The Keeling curve continues to show a steady rise in CO2 in the atmosphere during the period since oil and coal were discovered and used by man. Carbon dioxide has increased from the 1958 reading of 315 to 385 parts per million in 2008. But, despite the increases, it is still only a trace gas in the atmosphere. The percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny, about 3.8 hundredths of one percent by volume and 41 hundredths of one percent by weight. And, by the way, only a fraction of that fraction is from mankind’s use of fossil fuels. The best estimate is that atmospheric CO2 is 75 percent natural and 25 percent the result of civilization.
Several hypotheses emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming. But they remained unproven. As years have passed, the scientists have kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories. And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up.
Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation’s bureaucrat named Maurice Strong. He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meetings.
Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations—a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government. But he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis. So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC). This was not a pure, “climate study” scientific organization, as we have been led to believe. It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels.
Over the last 25 years the IPCC has been very effective. Hundreds of scientific papers, four major international meetings and reams of news stories about climatic Armageddon later, it has made its points to the satisfaction of most governments and even shared in a Nobel Peace Prize.
At the same time Maurice Strong was busy at the UN, things were getting a bit out of hand for the man who is now called the grandfather of global warming, Roger Revelle. He had been very politically active in the late 1950’s as he worked to have the University of California locate a San Diego campus adjacent to Scripps Institute in La Jolla. He won that major war, but lost an all important battle afterward when he was passed over in the selection of the first Chancellor of the new campus.
He left Scripps finally in 1963 and moved to Harvard University to establish a Center for Population Studies. It was there that Revelle inspired one of his students. This student would say later, “It felt like such a privilege to be able to hear about the readouts from some of those measurements in a group of no more than a dozen undergraduates. Here was this teacher presenting something not years old but fresh out of the lab, with profound implications for our future!” The student described him as “a wonderful, visionary professor” who was “one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming.” That student was Al Gore. He thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book “Earth in the Balance,” published in 1992.
So there it is. Roger Revelle was indeed the grandfather of global warming. His work had laid the foundation for the UN IPCC, provided the anti-fossil fuel ammunition to the environmental movement and sent Al Gore on his road to his books, his movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” his Nobel Peace Prize and a hundred million dollars from the carbon credits business.
The global warming frenzy was becoming the cause c√©l√®bre of the media. After all, the media is mostly liberal, loves Al Gore, loves to warn us of impending disasters and tell us “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.” The politicians and the environmentalist loved it, too.
But the tide was turning with Roger Revelle. He was forced out at Harvard at 65 and returned to California and a semi retirement position at UCSD. There he had time to rethink Carbon Dioxide and the greenhouse effect. The man who had inspired Al Gore and given the UN the basic research it needed to launch its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was having second thoughts. In 1988 he wrote two cautionary letters to members of Congress. He wrote, “My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways.” He added, “…we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer.”
And in 1991 Revelle teamed up with Chauncey Starr, founding director of the Electric Power Research Institute and Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, to write an article for Cosmos magazine. They urged more research and begged scientists and governments not to move too fast to curb greenhouse CO2 emissions because the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain, and curbing the use of fossil fuels could have a huge, negative impact on the economy, jobs, and our standard of living. Considerable controversy still surrounds the authorship of this article. However, I have discussed this collaboration with Dr. Singer and he assures me that Revelle was considerably more certain than he was at the time that carbon dioxide was not a problem.