- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The planet has never been warmer than it is right now, if you believe what global warming alarmists have to say. Mankind’s selfishness in producing “excessive” amounts of carbon dioxide has set us on a path toward global cataclysm, they insist. The problem with this tale is that it neither fits with the historical record nor with a growing body of scientific evidence.

The alarmists must imagine that 50 years before the birth of Christ, men like Julius Caesar spent their summers strolling the streets of Rome wearing sweaters to guard against catching a chill - instead of abandoning the sweltering capital in favor of temperate seaside villas. A study published in the March 8 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science casts further doubt on the warmist premise by concluding that the sun beat down more harshly on the Caesars than it did on anyone else in the past 2,000 years.

Instead of using tree rings as a proxy for air temperature, the study’s authors extracted data from sea shells preserved in deep sedimentary layers, using them as a proxy for sea temperature in the North Atlantic over the course of two millennia. According to the study, the “reconstructed water temperatures for the Roman Warm Period in Iceland are higher than any temperatures recorded in modern times.” The heat lasted from approximately 230 B.C. to 140 A.D. After that, temperatures rose and fell over time with a second peak taking place during the better-known Medieval Warm Period.

The researchers confirmed their temperature estimates against records of human settlement patterns and descriptions found in Norse sagas and other historical writings. People settled in the region when it was warm; cold spells coincided with descriptions of famine.

These facts will not sit well with the climate-change theocracy. In order to sell the notion that global warming is a consequence of industrialized society, the fundamental article of the warmist faith must be that modern times are the hottest on record. Much like the ancient Romans, today’s environmentalists believe extreme weather conditions are not a phenomenon with natural causes, but rather a portent of Mother Earth’s displeasure with the choices made by the people. Whereas the ancients offered animal sacrifice to appease her wrath, the modern pagan offers carbon credits.

The punishment for failure to render carbon sacrifice is environmental disaster, according to the alarmist movement’s high priest, Al Gore. The following easily could be a passage from his book “Earth in the Balance” describing the consequence of failure to act on climate change: “Either the scorching sun burns up your fields, or sudden rains or frosts destroy your harvests, or a violent wind carries away all before it.” Inconveniently for Mr. Gore, the Roman poet Lucretius expressed those sentiments around 50 B.C. That’s because weather back then was just as hot - or hotter - and as extreme as it is today.

Other studies from around the world confirm the existence of Roman and Medieval warming periods, where no source of “greenhouse gases” existed aside from the horses and cows of the time. For that reason, we encourage our senators to stab their daggers into the heart of cap-and-trade and all other legislation being promoted in the name of climate-change fiction.