When Al Gore screams out in Senate testimony: "The Earth Has A Fever" he is not so much developing a scientific theory as he is seeking to use fear to drive a political agenda. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued four reports and in each one they have become more convinced that man is the chief cause of global warming, and that this warming is and will be seriously destructive to life as we know it.
We are told that "the science is settled" and that there is "a consensus" of scientists who believe we are headed for disaster if we do not stop burning fossil fuels. Yet, there is a growing number of scientists who disagree. Over 32,000 scientists have signed "The Petition Project" over 9,000 of them with PhDs proclaiming that man is not the chief cause of warming and that this warming will not be disastrous.
True science does not depend on a consensus, but on a careful analysis of evidence as found in nature. One scientist noted that once they have a theory about something they work hard to prove themselves wrong. History is replete with examples where scientists were just plain wrong about life matters, but continued research revealed the truth.
It is our contention that the present emphasis on man-caused (anthropogenic) global warming is a myth, in fact a carefully orchestrated hoax, not to further science, but to gain more control over the peoples of the world. It is incumbent on each of us to search out the truth in this matter and act accordingly.
We are told that the Earth has warmed about half a degree centigrade a century for the past 150 years. The actual amount of warming as recorded is difficult to support given that a half-degree is about all the closer we could record temperature until very recently. There are just 1,221 weather stations in America and few of these have been in the same position for the entire time. Some have moved to new locations, and others have had cities grow up around them, which raises the average temperature. Temperature readings can vary a couple of degrees depending on whether they are next to a building, on a slope, in a valley, or on a hilltop.
There appears to have been more warming in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere, but it needs to be kept in mind that there are few weather stations over the ocean, in Africa and South America, and even fewer in Antarctica. It is probable that the earth is warming, but by less than half a degree.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declared that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. That is not a scientific statement made by a scientific body, but a deliberative statement made by a political body. We often forget that Supreme Court Justices are human just like the rest of us, and though we expect them to know more about the law than we know, we do not expect them to be experts in every field of endeavor. The greatest evidence for this is in their own decisions (or opinions) which are often 7-2, 6-3, or 5-4. Often, one vote one way or the other would change the outcome of the decision.
Our atmosphere is approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, .9% argon, and .04% carbon dioxide. From that "trace" amount of carbon dioxide is built all the plants we see on the Earth. Far from being a pollutant, carbon dioxide is a natural substance required for all plant life. All plants use carbon dioxide to grow and in the process they give off oxygen. Animals use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. This relationship is the miracle of life that enables both plants and animals to survive on Earth.
Growers know that increasing carbon dioxide increases plant growth, and for this reason carbon dioxide is sometimes used in greenhouses to increase plant growth. It has also been demonstrated that an increased level of carbon dioxide enables a plant to survive and even thrive at warmer temperatures. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.
The principle of a greenhouse is quite simple: Light enters through the glass and strikes the surface. It is transformed into infrared rays which are longer and do not so easily pass back through the glass. You experience the greenhouse effect when you leave your car shut up in the summer and notice how hot it is.
The greenhouse effect we note for the Earth is a little more complicated. The infrared rays that are re-emitted from the Earth are actually trapped by the greenhouse gases which warms the gas and heats the Earth. It is this effect which makes our Earth habitable, otherwise it would get very hot in the day time, and very cold at night; extremely hot in summer, and extremely cold in winter.
The main greenhouse gas is water vapor. Where there is more moisture in the air the climate is more tempered. Thus while daily temperatures may vary on the desert as much as fifty degrees they vary only a little in the tropics. Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, and the next is carbon dioxide. However, doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will not double the temperature rise. There is a definite limit, and that limit is determined not by the amount of greenhouse gases in the air, but by the amount of solar radiation "reflected" from the Earth. Once all the infrared rays have been "captured" by the greenhouse gases there can be no additional increase in temperature.
There is no question that man produces carbon dioxide. He produces carbon dioxide simply by breathing. But, he produces carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels. Every fossil fuel except hydrogen produces carbon dioxide when it burns. Some products produce more carbon dioxide than others, depending on their chemical composition. Methane produces less carbon dioxide and wood produces more. It is important to keep in mind that when wood burns it produces carbon dioxide, but when that same tree dies and rots it also produces carbon dioxide.
The ocean is a tremendous storage tank (carbon sink) for carbon dioxide. But, as the oceans warm they can hold less carbon dioxide. The warming ocean releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. An increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will cause more carbon dioxide to be absorbed by the ocean. But, which comes first is difficult to know. It is much more likely that some natural factor such as changing solar radiation is actually warming the Earth, warming the oceans, and thus increasing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
We are told that there will be great species extinction because of rising temperatures. We pick up a magazine and there is a polar bear standing on a small iceberg hoping to survive. The truth is that most populations of polar bears are expanding and loss of sea ice is not a problem for them. Most of the loss of sea ice area has been caused by changes in wind patterns.
Rising temperatures are actually beneficial to most plants and animals. While humans can adapt from the very cold to the very warm, most people prefer a warmer climate, and many migrate to the south during the winter. Plants actually increase their habitat when temperatures warm, moving higher in latitude (farther north) and higher in elevation (up mountains) when conditions warm, but they still maintain their present habitat. As far as people are concerned it is important to note that ten times more people die each year from cold than die from the heat.
Most of the measures suggested to remedy higher levels of carbon dioxide (Remediation) will be deadly for world populations, especially in underdeveloped countries. Because gasohol is produced from corn, efforts to substitute alcohol for gasoline is causing world-wide food shortages, and raising the price of most grains. This has become so critical that some places have even had riots over food prices.
The United States was not a signer of the Kyoto Protocol (treaty). But, those countries that did sign have greatly missed the mark. The only way to reduce carbon dioxide production is to reduce burning of fossil fuels: gasoline, diesel, coal, natural gas, wood etc. These are the main sources of energy, and though we might be able to cope by building more nuclear power plants, much of the developing world will be very dependent on these other resources over the next several decades.
And, even if we were able to reduce our carbon footprint, most of the rest of the world would not. China and India are two very large developing countries and have expressed no interest in cutting production of carbon dioxide. Unless they participate in remediation what we do will have very little total effect. Rather than causing world poverty by reducing carbon dioxide it will make a lot more sense to adapt to a changing temperature.
Floods, drought, hurricanes, these, we are told, are all signs of coming catastrophe from global warming. Yet, these are normal parts of any climate. Climates change from warm to cold, from wet to dry. Our Earth has weathered many serious changes in climate, from the Ice Ages to ages of tremendous plant growth (with high levels of carbon dioxide) yet the biosphere (plants and animals) has survived. We shall continue to survive because we are very adaptable. And, as time goes on we will develop even more innovative ways for adapting to changing climate.
Some politicians know that they can gain more control over our lives through programs designed to remedy global warming. We need to be vigilant to see this does not happen. We can make better use of our energy; that just makes good sense and helps each one of us. But, most of the suggested programs from wind farms to solar energy to hybrid automobiles will cost almost as much energy to produce as they actually save.
Common sense demonstrates that this great planet has survived many changes in climate and will do so again. Government programs to help would be far better directed toward clean water the world over, as well as better sanitary conditions and food production. Even control of such things as malaria would be a greater help to mankind than any effort to control global warming. Besides, most of what you hear about global warming is a myth.