to determine why it was removed, I was informed the topix.com editor had permanently taken it down because of a strong negative reaction to it and because of “conflicting views from the scientific community” over factual assertions in the piece.

      Fortunately, some media outlets recognize a vigorous scientific debate persists over humanity’s influence on climate and those outlets refuse outside efforts to silence viewpoints that run counter to prevailing climate alarmism. My original piece follows below.- Craig Idso


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