The Politically Correct Doomsday Clock

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.

Elsewhere I noticed that the Doomsday Clock is now at 2 minutes to midnight.

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?

About Frank Davis

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10 Responses to The Politically Correct Doomsday Clock

  1. James Sykes says:

    You be always believed nature knows what it’s doing, so in my view that’s why the planet is warming slightly, to offset the effects of a possible ice age. Global warming is just a bandwagon that has been jumped on by the idiots that lost the nuclear weapons argument , that and another reason to tax us far too much.

  2. petesquiz says:

    From what I understand, the current warm period isn’t as warm as the Mediaeval Warm Period which itself wasn’t as warm as the Roman Warm Period. So, maybe, we’ve passed the peak of this current inter-glacial and are heading back towards another ice age as you say. (Although, technically, we are still in the Ice Age!).

    It also seems that we may be headed for another Maunder Minimum of sunspot activity which coincided with, or caused (dependent on who you believe) the Little Ice Age of the 16th to 19th centuries.

    No doubt I won’t live to see it, but I’d love to be around when this Anthropogenic Global Warming nonsense is disproved!

    • Rose says:

      I’ve been hoping for the Medieval Warm Period to come back for long while, but I think that the only reason that we can now grow grapes outside in Yorkshire is through selective breeding and that last year when we got the first small harvest of grapes was because last year was another “76.

      Today’s forecast: yet another blast of hot air
      David Bellamy
      2007

      “The Romans grew grapes in York and during the worldwide medieval warm period – when civilizations blossomed across the world – Nordic settlers farmed lowland Greenland (hence its name) and then got wiped out by the Little Ice Age that lasted roughly from the 16th century until about 1850.”
      http://web.archive.org/web/20080511161047/www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article2709551.ece

  3. Radical Rodent says:

    It does depend upon what scale that “doomsday clock” is based upon. If the entire 4.5 billion-year life of Earth was compressed into a year, then human civilisation started less that 2 minutes before midnight, 31st December; the present “global warming” less than 2 seconds before midnight. An “average” (70 year) human life would be less than half a second.

    Petesquiz: do not be so disheartened; I suspect that it will not be too long, now, before the whole scam completely unravels, as global cooling has tended to be a lot more rapid than warming. By 2025, we could all be panicking about an oncoming ice-age (again), all caused, no doubt, if not by human-generated CO2, then by human actions, of some sort.

  4. Joe L. says:

    The Doomsday Clock is and has been absurd since its inception. It is (unabashedly) the epitome of “doom porn”: blatant fearmongering designed by so-called “experts” (of what exactly, I don’t know) for purposes of social engineering. Like the “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer” mantra, it is utter nonsense that exists only to scare people into changing their behaviors. It is no different than a cult leader claiming that God spoke to him and just so happened to tell him the exact date and time of the Apocalypse. If anyone believes that this is somehow based on science, I’ve got a bridge to sell them.

  5. Fredrik Eich says:

    I think the world is a little more dangerous at the moment. Russia is feeling threatened and is deploying tactical nukes , presumably with the intention of winning a short limited nuclear war in order to restore the baltic states and parts of eastern Europe to greater Russia and in doing so breaking the NATO alliance. If this is not the case then what is the point of deploying tactical nukes? And meanwhile the EU is bent on creating it’s own army which in turn will weaken NATO and create yet another set of variables.

  6. Clicky says:

  7. Philip Neal says:

    You doubtless saw this Frank.

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