RBC I While there are a growing number of people proclaiming the warning that climate change will destroy the earth, it seems to me we need to look at both sides of this issue — something the mainstream media has failed to do. While I commend the young Greta Thunberg for wanting to be involved in world politics, we must remember she is simply making an emotional case for what she has been taught in schools and learned from her parents and the media. The fact that she addressed the United Nations does not mean her statements were backed by sound science. No one disagrees that the climate is changing and always has been changing ever since the world began. The questions are:
What are the causes? Is the issue overblown? What about the consensus?
Is there only a single cause that can be identified? Is it a threat?
Can we really prevent it? Just what can we do about it?
Many today firmly believe that global climate change is occurring because of what man is doing. Back in the ‘70s the cry was that the world was cooling, at least that’s the way the media spun the story. Then global warming became the mantra. People of notoriety like Al Gore championed the idea as they flew around the country in their private jets telling everyone else to stop polluting the atmosphere. Now the catch phrase is: “CO2 emissions are getting so high we will all die.” How do we know? Consensus science tells us so.
Let’s break that down. We all know the world was much colder in past years — even in recorded history. There is plenty of evidence that the Ice Age created the Great Lakes in this country as well as carving out other canyons as glaciers covered a good portion of the globe. No one argues with that, but most would say that nothing like that has happened since recorded history. My question here is, how many of those who would say that, have actually read much of recorded history? According to those promoting the coming climate catastrophe, temperatures have remained rather constant until the past 50 years or so (depending upon who’s drawing the chart.) Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist, geoscientist and researcher at the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and others have shown that the “hockey stick chart,” as they call it, ignores the “Medieval Warm Period” and the “Little Ice Age” which occurred between 800-1500 AD. (1) If you Google Little Ice Age, even Wikipedia has a brief discussion about it. (2)
We are also told that polar bears are nearing demise due to climate change. Supposedly they are losing their habitat. (3) But are they? A number of articles can be found that completely refute that idea. Not only are the polar bears not disappearing, according to papers written in 2016/2017, their population is on the rise. (4) It is entirely possible that climate change has nothing to do with the polar bear population, but rather other factors such as hunting and lack thereof that may have played a bigger role in this picture.
One of the reasons we’re told climate change is a threat is that we have more forest fires from the extra hot temperatures than we’ve ever seen before. This extrapolation is easily refuted by Dr. Soon and others who point out that the charts used to promote that hypothesis start with the year 1960. When you look at the graphs on hot days and forest fires that start with the year 1926, you can see that the number of hot days recorded was far greater in the mid-1930s than anything we’ve ever seen. There were also more forest fires during those years than what we see today. (5) By way of reference, that was also coincided with the Great Dust Bowl in the mid-west. Keep in mind that while we did have greater factory pollution in its early days, automobiles were not at all ubiquitous like they are today, nor was there a lot of air travel. Certainly industrialization was not as widespread worldwide as it is today. The population then — just over 2 billion — was about 1/4 of what it is today, (6) and the population of the United States was only around 130 million compared to the roughly 330 million today. (7) Therefore, since people cannot be blamed for the hot temperatures in the1930s, why is humanity to blame today when it was worse then?
We are told the world will end, and we will all die if we don’t stop the increase of CO2. If CO2 continues to increase, we are told, the ice caps will melt and the oceans will flood the lowlands of the earth. CO2 is being blamed as the big greenhouse gas that will kill all of us, but is that true? Dr. Soon will tell you that as opposed to causing global warming, he sees it as following global warming. (8) So just what is a greenhouse gas and how much of the atmosphere is occupied by greenhouse gasses? The North Carolina Climate Office defines it this way. “The atmosphere is composed of a mix of several different gases in differing amounts. The permanent gases whose percentages do not change from day to day are nitrogen, oxygen and argon. Nitrogen accounts for 78% of the atmosphere, oxygen 21% and argon 0.9%. Gases like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, and ozone are trace gases that account for about a tenth of one percent of the atmosphere. Water vapor is unique in that its concentration varies from 0-4% of the atmosphere depending on where you are and what time of the day it is. In the cold, dry arctic regions water vapor usually accounts for less than 1% of the atmosphere, while in humid, tropical regions water vapor can account for almost 4% of the atmosphere. Water vapor content is very important in predicting weather.”(9) To make that a little easier to understand, let’s look at the amount of impact CO2 has on the whole. Our atmosphere as a whole is fairly stable, while the Greenhouse gasses are all variable. All greenhouse gasses except water vapor only account for less than one-tenth of one percent (0.0009). Let’s take a stack of 100 pennies and pull one out. Then cut that one penny into 10 pieces and pull one piece out. Next cut a 10th off that little piece and what remains will show you what an extremely small part of the total atmosphere is composed of the smaller greenhouse gasses. Keep in mind that CO2 is less than half (0.0004) of that part of a penny. All the other greenhouse gasses noted above are in that little part of the penny as well.
Dr. Soon and others insist that water vapor (H2O), which makes up most of the earth’s greenhouse gasses, has far more effect on the climate than CO2. (10) Plus, there are other aerosols and pollutants in the air that are not considered into the equation.
By LEONA HEMMERICH
Special to the Herald Times