Climatology is an area of study that comes from many disciplines of science. Meteorologists, astrophysicists, geologists, geophysicists, mathematicians, and oceanographers all lay claim to the title of climatologist. The amount of data that each discipline adds to the study of climatology is astounding — so astounding that no one really understands it all yet, least of all climate alarmists such as carbon credit salesman Al Gore.
Up until the 1970s, climatology was a little-studied and poorly understood concept. We knew that climate existed, of course. We knew that the angle of the sun affected weather, and we knew what to expect in terms of seasonal variations. But no one would presume to know with any certainty if and how climate was changing. The first conclusions drawn on the subject, back in the 1970s, were that the globe was on the verge of a new glacial period in our present ice age (a glacial period is a period of advancing ice — we are still in an ice age as ice sheets still exist in Greenland, the Arctic, and Antarctic). The consensus of a cooling world at that time was 83 percent, by the way.
But the 1980s were a much warmer decade, and eventually, scientific consensus shifted to the global-warming model. In 1989, the United Nations created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to study the dangers of a warming globe. Not surprisingly, the IPCC and many leading scientists blamed mankind and our profligate use of fossil fuels for rising CO2 levels.
That’s when politics became involved. And lest you think that it all came from the left of the political spectrum, remember that conservative hero Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain was one of the first to call for an all-out war on global warming. But regardless of which side of the spectrum the calls for action emanated from, the die was cast. Politics became involved, and the science became suspect.
The plant food known as carbon dioxide was demonized. In 2013, the figure of 400 parts per million (PPM) was said to be a “tipping point.” It was said to be an unprecedented number — the “highest ever recorded,” and certain to cause catastrophic global warming if not curtailed immediately.
But the first accurate measurements of atmospheric CO2 began in the 1950s. Those 60 some-odd-years are hardly a long enough sample size. Back then, CO2 levels were measured at 314ppm, which makes 400ppm seem like a gigantic increase. But even at that 400ppm number, Carbon dioxide makes up 0.04 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Another thing that climate scientists won’t tell you is that complex plant life depends on having at least 150ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. Scientists estimate that carbon dioxide during the last ice age was dangerously low, only about 200ppm. It’s entirely possible to have too little CO2 in the atmosphere.
But except during times of advancing ice ages, that has not been the case. Ice core data from Antarctica shows that atmospheric CO2 has waxed and waned throughout the eons. In fact, during the Cambrian geologic time period, CO2 levels averaged nearly 6,000 ppm. Evolutionists will tell you that this was the time of the Cambrian Explosion, the time when most complex animal and plant life appeared on the Earth. Does that mean CO2 is the driver of evolution and not natural selection?
Of course not. Such a conclusion would becompletely capricious and based on incomplete data — just like the conclusions and doomsday predictions of climate alarmists today.
Princeton physicist William Happer, an honest scientist, much hated by the climate-alarmist community, has recently pushed back against the demonization of CO2. “You might call me a scientist who is persuaded that doubling or tripling CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere will be a major benefit to life on Earth,” Happer said.
Despite what Al Gore tells you, carbon dioxide is simply not a pollutant. It is one atom of carbon covalently double bonded to two oxygen atoms. We release it into the atmosphere each time we exhale. Plants need it to survive. It is a trace gas, only 0.04 percent of our atmosphere. It’s not a demon; it’s a necessity of life.
The reliability of any type of scientific study goes down in direct proportion to the amount of politics involved in that study. When the funding of science is tied to a certain outcome, said science is suspect. And that is the case with a large percentage — shall we say 97 percent? — of climatology today.