Guest Opinions

On global warming, please use the data, not the hyperbole

Ronald M. Harriman.
Ronald M. Harriman.

I can agree with the attempts to deal with the present warming period on earth, but become concerned with the hyperbole coming from the environmentalists.

The meteorological data utilized are the records man has kept for the past 500 or so years, and — while important for present forecasting — has little to do with global warming other than a scoreboard.

Man’s contribution to CO2 is by all estimates less than 3 percent, and this should be restricted, but thinking that controlling man’s contribution will cure this warming period is a fantasy that overlooks all of the data geologists have been gathering for a hundred years.

U.S. geological data from core drilling clearly dates the atmosphere of this planet back a billion years, and dendrochronological records record the atmosphere in more recent times. These data are obscured by and shunned by the “Sky is Falling” panic of the environmentalists.

During the past 500 million years this planet has had continuous episodic Ice Ages and we are in the middle of the latest warming period, which is titled the Holocene. You can look this up, it is the Holocene Epoch. Basically we are between ice ages, and there is little mankind can do to change this natural happening. Geological history records a period wherein the temperature averages around 80-plus degrees F for a period of 45 million years; the carbon dioxide levels were 15 to 20 times what they are today; and the seas were 600 meters higher than today. This was followed by an Ice Age that lasted for 20 million years; this was at the end of the Ordovician Period. For a reference, NOAA’s average world temperature during 2014 was around 58 degrees and the CO2 was around 400 PPM.

Considering this large body of scientific data, the present endeavors should be to anticipate the warming condition, adapt our water storage and living conditions, and, yes, the coastal areas will become inundated.

Man can do little at this point unless we can change the factors that have caused the historical warming and cooling periods that would require stopping the world from changing its wobble every 26,000 years, stop the movement of our tectonic plates, stop the methane release from the methane hydrates on the ocean floor, which are 25 times more problematic than carbon dioxide, and keep the sun from changing its luminosity.

Ronald M. Harriman lives in Nampa.