Letters To A Smalltown Weekly

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Location: Gualala, California, United States

Alice and I love our life on the Northern California coast and welcome friends and family to enjoy it with us.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Facts Trump Wishes


Annie Beckett wished she could make sense of my “climate change is natural” argument. Maybe I can aid her comprehension. I’ll type really slowly.

First, the vast weight of evidence is that climate change is natural. It is irrefutable that the Earth has been much hotter and colder many hundreds of times over millions of years.

Less than a thousand years ago warmer weather was thoroughly documented by written, geological, and archeological evidence.

Examples of written evidence include the logs of Viking voyages to Greenland and Iceland, which first noted the absence of sea ice during the Medieval Warm Period (AD 800-1300), then the buildup of sea ice as the Little Ice Age set in (AD 1350-1900).

Physical evidence includes farms on Greenland that are still almost completely covered with ice sheets, and the remains of mature forests in the Alps similarly emerging from ice blankets.

A Harvard study of over 240 worldwide climate studies concluded the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, and that it was a worldwide phenomenon.

Before that, the Holocene Climate Optimum during the period BC 9000-BC 5000 was even warmer and lasted much longer.

While CO2 increased steadily, there was a cooling period 1940-1975 following the scorching 1920’s and 1930’s. It’s strange that temperatures went up during the Depression, when industrial activity was low, and fell during World War II and the following period of rapid industrialization. Wouldn’t you think that indicates something other than man-made CO2 increases was driving climate change?

Like Nature?

Annie, your 2,500 IPCC scientists and my 15,000 scientists protesting Kyoto prove nothing because science is facts, not consensus. Not long ago scientific consensus was that the world was flat, and skeptics could be burned at the stake.

I shouldn't give Liberals ideas.

Annie, you have wishes, I have facts.