Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor - Al Gore and the Ice Age

The following letter to the Editor, makes a point that Mike Reagan frequently makes: Our weather experts don't seem to be able to accurately predict the weather a few hours hence - and we are going to let them determine our economic policy because of their notions of global warming? As the letter writer points out - the earth's been warming since the last ice age - some 15,000 years ago. Don't know if we had much to do with it one way or another:

Letters to the Editor

We're Between Ice Ages, So Relax

In response to George Melloan's Sept. 22 Global View column concerning Al Gore and global warming:

The earth has been warming for the past 10,000 to 15,000 years for reasons that have nothing to do with manmade "green-house gasses". The cost to reduce artificial emission of carbon dioxide could thus be a terrible waste. Mr. Melloan correctly notes that we should look to the facts, not to speculative computer models, to understand global climate change. The earth is warming from the last ice age; industrial gas emission is insignificant compared with greenhouse gasses from natural sources, and biologic and geologic processes regulate atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The geologic record suggests Earth could stay warm for another 100,000 years, no matter what we put into the air. The latest ice age just ended some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. Warm periods that alternated with the ice ages of the past two million years persisted for 100,000 to 400,000 years each. A long warming trend unrelated to industrial gasses may have barely started.

Industry contributes too little carbon dioxide to affect global climate. Industrial carbon dioxide, six billion tons annually, is a small fraction of the 700 billion tons per year from geologic and biologic processes. Increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide stimulates plant life, which in turn consumes more carbon dioxide. Marine plants, such as calcareous algae, and other reef-forming organisms can sequester vast amounts of carbon dioxide in the calcium carbonate, or limestone, that they produce. Extensive limestone deposits thousands of feet thick that occur throughout the geologic record provide evidence of this process.

We accept our inability to prevent regional, transient climatic catastrophes such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes, yet people whose economic interest is vested in government grants to study greenhouse gasses claim we can alter global climate change that spans thousands of lifetimes.

Victor H. Abadie III


Montara, Calif.

See www.climatefacts.org for more of the story