This is a long read, and it is only my opinion. Read at your own risk. One of the hottest topics right now is global warming/climate change. Since the 90s, scientists and politicians have been shouting from the rooftops that the Earth was warming up due to the activities of man. Some have even gone as far as to say that we are at (or past) a tipping point where the Earth can no longer recover. Proponents point to the following to make their points clear: 1. Shrinking polar ice caps 2. Massive buildups of CO2 in the atmosphere due to emissions 3. Rising surface temperatures 4. Rising sea levels On the surface, it paints a very dim picture. Could they be right? Let’s look at the points one by one. First let’s look at the shrinking polar ice caps. Even if we ignore the fact that in 2013 and 2014 the northern polar ice caps grew by over 60%, proponents still say that in a few years the northern polar ice caps will be completely gone. It seems like I remember hearing that before. I believe Al Gore predicted that the polar ice caps would be gone by 2014. Huh? Even so, what about the southern polar ice caps? Wouldn’t they be shrinking too? It turns out that they have grown by approximately 7,000 square miles every year since 1978. Wouldn’t global warming also melt the southern ice caps??? It seems like the advertisement of shrinking ice caps might be an instance of selective data use. Next, let’s look at the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. Proponents of global warming say that increasing CO2 is mixing with the atmosphere creating a blanket effect; holding in heat at the surface of the Earth. Let’s think about this. First, CO2 doesn’t mix well with air. It does slightly, but is easily separated. Second, if we fill a balloon with helium, it rises in the air. Why? Because it is lighter than air. What about CO2? Well, since 70% of air is Nitrogen (N2), and CO2 is more dense than Nitrogen and Oxygen, It should sink like a rock in the air. It should never make it to the upper atmosphere. Measurements have shown CO2 in the upper atmosphere, though. How did it get there? Well, as it turns out, CO2 has a lower specific heat than air. This means that it heats up and cools down more rapidly than air. So, what happens is that the CO2 near the Earth’s surface absorbs heat from the sun and Earth’s surface causing the CO2 to rise like a hot air balloon. When it reaches the upper atmosphere where it is cooler, it releases its heat; thus causing it to be lost back out into space. In essence it is more like an air conditioner for the Earth than a blanket. The point is that the Earth, although it inching up in temperature, is not due to CO2 emissions. As a matter of fact, there have been many studies that show evidence that a buildup of CO2 is caused by the warming of the Earth, not the other way around. What about rising surface temperatures? Global warming theorists are quick to point out that each year is the hottest in recorded history. What they don’t tell us is that “recorded history” has only been since about 1979. Historically speaking this is no time at all. But what about all that time before 1979 that scientists say they have data for? Well at best that data comes from local weather stations, newspaper reports, and reconstructed data based on things such as tree ring growth and ice core samples. While these might be indicators of temperature, they are by no means an accurate measure of global temperatures. Even if they were, global warming theorists neglect the natural cyclical patterns of global temperature, and warm spells such as the medieval warm period or the Holocene period when reconstructed temperatures were nearly 3 degrees Celsius warmer than today. I guess that was due to the activities of the Vikings, Atlanteans, or the ancient Egyptians. Again, these scientists are looking only at a small subset of historic global temperatures and making a bold statement that just doesn’t have enough scientific data to back it up. We need specific data over a much longer period of time to determine whether man’s activity is the major driving factor in climate change. Now the last statement; sea levels are rising. Well, they are rising. Why? Because the Earth is warming up. That makes sense. But the earth is only warming slightly, and not at the rate some would have us believe. What doesn’t make sense is to say that man’s activity on Earth is automatically the cause of this. There have been significant sea level changes in the past that are not caused by man; both rising and falling. Again, I believe this is just piling on of visible changes that may or may not be related to try and prove a point. There have been many wide variations in the Earth’s climate since its beginning. Nearly all scientists agree that there appears to be a cyclical pattern to warm periods and ice ages. These have historically been due to solar radiation emitted from the sun, the number of sunspots on the sun, the timing of the Earth’s perihelion and aphelion, precession, and eccentricity of the orbit. At times, the Earth was much hotter; at other times it was much, much colder. From the Paleocene-Eocene maximum when the Arctic Ocean temperature was around 73 degrees Fahrenheit to snowball Earth. Even in the natural oscillations of temperatures that occur; at the maximums there are typically wide fluctuations in temperature for a couple hundred years before plunging back down. The Earth recently came out of a little ice age in the last half of an interglacial high; ending at about 1900-1920. It would not be out of the realm of possibilities that the current climb in temperature is simply a continuation of the trend that brought us out of that ice age, and that soon temperatures might plunge into another ice age. To make speculations on global warming based on setting a baseline temperature in 1978 (which by the way was an unseasonably cold year prompting many scientists to predict a coming ice age) and comparing twenty years’ worth of data to an unseasonably warm year in 1998 is in my opinion bad science. It’s like measuring a child’s height just before beginning a growth spurt, and measuring again a year later. You might speculate that the child would grow to a height of 20 feet; but you’d be wrong. I won’t rule out that man’s activity has an effect on the Earth’s climate and temperature, but I also won’t accept it blindly as law and gospel. The truth is that for all of man’s accomplishments, we simply do not know. If we had a few thousand years’ worth of data, we might be in a somewhat better position to judge, but the Earth is nearly 5 billion years old. If we use our current recorded data and compare that to the time since land animals began to roam the Earth, that would be 37 years out of 400 million; an observation of 0.000009%. Not nearly enough to even support the hypothesis that man’s activity is causing global warming, let alone state that it is a fact.