Carbon Dioxide is a Follower, Not a Leader
Published by Pajamas Media May 2010
By Art Horn, Meteorologist
The U.S. State Department recently issued its fifth Climate Action Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The report concludes “Global warming is unequivocal and is primarily human-induced. Global temperature has increased over the last 50 years. This observed increase is due primarily to human induced emissions of heat trapping gases”. The threat of man made global warming will be used to cram a giant regulatory ball and chain down the throats of America’s energy makers. It’s called Cap and Trade and it’s coming to a country near you, very near and very soon.
People elected the current president because enough of them wanted “change”. They got it. Recently Americans have witnessed the passing of a so called “health care” bill that will continue the current revolution to remake America into Canada or worse Europe. Emboldened by their “success” the current administration now has its green eco-guns pointed towards remaking America’s energy industry. Perhaps I should have said destroying America’s energy industry. Americans need to know that the data being used to prove that increased carbon dioxide levels causes global warming actually prove that is does not, here is why.
Those who kneel at the altar of Al Gore preach that increased levels of man made carbon dioxide are changing the climate. They point to the rise in temperature over the last 160 years. They say concurrent increases in CO2 are proof of man made global warming. What they ignore is the fact that half the warming of the last 160 years was from 1910 to 1945, before any credible man made influence from carbon dioxide was possible. In reality 80% of all human emissions of CO2 have been after 1945. This cuts the amount of theoretical man made global warming by half over the last 160 years. That is just the beginning.
What is even more enlightening is what the carbon dioxide data from ice cores say. Carbon dioxide in the air has not been responsible for temperature changes in the past. The data shows that over the last 10,000 years there is no evidence that carbon dioxide levels have had any effect on temperature.
In Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, Mr. Gore showed a graph of temperature vs. carbon dioxide over the last 425,000 years. He stated that the graph showed that as levels of carbon dioxide increased the earth’s temperature did the same. We now know that this is not true. In fact the reality of this falsehood was revealed before the movie was released. Either Gore did not know it or chose to ignore it. Detailed study of ice core data shows that the temperature was the lead player, not carbon dioxide. Analysis of the data shows that temperature went up by an average of 800 years before carbon dioxide responded to the increase. Anyone who has opened a carbonated beverage knows that if the soda is warm the carbon will come out much faster, but only after the soda has warmed up. Keep the soda cold and the carbon stays in the bottle. The same is true of the carbon in the oceans. The ice core data shows us that increased levels of carbon dioxide in the air are the result of warmer temperature, not the cause of it. As the temperature warmed so did the oceans and in doing so released more carbon into the air. Proponents of man made global warming do not want to talk about this “inconvenient truth”.
The list of organizations and government agencies that insist that carbon dioxide rules the climate is long. Here is a partial list in no particular order…The current United States Government, The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change, The World Wildlife Fund, The National Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, Defenders of Wildlife, Worldwatch Institute, Environmental Defense Fund, United States Climate Action Partnership, The Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, The Scripps Institution of Oceanography and many, many others. All of these companies feed at the nipple of government and private foundation money. In 2008 the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation of California made a one time donation of $500,000,000.00 to ClimateWorks. This company is working to keep the level of carbon dioxide in the air under 450 parts per million.
In his farewell speech to the nation on January 17th 1961 President Dwight Eiesenhower warned of this.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research.
Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
I was as if he could see the future. Unfortunately his warning has not been heeded.
Hundreds of academic institutions and environmental groups, dozens of research organizations in the United States and around the world claim carbon dioxide rules the climate. They point to ice core data that says carbon dioxide levels are higher than anytime in the last 450,000 years. They say that this increase has caused the global temperature to rise one degree Fahrenheit over the last 160 years. They say that continued injection of carbon dioxide into the air by human activity will cause catastrophic global warming. This leads to a question: If carbon dioxide levels are higher than anytime in the last 450,000 years is today’s temperature higher than anytime in the last 425,000 years? The data from the ice cores says no. Another question: Is there any historical data to indicate that carbon dioxide has caused temperature rise in the past 10,000 years? The answer to that question is also no.
Drilling into deep ice in places such as Antarctica and Greenland we have been able to extract varying levels of isotopes of oxygen that have allowed us to recreate the temperature of the past. These ice cores show us that during the last 10,000 year period, called the Holocene the earth has been in a warmer period between the ice ages. This ice core data has also allowed us to recreate the levels of carbon dioxide over the last 10,000 years. The data from the ice cores shows us that the level of carbon dioxide during the Holocene has been around 270 parts per million or about 116 parts per million lower than today.
Those that say carbon dioxide is the major influence of long term climate change point out that this 116 parts per million increase makes today’s level of atmospheric carbon dioxide historically high for the Holocene. By their reasoning that should make the current temperature of the earth historically high compared to the last 10,000 years. But is it?
Today’s temperature is not remarkable compared to the last 10,000 years. In fact the temperature is considerably lower than most of the Holocene. The data show that the temperature has varied by about 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 10,000 years. What is remarkable is that all this temperature variation took place while carbon dioxide levels remained at around 270 parts per million. If carbon dioxide levels are ruling the climate why did the temperature of the last 10,000 years change so much when CO2 hardly changed at all? The answer is that something else was changing the temperature. The answer is that the variation of the sun’s energy output and the cyclic ocean temperature changes rule the climate.
Carbon dioxide is a very minor greenhouse gas. It has almost no effect on global temperature. The data prove that. If you believe something else it must be faith or environmental fervor, the lure of a government contract or politics, not science. The true answer for the changing climate over the last 10,000 years must be something other than carbon dioxide since it changed so little while the temperature changed so much. The temperature of the earth is not remarkable compared to the last 10,000 years. The ice core data tell us that carbon dioxide levels are higher than anytime in the Holocene but the temperature is not. This fact rules out carbon dioxide as an important greenhouse gas.
The very evidence that global warming proponents use to vilify carbon dioxide and our way of life verify that it is not the cause of temperature change.
President Obama says he wants Wall Street reform. If so, why will he support a bill that will bring about the development of a massive carbon trading market through Cap and Trade. If enacted this bill will actually increase the collusion between government and Wall Street. The government will set the price and number of “allowances” (carbon credits) to be distributed to fossil fuel burning industries. The government will then decrease the number of “allowances” in the future thereby theoretically increasing their value. All of this will have no effect on how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the air. The only thing it will affect will be the trillions of dollars going into Wall Street power brokers pockets. It brings to mind an old saying in the television business. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.