Petrified Forest Exposes Uneasy Truths

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I may be canceled for presenting science that does not conform with the politically correct narrative. It has happened to others on various social media platforms. Sometimes, an individual must have the courage to stand up and say, “The emperor has no clothes”. 

One of my favorite childhood road trips was to the Petrified Forest near California’s Napa Valley. It is an ancient forest preserved by a volcanic eruption 3.4 million years ago.

An entire forest of prehistoric Sequoia Redwoods were flattened and burned by the cataclysmic event. In a process called permineralization, organic material was replaced with silica which petrified the cellular structure of the wood. It essentially turned the Redwoods into stone not unlike the residents of Pompeii.

– Images presented under Fair Use for non-monetary presentation –

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My childhood fascination with the Petrified Forest led me to study geology in college. I wondered what else was going on three million years ago. Forests, subject to volcanic wildfires, were giving way to grasslands and savannas.

The earth was warmer and more humid than it is today even though there was a general cooling pattern in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Polar ice caps were trying to form, but there had been no polar ice prior to the Oligocene Period and Mesozoic Era.

What … no polar ice? Proponents of the mainstream narrative decry the melting ice sheets while ignoring the fact that polar ice is not the geologic norm. The doomsday scenario is that melting ice will cause the oceans to rise; but during the Pliocene Epoch, the oceans were 25 meters higher than they are today — 100 meters higher when dinosaurs were the dominant species.

Three million years ago, the Pacific Ocean was in a long-term warming trend called El Niño. Since 2016, weather patterns on the West Coast of the United States have been influenced by similar conditions, accounting for record heat in 2016 and 2019-2021. Last year was somewhat moderated by the cooling effect of a transitory La Niña. 

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So what influenced the climate so long ago? My professor would probably be fired for teaching this today, but climate is basically influenced by the sun, ocean currents, precipitation, and the earth’s axis.

The appearance of ice caps three million years ago was due to a sudden shift in oxygen isotopes in the northern oceans coupled with a high-amplitude oscillation (wobble) of the earth’s rotation.

Well, that doesn’t sound very sexy; and it doesn’t make for sensational headlines or polarizing talking points.

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Inconvenient Truths

The giant source of light that lies on the Orion Arm of the Milky Way galaxy has the greatest influence on earth’s climate. Solar cycles shift between patterns of warming, cooling, and Coronal Mass Ejections (solar flares).

It’s not perceptible to humans, but the sun is getting hotter and brighter. The trend will continue until all life on earth becomes extinct — either by global warming or the direct hit of an incinerating solar flare.

Speaking of extinction, thousands of species (both plants and animals) have disappeared. I love the quip by comedian George Carlin, “We didn’t kill them all.”

What is the earth’s average temperature? Pundits will typically offer a confusing answer:

“Earth’s temperature was 1.76° F (0.98° C) warmer than the baseline average.”

What does that mean to the lay person? What is the baseline average? The answer provides little information other than to uphold the narrative that the earth is warming.

Relative to what?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the earth’s 20th century baseline temperature was around 57° F (13.9° C).

Wait … what? That doesn’t sound very hot. NOAA also noted that “the planet has often been much warmer than it is now”.

Just one example, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the average temperature was above 90° F (33° C). Sub-tropical forests extended to the Arctic Circle which was a veritable Garden of Eden for land creatures.

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Which brings me to the most inconvenient truth of all — greenhouse gas emissions. I must preface this by saying that I don’t deny that the earth is getting warmer, or that human activity produces tons of CO2. Frankly, I was so sure that industrialized nations would stop burning fossil fuels by the year 2000.

CO2, however, makes up about 0.04% of the earth’s atmosphere. Water vapor, on the other hand, can be as high as 4%. Yes, water vapor is a greenhouse gas which is why precipitation is an influencing factor in global warming.

In fact, water vapor accounts for 60-70% of the greenhouse effect while CO2 accounts for just 25%. NOAA concluded from the data that, despite human efforts to measurably reduce their carbon footprint, there has not been a proportionate reduction in global temperatures.

Science is left, then, to figure out why. Could it be that my professor was right — that there are natural forces beyond human control that influence the earth’s climate?

Forty-five years ago this month, Time magazine featured an alarming cover story about the coming Ice Age.

The article warned that, due to human activity, the polar ice caps would extend as far south as New York City.

America’s northern tier of states would become glaciated. Millions of people would either freeze or perish from hunger.

Why? Because elevated CO2 emissions effectively blocked solar radiation from warming the earth. Thirty years later (2007), Time magazine issued a Survivor’s Guide to Global Warming. Editors blamed the environmental crisis on elevated CO2 emissions which, they said, was trapping solar radiation.

So, which is it?

For perspective, atmospheric CO2 measured 2,000 ppm during the age of dinosaurs … 325 ppm in 1977 … 383 ppm in 2007 … and 425 ppm in 2022.

The measurements are irrelevant if they don’t fit the narrative. The divergence between 1977 and 2007 is statistically insignificant. If anything, the earth should have gotten colder. That is, if Time was right about the coming Ice Age.

No, what ended the 1970’s cold snap was the cyclical oscillation of the North Pacific and North Atlantic — an event that occurs every thirty years. The directional shift in ocean currents will make the land mass either warmer or cooler.

Those who warned of global cooling, then warming, also predicted that the oceans would be dead by the year 2000 if people didn’t stop driving their cars.

CO2 was the catalyst regardless of the outcome. Truth didn’t matter. Science, clearly, didn’t matter. All that mattered was preaching the narrative as if it were gospel.

And because public schools fail to teach these things — I think, by design — people believe a celebrity who claims that the world will end in ten years because of human activity.

I’ll let my professor have the last word:

“The presence of polar ice caps is geologic evidence that the earth is still recovering from the last Ice Age.”

[Save the Planet by George Carlin contains colorful language. Viewer discretion is advised.]

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