With recent changes in Washington, there will be increased scrutiny on climate change. There should be. Climate change is real and has been throughout the entire history of the Earth.
The real question is “is man responsible?” The Earth has seen a number of ice ages with significant warm-ups between. The last ice age ended around 12,000 years ago, but during its peak, much of North America was under a sheet of ice as much as 10,000 feet thick. Ocean levels apparently were 390 feet lower than today.
By around 800 A.D., it had warmed enough that people settled and farmed in Greenland. Relics of their stone houses still exist today. There is DNA evidence of spiders and butterflies.
Around 1300 A.D. a “mini” ice age began and Greenlanders either left, starved, or froze. Around 1800, the current global warm-up began. But most of Greenland today is still under 1,000 feet of ice. If it melts as it did before, much of Manatee and Sarasota counties will be under water. But that is still some time away.
There are many theories for these climate changes. High levels of atmospheric CO2 seems to be the main culprit the past few hundred years. People produce CO2 while breathing and much more CO2 from other activities. In 1800 our population was around one billion people. Today we are approaching 8 billion and we add 180,000 people daily.
Forests remove huge amounts of CO2 from the air, but in the past few centuries we have cut down 65 percent of the world’s forests. Even now we cut down 40,000 forested acres daily. Much of this is to produce food and yet millions are starving.
The much ballyhooed Paris Accord on climate change and the resultant “carbon footprint” taxes should be carefully looked at. It mainly deals with results, not real causes.
Robert W. Lubbers