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The Independent

June 25, 2019

The Climate Change Debate

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 12:00 am

We need to move the climate debate above the quality of an old Miller Lite commercial—the economic issues are serious. I tire of ideologues on both extremes claiming that the latest weather event means anything other than that weather is variable. Climate change is measured in terms of decades and longer, not days or even years. It has changed naturally for billions of years, and we know a lot about when and why, but that doesn’t mean humans can’t cause climate change also.

Many years ago, I learned about Milankovitch cycles and periodic ice ages—about every 100,000 years for the last million years. The last ice age was a big deal for Iowans, and we learned in elementary school how it affected farmland. In geologic time, we are in a warm phase and would plunge into another ice age within a few thousand years, but we have changed the course of nature.

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