In recent years I’ve thought that global warming alarmism has been fading away, largely as a result of Climategate in 2009, when climate scientists were revealed to be cooking the books and “hiding the decline” (in proxy air temperatures). But recently I’ve been getting the sense that it’s become resurgent again.
Over half British adults claim to be ‘very concerned’ about climate change.
According to an Ipsos MORI poll conducted for the London Evening Standard, 85 percent are ‘concerned’ and 52 percent ‘very concerned’. And the figures are going up.
According to MSN:
The proportion of people who are “very concerned” about climate change has jumped to a record 52 per cent, up from just 18 per cent five years ago.
More than half of women, 55 per cent, now express such deep alarm, compared with 48 per cent of men.
Nearly three-quarters of Britons believe the country is already feeling the effects of climate change — up from 61 per cent in 2017, 55 per cent in 2014 and 41 per cent in 2010.
Why should 52% of British adults have become “very concerned” about climate change? What’s happened in the last five years to cause that shift in opinion?
Maybe it’s simply that, ten years on, Climategate has become past history. The climate alarmists took a tremendous battering back then, but they clung to the ropes, stayed in the ring, and kept on fighting their corner. So maybe public sympathy has swung back behind them.
Or maybe it’s just that global warming propagandists have kept plugging away with their prophecies of doom, and public resistance has been fading, rather like after everybody got told from about 1950 onwards that Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, after about 30 years everybody believed it, because it had become impossible to disbelieve. And we’ve now had 30 years of relentless global warming alarmism, so perhaps the same thing is happening: it’s becoming impossible to disbelieve in global warming.
Greta Thunberg is a poster child for this. She’s someone who got terrified by a schoolteacher. She’s the personification of a modern panic. And panic is what the alarmists want to create, just like Tobacco Control wanted to create panic about smoking back in 1950 (and succeeded in doing so).
It’s how politics works these days: if you want change somewhere, make people panic about it. Stampede them in the direction you want them to go. Tell them whatever lies are necessary to scare them out of their wits. Of course you’ll eventually lose all your credibility when you tell lies, but if you can manage to scare people into doing what you want before they realise that you’re lying, you’ll be home free. Who cares what they think once you’ve cheated them out of all their savings?
Or maybe it’s because I’ve been becoming a climate alarmist myself. Over the past 18 months I’ve been building my own computer heat flow simulation model (something I used to do 40 years ago as university postgraduate and research assistant), and I’ve been becoming increasingly alarmed at the prospect, not of global warming, but of global cooling, and the start of a new ice age. We’re currently living in the warm Holocene interglacial, and these interglacials only happen once every hundred thousand years, and they only last for about ten thousand years, and we’re now about twelve thousand years into the Holocene. So really we ought to be expecting the start of a new ice age. In fact, some people think that the Little Ice Age of a few hundred years ago was nearly the beginning of a new ice age. So it’s really a bit crazy that global warming alarmism is all the rage these days, when if people are to be alarmed about anything it really ought to be global cooling. It’ll be a slow-motion global catastrophe if the warming alarmists prove to be right, and the ice in Greenland and Antarctica all melts, and see levels rise 70 metres – but it’ll be a far worse global catastrophe if ice sheets start spreading across Europe and Russia and Canada. If that happens, or if anything that even begins to approach that happens, global warming alarmism will die out overnight.
If I were a betting man, I’d bet good money that global cooling alarmism is going to defeat global warming alarmism in any toe-to-toe slugfest. For the coolists have a far stronger hand than the warmists. The coolists have the past 2.7 million years of repetitive glaciations punctuated by brief interglacials backing them up. The coolists have got history behind them. What have the warmists got? Global climate simulation models whose 100-year predictions have already been falsified.
In fact I wonder whether people like Al Gore are secret coolists who are just masquerading as warmists. Why would he buy a beachfront mansion in California if he really thought that sea levels are going to rise as the ice sheets melt? Answer: he doesn’t think sea levels are going to rise. He thinks sea levels are going to fall, and his seafront property will grow in size. Same with Richard Branson and Johnny Depp on their Caribbean islands. Do they think their little islands are going to be drowned in a few years time? No, they don’t. They probably both think that their little islands are going to double or triple in size (and value) as sea levels fall away around them. Richard Branson and Johnny Depp (and Marlon Brando many years before them) are doing the exact right thing that global cooling alarmists should be doing: buying themselves tropical islands. And if they’ve both done it pretty quietly, it’s because they didn’t want to see the price of Caribbean islands sky-rocketing as global cooling panic took hold. Not that a Caribbean island is going to be a safe space in an ice age. Those islands are totally dependent on the mainland for supplies of food and water and everything else. And how do you defend them from pirates?
Before I forget, I’d like to draw attention to a geology teacher in the USA who has been publishing YouTube videos of fun lectures he’s been giving about things like huge floods at the end of the last ice age 15,000 years ago, the 3 km thick black basalt lava flow covering much of Oregon and Washington states, supervolcanoes that explode once every 100,000 years or so killing everything for hundreds of kilometres around, the Columbia and Snake rivers’ wandering courses, and the Next Big One in California. And he’s not an alarmist of any sort: he’s just fascinated by the world around him. Here’s the first one I mentioned: