Climate alarmists are still running about like Chicken Little saying “The sky is falling,” ice is melting, polar bears are dying and soon we’ll all be frying. Yet it isn’t just that the doom-and-gloom climate models have failed, with reports that we’re in a 20-year period of stable or possibly decreasing temperatures. It’s that even if the mercury does rise, so what?
Climate alarmism central, The New York Times, let the truth slip recently, reporting on a Lancet study showing “cold weather is responsible, directly or indirectly, for 17 times as many deaths as hot weather,” as the Times related it. Moreover, the paper cited yet another study suggesting that in most of the world, “rising temperatures could reduce overall mortality rates.”
Then consider the alarmism bugaboo CO2. Often called “carbon,” which is like calling H2O “hydrogen,” there’s a reason botanists pump it into greenhouses: it’s not a pollutant but plant food. Rising CO2 associated with rising temperatures augments plant growth, thus increasing crop yields markedly. It’s no coincidence that the dinosaurs’ Mesozoic Era saw carbon dioxide levels 5 to 10 times today’s — and lush foliage everywhere.
The reality? Warmth means life, which is apparently why there are more than 10 times as many species in the tropics than the Arctic. Cooling temperatures are a frightening prospect.
This is precisely what we may soon face, too. The Earth exhibits cycles of 100,000-year glacial periods followed by (warmer) 12,000-year interglacials. We’re currently experiencing the latter — and ours has already lasted, well, about 12,000 years.
Thus did Professor S. Fred Singer, a founding director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project, warn last year that we might be due for a dangerous deep freeze. Writing that “[c]old periods and droughts appear to be the main dangers to agriculturally based societies in all regions of the world,” Singer advised we “try to figure out how to prevent such cooling episodes, if possible.”
In other words, even if man’s activities are causing some relative warming, they just may be helping to mitigate an impending disaster.
In fact, you just may want to make your “carbon footprint” Paul Bunyan size. For astrobiologist Jack O'Malley-James warned in 2013 that life on Earth will experience a CO2-related demise — resulting from too little of the gas. The idea is that an ever-hotter sun will cause greater evaporation, over time reducing carbon dioxide levels to a point where plants will be unable to survive. Luckily, this doesn’t occur until 1,000,000,000 A.D., approximately and supposedly.
So the world’s end mayn’t be nigh, but nor is it known. After decades of declining temperatures, Newsweek reflected the consensus view in running a 1975 story titled “The Cooling World.” As the mercury then rose for the next 20 years, consensus cooled on the cooling thesis and global warming became the cause du jour. And this gets at the problem: as late novelist Michael Crichton once pointed out, “consensus” is a term of politics, not science. Said he in a 2003 lecture, “Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.” Science involves proof and the presentation of reproducible results. Consensus is what they talk about when they don’t have the proof.
So what do we know? Climate changes, naturally, all the time. The Earth has experienced at least five major ice ages, and during the Cryogenian period it was completely or almost completely covered with snow and ice. At another time the snow and ice were virtually absent. There are the aforementioned glacials and interglacials and 1500-year cycles of heating and cooling within them. And the sea? The oceans around Florida were at one time 300 feet lower, at another 100 feet higher.
Lastly, history teaches that there’s one kind of disaster we probably don’t have to worry about: the one everyone is worrying about. The majority of “elites” didn’t foresee the fall of Rome, Great Depression or WWII, and they’re no Nostradamus now. Man’s end may come, but it’s more likely to be authored by the geopolitical climate than the natural one.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) is a conservative media personality whose work has been published on The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, and American Thinker. He has also contributed to college textbooks published by Gale - Cengage Learning, and is a frequent guest on radio and television.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.