Instead of joining ranks with the parties engaged in the current cold war over climate change I would like to do something refreshing and new. This article is going to present you with a series of indisputable facts on the global climate and then ask you to decide for yourself what your opinion on the matter is.
Here I sit at my desk on a typical summer day in Tennessee. It gets in the 90F temperature range during the first part of the day and then there are thundershowers in the afternoon. It could be any summer day picked at random from the 50 odd summers of my life.
The first true fact: in over 100 years the temperature has not increased even 1degree.
2 opposing forces
One group of people with a liberal bent would have us believe that the planet is at the edge of ecological disaster due to the increase in CO2 caused by human activities, of which one is simply breathing. Led by one of my states native sons and the United Nations these forces attempt to use science (sometimes used very badly) and fear to promote their agenda of globalism and socialist ideals.
The other group, firmly entrenched in the warm and coy bed of conservatism and the corporate energy lobby struggle to use their influence to make us think that global climate change is a myth. They seek to preserve our constitutional methods of governing and let the free market deal with our energy problems. The nation would be better served if the opposing sides would address our energy and climate problems sans politics.
Fact: The climate is changing. It has been changing for millions of years and will continue to change.
Fact: Human activity does affect the climate to an extent. Cities change the weather in their immediate area simply by existing.
Fact: The Earth captures CO2 and stores it in plant life and in the sediments of the sea bottom. There is a correlation between the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the amount of O2 ( oxygen) in the atmosphere. In times past the planet had higher temperatures and higher levels of O2 and CO2. These levels came down during the ice ages. The planet is in the final stages of the last ice age and has been for over 12,000 years.
Fact: The Earth is a self regulating organism with extremely complex interactions of millions of processes and variables. Each one in interdependent with every other in a system so complex that we don’t have the technology to completely understand it. Even with cray super computers and climate modeling it is still a lot of guesswork because the system changes faster than it can be modeled.
The atmosphere begins on the sun and reaches all the way to the core of the planet. The complex interaction between the atmosphere, the cycles of water in the lakes,seas and rivers and the life processes ( respiration) of every living thing on the planet work together to produce the weather conditions prevalent today and for the foreseeable future.
Fact: There is no real consensus among scientists on this issue. One group of climate scientists who by use of computer modeling, have concluded that global warming is a fact and is caused by an increase in man made CO2 emissions. These same scientists have also stated that their computers are not capable of handling the sheer number of calculations needed for proof of their assertion.
Many other scientists in a number of disciplines including geology, earth science and meteorology hold different opinions. Some even argue that the Earth is cooling.
Fact: The problem is complex with many variables to consider and there has been a lot of misrepresentation of the facts in the press by both politicians and reporters.
We see one example of this in the way the press covered a report in 2007 by the University of Illinois showing that the arctic ice cap had the lowest level of ice cover in thirty years. This was reported widely in the popular press while omitting reports statement that in 2007 the Antarctic ice cover was at an all time high.
Fact: Over 30,000 American scientists have signed a petition stating that:
- Believe global warming is not occurring or has ceased
- Believe accuracy of IPCC climate projections is questionable
- Believe global warming is primarily caused by natural processes
- Believe cause of global warming is unknown
- Believe global warming will benefit human society
This petition has been signed by 31,478 American scientists including 9,029 with PhD. degrees and including Nobel Laureates.
The petition is as follows:
“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.“