Historical Myopia — By Lee Gerhard

Lee C. Gerhard, PhD, CPG has been studying and writing about climate change science for more than 30 years.

Gehard’s background is geology, and he is retired from the Colorado School of Mines as the Getty Professor of Geological Engineering and as Director and State Geologist of the Kansas Geological Survey.

Historical Myopia, A Modern Disease

Missing from the current climate hysteria is any indication that alarmists who forecast cultural crisis from a gradually warming earth have any knowledge or understanding of climate history. They are caught in their own hubris, thinking that only their lifetime experience captures the total reality of earth’s climate dynamics. Implicit in their myopia are assumptions that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important driver of climate change, present climate change is beyond historical norms, that humans can materially alter an Earth dynamic system and that warming will inevitably continue.

No formal test of the carbon dioxide-as-climate-driver theory has been permitted, but that is of no consequence, nor are the scores of technical papers theorizing the atmospheric physical details, both pro and con, of understanding the causes of climate change. The one critical question that remains to be resolved is: Is there proof that our current climate and concurrent recent changes are in any way extraordinary when compared to pre-industrial changes?

Fortunately, that question can be answered with empirical data without resorting to computer models. Oxygen isotope data and CO2 data from Arctic and Antarctic ice cores provide empirical historical temperature and carbon dioxide concentration over several hundred thousand years. Reliable empirical and interpreted information about temperature changes over human history has been collected and made accessible by Lamb (1995) and by numerous other less comprehensive studies (see Table 1 in Lamb, 1995, for detailed descriptions of data types and significance).

Ice core data not only instruct us with examples of past rapid large amplitude temperature swings but also document that rising temperature causes rising CO2, the direct opposite of the prevailing theory (Fischer et al, 1999) (the graphic former Senator Gore used to demonstrate CO2 driving temperature actually proved the reverse). What caused such temperature swings? Bond et al (2001) documented glacial thawing periods in the North Atlantic Ocean that were accompanied by beryllium isotope excursions that prove coincident increased solar intensity. Whether increased solar energy resulted from solar changes, orbital changes or both is not clear (Zahn, 2002). There is no indication in the data that carbon dioxide played any role in driving the melting episodes.

Recurring cycles of temperature change are evident in the geologic and human historic record (Hoyt and Schatten, 1997; Davis and Bohling, 2001). Three of these cycles are of particular importance. The ten to eleven-year solar cycle is well-recognized and is of minor importance to climate change calculations. The millennial (~1000 year) and the Gleissberg (60-80 year) cycles are very important to understanding climate change. In reverse chronologic order, there is the putative Modern maximum, then the Medieval, Roman, and Minoan cycles. The Medieval is the best studied of these, owing to data availability and proximity to modern history. During the temperature maximum two Viking agricultural colonies flourished on Greenland. Viking expeditions explored parts of eastern North America and there is anecdotal evidence that Chinese vessels transited the Northwest Passage. The cycles do not change temperatures rapidly, although it appears that warming happens faster than later cooling. By 1400 the Greenland communities were cut off by ice and all perished. In the larger context, several lines of evidence and data show that 4000 years ago Earth was much warmer than today. That is apparently when agriculture was firmly established and communities were organized.

From 4000 years ago to present, the Earth has been cooling episodically, the cooling interrupted only by the millennial warm peaks, each of which is cooler than its predecessor. Earth is not in a warming crisis. If there is to be a human crisis, it is because of cooling. So why the hyperbole about warming?

The Gleissberg Cycle is important because it encompasses a normal human life span, giving greater importance to individual experiences rather than the longer climate change history. The current cycle began in North America in the mid-1930’s, the U. S. high was 1934. It bottomed out around 1970, and reached its apex again about 1999. For the average American, the last 50 years has been warming and there is no memory of the previous parts of the cycle. Global warming is what people have experienced, although they have no understanding of the larger context (It must be noted that government temperature data from weather stations has been greatly corrupted by “corrections” to make older data colder, thus showing more warming). “Ever” cannot be casually defined as just the last 50 years. Alarmists who state current temperatures as “hottest ever” are either uninformed or devious.

Archibald, (2022) illustrates the current solar cycle intensity compared to previous cycles, indicating the likelihood of cooling to take place over the next decades. This statement is speculative. What we have learned from climate history is that human society prospers during warm periods and suffers during cold episodes. Increased CO2 and warm temperatures have greatly increased food production, while prospective cooling might harm that advance.

Takeaways from knowing climate history:

1) Knowledge of climate history obviates the need to consider either carbon dioxide or detailed atmospheric physics to know whether there is no “climate warming crisis” today or in the future.

2) The Earth has been cooling for more than 4000 years and will continue to cool for the foreseeable future, although the cooling is episodic rather than linear.

3) There is no global warming crisis. Modern temperature changes are well within normal natural change parameters.

4) Increased concentration of carbon dioxide has little effect on climate compared to natural effects.

5) Earth’s atmosphere is historically low in carbon dioxide to nourish plant growth; satellite images document greening of arid regions over the past 30 years.

6) Climate change is driven by solar and orbital variations, modified by large scale ocean current changes.

7) Earth appears to have entered the downturn part of a Gleissberg Cycle. History demonstrates human society suffers in cold times. Perhaps technology will prevent widespread harm.

References cited:

Archibald, David, 2022, Solar Update: The Wentworth Report. Feb. 2, 2022.

Berner, R., 1994, 3Geocarb IIA Revised model of atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic time: American Journal of Science, v.291, p. 56-91.

Bond, G., B. Kromer, J. Beer, R. Muscheler, M. N. Evans, W. Showers, S. Hoffmann, R. Lotti-Bond, I. Hajdas, G. Bonani, 2001, Persistent solar influence on north Atlantic climate during the Holocene: Science, v. 294, p. 2130–2136.

Davis, J. C., and G. Bohling, 2001, The search for patterns in ice- core temperature curves, in L. C. Gerhard, W. E. Harrison, and B. M. Hanson, eds., Geological perspectives of global climate change: AAPG Studies in Geology 47, p. 213–230.

Fischer, H., M. Wahlen, J. Smith, D. Mastoianni, and B. Deck, 1999, Ice core records of atmospheric CO2 around the last three glacial terminations: Science, v. 283, p. 1712–1714.

Hoyt, D. V., and K. H. Schatten, 1997, The role of the sun in climate change: New York, Oxford University Press, 279 p.

Lamb, H. H., 1995, Climate, history, and the modern world, 2d ed.: New York, Routledge, 433 p.

Zahn, R., 2002, Milankovitch and climate: The orbital code of climate change: Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling Journal, v. 28, no. 1, p. 17–22.

“I never fully accepted or denied the anthropogenic global warming concept until the furore started after NASA’s James Hansen’s wild claims in the late 1980s. I went to the [scientific] literature to study the basis of the claim, starting with first principles. My studies then led me to believe that the claims were false.” — Dr Lee Gerhard: [email protected]

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18 Thoughts to “Historical Myopia — By Lee Gerhard”

  1. Dr Clement Jewitt

    ‘Historical Myopia’ – Nice one! I wasn’t aware of the 4000 yrs average cooling though: good to know. We might speculate on the parallel gradual hotting of the sun (which might be a real problem in many 1000s or some millions of years! – some evolutionary growth needed between now and then . . . )

  2. Y.D. Robinson

    I’ve been aware of the 11-year solar cycle and the millennium cycle, but not really of the Gleissberg cycle. And yet this last one is just as crucial to understanding long(ish)-term trends in the global climate. First of all, it modulates or enhances the 11-year solar cycles, but more importantly, it rose from around 1970 up to relatively recently (at this point, the bulk of our lifespans even for older folks) though more recently it’s started to trend downwards.

    Essentially, what the alarmists are saying is that all these cycles, and more, are now being disrupted by all the fossil fuel emissions from human activities. And yet, on this count, the alarmists aren’t right and they should take into account especially the Gleissberg and millennium cycles and not just say that this flood or storm or drought now occurring is the worst one ever, or what not.

      1. Homo Erectus

        The Earth’s Climate Variability
        Harald Yndestad 28/04/2022

        Upcoming climate variations have a computed modern temperature maximum at the year 2025 and a computed deep minimum at the year 2070. Interference between solar- forced temperature cycles of 333 years, 2142 years, and 4,450 years and a lunar-forced temperature cycle of 445 years reveals that “The [current] Little Ice Age” covers a total period of 820 years from 1330 to 2150 A.D. and an upcoming temporary [much colder] climate period from 2070 to 2150.

        The term cosmology was first used in English in 1656 in Thomas Blount’s Glossographia,[2]
        The globalist/freemason ranchers along with the many long established cosmo-astro-geological societies, eugenical/practicable think tanks now with AI computing capabilities have precisely quantitatively known and prepped for the dates of these cyclic [Big Winter] eventualities and recurring famines/colder chaos periods especially since the early to mid 1800s.
        Geological Society of London
        Formation: 13 October 1807; 214 years ago
        Founded at: Freemasons Tavern, Great Queen Street, London,
        Type: Learned society
        Membership: 12,000 fellows

        Physics and astrophysics have played a central role in shaping the understanding of the universe through scientific observation and experiment. Physical cosmology was shaped through both mathematics and observation in an analysis of the whole universe.×720.png?media=1641037394

        The Ice Age Evolution of Smart(s) to the Present Day Woke Hominids
        The Acheulean Handaxe
        “The available archaeological data on Homo erectus reveals that one type of tool was used for about a million years — one type of stone tool, for a million years [during how many major/minor mini/maxi ice ages, glaciations and inter-glacials], all over Africa wherever Homo erectus is found after 1.4 mya. [one unique styled, advanced, single design, “manufactured” in bulk by the many thousands, unchanged/unmodified tool with no [zero] other tools found for about a million years [maybe 50,000 generations with 20 year lifespans] without change… [The factory remained in use for one million years. [note 15]… no modern fancy marketing, advertising or coercion like “Get vaxxed and chipped” req’d.

        “You cannot reason a person out of a position
        he did not reason himself into in the first place.”
        — Jonathan Swift

        The visible Universe is 99.999% plasma. The Sun is about 100% plasma, as are all stars. Plasma makes up nearly 100% of the interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic medium. The Earth’s ionosphere is plasma.

        Know plasma, know 99.999% of the Universe (No plasma, no Universe)

        … Meanwhile in China (Caution: this might break your heart)

  3. Gerry, England

    Everything is geared to a short attention span. English league football at the professional level used to be run the Football League. But with the big clubs clamouring for more say and more money, the Football Association took over what had been the First Division in the early 90s to create the FA Premier League. Now you get fed up with all statistics being related to the ‘premier league era’ and not back to the start of football.

  4. Michael Peinsipp

    It fascinates me that Humans are so uneducated as to not know that Plants love/use/need CO2 to exist!
    Heck CO2 has been in the 3K ppm range in the past and Green life exploded.
    But many Humans are followers not leaders meaning they accept what the ‘scientists’ say as fact.
    They will learn most likely tho to damn late.

    1. Deb

      I learned that in high school sophomore Biology class, but I’m old and I’m sure it’s no longer being taught.

    2. Archivarius

      415 ppm is at the low end of Earth’s historical Co2 levels, which have been as high as 7000 ppm, yet life flourished abundantly.

    3. Archivarius

      THE AVERAGE CO2 IN HISTORY [in the 3K ppm range] IS >6 TIMES MORE THAN WHAT IT IS TODAY – June 13th, 2022. [starting with a 7k ppm peak when life got going in the Cambrian 500mya]

  5. Brewer


    No one talks to geologists. The lazy, myopic trash computer “programmer” masquerading as a “climate scientist” is the current dirty.

  6. Dave Braatz

    The broadest historical context is critical. Cattermole’s (Cambridge Univ, 2000) “Building Planet Earth” on page 20 has a wonderful chart of the dominant gases that made up earth’s atmosphere over the last ~ 4.5 billion years. At the start, CO2 was ~ 80%, with Nitrogen under 20% and Hydrogen making up the balance. Over billions of years, Nitrogen rose to nearly 80%, Hydrogen dropped off to near-zero, and CO2 fell precipitously, to under 10% approx 3 billion years ago. From roughly 2 billion years ago, Oxygen increased from near-zero to over 20%. This is a wonderful presentation by Patrick Moore, and at the 57 minute mark LOOK AT his slide of “Where the Carbon is”. As plant life in the oceans thrived under high CO2 levels, most of the carbon on earth was locked up in carboniferous minerals such as limestone and dolomite. This helped drive CO2 to the status of a trace gas. If not for the industrial age and burning fossil fuels in recent history, which did raise CO2 a bit, earth was on track to a very real threat – the loss of plant life when CO2 levels might fall below 150 ppm. Animals (and humans) would not survive that! We should be grateful for the CO2 we have. The AGW alarmists are pushing a fraudulent political narrative to gain power and control over global population and resources. We must RESIST.

    1. Timmy

      Be interesting if everybody [of intellect/logos] was to re-frame the 400 ppm CO2 to 1:2500ths [CO2 being just one part in twenty-five hundredths of the atmosphere and is “the” essential trace gas necessary for all life to exist and that it is historically perilously near it’s all time low… and that we’ve all stopped listening to the best “bought science/clown sci-op [The Show Must Go On] theatre actor scientists” they can come up with.

      If someone was ever to say 400 ppm CO2 I’d say, “Do you mean 1:2500th of the atmosphere?” but nobody ever says or guesses anything close to that amount. I’ve probably asked maybe 20+ “guys” who figure they “know” stuff to give me a rough guess on how much CO2 they think is in the air, percentage wise… they usually don’t want to even wager a WAG but when pressed their average ballpark WAG answer [because they all say they really have no clue and they’re right] > is between 30%-50%… no joke… that’s the state of the “smart” zombie world ww that thinks CO2 is too high… because science… because TV… and these are the “educated/informed” guys, and I wouldn’t even ask the bi(s) in case they were feeling polar.

      1. Deb

        Looks like you had a recent (mental/emotional) growth spurt. Bout time. Now try making a spiritual leap-turn away from the dark world view and start looking for the miracle to come.

        Hint: it helps to severely curtail your internet time. On the internet, each day is worse than the one before. In the real world, every day is pretty much like the day before. Well, out in the countryside it is. Sorta boring, but so much better than the alternative!

  7. LocoLogos

    Russell Brand, for those who haven’t figured it out yet.

    Controlled Opposition Shill Russell Brand calls for One World Government

    Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

  8. kentlfc

    Too late for Australia! We’ve just elected a far left braindead as our Prime Minister. A braindead who is a disciple to the AGW religion. Sadly, the conservatives had gotten sucked into a similar mantra!

    1. .

      selected… just for you

  9. Doktor Seltsame Liebe

    Wood, Mercola: It’s Crucial To Understand What We’re Up Against

    I’m guessing that Patrick finally did…
    Patrick Wood Withdraws From The Crimes Against Humanity Tour USA As Of June 1, 2022

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