The far-left polemicist Alexander Cockburn, longtime columnist for The Nation, has been openly skeptical toward the dangerous-anthropogenic global warming theory that has increasingly animated the entire left during the past decade. In a recent column in The Nation, he skewers the global warming alarmists as superstitious, unreasoning, supercilious chiliasts.
Here are some excerpts from his column, "Is Global Warming a Sin?":
There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide is making any measurable contribution to the world’s present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind’s sinful contribution–and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed.
Now imagine two lines on a piece of graph paper. The first rises to a crest, then slopes sharply down, levels off and rises slowly once more. The other has no undulations. It rises in a smooth, slow arc. The first, wavy line is the worldwide CO2 tonnage produced by humans burning coal, oil and natural gas. It starts in 1928, at 1.1 gigatons (i.e., 1.1 billion metric tons), and peaks in 1929 at 1.17 gigatons. The world, led by its mightiest power, plummets into the Great Depression and by 1932 human CO2 production has fallen to 0.88 gigatons a year, a 30 percent drop. Then, in 1933, the line climbs slowly again, up to 0.9 gigatons.
And the other line, the one ascending so evenly? That’s the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, parts per million (ppm) by volume, moving in 1928 from just under 306, hitting 306 in 1929, 307 in 1932 and on up. Boom and bust, the line heads up steadily. These days it’s at 380. The two lines on that graph proclaim that a whopping 30 percent cut in man-made CO2 emissions didn’t even cause a 1 ppm drop in the atmosphere’s CO2. It is thus impossible to assert that the increase in atmospheric CO2 stems from people burning fossil fuels. . . .
As [meteorologist Martin] Hertzberg says, water in the form of oceans, snow, ice cover, clouds and vapor “is overwhelming in the radiative and energy balance between the Earth and the sun. … Carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gases are, by comparison, the equivalent of a few farts in a hurricane.” And water is exactly that component of the Earth’s heat balance that the global warming computer models fail to account for.
It’s a notorious inconvenience for the Greenhousers that data also show CO2 concentrations from the Eocene period, 20 million years before Henry Ford trundled out his first Model T, 300 to 400 percent higher than current concentrations. The Greenhousers deal with other difficulties, like the medieval warming period’s higher-than-today temperatures, by straightforward chicanery, misrepresenting tree ring data (themselves an unreliable guide) and claiming the warming was a local European affair.
We’re warmer now because today’s world is in the thaw following the recent ice age. Ice ages correlate with changes in the solar heat we receive, all due to predictable changes in the Earth’s elliptical orbit round the sun and in the Earth’s tilt. . . . In past post-glacial cycles, as now, the Earth’s orbit and tilt give us more and longer summer days between the equinoxes.
Water covers 71 percent of Earth’s surface. Compared with the atmosphere, there’s 100 times more CO2 in the oceans, dissolved as carbonate. As the post-glacial thaw progresses the oceans warm up, and some of the dissolved carbon emits into the atmosphere, like fizz from soda. “The greenhouse global warming theory has it ass backwards,” Hertzberg concludes. “It is the warming of the Earth that is causing the increase of carbon dioxide and not the reverse.” In vivid confirmation of that conclusion, several new papers show that for the last 750,000 years, CO2 changes have always lagged behind global temperatures by 800 to 2,600 years.
Those are the facts, but given that they conflict with the religion of the global warming alarmists, it is unlikely that the left will listen to Cockburn on this. On the contrary, based on past experience they’re much more likely to break out the thumbscrews and iron maiden.