Blowing back at ‘global warming’: A sharp response to weather doomsayers
“Unstoppable Global Warming” is a valuable and sane contribution to the morethan-a-little-loopy public conversation about global warming. It deserves a warm reception from readers.
Currently the day is being carried by doom-and-gloom hysterics, including a chubby former vice president (who if he can’t invent the Internet can at least save the world from CO2). These folks promise all manner of horrors — including but not limited to inundation by a rising sea caused by melting ice caps, epidemics of disease, mass extinction of species, a spike in major storms, arable land turned to desert, and on and on — unless advanced countries immediately dismantle their energy-based economies.
Mr. Singer and Mr. Avery contend that while what the hysterics want to do may be inconvenient in the extreme, there is no truth to their claims.
Thethesisofthisbook,backedup by extensive research, is that the slight warming our Earth is under- going now is part of a long-established cycle associated with activity on our sun, is not dangerous, and is notsomethingwecoulddoanything about even if there were any need to, which there isn’t. If man-made greenhouse gasses are contributing to warming to anything more than the most trifling degree, the global warming activists have not come even close to demonstrating this.
“The Earth continually warms and cools. The cycle is undeniable, ancient, often abrupt, and global. It is also unstoppable. Isotopes in the ice and sediment cores, ancient tree rings, and stalagmites tell us it is linked to small changes in the irradiance of the sun,” write the authors.
The activist, or carbon-dioxideis-killing-us, side of this argument — catered to by ignorant and lazy journalists looking for something sensational for page one — is based on wild suppositions derived from computer modeling and on cherry-picking of temperature data. The evidence that man-made greenhouse gasses are well along to destroying the planet has to be believed to be seen.
Climate physicist S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia and serves as distinguished research professor at George Mason University. He was the founding dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences as the University of Miami, first director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service and served five years as vice-chairman of the U.S. National Advisory CommitteeonOceansandAtmospheres. He is widely published, including previous books on global climate.
Dennis T. Avery is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former senior analyst at the U.S. State Department. He’s written exten- sively on environmental matters.
In writing this book, the authors reviewed extensive and readilyavailable research and historical data showing that for at least the past million years our Earth has continually gone through warming and cooling phases that have lasted about 1,500 years and are in no way correlated with CO2 levels.
Some of the warmest periods of the Earth’s history — including duringtheperiodoftheRomanEmpire andduringtheMiddleAges—took place when pre-industrial man was not putting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Even in the 20th century, when the temperature of the Earth did rise for the entire period, global temperature did not track with the levels of man-made greenhouse gasses.
Much of the 20th century’s warming came before 1940. From about that year until about 1975, the period of the most rapid and intense industrialization on the planet, temperatures on Earth actually went down,beforestartingbackupagain. All of this data flies in the face of the of the doomsday scenarios being pushedbythegreenhousegas-bags.
“Theory says that more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will trap more heat, but no one knows whether the amounts of heat trapped by CO2 increases are significant. Nothing in the Earth’s climate history confirms CO2 as a strong driver of climate warming,” write the authors.
Mr.SingerandMr.Averydemonstrate though the historical record that the Earth’s warmer periods werenotbadforthehumanrace.Au the contraire, cold is a lot tougher on plants and animals than heat, and thewarmerperiodshavebeensome of man’s and the planet’s most prosperous. More diseases are caused bycoldthanbyheat.Andthelonger growingseasonsandlargergrowing ranges of the warm periods have been a benefit for humans (higher CO2 levels are actually good for plants). The Earth is now in one of the warm periods, and will likely be in it for at least a few centuries. Not to worry.
Larry Thornberry is a writer living in Tampa, Fla.