Global warming activists argue carbon-dioxide emissions are destroying the planet, but the climate impacts of carbon dioxide are minimal, at worst. Activists would also have you believe fossil-fuel emissions have driven carbon-dioxide concentrations to their highest levels in history. The Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency went so far as to classify carbon dioxide as a toxic pollutant, and it established a radical goal of closing all of America’s coal-fired power plants.
Claims of unprecedented carbon-dioxide levels ignore most of Earth’s 4.6-billion-year history. Relative to Earth’s entire record, carbon-dioxide levels are at historically low levels; they only appear high when compared to the dangerously low levels of carbon dioxide that occurred in Earth’s very recent history. The geologic record reveals carbon dioxide has almost always been in Earths’ atmosphere in much greater concentrations than it is today. For example, 600 million years ago, when history’s greatest birth of new animal species occurred, atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations exceeded 6,500 parts per million (ppm) — an amount that’s 17 times greater than it is today.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide is currently only 410 parts per million. That means only 0.04 percent of our atmosphere is carbon dioxide (compared to 0.03 percent one century ago). Only one molecule in 2,500 is carbon dioxide. Such levels certainly do not pose a health risk, as carbon-dioxide levels in our naval submarines, which stay submerged for months at a time, contain an average carbon-dioxide concentration of 5,000 ppm.
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The geologic record is important because it reveals relationships between carbon-dioxide levels, climate, and life on Earth. Over billions of years, the geologic record shows there is no long-term correlation between atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels and Earth’s climate. There are periods in Earth’s history when carbon dioxide concentrations were many times higher than they are today, yet temperatures were identical to, or even colder than, modern times. The claim that fossil-fuel emissions control atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations is also invalid, as atmospheric concentrations have gone up and down in the geological record, even without human influence.
The absurdity of climate alarmism claims gets even stranger when you consider there are 7.5 billion people on our planet who, together, exhale 2.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is almost 10 percent of total fossil-fuel emissions every year. However, we are but a single species. Combined, people and all domesticated animals contribute 10 billion tons.
Further, 9 percent of carbon-dioxide emissions from all living things arise not from animals, but from anaerobic bacteria and fungi. These organisms metabolize dead plant and animal matter in soil via decay processes that recycle carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. The grand total produced by all living things is estimated to be 440 billion tons per year, or 13 times the amount of carbon dioxide currently being produced by fossil-fuel emissions. Fossil-fuel emissions are less than 10 percent of biological emissions. Are you laughing yet?
Every apocalyptic pronouncement you hear or read is nothing short of insanity. Their primary goal is not to save plants, humans, or animals, but rather to use climate “dangers” as a justification for centralizing power in the hands of a select few.
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Note: Portions of this article have been excerpted with permission of the publisher and author of the 2018 book, “The Mythology of Global Warming” by Bruce Bunker, Ph.D. (Publisher: Moonshine Cove). For more information on this topic, the authors strongly recommend this book, which provides some of the very best information about the climate change debate.
Jay Lehr, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org) is science director of The Heartland Institute. Tom Harris is executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition.
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