Saturday, December 29, 2007

Willful Ignorance of Global Warming Alarmists

If ignorance is bliss, the global warming alarmists live bliss-filled state. With blinders firmly placed, they lead mankind down the path to the eighteenth century, in the sure belief that destroying the economic hope of the impoverished masses is the way to save their miserable lives.

The core of their belief is simple, and to the alarmists, unquestionable. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by the powering of mankind’s rapid economic progress is causing global warming.

The alarmists’ belief in a man-caused calamity in the making is unshakable, yet there is much evidence that it is easily assailable.

First, are there universally acknowledged instances, not just in the deep, dark past, but even in recent times, that the Earth has been warmer than today because of natural climate change?

The answer?

A resounding “yes!” Evidence of all types – analyses of tree rings, sediments, glacier retreat, remains of trees above current tree lines, records of vineyards where can’t be sustained today, and myriads of other studies have established beyond the shadow of doubt that the Medieval Warm Period of 1,000 years ago, and the Holocene Optimum of 5,000 years ago, were global and much warmer than today.

Of course, there is also abundant, universally accepted evidence, that prior to the warm, interglacial period we are now enjoying, the Earth went through a glacial period, the Ice Age, which reversed only 18,000 years ago. Since the reversal, the mile-thick ice sheet above Chicago (and a very large portion of North America) melted away, and the seas have risen over 400 feet, or an average of over two feet a century.

Are there now anomalies that don’t fit the anthropogenic global warming scenarios?

Another resounding “yes!” Again there is abundant evidence that some recent periods of climate change contradict the CO2 driven models.

Examples abound. Al Gore and “An Inconvenient Truth” made much of glaciers shrinking, and from his presentations you would think it a new phenomenon. However, glaciers began retreating at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, well over a century before mankind’s accelerated hydrocarbon use.

Al Gore prophesized that seas would rise about twenty feet, engulfing major cities and low-lying nations by the end of this century. Again, sea levels have risen over 400 feet in just 18,000 years, and have been rising at about a seven-inch per century rate since 1850. The current rate of sea level rise is just an extension of that trend, and even the United Nations has no evidence or expectation of a significant change in the trend.

According to global warming alarmists, global temperature increases on a direct or even accelerated basis with increases in atmospheric CO2. However, the highest rate of warming came in the first half of the twentieth century (+0.6º C from 1910 to 1945), and has only increased another 0.6º C in over sixty years since 1945. In fact, for a thirty-year period (1945-1975), as atmospheric CO2 went up, global temperature went down.

For those who insist on knowing the cause of things, since nothing “just happens,” they will be happy to learn that even though the temperature variation of the past century does not correlate well with increased atmospheric CO2, it correlates almost perfectly with solar fluctuation. Further happiness is in store, since solar variation also correlates exceedingly well with global temperature variation for thousands of years, and even longer.

For man-caused warming fanatics, a bit of sadness: the chart Al Gore showed in “An Inconvenient Truth,” purportedly showing CO2 increasing, followed by temperatures doing likewise, actually shows temperature increases preceding CO2 increases by about 800 years. The mechanism driving this change is simple and well known. The cold water of the oceans store enormous quantities of CO2. When water temperature rises, as it does in response to increased solar activity, the warmer water cannot store CO2 as well as colder, causing the oceans to release CO2 into the atmosphere. Ergo, and ipso facto, CO2 increases following, not preceding, a solar-driven temperature increase.

None of this should be interpreted as a denial of global warming – not of the natural variety, anyway. It is obvious to all with open minds that climate change has been occurring naturally for millions of years, and will continue to do so, regardless of human efforts to stop or reverse it.

What few of us realize is that we live in a fortunate period in terms of the Earth’s climate. Even as recently as two centuries ago our ancestors struggled against numbing cold, crop failures and famine, pandemics of influenza, cholera, and plague, frequent and violent storms, and all the ills that beset humanity during cold periods.

Ironically, having survived the ravages of cold, we’re now inundated by prophets of gloom regaling us with their fears that we will soon experience as warm a climate as our ancestors prospered under just 1,000 and 5,000 years ago.

What a snake-oil sales job! We’re supposed to have more fear of warmth than cold? Then why do we all flock to Florida, California, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and the southern states? Are we rushing to our doom? Or do we just naturally know that cold kills multiples of the number that die from heat, and that our lives can be happier and more comfortable in warmer climes?

However we look at it, clearly Al Gore’s mediocre academic record explains much of the failings of his climate science presentation. Now what excuse do his true believers have to continue following their inept leader?

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