In a quest to convince the public that humans are contributing to global warming or climate change by burning fossil fuels that add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, President Obama has said that global warming (or climate change) is going to cause more severe and extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes and cause massive forest fires.
This year California had the Rim Fire, which became the third largest in California history. It covered about 400 square miles in and near Yosemite. But as this column has said for many years, the amount and intensity of forest fires has declined and it has been that way for several decades. In fact, even with the Rim Fire, the acres burned for California was below average, even for the last 10 years.
For the nation, total acreage burned was 40 percent below the 10-year average. Nevada had a low year partially due to the drought, which creates less fuel for wildfires.
Fires are not caused by global warming. The Rim Fire was caused by a camper. Many are started by lightning and others are caused by pyromaniacs and arsonists. But they are not caused or exacerbated by human induced global warming and/or your beloved Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition. Improper forest management is the other offender.
And besides, because automobiles and trucks in general have become more economical, state governments along with the federal government are taking in less gas taxes in spite of more miles driven, thereby creating a problem. Now politicians and activists want to tax you by miles driven, which would be a disincentive to driving an economical car. You can bet the politicians who created fuel economy mandates (to save us from carbon) never considered the unintended consequence of lower tax revenues.
Three new scientific reports indicate CO2 is not the culprit of human-induced global warming as climate alarmists claim. First is a new Swedish study authored by scientist Leif Kullman. Kullman analyzed 455 “radiocarbon-dated mega-fossils.” His findings confirm what non-political climate scientists have said all along: That it was much warmer than today during Roman and Medieval periods. After both warm periods temperatures fell, the more recent dip corresponding to the “Little Ice Age,” which lasted from about 1300-1850.
Both those recent warm periods were devoid of CO2 build up. And this new study destroys one of the pillars of the global warming alarmists, “the hockey stick,” a fraudulent study that tried to show that the warming of the 20th century was unprecedented and such warming never happened before, laying credence that the only explanation for the 20th century warming was the increase of CO2 atmosphere. The Kullman study is just another piece of scientific evidence that debunks global warming theorists. Al Gore’s movie relied heavily on the hockey stick.
One explanation (of the current cooling trend), first proffered by Danish scientist is that solar activity is significant with respect to the Earth’s temperature and climate, has been recently reiterated by Professor Mike Lockwood through the examination of isotopes in ice cores. Lockwood said with respect to the recent cooling that solar activity is falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.
And a new study by University of Alabama’s Dr. Roy Spencer found that about half of the warming that did occur since the 1970s has been caused by El Ninos that take place during the natural warming and cooling cycles in the Pacific Ocean. Spencer said La Nina events (a cooling of the ocean) dominated the Pacific during the cooling from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. From that point to the late 1990s, El Ninos have been dominating. Spencer believes the Earth is in a La Nina situation now.
Global warming advocates claim the last 15 years of cooling are the result of the heat going into the deep ocean. Not only is this a theory, but there is no evidence or data to suggest this and like global warming’s alleged cause how are you going to substantiate it other that there is a scientific consensus of which there is not either to the oceans’ taking up the heat or to the theory in and of itself.
Should we conserve our resources and not waste? You bet. But should we limit our development of conventional energy or its use to “prevent global warming?” Absolutely not. You can’t prevent what is NOT happening. When the history of this period is written it will show that environmentalism had nothing to do with the environment, but had everything to do with political control.
Larry Weitzman is a resident of Rescue.