This is the third in a seven part series detailing our objections to plans by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to claim unlimited power over the life of every American. Those plans were laid out in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), dated July 11, 2008. The EPA is inviting comments to this advance notice. This article explains the second of our six major objections to the EPA plans. The total of our objections, including our letter, our comments, and a link to the EPA website, may be accessed at:
Comment Number Two: There is No Natural Evidence for Man-made Global Warming
We oppose these measures on the grounds of natural history, because claims to man-made global warming contradict the evidence from Earth’s past and present.
The provisions in the ANPR are based on a specious, unproven, scientifically unsupported, a-historical claim that impending disaster is caused by our very prosperity. This claim is leading us into the clear and present danger of federal economic controls imposed on a scale previously intolerable in the United States.
As a bedrock to its proposals the EPA has accepted the conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that man-made global warming is a settled issue. But the evidence of natural history shows no causal connection between so-called greenhouse gases and global temperatures. For a half a billion years, temperatures have risen and fallen independently of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations.
The EPA is also following the decision of the US Supreme Court that CO2, a natural compound vital to all living organisms, is a “pollutant.” This ruling contradicts the evidence of natural history, the facts of biology, and the wisdom gleaned by farmers from 8,000 years of agriculture.
Claims that the Earth is now undergoing an unprecedented rise in temperature–both in absolute terms and in the rate of increase–should be examined using precedents from the long-term history of the Earth.[1] At least seven major ice age cycles have occurred in the last billion years, when mile-deep ice sheets periodically advanced beyond polar areas and engulfed regions that were once warm, before again melting in retreat. On a shorter timescale, some eleven glacial and interglacial periods have cycled during the past one million years. We are now living in a temporary interglacial warm period, the Holocene, that began with a relatively sudden rise in temperature about 11,000 years ago. We should expect the next glacial period to begin in the near future, meaning a few thousand years. These cyclical temperature changes in the Earth’s prehistory have far surpassed the lesser variations since the dawn of industrial life.

Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

What causes such temperature variations? One of the central tenets of the man-made global warming hypothesis is that high atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have a direct effect on temperatures around the globe. The thermometer, however, was not invented until the Renaissance. Scientists must study ancient temperatures and chemical concentrations indirectly, by gathering “proxy data” taken from fossils, tree rings, ice cores, coral reefs, peat bog cellulose and other evidence. All of this requires highly technical scientific interpretation, and is subject to new discoveries and complex methods of statistical analysis.
Using information derived from such proxy measurements, it is possible to reconstruct, at least roughly, temperature levels and the CO2 concentrations going back into the Earth’s deep history. Dr. Christopher Scotese, a geologist at the University of Texas at Arlington, used ancient evidence and computer models to determine average temperatures going back over 600 million years ago (mya).[2] Other scientists have worked to determine CO2 concentrations.[3] A basic outline of these CO2 and temperature reconstructions is as follows (values are rounded to the accuracy implied in the figures). Bear in mind that the average temperature today is about 59

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John Lewis and Paul Saunders

Dr. John David Lewis is a Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science, Duke University and Paul Saunders is a former Senior Semiconductor and Opto-electronics Chemical Process Engineer.