- - Monday, July 22, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

On July 25, the Heartland Institute will hold its 13th International Conference on Climate Change, at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Heartland has already published at least three, 1,000-page, peer-reviewed volumes on so-called “Climate Change,” under the moniker Climate Change Reconsidered II.

Those scientific Heartland volumes draw on the work of such intellectual giants as former Princeton Professor of Physics Will Happer, now at the National Security Council; Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor emeritus of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Pat Micheals, former University of Virginia professor and president of the American Association of State Climatologists; and Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, where he developed the method for U.S. satellites to monitor global atmospheric temperatures 24/7. He was awarded the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award for that work, serving as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

That contrasts sharply with political high school dropouts, like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocassio Cortez, her mentors Al Gore and Bernie Sanders, and NBC’s Chuck Todd, who announced on air that NBC is totally closed-minded on the issue. Deadlines like AOC’s 12 years left to live have already passed three times.

Heartland shows that temperatures for the last 100+ years have not followed carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels accelerated up throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. But global temperatures have not followed that steadily increasing pattern of CO2. Instead, temperatures have followed the up and down pattern of natural cycles and causes.

Global temperatures rose from 1915 until 1945, even though carbon dioxide emissions were much lower then. Then global temperatures fell for 30 years, from the late 1940s until the late 1970s, even though global human CO2 emissions soared during those years (post World War II economic recovery).



Global warming restarted in the late 1970s for 20 years until the late 1990s. That is the only global warming in the last 75 years. But then global warming abruptly stopped 20 years ago in the late 1990s, even though during those last 20 years human carbon dioxide emissions totaled one-third all human emissions since the industrial revolution started (1750). These are established facts from the scientific experts cited above, contrary to fake news NBC.

The natural cycles and causes of temperature change include solar activity cycles (such as sunspots), which have produced major climate changes in the past (Little Ice Age AD 1350 to 1850, and the Medieval Warm Period AD 950 to 1250, during which global temperatures were higher than today).

The natural causes also include ocean temperature cycles, (Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Every 20 to 30 years, the colder water near the bottom of the oceans cycles to the top, where it has a slight cooling effect on temperatures until the sun warms that water. That warmed water then contributes to slightly warmer global temperatures, until the next churning cycle. These natural cycles and causes explain precisely the twists and turns of the above discussed global temperature pattern of the 20th century to today.

Carbon dioxide is not some artificial industrial gas, but a natural substance produced by the natural environment, essential for the survival of all life on the planet. CO2 fuels photosynthesis, which enables plants to grow, feeding animals, which feed other animals. Without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, plants would die, destroying the foundation of the food chain for all animals, including humans. That is why CO2 can never be intelligently labeled “carbon pollution.”

As carbon dioxide emissions since the dawn of the industrial revolution (birth of the modern world) have increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the planet has flowered with greenery observed by U.S. satellites. This resulting increased plant growth is why very high concentrations of carbon dioxide are pumped into actual real greenhouses seeking more rapid plant growth.

More atmospheric carbon dioxide actually improves human health and welfare by allowing us to feed a growing world population. As Climate Change Reconsidered 2.0 explains, “At the current level of 400 parts per million [0.04% of the atmosphere, 4/100ths of one percent, a miniscule amount], we still live in a CO2 starved world. Atmospheric levels 15 times greater existed during the pre-Cambrian period [about 550 million years ago] without known adverse effects.” Indeed, evolution of all of today’s plant and animal species continued through that time. Only about 3 percent of that tiny 400 parts per million is generated by human activities, with the rest from natural sources and cycles.

Global temperatures have been following natural cycles and causes, not carbon dioxide, for over a thousand years, with no significant CO2 emissions from fossil fuels before the industrial revolution explaining the Medieval Warm Period. Nor can CO2 emissions explain much colder temperatures that prevailed during the Little Ice Age.

Global temperatures have leveled off for 20 years at about 1 degree Celsius higher than the start of the 20th century. The Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today by about 1-2 degrees Celsius. The 500 years of the Little Ice Age were colder than today by about 1-2 degrees Celsius. The variation in global temperatures we have seen over the last 100+ years is not outside this normal range of variability. That is why Heartland’s Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change concluded that Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.

• Peter J. Ferrara, who teaches economics at Kings College in New York, is is a senior policy adviser for the National Tax Limitation Foundation.

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