Ice Age vs. Heat Miser: Climate Alarmists’ Unscientific Presumptions

The first “Earth Day” was declared and held in 1970, long before my attention had widened enough to notice matters of politics and policy. We humans, it was said repeatedly by ecologists and “scientists” that day, were destroying the planet. The industial pollution we were churning out was choking everything off and would result in many, many Bad Things happening to us. Included in that list was famine (that would be killing off 100-200 million people in the year 2000), riots and civilizational collapse across Asia, Europe, and Central and South America, and the descent into an ice age that would kill off a huge percentage of the human population as well as between 70-85% of all species of plant and animal life.

You read that right: Man’s industial activity, if not immediately curtailed, would hasten the chilling of the planet enough to push us into an ice age. I give you Kenneth Watt, Earth Day 1970:

The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.

(I’d love to link to a YouTube of that but… you know… it hadn’t been invented yet.) Somewhere about the time when the “present trends” were to have dropped the global temperature by 4 degrees, these same climate alarmists had actually checked the thermometer enough to realize it wasn’t chilling down out there, it was heating up. Global cooling – the onset of our collective suicide – suddenly turned into global warming. Same cause, mind you (the industrial activity of the developed world, America in particular), but a diametrically opposite outcome. Except the whole “we’re all gonna die” thing. That stayed the same of, course. As did the panicked recommendations about what to do about it, that being “give us ‘scientists’ more money and power to dictate policy without being questioned.

There’s been an awful lot written about the predictions of these same alarmists, in UN reports and elsewhere, that stated beyond doubt that we were going to have temperatures globally higher by 1-2 degrees celsius by now. Large scale hurricanes and tornados were going to be common. Snowfall would be a thing of history, never to be seen again. And the Arctic Ocean would be ice-free completely year-round. (For those keeping score: wrong, wrong, wrong, and really wrong.) The march of global temperatures in an accelerating fashion upward stopped roughly 18 years ago, something the models displayed as if they were graven-in-stone truth utterly failed to even mention, let alone predict. Carbon dioxide, it seems, isn’t actually the hiddeously toxic substance, best entirely eradicated, that we were told. And now, actual scientific studies are suggesting that the levels of CO2 we’re seeing might not be the end of life condition it’s being claimed. From the BBC, reporting on a study published in Nature:

The new study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change by a team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries.

It is called Greening of the Earth and its Drivers, and it is based on data from the Modis and AVHRR instruments which have been carried on American satellites over the past 33 years.The sensors show significant greening of something between 25% and 50% of the Earth’s vegetated land, which in turn is slowing the pace of climate change as the plants are drawing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Just 4% of vegetated land has suffered from plant loss.

The biosphere of the planet, as a system, reacts to events. Higher concentrations of CO2 result in elevated plant growth. More plans pull more CO2 out of air. It’s a feedback system and it appears to be working. I realize the authors of the study are still cautioning that the benefits of higher CO2 in the atmosphere are “unlikely” to outweigh the negatives, but I’d gently point out that the negatives to which they refer are the standard list of items (such as increased hurricanes and storms, ice cap melting, coastal flooding, etc.) that have not manifested as they claimed they would. Which brings me to my point.

The climate system of the Earth is a very complicated one. The fact of the matter is that we clearly do not understand it well enough to say that this or that activity will absolutely result in this or that cataclysm. Insisting that it will, in the absence of any evidence that things work like you think it works, is the very definition of unscientific. The longer these people do it, the more they give the rest of us reason to doubt both their expertise and their motives.