A Welcome Change From The Hysteria
Peter Perakos pointed me to a good piece by Andrew Kenny in The Spectator that dispels a lot of the misinformation we keep on hearing, at the same time managing to be comprehensive yet very readable. Entitled "Prepare for the Big Chill," the article also zeroes in on the scare stories being spread almost thirty years ago by the same environmentalists who are raising the clamor today about "Global Warming," except at that time we were on the brink of a new ice age.
"The facts have emerged, in recent years and months, from research into past ice ages. They imply that the threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind". (Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, in International Wildlife, July 1975)
"The cooling has already killed thousands of people in poor nations . . . If it continues, and no strong measures are taken to deal with it, the cooling will cause world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this could all come about by the year 2000." (Lowe Ponte, The Cooling, 1976)
Now, however, the scare is about global warming. To convert from the first scare to the second, all you have to do is substitute 'the coldest weather ever recorded' with 'the warmest weather ever recorded'
What facts have emerged to make this dramatic reversal? Well, none really. The most reliable measurements show no change whatsoever in global temperatures over the last 20 years. What has changed is the perception that Global Warming makes a better scare than the Coming Ice Age. A good environmental scare needs two ingredients. The first is impending catastrophe. The second is a suitable culprit to blame. In the second case, the ice age fails and global warming is gloriously successful.
The last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. Temperatures rose to the 'Holocene Maximum' of about 5,000 years ago when it was about 3°F higher than now, dropped in the time of Christ, and then rose to the 'Mediaeval Climate Optimum' of about 600 ad to 1100 ad, when temperatures were about 2°F higher than now. This was a golden age for northern European agriculture and led to the rise of Viking civilisation. Greenland, now a frozen wasteland, was then a habitable Viking colony. There were vineyards in the south of England. Then temperatures dropped to 'The Little Ice Age' in the 1600s, when the Thames froze over. And they have been rising slowly ever since, although they are still much lower than 1,000 years ago. We are now living in a rather cool period. When the global warmers tell us that the stakes are very high, they are quite right. Global warming has become an immense international gravy train worth billions of dollars.
The fraud of the warming scare is seen most vividly when the warmers propose their remedies for it. The best technology for avoiding the emission of carbon dioxide is nuclear power. In operation, nuclear power plants release no carbon dioxide and over their whole cycle (construction, fuel processing and decommissioning) they release the least carbon dioxide of any energy source, including wind and solar power.
Nuclear power has by far the best safety record of any large-scale source of electricity. The worst-ever accident at a nuclear power station in the West, at Three Mile Island in the USA in 1979, killed no one, injured no one and had no ill effects afterwards. By contrast gas, oil, coal and hydro accidents almost routinely kill thousands of people every year. The Chernobyl accident, which after 16 years has killed about 40 people, was caused primarily by bad reactor design, which would never be allowed in the West. The waste from nuclear power is small, solid, stable and of finite life. Nuclear power is the only large-scale source of electricity that has procedures for disposing of its waste (which is easy to do). The waste from coal stations is enormously larger, much more dangerous and longer lived
The propagandists pretend that there is scientific consensus that man's activities are definitely changing the climate in a dangerous way. This is an outright lie. You will find no reputable scientist who says so. Graphs are carefully edited so that parts showing cooling are removed and those showing warming are kept. Cooling incidents, such as thickening of ice caps, snow in Saudi Arabia and record low temperatures, are ignored. Warming incidents, such as breaking ice shelves and record high temperatures, are headlines.