Blow­ing back at ‘global warm­ing’: A sharp re­sponse to weather doom­say­ers

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“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.

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