President-elect Obama announced that combating global warming would be one of his top priorities. Will someone please tell the president-elect that the battle has already been won?
Since 1998 global temperatures have been lower, and NASA recently had to check their climate records and revise them; now 1934 is the warmest of the past 100 years, and six of the ten warmest years are now over fifty years ago. The Thirties are now the warmest decade, the Southern Hemisphere is on a long-term cooling trend, and the Antarctic ice cap is growing. 2007/2008 are the coldest period since 1980, and Arctic sea ice is back to normal.
So what is there to fight?
Sea levels rose about seven inches in the past century, and there are no signs that the rate is increasing, although the average increase for the past 100 centuries has been four feet per century.
The warming during the past fifty years of industrial development is only an extension of the warming of the past 300 years since the end of the Little Ice Ages. Glaciers have been retreating during the same period, a natural occurrence that began 250 years before CO2 levels began to increase.
The Vostok ice core samples Al Gore proudly referred to in his slide show actually demonstrate that warming precedes increased levels of atmospheric CO2, not causes it. As a wise person – obviously not an Obama advisor – said, the future cannot effect changes in the past.
Governor Schwarzenegger wants Californians to lead the fight against global warming. If he could get all Californians to go back to living a Stone Age existence, except we couldn’t even light campfires for cooking or warming, the CO2 we prevented from reaching the atmosphere would be quickly replaced by the increases from China and India.
Ironically, the monies that are flowing to China and India and other developing countries to reward them for taking actions to reduce some carbon emissions are being used by them to finance coal-burning plants to generate energy to fuel their rapid economic growth.
Actually, rapid increases in energy production from combustion of carbon-based fuels is the best environmental step the world could be taking right now, since the resulting increased prosperity will enable mankind to do what mankind does best, adapt to changes in our environment.
And the earth will continue to do what the earth has done quite well for billions of years: change its climate naturally.