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Ice ages show climate is naturally variable

2014-07-13T00:00:00Z 2014-07-14T09:02:06Z Ice ages show climate is naturally variable The Billings Gazette
July 13, 2014 12:00 am

What in the name of climate change is going on? Our country and continent are blessed with abundant, cheap and efficient forms of energy, yet our leader dictates that we must put the brakes on using cheap energy to help reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent and thereby halt climate change. Further, climate change science is now "settled" in spite of lively climate change debates ongoing since at least 1740.

Since the early climate debates, we now understand that there have been dozens of cycles of climate change and ice ages driven by dozens of natural causes unrelated to man. If we limit observations to our lifetime or a couple of generations, we draw different conclusions about man's observed influence on climate change.

As climate warmed out of one ice age cycle, Neanderthal cavemen could also have noted a correlation between increased use of campfires and glacial melting. The head caveman could even have dictated that there would be reduced use of campfires, believing it might stop the glacial retreat. Clearly, any such decision-making would benefit from a longer period of climate observations.

Moving on from the cavemen, we now know that climate is always naturally changing to extremes. While current debate seems limited to man's influence on climate during the Industrial Revolution, the evidence for the ice ages is as close to "settled science" as it gets. Would you rather bet the health of our economy on 100 years or one million years of climate change history?

Dave Ballard

Billings

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