Academia’s arrogance reflected in climate-change debate
Prof. Jeffrey Corbin’s May 25 letter about climate change is an excellent example of the type of arrogance that has affected academia in recent decades. He criticizes The Gazette for allowing a balanced debate of climate change to take place in its pages. He implies that academia would never allow such a mismatch of “intelligence” within its enlightened halls. Let us review the basic facts of climate change.
First, it is correct that the Earth has warmed up 1.5 degrees F since 1880. What the professor neglects to tell us, however, is that 1880 was near the bottom of the well-recognized “little” Ice Age, when temperatures were 1.5 degrees F lower than their average over the past 2,000 years. So although the temperature rise since then coincides with an increase of CO2 [carbon dioxide], their correlation is not necessarily causation, but could just as likely be coincidence.
There is a two-fold argument against global warming being caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide. First, there have been four “true” Ice Ages documented in the 400,000 years of data extracted from ice core measurements. In all of the warm-ups from these Ice Ages, warming started roughly 800 years before CO2 began to increase. This happened not once, but four times, roughly every 100,000 years.
This is one of Al Gore’s favorite graphs, although he presents it on such a compressed horizontal scale that the rises appear to be simultaneous, an erroneous view which he obviously promotes. In fact, the rises are far from simultaneous. Expanded-scale graphs clearly show CO2 begins to rise roughly 800 years after the temperature has risen, probably reflecting the gradual release of CO2 from the slow-warming oceans. (See YouTube: “Astronomical Basis of Climate Change” Parts 1-4.)
This is in complete disagreement with current computer models which show zero — repeat, zero — time delay between rises temperature and CO2. In the current computer model results, these variables go up simultaneously and linearly. This is in utter disagreement with measured historical data.
The second argument against CO2 causation of warming is also contained in the graph for 400,000 years of climate change. During this period four “true” Ice Ages occurred during which the CO2 level varied over a range of 180 to 280 parts per million. This 100 ppm [parts per million] range of CO2 was accompanied by a temperature variation of about 18 degree F.
Since 1880, CO2 has increased an even larger increment, namely, from 180 to over 400 ppm. If the current climate models are correct in showing a simultaneous linear relationship between CO2 and temperature, today this should have added another 18 F rise to the 1880 temperature. Thank goodness this hasn’t happened!
Although on a different subject, I think No. 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal’s quote in red ink on page 40 in the current issue of TIME magazine is pertinent here: “The people who don’t have doubts; I think only two things — arrogance or not intelligence.”
Thanks to The Gazette for having given the minority view equal space. It is a view which in time I am quite confident will become the majority view, provided intelligence is allowed free expression.
Theodore G. Mihran