What do you think about global warming? According to Al Gore and the scientific establishment, the world is getting warmer, and we are to blame. We are using too much of the world’s carbon-based fuel resources and eating too much meat (cows not only consume much of the world’s grain, but they produce methane, four times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat).  We burn far too many of the world’s dwindling forest reserves, and produce an unsustainable amount of garbage that releases methane in its decomposition.

All of this is incontestably true, and something that I have not only protested against for most of my life,  but I have incorporated into my lifestyle. I do not own a car. I owned a canoe, but never a motorboat. I have recycled long before it became popular and I live modestly in an Asian country. Although not yet strictly vegans, our diet consists largely of fruit and vegetables. It is healthier and tastier and less environmentally harmful. There are way too many cows on earth and we need to do a better job of looking after this planet.

But are we causing global warming? I don’t think so. The most potent greenhouse gas is not carbon dioxide, or even methane. It is water vapour, which makes up by far the largest percent of ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and methane make up an almost negligible percentage. The carbon dioxide that is there is produced primarily by the outgasing of the world’s volcanoes, not human behaviour.  This venting is a normal natural phenomenon, almost like the breathing of the mantle. And like breathing there is an ‘inhale’ as well as an ‘exhale.’ The inhale occurs when the world’s carbon dioxide is trapped in various living organisms, such as plants and crustaceans, who use carbon dioxide to produce the calcium carbonate of their shells. This calcium carbonate becomes limestone when these creatures die, and the limestone is returned to the mantle via the tectonic process described in a previous post. Completing this cycle, the carbon dioxide is then ‘exhaled’ back into the atmosphere.

This whole process, called the carbon cycle, is akin to the water cycle that we all studied back in grade school. But rather than taking a few weeks, or possibly months to complete, the carbon cycle takes about 50,000 years. As such it acts as a kind of global thermostat, regulating the earth’s temperature over long periods of time. We are presently at the start of an upswing, having reached a low point about two hundred years ago in what was called the ‘Little Ice Age.’ If the world continues to warm up – as it will – Britain may once again be able to grow grapes and produce wine, just as it did in Roman times.

There is nothing scary or alarming in all this. It is perfect natural behaviour for a living planet. What is alarming is the extent to which people are prepared to go to impose their political will on us in the name of science. Nor is mine the only voice of dissent in this growing controvery. State of Fear, a highly readable thriller by Michael Crichton, speaks to the encroachment of our civil rights engendered by this scare. Many reputable scientists – Freeman Dyson, for example – do not buy the scaremongering either. The New York Times recently ran an article on Dyson, and it is worth a read, if you have the time and the inclination. See the link below for a look at Dyson:

See this link for Michael Crichton’s essay on why Global Warming is a dangerous theory:

And of course, as always, your views are cheerfully encouraged in our Comments