Special to the Mirror by Charles A. Landis
Unfortunately, absent from discussion about climate change, global warming, and rising seal levels on Tangier and the coastal communities of the Eastern Shore, is the intellectually honest information needed to more fully understand the issue.
National, and local, media report on the different views of Al Gore and Mayor of Tangier, James Eskridge, on climate change and the rise of the sea level of Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Jay Ford of Eastern Shorekeepers, joins with Mr. Gore and is quoted as admonishing Mayor Eskridge for saying, in his lifetime, 58 years, and as a waterman, he has observed no rise in sea level. Mr. Ford asserts that it is an indisputable fact that seal level rising is the cause of Tangier’s problem, not erosion as Mayor Eskridge believes..
Also, published in local newspapers, is an open letter to Congressman Scott Taylor by Mr. Tony Picardi, speaking on behalf of the Citizens Climate Lobby, which says “We on the Eastern Shore are in desperate need of a solution that will reverse the accumulation of greenhouse gasses and help our economy.”
Here are some inconvenient truths that should be part of an honest conversation about Tangier, global warming, and sea level rise:
Rising sea levels, beginning 10,000 years ago, turned the river flow of the Susquehanna River Valley into a drowned river which we now call the Chesapeake Bay. Archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution have determined the sea level of the Chesapeake Bay 3,000 years ago was 12 feet lower than today. None of this was caused by carbon emissions from human activity.
A recent report by Remote Sensing Systems, which provides data for NASA, NOAA., and the National Science Foundation, says “Global mean temperatures have not risen for 18 consecutive years”.
The Petition Project (on climate change) reports that 31,487 scientists have signed a statement saying that “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will cause in foreseeable future, catastrophic heating of Earth’s atmosphere and destruction of Earth’s climate.”
Recent studies by US National Snow and Ice Data Center show Artic ice has significantly expanded for past two consecutive years. This contradicts Al Gore’s apocalyptic prediction in 2007 that there would no ice by 2014 and costal areas, where 40% of Americans live, would be under water.
In a recent paper written by Patrick More, co-founder of Greenpeace (arguably the most activist environmental organization in the world with 2.9 million supporters) More says “The science is not settled. The debate is not over. The climate is always changing.” The climate has been changing for over 4.6 billion year and will continue to change. Thirty million years ago there was no ice on the earth, there is no correlation in this period between temperature and carbon dioxide, and over periods of hundreds of millions of years, they are out of sync with each other. It is “arrogant” to think we can predict the climate 30-60 years from now.
Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric physicist at MIT for over 30 years who has published more than 2,000 scientific papers concludes everyone agrees that the climate is always changing, CO2 gas is necessary for life to exist, and over the past 200 years with increased emissions, global mean temperatures have increased by only 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Where all the hysteria comes from is the politicians, environmentalists, and the media who know doomsday scenarios sell. They argue that humans are the most destructive force on nature. These people are winning the argument because they scare a lot people.
Freeman Dyson, a theoretical physicist and mathematician, who spent most of his life at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, agrees that global warming exists and one of the main causes is burning fossil fuels. However, the simulation models do not account for important factors which result in too much error to predict future climate trends. In an opinion he wrote in the Boston Globe, December 3, 2015 he wrote:
“The environmental movement has been hijacked by a bunch of climate fanatics, who have captured the attention of the public with scare stories…”
Yes, Virginia (Eastern Shore), there is climate change. There always has been and there always will be. Yes, there has been significant sea level rise over the past 3,000-10,000 years but Tangier’s problem today is erosion.
It is time for the fear mongers to introduce a little intellectual honesty to the conversation.
Charles A. Landis is author of An Introduction to the History of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and writes commentaries on contemporary issues of historical importance. He lives in Onancock. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.