In a couple of hundred years historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet’s rapid downward slide. Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church sold indulgences like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in “carbon credits” is in formation. Those whose “carbon footprint” is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others less virtuous than themselves.
The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide is making any measurable contribution to the world’s present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind’s sinful contribution–and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed.
Now imagine two lines on a piece of graph paper. The first rises to a crest, then slopes sharply down, levels off and rises slowly once more. The other has no undulations. It rises in a smooth, slow arc. The first, wavy line is the worldwide CO
And the other line, the one ascending so evenly? That’s the concentration of CO
I met Martin Hertzberg, PhD, the man who drew that graph and those conclusions, on a Nation cruise back in 2001. He remarked that while he shared many of The Nation‘s editorial positions, he approved of my reservations on the question of human contributions to global warming, as outlined in columns I wrote around that time. Hertzberg was a meteorologist for three years in the Navy, an occupation that gave him a lifelong mistrust of climate modeling. Trained in chemistry and physics, a combustion research scientist for most of his career, he’s retired now in Copper Mountain, Colorado, but still consults from time to time.
Not so long ago, Hertzberg sent me some of his recent papers on the global warming hypothesis, a thesis now accepted by many progressives as infallible as Papal dogma on matters of faith. Among them was the graph described above, so devastating to the hypothesis.