For Al Gore, it’s “a sad milestone.” Scientists have announced that the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has reached a “record” level of 400 parts per million. Those who cling to the myth of man-made global warming insist this could be the tipping point for the greenhouse effect, causing the planet to sizzle, triggering floods and other catastrophes. Warmists should chill out. This CO2 increase is a triumph of human progress.
Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels at the Cato Institute offer a calmer, constructive view of what’s happening. They observe that while the rise in atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels in recent centuries has tracked with an increase in the use of fossil fuels, it has also been accompanied by great leaps in the human condition, including a global population growth of 75 percent and a doubling of life expectancy in the developed world.
If there were a direct correlation between carbon-dioxide concentrations and global temperatures, high levels would coincide with a tropical epoch rather than an ice age, endless romance under the coconut palms, never ice and snow. The link between carbon-dioxide levels and temperature — the premise of global-warming hysteria — is weak at best.
Even the BBC, which has long championed the global-warming movement, has finally acknowledged research that shows that the planet isn’t actually growing hotter, despite the increase in carbon dioxide. The Beeb’s environment correspondent conceded on Sunday that the climatic “standstill” means extreme warming isn’t on the horizon.