Behind the persistent global warming scare is the hypothesis and assertion that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are causing Earth to warm dangerously. The thesis is espoused most prominently by Al Gore, James Hansen, modelers and other alarmists. It is the fundamental assumption behind the computer models that consistently conjure up headline-grabbing climate change disaster scenarios.
A basic principle of geology and other sciences is that the same natural processes we observe today – erosion, plant growth, species adaptation and so on – occurred in a similar manner throughout Earth’s history. Therefore, if carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing global warming today, they must have done so in the past, and certainly in the recent historic past.
The challenge, then, is to discover the sources of those climate villains throughout history. This brief summary of key events is intended to aid in that quest, and explain how the Gore-Hansen thesis worked through the ages.
Sea levels have risen 400 feet since the last Ice Age ended, melting mile-thick Pleistocene glaciers, drowning land bridges and creating new coral reefs. The repeated glacial and interglacial epochs were caused by rising and falling levels of mammoth flatulence and emissions from cave man fires, the only sources of substantial greenhouse gases (GHG) at the time.
In northern Africa, green river valleys were once home to contented hippopotami and happy human villagers. Then, 4,000 years ago, the region metamorphosed into the Sahara Desert, as Egyptian slaves cooked over open fires and breathed heavily, while building pyramids for pharaohs.
Earth warmed further during the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, as fires from constant warfare and sacked cities dramatically increased GHG. The burning of English and Irish villages by Viking raiders raised global temperatures even further, enabling Eric the Red to colonize Greenland. As the Vikings swapped raiding for farming, however, atmospheric CO2 levels declined, and the Little Ice Age set in.
For centuries, peaceable Anasazi Indians built cliff dwellings and farmed the land in Arizona and New Mexico. But then other tribes began setting forest fires to create farmland, and lightning started prairie fires. GHG levels rose, causing a prolonged drought that finally made life unbearable for the Anasazi, who abandoned their magnificent stone villages on the Colorado Plateau.
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