Other factors are causing global warmingBy PETER GILDERSON,
You have to hand it to the global warming activists. They have good timing. After a very cold April when much of the country suffered from bone chilling temperatures, the GW people waited until the warmer than usual weather of May to make their next pitch. If you remember, in April we frequently had to cover shrubs and bring our tender plants inside at nights here in central Mississippi. I planted my tomatoes too early. Those plants are now stunted. Heavy freezes were experienced in the north, and a record four nor'easter blizzards pummeled the east coast.
But with warmer temperatures in May, the GW experts have resumed their message. Doyle Rice (USA Today 5/18) says the earth has now had 400 consecutive months with warmer than average temperatures. She quotes far away places for the higher temperatures. "The cause," she says, "is unquestionable climate change from humanity's burning of fossil fuels." Let's look at a few scientific facts.
Scientists have long acknowledged the existence of the "Medieval Warming Period." Some 1,000 years ago temperatures well above the norm were experienced for several centuries - many thousand months. Was that due to humans burning fossil fuels? Hardly. The climate alarmists decline to discuss this period because it doesn't fit with their "religion." Recognition of the "Little Ice Age" (about 1500-1800) is somewhat more palatable because it sets their baseline at low levels from which they claim warming has been due to the industrial revolution. The point is that these fluctuations in global temperatures have occurred naturally throughout earth's long history.
The very long term trend over the last 10,000 years (the end of the last Ice Age) has been one of continual warming. During that time the polar ice cap has retreated from the northern United States, for example Minnesota, to its present location in the Arctic Ocean. The result of melting massive quantities of ice has been the rise in sea levels. GW alarmists fear the flooding of Manhattan and of Miami, but I would remind them that the land bridge between Alaska and Asia was flooded centuries ago by the same forces at work today.
This brings us to yet another major factor in global warming: the effect of volcanoes - there are dozens which are currently active today. The cruise ship on my recent vacation departed the Hawaiian Islands just two days before Kilauea exploded, spewing massive quantities of toxic gasses into the atmosphere. When a similar volcano erupted in Iceland a few years ago a respected Australian geologist said that the volcanic ash "in just four days negated every single effort (that has) been made in the last five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet." Carbon dioxide, termed the evil greenhouse gas by the GW experts, is the essential food for plants, crops, and all vegetation which then synthesize it into oxygen for humans to breathe.
Another common source of atmospheric CO2 is the many forest fires that occur every year - many started by lightning strikes. Every year the western states are plagued with many fires, including one last fall that destroyed some of the wine country vineyards and buildings. Depending upon species and moisture content, one ton of average forest wood, if fully combusted, would yield approximately one ton of carbon dioxide. Think of all the hundreds of thousands of tons of wood that are destroyed in these forest fires each year. The resultant production of CO2 dwarfs the savings of all the human efforts to control greenhouse gases.
In short then, even if the GW alarmists are accurate (which I doubt) in their assessment of 400 consecutive months of global warming, it should not be surprising. This general trend has continued for 10,000 years. Any effort to try to change the trend by controlling human fossil fuel consumption is insignificant when compared with the natural production of CO2 by volcanoes and forest fires. We must conclude that the country made the right choice when we opted out of the Paris Climate Accord that punished U.S. industry, while giving two major competitors and polluters - China and India - a free pass for many years.
Peter Gilderson is a Northsider.