Climate Change in Question
Although temperatures worldwide are rising, is man to blame or should we question the conclusions that are being made? There are many who have been told that man’s use of fossil fuels is the cause of global warming. Are these temperature fluctuations really due to fossil fuels or are they a normal part of a warming and cooling cycle? Will they result in catastrophic consequences?
Could there be a more naturalistic cause for these temperature spikes that are connected to the sun’s solar activity? Is carbon dioxide (CO2) a pollutant or are the present levels actually advantageous to plant life and an overall benefit to mankind? Are these doomsday climate models based on reliable data or are they more speculation than scientific certainty? Are these alarming climate models that have produced all kinds of hysteria really valid? Along with these unproven models, these climate change enthusiasts have proposed solutions that are costly and will result in a tremendous financial burden to all, especially the poor. With so many unanswered questions, it is prudent to challenge the global warming agenda.
CO2: An Integral Component of Life
Regardless of what the public is being told, CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a necessary component of all living systems. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating CO2 with the other greenhouse gases as a pollutant for the first time on January 2, 2011. In 2007, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of this governmental agency in EPA versus Massachusetts. It ruled that CO2 with other greenhouse gasses were air pollutants that endangered human health. The EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses by setting mandatory standards. Such authority has tremendous implications to our nation’s economy and social structure. The cost of energy is important to our nation’s economy and it has a profound effect on every American.
This erroneous belief that CO2 is a pollutant – or worse yet, a poison – leads to a great deal of confusion. There is biological evidence that links the levels of lead, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and other chemicals that are on the EPA’s list as harmful to humans, but this is certainly not true for CO2.
photosynthesis and CO2How could such an integral chemical compound like CO2 be considered a pollutant when it is a basic ingredient in the process of photosynthesis? One very obvious result from the rise in CO2 is that the earth has become considerably greener over the past 30 years. All those involved in the Green Movement should appreciate this positive result, but this is not the case.
The vital role CO2 plays in our environment is based on how the molecule is designed. Its chemical structure gives this gas the ability to be colorless, tasteless, and water soluble. This feature is why CO2 is involved in the biological cycle of life. One of the ways we see CO2 at work in biology is the role it plays in the acid/base balance found in the blood of mammals. It is here that CO2 plays an integral part when measuring the pH and levels of carbon dioxide (an acid) and bicarbonate (a base) in the blood.
Many marine animals use CO2 to make their protective shells. The formation of coral reefs is based on the use of dissolved CO2 in water. As a matter of fact, approximately 93% of CO2 on earth is found in oceans. It is stored in algae, vegetation, and coral underneath the sea. To understand this more fully, we can look at the example of the ocean’s sea grass meadows. These meadows are estimated to extend 188,000 miles (300,000 kilometers), storing about 15% of the ocean’s carbon.
There have been increases in CO2 levels over the years. Theoretically, this should have caused increased plant growth. Randall Donohue and his research team at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization in Canberra, Australia quantified this fact. By using satellite data coupled with the aid of a mathematical model they developed, researchers found an 11% increase in foliage coverage worldwide. This mathematical model had the capacity to isolate just CO2’s impact from other environmental conditions such as light, water, and nutrients around the world. Their findings were posted on January 19, 2013 in the Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of American Geophysical Union. The conclusion of this study made it clear that there was a direct benefit with regard to the increase of CO2 levels in the environment. This finding confirmed observations already made from satellites that our planet is becoming greener.
It is clear that the increased CO2 levels are beneficial not only to plant life, but to all living organisms, including humans. When the production of CO2 at the bottom of the food chain is increased, all benefit. This should not be ignored by global warming advocates. For the EPA to include CO2 as a hazardous greenhouse gas is just bad science.
Bad Science Becomes Dangerous
Our atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen (21%) with only 1% being Argon, an inert gas. A very small percentage of that 1% is CO2 (0.04% or 400 parts per million). This unit is so small that it is equivalent to one inch in a 16-mile stretch of road. This is why CO2 is said to be a “trace” gas. It is also considered a greenhouse gas like water vapor and methane because it has the ability to absorb heat. These greenhouse gases act like a protective blanket helping to stabilize temperatures on the earth. This is why it does not get too cold or too hot. Our planet maintains an average temperature of 610F, making the earth very successful in sustaining life. The earth is not only in a habitable zone, a term defined as being the correct distance from the sun, but it also has just the right percentage of gases, including the trace gas, CO2. Many believe that humans are major producers of CO2 because we burn fossil fuels. This, of course, is not true. Most of the CO2 gas, about 97%, is produced naturally by the earth itself. According to the EPA findings, only 3% is produced by man. The earth has numerous dynamic processes occurring, including the decay of living systems, natural burning, volcanic emissions, soil, and the oceans. All of these factors are involved in the carbon cycle. While man’s involvement with these processes is small, it is not entirely insignificant. Even so, this becomes the basis for fear that humans are poisoning the planet.
The oceans hold 93% of all the CO2 on the planet. When temperatures increase, the solubility of gas generally decreases, releasing gas into the environment.This is similar to taking a carbonated beverage from the refrigerator and leaving on a table at room temperature. Carbonation is lost, releasing the CO2 into the environment. This needs to be considered in the climate models. This was confirmed by Tas van Ommen and his team from the Australian Antarctic Division. After they studied the Siple and Byrd ice cores in the western Antarctic, van Ommen referred to the basic laws of chemistry when he stated the following at the Greenhouse 2011 conference:
Rising temperatures make carbon dioxide leak from the oceans for two main reasons. First, melting sea ice increases the rate that the ocean mixes, which dredges up CO2-rich deep ocean waters. Second, when you warm the ocean up, just like warming up a Coke bottle, it drives the gas out.
Another consideration as a source of increased CO2 is the rising water temperature. The heat would appear first, followed by a release of CO2 in the warmer oceans. This kind of pattern has been occurring due to the warming effect on the earth by the sun. Of course, plant growth increased by 11% when temperatures increased. This was observed by the satellite data and recorded by Donahue and his colleagues. The big question that needs to be answered is this: Is man’s activity really melting the ice caps or is something much more powerful interacting with the earth and increasing the CO2 levels apart from the human consumption of fossil fuels?
The vast majority of these climate change models are funded by the government. There are very few, if any, that are privately funded. Unfortunately, when the government is involved, these studies will have a very real impact on “we the people.” This has already happened. These policies have the potential to create social change, and introduce a tremendous financial burden on our nation and the rest of the world. Currently, millions of dollars a day are being spent on climate models for 2080. These models have the potential to kill millions, because the price of energy will be so high that we will not be able to feed the world’s poor.
The Truth Will Set Us Free
The most important factor in climate change is energy from the sun. It is the dominant factor where weather is concerned. Climate is cyclic and keeps changing. There was a Little Age Ice Age that took place in the mid-17th century. During that time, temperatures dropped abnormally following a Medieval warming period. Many believe the sunspots are also cyclic and, when present, could cause warming periods. When these are less active, they can cause cooling periods. This requires more research, but today, most of the climate change is being driven by politics, not science. It appears that climate is both dynamic and difficult to predict. We should be circumspect with regard to this process and tamp down the hysteria being driven by those who believe man is destroying the planet.
God has ordained man to have dominion over the earth. This means we should have the utmost respect for this planet that God has created and given into our care. We are called to be intelligent stewards of this wonderful gift so we can pass it on to the next generation. Bad science blaming man for the destruction of the earth because he is using fossil fuels is a distraction and a waste of time and resources. These ideas that promote man as the savior of his own destiny are false. God is our Savior. He created this planet so that we can see His glory and enjoy Him in a personal relationship with His Son, the Messiah. Only God has the power to destroy what He alone created, as it is written, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found.” (2 Peter 3:10)
Your Brother in Christ,
Executive Director of CSI