A recent letter to the Editor by Mr. Boyd Walker called on the Alexandria City Council to declare a “Climate Emergency”, which would mirror a resolution recently passed by the Alexandria Democratic Committee.

There is so much misinformation, disinformation, misunderstanding and blind obeisance to climate alarmism orthodoxy in this letter that one hardly knows where to start in response.

But let’s give it a try. We’ll start with some undisputed facts, which are supported by hundreds of well researched studies and thousands of scientists (not Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and grant-seeking organizations).

First, there is a natural cycle of variability in the Earth’s climate, driven by variations in the output of the Sun, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, and other factors that have nothing to do with human activity.

Fifteen thousand years ago the Earth was a very cold place, with glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere covering all of Canada, and down the Eastern seaboard, to the south of New York City. Then the Earth, for unknown reasons – but certainly not man-made nor having anything to do with atmospheric CO₂ – rapidly warmed, and the retreating ice left Long Island, Cape Cod and the Great Lakes, as its’ residue.

We are now in a period between the last Glacier, and the one which will surely come in the future, with brief periods of warmth (such as the Medieval Warm Period a thousand years ago, when grapes grew in England, and the Vikings colonized Newfoundland) and cooler periods (such as the Little Ice Age, 300 years ago, when the Thames in England froze over.)

The climate is presently in a period of stasis, with the temperature holding relatively stable over the last 30 years, despite an increase in CO₂. But the climate will change. It always does. Perhaps warmer. Perhaps cooler. And man has nothing to do with it.

Second, 300 million years ago, life on Earth was rich with plant and animal life. Atmospheric CO₂ then was 5,000 parts per million (ppm). It is now just 410 ppm. At the rate CO₂ is increasing, it will take over 200 years to reach historical levels.

Yet the alarmists want us to believe that shortly (they refuse to define exactly when) the Earth will cross a CO₂ “tipping point” which will cause the Earth to burn to a crisp. The so-called “tipping point” is the latest ludicrous invention of the scaremongers, right up there with “catastrophic” weather, in their attempt to sell a bizarre and nonsensical theory.

Third, extensive studies of the Earth’s polar ice cores establish that over the last 400 millennia increases in CO₂ follow, and do not precede, a warming of the Earth. Thus, CO₂ has not been, and cannot be, a causative factor of global warming.

But alarmists are not interested in facts, or science, but rather in group think and demonizing their opponents, therefore cloaking their arguments in name calling (such as labeling climate realists as “deniers”) or invective (realists do not want to “save the planet” – as if the human species possibly could).

So, Mr. Walker wants the City Council to follow the Alexandria Democratic Committee in declaring a “climate emergency”. If the Democratic Committee has decided to pass such a do-nothing, meaningless, pat-yourself-on-the back, virtue signaling, measure – fine. Go for it. But the City Council represents all Alexandria citizens, not just the true believers of climate alarmism, and it would be well advised to decline the invitation.

Instead, I respectfully suggest that the City Council address matters over which it actually has some measure of control, such as the plague of scooters which has descended on Alexandria out of nowhere, like some kind of electric locusts, littering our town and likely paving the way for a tragic accident in the future.

This article originally appeared as a letter to the editor of the Alexandria Times.


  • CFACT Ed

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  • Collister Johnson

    Johnson has spent the last four decades working in the public and private sectors in Virginia, primarily in the fields of project finance and maritime transportation. He began his career in public service as Chairman of the Board of the Virginia Port Authority. He was appointed by President George W. Bush, and confirmed by the Senate, as a member of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and most recently, as Administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. In that capacity, he became knowledgeable in the field of climate and its impact on the Great Lakes. He currently serves on CFACT's Board of Advisors. Johnson holds a B.A. degree from Yale University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.