Science Shows Why Cows Don’t Cause Global Warming

Science Shows Why Cows Don’t Cause Global Warming

A rancher waited patiently at the recent Schachter Energy Conference in Calgary, Canada, while I spoke to a businesswoman about why methane was not the dangerous greenhouse gas Canada’s government says it is.

She wasn’t buying my argument and left without buying my book.

Having overheard my unsuccessful pitch, the rancher suggested that I watch this video by Dr. Thomas Sheahen based on this presentation.

He’s concerned because Canada is signaling it will follow the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in significantly reducing both methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agriculture.

As his cattle feed on crops grown with nitrogen-based fertilizer (the fertilizer produces N2O and then produces CH4 in their digestive tracts), the rancher’s livelihood is threatened by the proposed new regulations.

He asked me to get back to him with a layman’s explanation of Dr. Sheahen’s message so he could share it with his ranching community.

He then bought a copy of my book, and now I’m getting back to him.

This changes everything.

Dr. Sheahen’s video is a scientist-to-scientist summary of a paper written by two eminent physicists, Dr. W. A. van Wijngaarden and Dr. W. Happer.

They determined, the current greenhouse-gas effect of methane and nitrous oxide is negligible, and still would be, even if there were many more multiples of them in the atmosphere.

Their calculations are confirmed by data observed from satellites, which makes their equations compliant with the scientific method.

Wijngaarden and Happer’s calculations and method are in stark contrast to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Government of Canada’s claims, methane and nitrous oxide are significant contributors to global warming.

Wijngaarden and Happer developed the mathematics to accurately calculate the greenhouse-gas effect for the five most important greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide (and CO2).

The paper was written by PhDs in physics for PhDs in physics, and most of the 59 pages of content consist of complicated calculus, that can be followed and understood only by an elite few (I’m not one of them, and I would like to thank Mark Ramsay, P. E., for his valuable insights and clarifications).

But we don’t have to understand the equations to understand the concept they describe, because the proof is physical observations support their results.

Wijngaarden and Happer knew from previously established science, the Earth absorbs short-wavelength radiation from the sun and releases it as long-wave infrared radiation, i.e., heat energy.

They also knew how much of each wavelength of infrared radiation is released, and how that differs around the planet.

They cited:

- The Sahara, with lots of infrared radiation released over the hot landscape and very little humidity

- The Mediterranean with less radiation given off over warm water and high humidity

- Antarctica, which has little infrared radiation released over ice.

Satellite measurements show how much of each wavelength of infrared radiation generated by each region escapes the Earth’s atmosphere into space. 

The overall difference between the Earth’s heat radiation and what escapes into space is what is absorbed by greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, and that’s called the NATURAL greenhouse-gas effect.

It makes the surface of the Earth warmer (plus 15°C) than the surface of the moon (minus 19°C)!!

The Wijngaarden and Happer calculations predicted, with remarkable accuracy, the infrared radiation absorption for each of the five greenhouse gases over the Sahara, the Mediterranean, and Antarctica. 

The calculated predictions almost perfectly matched the observed satellite data.

This is extremely important, because matching a computational model to observed data is how the scientific method works. The satellite data verified the computational model.

The IPCC models, and there are over a hundred of them, fail to do that. 

They consistently forecast higher global warming compared to physically observed temperatures over time; i.e., they are purposely made to run "hot".

What it Means

In the current mixture of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, water makes up most of the greenhouse-gas effect, carbon dioxide is the second largest at about 25%, and all the other gases, including methane and nitrous oxide, are insignificant.

[Note to reader: Often water is quoted as a much greater contributor to the greenhouse-gas effect. That’s because the subject calculations and satellite measurements were done in a clear-sky situation.

In a separate lecture, Dr. Happer confirms, when clouds (which largely consist of water molecules attached to aerosol and pollen particles) are added, the water contribution is 90 to 95 percent of the total greenhouse-gas effect.]

The IPCC would like you to ignore water vapor and think, if carbon dioxide was a garden hose feeding global warming, then methane and nitrous oxide would each be a fire hose, which was proven to be false.

The reality is, regarding the greenhouse-gas effect, if carbon dioxide is a garden hose, then methane and nitrous oxide are each a dripping tap, and water vapor is a fire hose; IPCC does not like that reality, because it would blow its entire edifice apart.

Wijngaarden and Happer acknowledge, methane is 30 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, similar to the IPCC stance of 25 times as powerful.

But that is on a per-molecule basis, and there are very few methane molecules in the atmosphere to meaningfully contribute to global warming.

They also calculated, how much of an increase in the greenhouse-gas effect there would be, if the concentration of each gas were doubled:

Doubling each of the current concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, or nitrous oxide increases each of the greenhouse gas effects by only a few percent.

In a lecture on the same paper, Wijngaarden gave a range of what doubling the greenhouse-gas effect for carbon dioxide and methane means in terms of increased surface temperature.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is currently about 410 parts per million, and is increasing at a rate of 2.3 ppm each year; it will take 180 years to double; by that time the world would have run out of fossil fuels and zero-CO2 nuclear would have taken over.

Using the clear-sky calculations, this should equate to a ground temperature increase of between 1.4°C and 2.3°C, depending on how humidity changes.

The midpoint is 1.8 C over 180 years, resulting in a warming trend of 0.1 C per decade.

[Note to reader: This matches Dr. Roy Spencer’s satellite-based warming trend of the last four decades of 0.1 C per decade.]

The concentration of methane in the atmosphere is currently about 1.8 parts ppm and is increasing from all natural and human sources at a rate of 0.0076 ppm each year. It would take 240 years to double.

For every new molecule of methane going into the air, there are 300 molecules of new carbon dioxide emissions, but the methane molecule is 30 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas.

That means, when the amount of methane is doubled, it will produce only one-tenth (30/300) of the global warming that occurs when carbon dioxide is doubled.

This amounts to 0.18°C over 240 years or 0.008°C per decade.

Adding the 30 times more powerful methane molecule to the atmosphere, but at 1/300th the rate of carbon dioxide, results in a ground-level warming trend of only 8% of that caused by carbon dioxide. 

And carbon dioxide has taken one century to raise global temperatures by 1°C

It would take methane well over 1,000 years to warm the planet by 1°C, longer, if we happen to have clouds.

In a subsequent paper, Happer and Wijngaarden released comparable numbers for nitrous oxide. 

N2O is 230 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas 

It is currently at an atmospheric concentration of 0.34 ppm and increasing by 0.00085 parts ppm each year. It would take 400 years to double, resulting in a warming trend of 0.006°C per decade.

It would take nitrous oxide well over 1,500 years to warm the planet by 1°C; that’s the number the media doesn’t tell you. It would take even longer if we happened to have clouds.

To The Rancher Near Calgary and Ranchers Anywhere)

You don’t have to understand the math to accept the results, when OBJECTIVE SATELLITE observations verify the mathematical model. 

Unlike the IPCC models, the calculations are compliant with the scientific method.

The layman can feel comfortable accepting the message of Dr. Sheahen’s video—the greenhouse-gas effect of methane and nitrous oxide is negligible—because satellite data confirms that.

This changes everything: Cows don’t cause global warming. Neither does nitrogen-based fertilizer.

The complete Climate Change Dispatch article, authored by Ron Barmby and originally published November 25, 2022, can be accessed here.

Ron Barmby ( is a Professional Engineer with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, whose 40+ year career in the energy sector has taken him to over 40 countries on five continents.

His book, Sunlight on Climate Change: A Heretic’s Guide to Global Climate Hysteria (Amazon, Barnes & Noble), explains in layman’s terms the science of how natural and human-caused global warming work.









Life without oil means many products that are made with oil, such as the hundreds listed below, would need to be provided by wind and solar and hydro.

Folks, including Biden's attendants, wanting to get rid of fossil fuels, such as crude oil, better start doing some rethinking.

The above also applies to natural gas, which is much preferred by many industries

If you do not have abundant low-cost energy, you cannot have modern industrial economies.



These articles contain significant information regarding wind, solar and grid-scale battery systems











These articles explain a lot about the world-wide “Climate Crisis” scam, based on highly compromised surface station measurements, which typically read HIGH.


Climate scientists SUBJECTIVELY adjust the readings for use in their SUBJECTIVE computerized-temperature-calculation programs, which are used in the reports of IPCC, etc., for scare-mongering purposes.


New Surface Stations Report Released – It’s ‘worse than we thought’


Weather- Just how does it happen?


A summary of the results of three “Physics of the Earth’s Atmosphere” papers, which were submitted for peer review at the Open Peer Review Journal.




Satellites and balloons measure temperatures of the Troposphere, which starts at ground level, and has an average height of 59,000 ft at the tropics, 56,000 ft at the middle latitudes, and 20,000 ft at the poles. Above those levels starts the Stratosphere.


Balloons directly measure temperatures. Satellites measure radiation, from which temperatures are calculated. 

Both consistently measure much lower temperatures than the average of 102 computer-generated graphs.

See Appendix 2 and 3


The data in the below images is for a 43-y period.

There is global warming, but it is not anywhere near as much as scare-mongers are claiming.


1) Objective satellite and balloon temperatures increased from 0.00 to 0.5 C, or, or 0.116 C/decade 

2) Subjective computer-generated temperatures increased from 0.00 to 1.20 C; or 0.28 C/decade, about 2.7 TIMES AS FAST


The temperature data by satellites and balloons are more accurate than land-based measurements.

See Appendix 2 and URL

Satellite measurements are made many times during every day and systematically cover almost the entire world; +/- 85-degree latitude.

The satellite data is vastly more complete, and accurate than would be gathered by ground stations. (See Appendix 2) 


Balloon measurements, made on a sampling basis, are vastly less complete than satellite measurements, but they serve as a useful crosscheck on the satellite measurements. 


NOTE: Behind the 102 computer graphs are hundreds of organizations that likely receive a significant part of their revenues from governments and subsidy-receiving wind, solar, battery, etc., businesses.

The livelihood and career prospects of the people creating these graphs is more secure, if they aim high, rather than low.


A more detailed view of satellite temperatures.


Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and also a member of the CO2 Coalition. Sheahen and the Coalition are collaborating on a brief.

SEPP’s October 8 newsletter contains a summary of a major 2021 paper by Happer and co-author William van Wijngaarden that completely undermines the fake “science” the IPCC and EPA used to support the case of climate alarm. 

Sheahen specifically discusses the efforts of Professors William van Wijngaarden and William Happer in their pioneering work in calculating the real-world Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) of the five most common Green-House Gases (GHGs).

Sheahan explains why the approach used by IPCC is faulty, but nonetheless used by its followers, such as the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the EPA.

These faulty methods lead to great exaggeration of the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, methane, and other minor greenhouse gases. . . .

Sheahan shows the stunning agreement between the calculations of van Wijngaarden and Happer (W & H) with satellite measurements (and balloon measurements) of outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the earth to space . . .

Sheahan claims, because of the exceptionally good agreement between observational data and the calculations of W & H, we can conclude the W&H model has been validated.

The W&H model embodies the scientific method.

In that case, it is reasonable to use it to study other hypothetical cases.

It is not possible to do so with IPCC models, which have never achieved agreement with observations. . . 

See Appendix 3

The gist of the H&W work is the greenhouse effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is almost entirely saturated, such that any additional CO2 can have almost no additional warming effect.

Here is a chart prepared by Sheahan to illustrate the H&W results.

As atmospheric CO2 increases, say from 380 to 420 ppm, it has less warming effect.

The most warming effect occurs at very low levels of CO2, say 20 to 60 ppm.



A timely and important new paper has just been uploaded to the CO2 Coalition website on nitrogen.

The first half of the paper on the greenhouse warming effect of N2O is quite technical

It is summarized in the first link.

Link to the full paper is at the bottom. Please distribute widely.


Authors: Will Happer, C. A. de Lange, William Wijngaarden and J.D. Ferguson


Nitrous Oxide and Climate – Why restricting N2O emissions is unnece...


Nitrous oxide (N20) has now joined carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) in the pantheon of “human-generated demon” gases.

GW scare-mongers view increasing concentrations of these molecules are leading to unusual and unprecedented GW, which will lead to catastrophic consequences for both our ecosystems and humanity.


Countries around the world are in the process of greatly reducing, or eliminating, the use of nitrogen fertilizers, based on heretofore poorly understood properties of nitrous oxide.

Reductions of N2O emissions of 40 to 45 percent are being proposed in Canada , and by up to 50 percent in the Netherlands .

Sri Lanka’s complete ban on fertilizer in 2021 led to the total collapse of their primarily agricultural economy.


The CO2 Coalition has published this paper, which evaluates the GW effect of the N20 and its role in the nitrogen cycle.


Policymakers can now proceed to make informed decisions about the costs and benefits of mandated N20 reductions of this beneficial molecule.


This new paper joins previous CO2 Coalition reports on other greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane.

Key takeaways from the paper:


  • At current rates, a doubling of N2O would occur in more than 400 years.
  • Atmospheric warming by N2O is estimated to be 0.064 C per century.
  • Increasing crop production requires continued application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer to feed a growing population.


Download the entire PDF Nitrous Oxide


Methane, CH4, aka, natural gas


NOTE: A similar graph can be created for N2O

It is dangerous to be correct in matters, where established men are wrong, by Voltaire



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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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