Chilliwack Times

Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us




29 Dec 06  


Enjoy the warm while you can

29 Dec 06 –– Here’s a great letter to the editor published yesterday in the Chilliwack Times. I'm posting it with the author's permission.

Enjoy the warm while you can


Global warming started about 11,000 years ago and human beings had nothing to do with it. At that time virtually all of Canada and much of the USA was covered by a massive layer of ice that was several kilometers thick.

We are currently about 11,000 years into the naturally occurring warm interval that separates one ice age from the next. Data from the Vostok Ice Core shows regular warm intervals between ice ages. Scientists call our current warm interval the Holocene Epoch. The recurring cycle of ice ages and warm intervals presents an inconvenient truth to people who believe that humans caused global warming.

The simplistic notion that human beings caused global warming with our Industrial Revolution and internal combustion engines is a very popular myth that is totally out of synch with the facts. The Industrial Revolution started less than 250 years ago. The internal combustion engine was invented in the late 1800s and mass production of automobiles first occurred in the 1900s. Global warming had already started many thousand of years earlier. People who believe that humans accidentally caused global warming are simply not looking at the big picture.

Manmade greenhouse gasses may have inadvertently accelerated the already existing warming trend by a fraction of a degree, but people who believe humans can control Earth's climate are kidding themselves.

The belief that humans caused global warming has led to the unproven theory that humans are also capable of cooling down the planet by implementing plans such as the Kyoto Accord. The current melting of the polar ice caps is simply a continuation of the warming trend that started 11,000 years ago. Just because it is happening in our lifetime does not mean we caused it.

The pattern of very long ice ages separated by comparatively short warm intervals is firmly established in the geological record. Data from hundreds of ocean sediment cores, and deep ice cores from the Vostok and EPICA projects, has conclusively proven and confirmed the ice age cycle. This research has revealed a very clear picture of Earth's climate over the past 3 million years. It is a picture of a cold planet that intermittently provides a warm respite such as the current Holocene Epoch.

Mother Nature causes the ice ages and the warm intervals in between them without any assistance from humans. Nobody knows the reason for Earth's recurring cycle of freezing and warming. It is probably fair to say that whatever causes of the ice age cycle is one of the most under-researched issues in modern science, given the grave implications of the next ice age.

The global warming of the Holocene Epoch has been a great thing for humans in many ways. We literally went from Stone Age hunter-gatherers to Modern Man during this period. The warm interval allowed the human population to increase dramatically as previously glaciated areas became habitable and suitable for the development of agriculture. This in turn allowed the slow but steady development of technological advances we enjoy today.

If we learn only one lesson from the geological climate data it is this: Eventually the warm Holocene Epoch we are now enjoying will end, just like all the other warm periods that separate one ice age from the next. These warm intervals last about 6,000 to 12,000 years. The next ice age will begin sooner than we realize. It will be an unprecedented global catastrophe that will make people long for the good old days of "global warming".

Norm Siefken






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