Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I have been an ardent student of climate change since the 1970’s when many of today’s global warming enthusiasts were using the same rhetoric in scaring us about global cooling.  I read all of the information I can find on the subject from both supporters and opponents of human-induced global warming.  Because climate is one of the least understood areas in all of science it becomes necessary to make judgments regarding the credibility of the respective antagonist’s arguments.

I arrive at my viewpoints on the basis of the facts and evidence provided by each side.  In my opinion, the alarmist side throws out one sensational claim only exceeded by the next, relies on computer simulations while completely ignoring observational evidence, and only chooses to present as fact the outliers from their models that offer up the scariest and most extreme scenarios.

The anti-alarmist side tries to deal with what is actually known.  They point out that CO2 is a relatively weak greenhouse gas existing only in trace amounts in the atmosphere.  While alarmists claim its volume has hit record levels, cooler heads point out this claim could be made for each of the past 150 years where CO2 has increased from .028% to .037% of atmospheric volume.  The physical properties of CO2 enable it to only absorb 3 very small bandwidths of the infrared energy radiated from the earth.  The vast majority of infrared energy still easily escapes into outer space.  We are already almost one-third of the way to the doubling of CO2 volume ominously threatened by alarmists, and yet the earth’s temperature has only increased by 1 degree F.  CO2 is incapable of generating the 11 degrees of warming threatened by proponents of this theory.

The alarmists point to the ice melting in coastal Greenland and the Western Peninsula of Antarctica.  They conveniently ignore that the vast interiors making up the majority of these regions are expanding in ice mass and consequently exerting a negative impact on sea level.

The alarmist side is saying that the debate is over and the science is settled.  I don’t dispute the climate is apparently in a warming trend.  My issue is with the claim that it is primarily caused by humans rather than natural variation.  The planet is rebounding from the “Little Ice Age” where temperatures declined from those existing 1000 years ago.  A few years ago, 17,000 scientists signed the Oregon Petition stating their disagreement with the premise that human activities were leading to catastrophic climate change.

Greenhouse theory can’t explain that seven-tenths of the one degree warming occurred by 1940, well before significant human CO2 emissions went into the atmosphere.  When these human-induced emissions started to dramatically increase from 1940 to 1970, the climate COOLED by .4 degree.  We then saw the temperature increase again by .7 degree to the present.  There is no linear correlation of CO2 and temperature.  Why do alarmists believe that reducing the already miniscule 3% human contribution of CO2 volume will have any effect on the climate?  Furthermore, why do they want to sacrifice our economic well-being over a spurious and unproven theory?  The burden of proof is clearly on them.

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