I suppose I’m not really too surprised at this tweet:
I wonder if he’s a Maoist like Barroso? They’re probably all Marxists of one flavour or other in the EU.
I once ground my way through the first six chapters of Marx’s Capital (an uphill struggle through the dense jungle of his verbiage), and was very disappointed. Marx was, in my view, just another classical economist like Ricardo. And with that I completely lost all interest in him.
Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger.
In the nuclear realm, the United States abandoned the Iran nuclear deal and announced it would withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), grave steps towards a complete dismantlement of the global arms control process….
On the climate change front, global carbon dioxide emissions—which seemed to plateau earlier this decade—resumed an upward climb in 2017 and 2018. To halt the worst effects of climate change, the countries of the world must cut net worldwide carbon dioxide emissions to zero by well before the end of the century….
I suppose that nuclear weapons do pose an existential threat, but it’s a threat that I’ve lived with all my life, and have rather lost interest in. Who wants Mutual Assured Destruction? Nobody. So it won’t happen. I think they mean that Donald Trump, who tore up the Iran nuclear deal, is the real existential threat.
But does climate change pose an existential threat? By “climate change” they of course mean anthropogenic global warming (AGW). And that means a slight warming of the atmosphere over the next century, with increased plant growth thanks to the higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. I don’t think it’s an existential threat at all. But these extreme alarmists think we must cut carbon dioxide emissions to zero.
So as I read it. the Doomsday Clock has had its hands moved nearer midnight because of Trump and global warming. It’s a political clock. Or a politically correct clock, that reflects fashionable political sensibilities. Why didn’t they add Brexit as well? Isn’t that supposed to be the end of the world too?
But I’m inclined to think that climate change actually does pose a genuine existential threat to humanity, but not in the way these people think. I’m currently inclined to think that we’re actually far more in danger of global cooling than of global warming. We’re currently 12,000 years into an interglacial period in a succession of such interglacials, most of which only last about, well,… 12,000 years. So it seems to me that the return of an ice age is the most likely thing to happen next. And a bit of global warming might help stave it off for a while, but not prevent it. And so I’m increasingly in favour of AGW, and I think we need a lot more of it. The reason why the global warming alarmists are worried about warming rather than cooling is because they think the last ice age ended 12,000 years ago as a consequence of a rise in CO2 levels in the atmosphere back then. And they’re worried that now that we’re adding a lot more CO2 into the atmosphere, the little remaining ice on Greenland and Antarctica will melt, raising sea levels by 50 metres or so. And since they think that CO2 ended the last ice age, they think it will prevent a new ice age from starting for maybe another 30,000 years or so.
Will it? Will a 3ºC air temperature rise be enough to prevent a new ice age? I don’t know the answer to that question. It’s one of the questions I’m trying to answer with my glaciation simulation model. But my current inclination is to think that it won’t make much difference at all. It might just delay the return of the ice by a century or two. And then what happens when Norway and Sweden and Canada and Russia start getting covered in totally unexpected ice?