By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Nicole Montesano - Climate change affects Oregon

Loss of snowpack, altered growing season, rising sea levels, more extreme weather, extended droughts are expected


Of the News-Register
The worst drought in more than half a century, continuing in many parts of the country, is expected to raise national average food prices 4 percent this fall. Ironically, it has largely been pushed off the front pages by yet another manifestation of the climate change phenomenon, Hurricane Sandy.
As the planet continues its inexorable warming — September ended 16 consecutive months of above-average temperatures in the lower 48, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — the words “climate change” are heard more often. Recently, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited it as a key reason he endorsed President Obama for re-election.
“Our climate is changing,” Bloomberg wrote. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be ­— given the devastation it is wreaking ­— should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
In Oregon, climate change is having an impact and can be expected to have more, according to climatologist Kathy Dello, associate director of the Oregon Climate Change Institute. She said increasing temperatures have affected plant distribution and snowpack levels, and impacts are clearly on the increase.
Sea levels already have risen. On the Oregon coast, wave heights increased, causing erosion that threatens buildings.
Plant distribution, Dello said, may dramatically impact agriculture. For example, pinot noir grapes that do well in the Willamette Valley’s narrow temperature range may not thrive here in the future.
“As the climate warms,” Dello said, “we may need to think about ... planting other crops.”
Climate models, she said, predict warmer, drier summers and wetter winters. But with farming, recreational sports and domestic water supplies all dependent on snow falling at mid-level elevations, even a small increase in temperature can have big effects.
“A lot of the snow now falls very close to 32 degrees,” Dello noted. Warm it just a little, and experts predict the snowpack that traditionally supplies summer water will diminish substantially.
“We’ve used the snowpack as a natural reservoir throughout history, and have come to rely on that snow melting down in the summer when we don’t have rain,” Dello said.
A focus group at Oregon State University is examining the likely results of a much smaller snowpack, anticipating a future of water scarcity, she said. “When we talk about climate impacts of the future, water quickly rises to the top of many lists.”
In 2010, OSU put out a press release noting, “A major increase in maximum ocean wave heights off the Pacific Northwest in recent decades has forced scientists to re-evaluate how high a ‘100-year event’ might be, and the new findings raise special concerns for flooding, coastal erosion and structural damage.”
In the release, researchers said:
“The highest waves may be as much as 46 feet, up from estimates of only 33 feet that were made as recently as 1996, a 40 percent increase. December and January are the months such waves are most likely to occur, although summer waves are also significantly higher.
“In a study just published online in the journal Coastal Engineering, scientists from Oregon … report that the cause of these dramatically higher waves is not completely certain, but ‘likely due to Earth’s changing climate.’”
It also warned, “Hundred-year event wave heights could actually exceed 55 feet.”
In June, the National Research Council announced that it believes sea levels along the West Coast will rise 19 inches over the next 40 years.
Globally, sea levels rose about seven inches during the 20th century. And that increase is actually accelerating, according to the National Research Council. Melting glaciers increase the amount of sea water in liquid form, and ocean water expands as it warms, the council noted.
At the end of September, about 52 percent of the United States was in moderate to extreme drought, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“On a broad scale, the 1980s and 1990s were characterized by unusual wetness with short periods of extensive droughts, the 1930s and 1950s were characterized by prolonged periods of extensive droughts with little wetness, and the first decade of the 2000s saw extensive drought and extensive wetness,” the NOAA State of the Climate Drought report noted. Examples are the East Coast flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and the central Willamette Valley flooding last January.
A warming climate is associated with more extreme weather, and that’s what we are experiencing.

Guest writer Nicole Montesano, a reporter at the News-Register since 1994, can be reached at 503-687-1231 or

Climate change: What we can do

According to climate scientists, the United States must make some drastic changes to reduce emissions to slow or stop a rapid warming of the Earth’s atmosphere that could, unchecked, prove catastrophic.
Expensive changes — like adding more insulation to the attic — are important aspects in cutting emissions. They can make a big difference, long-term, by decreasing heat loss.
But a lot of small behavioral changes also can make a remarkably big difference. Many of them save money, even after purchasing items like low-flow showerheads and drying racks.
Some emissions-reducing actions are listed below.

  • Buy less. Not purchasing items means no packaging, no manufacturing, no shipping, and, as an added bonus, less clutter at home. 
  • Stop using the clothes dryer. According to the Clean Air Trust, clothes dryers use more energy than any home appliance except refrigerators. Drying racks can be set up in the living room or a corner of a bedroom, or clotheslines may be strung in the garage. On dry days, hang items outdoors. Combining a couple of drying racks inside and a line in the garage can make a big difference. Use clotheslines for larger items, such as sheets, that are harder to fit on a drying rack. Clothing may be put on hangers and hung from a line or one side of a rack to create more drying space, as long as they are far enough apart to allow for air circulation.
  • Combine errands, use public transportation or bicycles, and carpool whenever possible, thereby putting fewer cars on the road.
  • Use less hot water. Install a low-flow shower head, take shorter showers, wash laundry in cold or warm water, reduce the temperature on the hot water heater by 10 or 20 degrees, insulate the water heater. When purchasing a new water heater, consider going tankless. According to the National Park Service's page on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home, tankless water heaters cost about $800 more than conventional ones but reduce electricity bills by about $20 a month. Install a solar water heater if you can afford it.
  • If possible, turn off items with lights or display clocks that use electricity continuously, or plug them into a power strip that can be turned off. Turn electronics off, rather than leaving them in stand-by mode or running when not in use. According to the Clean Air Trust, “Lights and appliances consume about 7,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the average western home and account for about 22 percent of household emissions, excluding automobile emissions.”
  • Turn the heat down in winter and the air conditioner up in summer, by a few degrees. Wear more layers of clothing, for warmth. To keep cool in summer, put feet in a shallow pan of cold water or use a handkerchief or towel wrung out in cold water, wrapped around the back of the neck. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator for cold drinks that don't require running the faucet.




If we get more summers like this last one sign me up for climate change!


There are crops, if planted will breath in 4x the amount of carbon dioxide as trees will in there 12 to 14 week growing cycle.

Dances with Redwoods

And Shetland ponies can beat thoroughbreds out of the starting gate, too, but, in the long run, nothing beats a Sequoia semperviren.

A New Paradigm;

Not a one of my trees is planted anywhere near a septic line, and I am quite sure that my father would have appreciated my thinking ...(no pun intended)... that far a head.


G' day Dances

GREAT article, thanks for sharing. I sincerely hope lots of folks take the time to study it.


You see Michael, The old growth has been destroyed and continues to be. Irreplacable trees for industry. The same could have been done with hemp with far less of a carbon footprint to accomplish. So the true treasures of the world were sacraficed for what?

Dances with Redwoods

The old growth is not extinct and requires no more of a carbon footprint to plant, than does hemp. Depending upon where you've planted it, of course, and the reason why.

"So the true treasures of the world were sacrificed for what?"

The appropriate people to pose that question to, would be those that had originally benefited from their falling.

Ask them---->

No doubt, no matter how hard you'd try, you would..or..would've had a hard time getting through to them, taking into consideration the technology of the day, of course.

Can things be reversed over time...well...if there is enough will, there is a way.

Ask them---->

On this coming December 4th of 2012, their goal, is to begin the restoration of an old growth forest with exact genetic duplicates from the largest known trees to exist on this planet.

The chosen site for this new endeavor is the Port Orford, Oregon, community stewardship area, and I doff my sombrero to them.

Dances with Redwoods

When I'd planted mine, their trunks were about the diameter of a cocktail swizzle stick. And at that time was able to hold fifty of them in the grip of my left hand.

Purchased at only 40 cents a piece allowed me to plant (on my budget) 100 of them. Wish I could be around to see them 200 years from now, wouldn't that be nice.


It's not the planting, It's the harvesting and processing. I never said the old growth is extinct. I said it continues to be destroyed. In places like South America and wherever else.
The total yield over the time of the life of an acer of trees, is not equivalant to the total yield and product of hemp in the same square footage.
I know room is requiered for growth. I understand that the harvesting of trees was requiered for the new frontier. Why go sky high with the harvesting in area uninhabited by man? There were other alternatives... It's my opinion that If global warming is going on, What I am saying is a HUGE reason why.
Whats done is done. It's not to late to undo the damage. Or is it?


Sounds like the "What can we do" is what poor people already do. Who is not on board?

Dances with Redwoods

"It's not the planting, It's the harvesting and processing."

I never said the trees that I'd planted were destined to be harvested..or..processed.

My highest hope is that they'll be allowed to remain, live on, and grow for thousands of years.

Don Dix

While all the emission-reducing actions listed at the end of the article are prudent and responsible, the conclusion that humans and their CO2 emissions are causing the Earth's climate to warm is quite a leap off the cliff.

Humans are responsible (according to most experts) for about 3.5% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. Human CO2 emissions trail -- volcanos, forest fires, ocean respiration, animals (other than human), and decaying plants. And since CO2 makes up less than .4% (less than 1/2 of 1%) of the total atmosphere, man's portion is quite small by comparison. But man is the only CO2 factor that can be controlled to some extent. Do you see the pattern?

And then there is one climate event that seems to get ignored ( intentionally, I suspect), that as late as 1850, the Earth was enveloped in The Little Ice Age. It doesn't take a genius to predict a warming trend to follow. And those involved in promoting the 'crisis agenda' certainly are not.

David Bates

This is a highly selective description of the science involved. It would be like saying that a difference of 2.4 degrees F is so slight as to be imperceptible. That's true if you're talking about the temperature outdoors, or even room temperature. But if we're talking about the difference between a normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees F and 101 degrees F, that change of 2.4 degrees makes a significant difference in one's quality of life.


Interesting points Don and David...

Don Dix

In my opinion, the most disturbing aspect of this agenda is the labeling of CO2 as a pollutant. Pay no attention to the fact that all living things (on Earth) are carbon based, and without CO2 in the atmosphere, everything takes a dirt nap! It makes me wonder why that has never been a topic of explanation?

Dances with Redwoods

"Pay no attention to the fact that all living things (on Earth) are carbon based, and without carbon would take a dirt nap!"

Actually, Don, it was explained, at least it was to all of us 6th graders attending Whisman Elementary School, back in 1965.

David Bates

Don, more than half of a human being’s weight comprises water, but that doesn't mean we can live in the ocean.

For me, the most disturbing aspect of discussions about global warming is that your perspective is the one that dominates mainstream thinking in this country -- the premise that human beings can continue living on the treadmill of economic growth in perpetuity. And that if only enough of us installed low-flow shower heads, turned down their thermostats and bought less stuff, we can keep the machine of global industrial capitalism going forever. We can’t, because infinite growth on a planet of finite resources is by definition impossible.

This also is not a topic of discussion, but it needs to be.

Dances with Redwoods's hailing heavy in Grand Ronde...and in the time it took to type that it suddenly stopped. As for the topic of consumerism, that will probably have to wait for some short while, at least until the Fred Meyer's once a year 5 hour sale has came and past, and I'm sporting a pair of new Argyle socks beneath my computer station.

I've grown tired of wearing the same old same old worn out pair of Chinese Fighting Slippers, and I'm ready and eager for some change in the climate around here.


The earth has been around for a very long time. It has had verious ages. CO2 levels have risen and dropped back off at verious times as well. Mother Nature has a way of saying when. I just hope shes not in a bad mood when that time comes...

Don Dix


You wrote, "For me, the most disturbing aspect of discussions about global warming is that your perspective is the one that dominates mainstream thinking in this country -- the premise that human beings can continue living on the treadmill of economic growth in perpetuity."

How you came to that conclusion from my submission, no clue.

However, almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of the six elements oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Of course the combination of hydrogen and oxygen form water. 18.5 % of the human mass is carbon.

But there is no substituting carbon. The combination of the 6 elements give life to all things on Earth, and carbon is essential.

The point I was making is declaring CO2 a pollutant (by the EPA) makes zero sense since both elements, carbon and oxygen, are key ingredients to all life on Earth.

And plants do much better when there is abundant CO2 available. Healthy plants take in more CO2, convert it to more energy and respirate more oxygen. How could that be anything but a healthier life, for all living things?


Exactly! So, some in our government and it's tentacle branches want us to forget basic science, tried and proven science, and blindly follow along. After all, naming humans as a cause (for climate change) is much less troublesome than going after the real violators (of CO2 emissions) -- volcanoes, forest fires, ocean evaporation, decaying plant life, (Mother Nature's contributions) -- kinda' hard to control any of those bad boys, wouldn't you say?


I read your points. I'm trying to wrap my mind around that for the last 250 years ish, the world has had an extensive make over from the human hand. I can not help but think that the effects from it are negligible. The cerchunk of the industrial age to the poulation increase and so on. The world has never had to compensate for x amount of motorized vehichles... Help me with this. I would have to say there is far less timber in the world now, rather then 500 years ago. The CO2 ppms are on the rise. Aulstraila dumps enough affluent water into the ocean each year to fill the Sydney Harbor. China's practices are less then desirable. If were all carbon based, Just the population increase alone is enough to effect the CO2 levels. The rise in ppms is having an effect on the world... Are we talking about CO2 being a palutant, or if is it in fact having an impact...
David, I'm feeln ya...

Michael. Please watch this video. It has a referance to the digestion of effluent water. It's a short video. If anybody else wants to watch, feel free.
I read the report you sighted. Very cool....

Dances with Redwoods


You get enough people to believe in something, it becomes the truth. Madison Avenue is very good at that, so is Hollywood and our own government educational system.

To believe that man has any ability to control the weather beyond the confines of his Tee-pee is an incredible notion to be sure.

Don Dix


Approximately 1000 years ago, the Earth was in a warming trend. The southern region of Greenland was being farmed. Grapes were being grown in England. The Earth was warmer than today, by 2 - 4 degrees. The health of the population was far better than that of those who endured the Little Ice Age (plague, famine, etc.) 400 years later. These statements are recorded history, from personal reports of the time to the study of ice core, tree rings and ocean sediment.

Taken as fact, how could the Earth be warmer when there were fewer humans, fewer animals, and zero SUVs? The Vikings weren't chasing around the seas in jet sleds and troop carriers. No airplanes, no long haul truckers, no trains, no tractors, no factories -- nothing but humans, animals, and Mother Nature.

Apparently man did not influence the Medieval Warm Period with his CO2, nor did he have anything to do with the LIA. And yet the Earth's temp changed 5 - 6 degrees between the two cycles. That raises a question or two, no?

Additionally, the study of CO2 reveals that as temperatures rise, so do CO2 levels -- an average of 800 years later. Under those circumstances, we might be experiencing the remnants of the MWP rather than yesterday's emissions. Or the small rise in temps is just the Earth recovering from the LIA, naturally.

In my opinion, the proof that man's paltry CO2 contribution isn't warming anything is in the history of the Earth itself and it's various cycles. But how do you cap a volcano or squelch a lightening-caused wild fire? Both make man's CO2 appear insignificant. The answer is you don't, it's part of the natural cycle of this Earth. So blame man, the only contributor that can be controlled.

Don Dix


You are correct about the 'belief system'.

And I'll never forget Al Gore stating, 'The debate is over, the science is settled". First of all, science is never settled, and exactly when and where did this debate take place. Al certainly wasn't involved. Are we to take his word? -- didn't think so.

Dances with Redwoods

"Are we to take his word?"

No doubt in my mind anyway, that Mr Gore has attempted to fashion himself up as some kinda modern day Moses.

Dances with Redwoods

The way I see it, the only effect I can have on the climate, is change the effect it has on me. That, I can... personally manipulate.


Food for thought. No doubt. Thanks.

David Bates

Don, I stated it as succinctly as I could: Infinite growth on a planet of finite resources is, by definition, impossible. Does this concept really need to be explained? Here's a hint: In order to have growth, you need natural resources. Think about it.

Don Dix


Your concept is clear -- too many people, not enough natural resources.

With that concept as reference, are you saying that humans should lower or raise the atmospheric levels of CO2 (as if man could do either)?

And if there are too many people, what is your solution?


Don, What do you think of "Greenhouse Gas?"
The Global Carbon Cycle
Why It's Important
Atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from a variety of sources, some of them natural, but increasingly from human activities. Carbon dioxide and other gases (together, known as "greenhouse" gases) in the atmosphere absorb radiation emitted from the Earth, trapping heat in the atmosphere and contributing to the warming of Earth's atmosphere. Although a greenhouse also works by trapping energy from the sun, the physical processes are different.

In the geological history of the Earth, carbon has been cycling among large reservoirs in the land (including plants and fossil fuels), oceans, and the atmosphere. This natural cycling of CO2 usually takes millions of years to move large amounts from one system to another. Now we are looking at these changes occurring in centuries or even decades.

Since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 30 percent. This follows the increase in burning of fossil fuels that began with the rise of industry and transportation.


You know, I pay for the low flow shower heads and sink aerators, I pay for the special light bulbs, I pay for insulation for my floor and heater, I pay pay pay. I have seen little difference in my bills, I still have to pay ridiculous amount of money on gas whether I combine my trips or not, and we freeze half of the time indoors just to help cut our bill and be more efficient. Where is the reward?

If every person is not on board it is next to impossible to see any reward, yet the impact is always seen in my pocket book. We need to make changing over a bit more appealing for those who care and spend the extra dollars to do so. Call it the cognitive behavioral approach. A checklist of sorts that if you meet, you could reduce x amount of dollars off your grocery bill, gas bill, or other major staple. A person could be elected for each county that comes to a persons home and checks if they are in compliance, if they are, they are issued a card to use at the various stores or stations and are given a discount.

My husband has continued to work for the same place for several years now with no raise, yet we have seen our electric, water, sewer, trash, DSL, and grocery bills continue to rise, as well as gas. He was just forced in to getting new vision insurance because his insurance stopped providing it costing us more, but did they reduce his monthly charge? No, they increased it as well as his co-pays. He makes the same when he started, yet brings home less each year because of these costs, which leaves us less and less to pay for things like a roof and food.
With a program that rewards those who are trying to make an impact you would put a bit of money back into the pockets of those who continue to lessen the burden on Earth.
Where should this money come from? You could start here:

David Bates

That's not the concept I described; I did not say that we have too many people, and I did not say that we don't have enough natural resources. I said that infinite growth on a planet with finite resources is, by definition, impossible. And yes, we ought to be doing everything humanly possible to lower atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.


Damn straight Manup!


Even if there is a 50/50 chance either way, is'nt that enough to take heed? If your chances were 50/50 of the powerball, would'nt you be all over it???

Don Dix

Pardon my error, David.

Fletch -- Greenhouse gases? 95% of that gas is water vapor.

The global carbon cycle? Without it, we perish. And over 96% of the atmospheric CO2 is from natural sources. And carbon is present (and necessary) in all living organisms.

You wrote, "Since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 30 percent. This follows the increase in burning of fossil fuels that began with the rise of industry and transportation."

So how does that correlate to a warming Earth? In my opinion, it doesn't. For example: Take the high and low temperatures for each continent (since records have been recorded) -- nearly every all-time high occurred before the all-time record low. Most recordings began in the mid to late 1800s.

Another anomaly to the industrial revolution and warming correlation -- as CO2 levels have risen, the temperatures have not. From 1880 - 1910 there was a cooling trend, 1910 - 1940 a warming trend, 1940 - 1970 cooling, 1970 - 2000 warming. Check the temps in the 1930s. It seems Mother Nature's pattern does not support the claim that man's CO2 warms the Earth.

Finally, track the cycles of the Sun. When the Sun is active (solar storms), solar winds blast the Earth. The winds disperse the cosmic rays that help protect the Earth's atmosphere, hence warmer temps. When the Sun is inactive, solar winds die and the temps are lower. Now compare the Sun's activity to the swings in temps. You will find a definite correlation. But our so-called profits cannot do anything about the Sun either, so humans get thrown under the bus.

Don Dix

Manup has it correct -- all the efforts to 'help out' have done nothing but cost more to the participating individual. In Oregon, you are probably burning fuel with ethanol added.

The effects of ethanol are mostly negative. Ethanol uses more energy to produce than it can save as fuel. Mileage in ethanol burning vehicles is reduced by approx. 10%. Ethanol damages some parts of the internal combustion engine, resulting in costly repairs. And the demand to alter food crops for ethanol production raises the price of many corn-based products. Do you realize how many foods on the grocery shelves contain some form of corn by-products?

And yet our state government has mandated Oregonians to use a costly, inferior gasoline additive that has the opposite effect that was intended. Some members of the state legislature were surprised to hear these facts -- after they voted to implement the program, of course. That's the genius of the fools we elect!


Henry Ford could run 40,000 of his cars that ran on hemp oil with just 10,000 acers of hemp.
Man in conjunction with Mother Nature.
I wonder if Holland shares your sentiments Don? How about 80% of the worlds population could see a rise in their water table of 1 to 2 meters if this ice cap decides to relocate.
There are machines that can harvest the carbon out of the atmosphere and turn it into pure carbon dioxide which can be used to actovate bio fuels such as alge and hydrogen. The Perfect fuel.
Bottom line is water tables are on the rise and it is going to devistate the world as we know it.

David Bates

Two days after Nicole's Viewpoints essay was published, the World Bank published an important document titled, "Turn Down the Heat." There is a blatantly contradictory element to it -- the World Bank is itself a major investor in some of the very industries they call on to "cool it," so to speak -- but it is nevertheless worth a look:

Don Dix

Well, Fletch, in Nov. the Washington Post reported that the Arctic ice was melting at an increasingly fast pace --

"Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds."

Sounds rather alarming -- until one discovers this report was from Nov. 1922.

So Googling floods of Holland, there seems to be none for that time period -- but the Dutch women did gain the right to vote.

David Bates

Don, I was just reviewing our exchange, and I wanted to go back to your question about whether I think humans "should lower or raise the atmospheric levels of CO2." You then added "as if man could do either," implying (it seems to me) that human activity is incapable of having any effect whatsoever on the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Is this your position?

Dances with Redwoods

Thinking long term, aside from tilting in the direction of windmills, moving to higher ground seems a more prudent idea than the construction of massive dikes.

Don, did you catch that article a few days back about a new construction method being used over in China, for very rapid construction of very large buildings that snap together like Lego's and stand up to earthquakes better than conventionaL constructed?

Personally, I think we should relocate our cities. Any thoughts?

Dances with Redwoods

David, you might appreciate viewing this, you would gather some rather interesting insight from it.

2012: Time for Change
Directed by ... Joao G. Amorim


New York is now consulting with Holland on how to handle what seems to be a problem that is going to put a sinking feeling in everybodies stomach. Holland has a consevative christian goverment. They are considers some of the worlds leading heads when it come to handeling water tables. From what I understand, they are saying this global warming shiz is the real deal.
at the end of the day, my guts say sell low by high...

David Bates

Thanks Dances, I haven't seen that film, but I'll definitely check it out!


once again sorry for the poor grammer...


My thought, too many people (or approaching the limit). The rapid population increase should be the major concern. Yet, the discussion has been muted during the last two decades. As third world and second world populations increase along with the appetite for modern conveniences, the Earth's ability support will be greatly diminished.

The problems in order are
1) uncontrolled population growth combined with
2) irresponsible use of natural resources will eventually produce a
3) damaged Earth not capable to recharge.

Don Dix

David,When I was in college, my senior thesis was based on the Roman Empire -- it's climb to power and the resultant fall. At the time, I did not realize the the importance of the connection between the Roman history and the changing climate of the period. Today, there have been many climate comparisons that contradict that recorded Roman history.If, as Al Gore states, 'The Earth is warmer than it has ever been', how was it possible for the Romans to grow grapes in England? The straight up answer is the Medieval Warm Period (warmer than today).Greenland was discovered around 900 A.D. The name was also a description of the land visible from the ships. Greenland's southern area was farmed until about 1350, when the onset of the Little Ice Age began. Since, the farmed area has been covered in ice. It doesn't take much study to realize Greenland was warmer in 1000 A.D. than today. Then about 1400, the Earth entered the Little Ice Age. Was there a reduction in CO2 levels? No. According to studies of ice core, tree rings, and ocean sediment, the CO2 level did not retreat. So what caused these fluctuations? If CO2 were the culprit of the MWP, where did it originate? It certainly wasn't man and his machines. The answer, in my opinion, is the Sun. During the MWP, the Sun was in a maximum (unusually active solar storms on the Sun's surface). And during the LIA, the Sun was in minimum. This event is referred to as 'The Maunder Minimum'. During this period, the Sun's activity (solar storms) decreased, and the Earth cooled.Were one to compare the warm periods and cool periods (of the Earth) with the known activity of the Sun during each episode, the correlation becomes quite clear. Active Sun -- warming. Inactive Sun -- cooling. (cont.)

Don Dix

Sorry about the lack of paragraphs, the system did that.

At the end of the LIA (1800 - 1850), the Sun's activity increased and the Earth has been slowly warming since. Again, there was no spike in CO2, yet warming occurred.

CO2 is approx. just less than .04 % of the total atmosphere. Man's total is 3% of that. If you had 10,000 marbles (total atmosphere), less than 4 of those would represent CO2. Man would be represented by a sliver of one marble. Somehow, by representation, man's small portion would appear insignificant when compared to other contributors, wouldn't you say?

And the EPA naming CO2 a pollutant? A vital, necessary component of all life on Earth, and we are to believe it's bad for us? Sorry, but just saying it doesn't make it so. How about we just deprive those who fabricated this scheme of CO2 and see how that works out? If all the rats die, then we would have scientific proof that CO2 is necessary. If the rats live, they were right. Just in case, we should start ordering materials for those little coffins!

David Bates

Don, it appears that your numbers regarding the percentage of C02 in the atmosphere is correct, but you are ignoring the overwhelming body of scientific consensus regarding the significance of the amount that is contributed by human activity.

I might as well argue that 60,000 micro-grams is an insignificant t amount of weight when compared to the body of a full-grown man, but if we're talking about 60,000 micro-grams of arsenic and I ingest it, I will die. The mass of metal that one finds in a single bullet is also pretty small when compared with a human body, but if you fire the bullet into someone's brain, what is the likely outcome? I think we would both agree that, 10 minutes is a just a sliver in the life of a 25-year-old, but if that 25-year-old spends the ten minutes at the bottom of a swimming pool without a tank of oxygen, he will drown.

350 parts per million (which is, as you say, a very small percentage of the whole) is what the scientific community believes is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. In 2010, the burning of fossil fuels (and other industrial activity) pumped more than 33 giga-tonnes into the atmosphere, which as of October, stood at more than 391 parts per million of CO2.

That amount of CO2 has a tangible effect. It's important. It matters.

Don Dix


Yes, CO2 does matter -- to all living organisms. And there is no replacement -- no generic equivalent. And yet there are those that wish to 'limit' atmospheric CO2. But why? It's not a poison, nor a pollutant. No one has died from an 'overdose' of CO2. According to recent measurements CO2 has less influence on the 'warming' than we have been lead to believe (emphasis on 'lead').

The RSS satellite global temperature measurements indicate that the 1997-98 Super El Niño started from the low of April 1997. From that point, and all the way through July 2012, the global atmosphere has cooled - a total of 184 months. This cooling trend took place during a significant increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.

This slight cooling trend is opposite of what the IPCC (and NASA's James Hansen) predicted for global temperatures.

The IPCC prediction of rapid global warming is based on the hypothesis that human CO2 emissions would increase atmospheric CO2 greenhouse gas levels; the increase of greenhouse gases would allow more radiated heat to be retained; the retained heat would warm the atmosphere; and, the atmosphere would then warm the world's oceans and land surfaces. Such predicted warming would set in motion a "runaway tipping point" that would produce catastrophic climate disasters and a doomsday for civilization.

So Mother Nature turns down the thermostat and makes fools of all the dipsticks that have been shouting for so long -- oddly, about as long as the latest cooling trend!

The 'scientific community' to which you refer believes many things -- this particular belief that CO2 causes warming seems to be quite a distance from reality, if actual facts are implemented.

David Bates

Taking your points in order:

1) Just because a substance isn't inherently harmful does not mean it isn't a pollutant. Quantity is also a factor. To quote the Natural Resources Defense Council, "[a] pollutant is a substance that causes harm when present in excessive amounts."

2) Lacking the citation of a particular study, it's difficult to respond other than to say that even if it's true that CO2 has less influence on climate than previously thought, it obviously and indisputably does have an influence. Those who continue denying this will soon find that they have as much credibility as tobacco industry "experts" who insist that the jury's still out on whether smoking causes lung cancer.

3) The (false) claim about cooling since 1997-98 was first circulated in 2006 by conservative media outlets; it has been debunked. I won't bother with the details of how a few carefully selected numbers were manipulated to "create our own reality," as Karl Rove famously declared many years ago (and unsuccessfully attempted on live television Election Night). That's been done by others and may be found online easily enough. I simply refer you to any credible scientific organization for accurate long-term global climate data. NASA, for example.

There's a book at the McMinnville Public Library by Clive Hamilton called "Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change." It's "about the frailties of the human species as expressed in both the institutions we built and the psychological dispositions that have led us on the path of self-destruction ... our hubris, and our penchant for avoiding the facts." This, by the way, speaks directly to my point about people believing capitalism can last forever.

You should read it.

Don Dix


So NASA is your source? And NASA's chief, James Hansen, has admitted to 'adjusting and recalculating' numbers that suddenly support his theories and predictions. How convenient!

You state that 'humans have a penchant for avoiding facts'. And yet the following 'facts' do not support CO2 as a driver of warmer global temps.

Fact: The cycles of the Earth have created warmer and cooler temps than we are presently experiencing. The melting of glaciers and ice in the 1920's are proof that the present melting is not unprecedented. Or use the MWP for comparison. CO2 levels were lower than today, yet temps increased.

Fact: More than half of the temp increase in the last 150 years occurred in the first 75 years. And yet CO2 levels have shown a steady increase. Where is the correlation between CO2 and rising temps?

Fact: Since 1997, temps have leveled or cooled slightly. These numbers are from NASA (RSS satellites). And Hansen and the IPCC predicted the opposite. Oops!

Fact: Although CO2 levels don't coincide with warming (or cooling) trends, the activity of the Sun always matches quite nicely. Active -- warmer, less active -- cooler.

Fact: Greenhouse operations consistently add CO2 for healthier plants, sometimes as much as 1500 ppm. Don't you wonder why none of those exposed to these "high levels' have died?

If facts are to be considered, consider all, not just those that support a particular belief. In this case, many facts and records do not support the theory or predictions of the warmists. And to advise that reading a philosopher's guesses on human thinking is a better examination than actual evidence -- maybe it's not the average human that has a problem with facts.

David Bates

We can knock this back and forth forever, obviously, but the bottom line is that the vast majority of scientists around the world say that the overwhelming bulk of credible, peer-reviewed scientific evidence shows that global warming is an undeniable reality, that it has extraordinarily profound implications for the future of humanity and every species that calls Earth home, and that human industrial activity is and will continue to be a contributing factor. If you are determined to deny all that, -- which is to say, if you are determined to ignore reality -- then there's really nothing more I can say, or want to say.

Don Dix


I understand and respect your position, but as stated previously, the amount of indisputable, factual evidence that CO2 is not a pollutant or a driver of global temperatures is recorded in history, some by eyewitness. That's about the largest dose of reality available on the subject.

You were kind enough to direct me to a reading source that supports your beliefs. Returning the favor, this article puts real numbers to the claim touting 'the vast majority of scientists around the world' who believe in the theory.

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