Two Kinds of Climate Alarmism

It seems that the global reduction in economic activity over the past few months due to Covid=19 has had little or no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels.

Jo Nova:

Humans do Ultimate Paris Lockdown, CO2 hits record high anyway

The new figures from the Mauna Loa Observatory show humans are irrelevant

Despite the Ultra-Revolutionary-Carbon-Reduction-Program far beyond anything the UN has every dreamed of,  Global CO2 hit 417ppm. This is a record high since humans discovered test tubes but the 300 millionth time since life on Earth evolved.

I don’t know why people are worried about global warming anyway. The atmospheric temperature is only predicted to rise by one or two degrees over a century or so. Does that mater?

What seems to me far more worrying is the prospect of global cooling. During the last ice age (which only ended 12,000 years ago) atmospheric temperature was 10ºC lower than today. And today we’re living in an interglacial period, previous ones of which have only ever lasted about 12,000 years. So we’re overdue for the start of a renewed ice age, which is likely to be very sudden (over a decade or so). Why aren’t people more worried about that?

Yesterday I wrote:

It’s kind of weird that some people will get exercised about relatively harmless things like smoking and drinking, but aren’t much bothered about far more dangerous activities (like swimming and hang gliding).

I feel exactly the same about global warming. Why the alarm about a bit of warming, when cooling is a far greater threat?

It is perhaps because people tend to see the Earth’s climate as being a constant, and regard any change in temperature – upwards or downwards – as equally alarming, particularly if projected far into the future.

And yet the Earth’s atmospheric temperature is always changing. It’s always either rising or falling. It does this every day, every year, and every millennium.

In many ways I’m unsurprised that there are lots of people like Greta Thunberg who are alarmed at the current warming. But why aren’t there equal numbers of people just as alarmed about the prospect of global cooling?

Maybe it’ll change if we start to see atmospheric temperature falling over a decade or two? Perhaps we can only ever worry about one thing at a time? So we’ll always be worried about either warming or cooling, rather than both?

Anyway anti-Greta Naomi Seibt seems to spend her time debunking global warming rather than highlighting the prospect of global cooling. She never mentions it at all. She thinks that there’s no reason for alarm about anything. If Greta Thunberg is an alarmist, Naomi Seibt is an anti-alarmist: there’s nothing to be worried about.

But what would happen if in a few years time Canada and Europe and Russia found themselves covered in snow sheets that never melt? What would be the effect on the global economy, and on global politics? Has nobody written a book that explores this possibility? Perhaps I should explore it myself, given that I’ve been thinking about it for the past 2 years, using my own simulation model.

About Frank Davis

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1 Response to Two Kinds of Climate Alarmism

  1. Clicky says:

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