Published: April 28, 2008
Global Warming? An Open Letter to John McCain
Raymond S. Kraft
Dear Mr. McCain
It seems that some leading Republicans such as yourself, Newt Gingrich, and even President Bush, have accepted the premise of Anthropogenic Global Warming – that man is spewing millions of tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere each year, and that this is causing an unprecedented rise in earth’s temperature that threatens us all. And, if we spend enough money to reduce CO2 emissions, we can change it.
I urge you to reconsider. More than 19,000 scientists have signed the Global Warming Petition to protest the Kyoto accord, and declare their opposition to the theory that man’s CO2 emissions are causing Global Warming (the Global Warming Petition at http://www.oism.org/pproject/). Written and sponsored by Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, the Petition reads:
Global Warming Petition
“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan, in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases, is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of Earth’s climate. Morever, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide [willl] produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
There is certainly no “consensus.” The IPCC Report on Global Warming (2007) from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states that it was “reviewed” by 600 authors from 40 countries, and over 620 experts and governments. The 19,000 scientists who have signed the Global Warming Petition outnumber those who have “reviewed” the IPCC report by more than 15 to 1.
The illustrations below are from www.GlobalWarmingArt.com, a website created to graphically illustrate the evidence for Global Warming Theory, and since they were created by proponents of Global Warming Theory, I will adopt them, and stipulate to their accuracy, and explain very simply why this evidence produced by the Global Warming proponents proves them wrong.
The Global Warming theorists always point to rises in temperature (by fractions of a degree) within the last 200 years, or the last 1,000 years, but such a small sample of climate history is not historically representative, and is not a large enough data set to be scientifically meaningful. It’s cherry-picking the evidence. To be intellectually honest, we must look at all the evidence we have, not just a small fraction of it. To be scientifically meaningful, we must look to the long history of climate changes, as shown in the six illustrations below.
Exhibit 1. Holocene Temperature Variations: The IPCC Is Wrong
Here we see that the present Warm Era (the Holocene) began almost 12,000 years ago. It peaked circa 8,000 years ago at 1.5 degrees above the baseline, a full 1 degree warmer than now, at the beginning of what climatologists call the Holocene Optimum.
According to the IPCC Report on Global Warming, rising CO2 causes Global Warming, and CO2 now is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. If this were true, then it would be warmer now than at any time in the last 650,000 years. But it is not. 8,000 years ago, CO2 was 120 parts per million lower than now, and the climate was warmer than now. Now, CO2 is higher, but the climate is cooler. Thus we know that the IPCC’s global warming theory is false. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is wrong. Openly and obviously wrong. Clearly and conspicuously wrong. Irrefutably wrong.
We also know that prior to 12,000 years ago, sea level was 400 feet lower than now. Most of that water was bound up in vast glaciers on the northern continents, in some places as much as three miles deep. From 12,000 to 6,000 years ago, there was so much glacial melting that sea levels rose 400 feet to their present level. That is, before the present era of Global Warming began, 12,000 years ago, sea level was 400 feet lower than now.
Before Global Warming began, twelve thousand years ago, you could walk from Alaska to Siberia on the Bering Land Bridge, or Beringia, a thousand miles of dry land, north to south, as large as Australia, now under the cold ocean of the north Pacific, the Bering Sea. You could walk from England to France on dry land under what is now the English Channel.
Exhibit 2. The Surface Temperature Record
Here we see the recent trend line rising 1/2 degree (0.5 degrees) from 1980 to present, with temperature spiking circa 1998 to 0.7 degrees above the 1980 benchmark, and cooler since then. One half a degree. In San Francisco, the temperature can rise or fall by half a degree in a minute. And, for most of us, a half degree change in temperature is too small to notice.
Exhibit 3. Reconstructed Temperatures: Last 1,000 Years
While this looks fairly “dramatic,” this is only because the scale of the graph is so narrow. It is only 1.6 degrees from the bottom to the top of the chart, barely enough climate change for most of us to feel. From the benchmark of 0 at 1,000 CE (for Common Era, or AD, as we used to say, one thousand years ago), the chart only shows a range of 0.6 degrees up, and 1 degree down. Since 1,000 years ago, global temperature fell 0.9 degrees to the bottom of the Little Ice Age, four hundred years ago, and then it began rising, and has risen about 1.3 degrees to reach 0.4 degrees above the benchmark of 0 from 1,000 years ago. Thus, we see that our climate today is a trivial 0.4 degrees warmer than it was 1,000 years ago, before the Little Ice Age. Less than one-half of one degree. And a full degree cooler than at the peak of the Holocene Optimum, eight thousand years ago (Exhibit 2).
Exhibit 4. Ice Age Temperature Changes
Let’s look at some more history. Over the last 450,000 years we see five episodes of “Global Warming” above the 0 baseline. The previous four eras of Global Warming, approximately 120,000 years, 240,000 years, 330,000 years, and 400,000 years before now, were warmer than now, with very long intervening ice ages much cooler than now. The next ice age will be disastrous for agriculture in the northern half of the northern hemisphere. And, unless the long natural cycle of global warming and ice ages is somehow broken, the coming of the next ice age is a matter of when, not if. Perhaps we should be grateful for Global Warming while we have it.
It won’t last forever.
In order to be credible science, Global Warming Theory must explain (a) what caused the last 5 eras of Global Warming, and (b) what caused the last 5 eras of Global Cooling. If it does not do so it is not good science, but merely opinion, merely speculation, an unproven hypothesis, that would not be admissible as evidence in any court under the Federal Rules of Evidence. To my knowledge, it does not do so.
To be admissible evidence in court, scientific evidence must be “generally accepted in the scientific community,” as the U.S. Supreme Court held in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 US 570 (1993). Otherwise it is deemed too speculative and unproven to be reliable, and therefore inadmissible. Since there are many thousands of scientists who reject Global Warming Theory, it cannot be seen as “generally accepted science.” It is highly disputed science, a highly disputed, unproven theory. It is my opinion that this theory, and the crystal-ball computer models that purport to predict the future, the future of global climate changes, are not admissible as evidence to prove that they are true, unless they can first be proven to be “generally accepted science.”
Are we to base national climate and energy policy on a theory that is not even sufficiently proven and accepted to be admissible as evidence at trial, in a judicial proceeding, in a court of law?
If we were to do a computer model of future climate changes based on extrapolations and inductions from historic patterns and cycles of climate change, it would very likely tell us that the earth will soon enter another long era of Global Cooling, another periodic Ice Age.
Exhibit 5. Five Million Years of Climate Change
Looking back five million years, we see that (a) there have been dozens of cycles of global warming and global cooling over the past five million years, (b) the swings between the extremes of global warming and global cooling in each cycle have been growing more dramatic, and (c) there has been a steady long-term cooling trend over the last five million years. Earth’s climate, in the long trend, is growing colder, not warmer.
Exhibit 6. Sixty Five Million Years of Climate Change
Here we see (below) that over 65 million years global temperature has risen and then fallen dramatically from the Eocene Optimum, some 50 million years ago, not in a straight line, but in a general, long term cooling trend. Unless this long trend is somehow reversed, the earth is slowly cooling, not warming.
Thus it becomes clear that:
(a) The present era of Global Warming (the Holocene Era) began some 12,000 years ago, long before human civilization or modern technology. It was warmest circa 8,000 years ago, and has been slowly getting cooler every since, with some short term warming cycles, but a long term cooling trend.
(b) The present era of Global Warming is right on schedule in the long cycle of Global Warming and Global Cooling approximately every 120,000 years.
(c) The present Global Warming is cooler than each of the four previous warm eras, and the climate has been on a long-term cooling trend since the Eocene Optimum, some 50 million years ago.
(d) We see per the IPCC report that CO2 is higher now than in the last 650,000 years, yet during that time there have been at least four (4) eras of Global Warming with temperatures higher than now.
This fact conclusively disproves the hypothesis that rising CO2 causes global warming. If the premise that CO2 causes global warming were true, then the climate now would be warmer than at any other time in the last 650,000 years.
But it is not.
Let us also note that the CO2 rise from 280 ppm (parts per million) to 380 ppm at stated in the IPCC Report is a rise from a mere 0.028% of the atmosphere to a mere 0.038% of the atmosphere. Our atmosphere is more than 99.9% nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, and less than 0.1% everything else. At 380 ppm, or 0.038%, CO2 is less than 4% of 1% of the atmosphere.
Over the last 100 years, the increase in CO2 has been a trivial 0.01% of the atmosphere, or 1% of 1% of atmospheric composition, one part in ten thousand. To visualize this, imagine that you have a swimming pool that holds 10,000 gallons of water. Then you add one gallon. That is how much atmospheric CO2 has increased in the last 100 years, according to the IPCC. Not much.
The earth’s climate has been changing continuously for millions of years, as far back as we can reconstruct it, and doubtless long before that, for as long as the earth has had a climate to change. Nature changes continuously everywhere we look. Nothing in nature stays the same. Our contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere is truly trivial, less than one part in ten thousand, less than 1% of 1% – even if we assume that all of the CO2 increase in the last 100 years has been due to us, which may not be true. Has it been proven?
Before the United States makes enormous changes in public policy and spends hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars to “stop climate change,” don’t you think we should demand some pretty convincing proof that the climate change we see is not natural? Is the climate change we see really man-made, and can we really change it? Or is it the unchangeable natural cycle of Global Warming and Global Cooling?