CLIMATE CHANGE 2.0
It used to be called “Global Cooling” in the 1970s when we were cooling. The prediction was that the next ice age was upon us. We are still in the last ice age, the Pleistocene. Two major polar ice caps still dominate the earth. There is some debate about whether we are in an interglacial period, the Holocene, or is that just warming within our last glacial period, also called the Quaternary glaciation. Regardless, real interglacials should not have any ice on the planet. 80% of the time, the earth has been free of ice, called a Greenhouse Period.”Climate Change” replaced “Global Warming,” which was not intuitive or accepted by the general population despite Al Gore and AOC.
There are two opposing opinions. #1 Man-made CO2 is warming the planet, and if we do not do something soon, we shall perish. It may already be too late. #2 The Climate is constantly changing and has been for millions of years. We may be contributing to this, but the warming and cooling cycles are caused by numerous factors: the sun’s heat output, the earth’s axis wobble and orbital eccentricity (Milankovitch cycles), and greenhouse gases of which water vapor is the most powerful. Additionally, Ocean currents, among others, also affect the earth’s temperature. The “Warmers,” True Believers, and Activists hang on one factor, greenhouse gases, of which CO2 is in their mantra the most important. In contrast, the “Skeptics” and Deniers claim a multiplicity of factors that cause climate. I kind of like the title “Skeptics” because it connotes individuals who are not sheeple. The term “Deniers” is a pejorative derived from the “Holocaust Deniers,” a rather backward group denying the obvious.
Climate science is a new field of study, perhaps 30-40 years old. Physics, geology, meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, oceanography, carbon cycling, astronomy, soil science, and many others deal with climatology. Believe it or not, many of those touch on biology and the study of human physiology. More significantly, I am by nature, a skeptic. In my over 50 years of dealing with a branch of science, I have found that most things are not simple. I have a hard time buying into the single causation of anything.
The other major obstacle to my accepting the single theory of Global Warming is the various attempts at deception that have been uncovered on their side, not the least of which is the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), a branch of the United Nations. They are a closed and underhanded group. If you don’t believe in their mantra, you are ousted. It was formed by 195 countries that each appoint members. Not only scientists, but also environmentalists, activists, and politicians appointed by each country have input into their reports. This creates an incestuous unanimity as they see anyone who disagrees with them as not a valid climate scientist which many of them are not either. In one report they produced, they stated, “Most of the observed increase in global average temperature is very likely due to observed increase in human-caused greenhouse gas concentration.”
Papers that are not along party lines are not reviewed. In fact, getting a paper that does not agree with the man-made causality of increased global temperature will likely not even be accepted by most journals, much less getting any government grants. The media usually does not report on the skeptic’s point of view or on the frauds that have been perpetrated. The most infamous of which is the “Hockey Stick” temperature rise that depicts a recent rapidly rising global temperature, leaving out the Medieval Warming and the “Little Ice Age.” The e-mails that originated from the English University of East Anglia appeared to show efforts to hide or alter data to falsely show Global Warming, with a reluctance to share data. Was the second batch of e-mails recently released also taken out of context? Or the claims that the Polar-bears are dying off, a very debatable point of view, and the data from tree rings of Bristlecone Pines that produce misleading data regarding Global Warming, which was more likely related to changes in precipitation and/or in life-giving CO2 (which CO2 is known to do). I am aware of all the arguments: taken out of context, some of the warming was only in the northern hemisphere, cherry-picking words like “use tricks to hide temperature decline” is difficult to interpret in any other way, but refusing to share data, which they unquestionably did, is very suspicious. It is not how scientists should behave. Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister of the 3rd Reich, hit it on the head, “People will eventually believe you if you keep repeating the same lie.”
There have been several warming periods without the evil CO2 factor. The Minoan Warming may have helped create the Greek civilization about 3500 years ago, then the Roman Warming about 2000 years ago when all Alpine glaciers melted and allowed Hannibal, with his elephants, to cross them. Also, the Medieval Warming was about 1000 years ago when the Vikings really discovered America and settled Greenland (which was indeed green) long before 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. All correlate with human achievements, likely because it was warmer. It was warmer than in our current anomaly in all three previous climate anomalies, while CO2 hovered dangerously below 200ppm. At 150ppm, all plant life starts to die. Hothouse farmers like to keep their CO2 levels between 1000 to 1300ppm. And no one has yet died in those hothouses. What if we have it all wrong and the cause and effect are reversed. It gets warm, and because it gets warm CO2 ppm rises. There are other causes for the earth’s temperature to go up. The sun’s temperature output is not constant. The earth gets closer to the sun because of axis tilt and orbital eccentricity. At times there is more heat than others. The last three warming anomalies did not have CO2 associated with them. In fact, our current climate anomaly starting in 1850 at the end of the “Little Ice Age” goes against the theory.
Most graphs show the beginning of rising temperatures before the Industrial Age started. Then in 1940, a surprising drop in temperature lasting to 1975 happened despite CO2rising another 30ppm (17% of the total). It actually brought fears of a new ice age, another contradictory episode in the CO2 saga.
Another flaw in the theory of fossil fuel causation of the CO2 story is that almost half of the CO2 rise was before the Industrial Age prior to 1850 from 180ppm to 280ppm. Where did that CO2 come from? It could have been from vulcanos, but even Krakatoa in 1883 barely moved the needle, and it is unlikely that life forms made that much CO2. If you have ever noticed, cold beer has a lot of “fizz,” but warm beer doesn’t. That is because more CO2 is dissolved in a cold fluid than in a warm liquid. The end of the “LIA” marked the beginning of a new warming period for various reasons; of course, the ocean water was also warming. When it got warmer, it released CO2, and as you can see in the graph above, CO2 started to rise before the first Model-T rolled off Ford’s production line. That happened in 1908. There is a lot of CO2 stored in the oceans. There is a significant risk that despite decreasing our fossil fuel use, the global temperature may still rise, just like it did in all the other warming periods of the past despite low CO2. We got a slight hint of that with the recent Covid CO2 dip but still a continued rise in temperature. The argument that temperature rise precedes CO2 rise, as it did in 1850, is awkward. As as far as I know, cause precedes effect pretty much every time, even if it happened in the 19th Century.
There is a vast body of scientists who do not join the 97% consensus that Al Gore talks about. I need to hear more from the 3% that don’t agree. This would not be the first time in history that the minority report is right. There are trillions of dollars at stake. In 2009 a group of 31,000 scientists (I presume some of the three percenters) led by Fred Singer*, an Austrian physicist and student of a long list of renowned scientists, including his Ph.D. adviser, Professor John Wheeler, collaborator of Niels Bohr, the father of quantum mechanics, signed a document that made the statement, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.” You must admit 31,000 signatures would make you think twice about anything if you were a thinking person. And you would think CNN would have made mention of such a startling statement. Even Roger Revelle, Al Gore’s “beloved mentor” changed his mind on Global Warming which prompted Gore to call him “an old fool.”
I am also disturbed by the latest activist attack that the newest cause of Global Warming is Capitalism. Who knew that the Capitalists were fueling Global Warming? China must have turned Capitalist when I was not looking. They are, after all, the most significant contributors to greenhouse gases.
* Many of you have read Al Gore’s books, but I’ll bet that none of you have read an actual climate scientist, Fred Singer’s book, “Hot Talk, Cold Science” ©2021