..Home / News / Opinion / Mailbag
Letter: Correlation vs. causation
StoryDiscussionPosted: Sunday, December 27, 2009 12:15 am | No Comments Posted
I extend my thanks to Evelyn Sherr and Ted Brekken for explaining that climate change isn’t a hoax (Letters, Dec. 13). Their arguments are without merit.
The alarmists invariably confuse correlation for causation with these two points: 1) this decade is the hottest decade in the instrumental record; and 2) CO2 levels are the highest in hundreds of thousands of years.
Point 1 could be true, but it’s meaningless. The instrumental temperature record at the Climatic Research Unit, now mired in Climategate, begins in 1850 at the end of the 400-year Little Ice Age (LIA). The warming during the 20th century was due to Earth’s recovery from the LIA. The real question is whether this current warming is greater than in the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), the 500 years preceding the LIA. Evidence indicates that the MWP was warmer and wetter than now.
Regarding point 2, CO2 in the atmosphere is currently about 390 parts-per-million (ppm). The alarmists insist the pre-industrial level of CO2 was 280 ppm. This value comes from CO2 recovered from certain ice cores. However, geologic evidence shows that historical CO2 levels have been in the thousands of ppm during cold and warm periods and the atmosphere now is relatively CO2-depleted.
The alarmists incite fear for every weather event they think is extreme but generally lack perspective. Arctic ice is decreasing? Antarctic ice is increasing. Global warming causes flooding? Floods also happened during the Little Ice Age.
CO2 isn’t dangerous and doesn’t cause climate change. Nevertheless, the EPA declared it a dangerous pollutant. Prepare for heavy regulation by the Obama administration. The worst misinterpretation in the history of science will cost you lots more money.
“Under my plan, energy prices will necessarily skyrocket” said candidate Obama. Gee thanks, Mr. President, maybe extra unemployment benefits will help out.
Posted in Mailbag on Sunday, December 27, 2009 12:15 am