Over the last few years, a large number of politicians, “scientists”, theologians, and quite ordinary people have been convinced we can do something about the climate, prompting over 190 countries to sign onto a non-binding accord to cut human CO2 emissions by 2050, ostensibly to limit future global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees centigrade.
Leaving this symbolic accord aside, climate change is a natural process and characteristic of all geologic history, of which we humans occupy an infinitesimal slice. In fact, we do have some precise measurements of recent climate variabilities based on analyses of air bubbles in deep ice drill core in Antarctica.
Three kilometers of such core, representing the past 800,000 years of history, show a repeated series of warming and cooling, marking some eight major continental glaciations over this interval, the last of which ended some 15,000 years ago.
Since that time, the world has been warming and we are now in the midst of a major interglacial warming episode. Given the remarkable and regular periodicity of this climatic behavior, it is not unreasonable to expect another major episode of cooling and continental glaciation in the next 15 to 20,000 years.
This remarkable ice core record showing the correlation between temperature and CO2 content derived from the ice air bubbles can be found in a series of graphs presented in a recent tract by Messrs. Rapley and Macmillan entitled “2071” (John Murray, 2015).
A careful examination of these graphs, however, shows atmospheric CO2 content rises after temperatures begin to rise and similarly begin to drop after temperatures begin to fall.
In other words, the absolute controls of global warming are not a function of atmospheric CO2 content, but rather lie elsewhere and have nothing at all to do with human activity.
Such huge and periodic temperature changes that are seen on this 800,000-year scale are very unusual in the geologic record, keeping in mind that 800,000 years is in itself a tiny fraction of that record.
The causes of this remarkable behavior are not well understood, except to say that they are related to such things as the tilt of the Earth’s axis in its orbit, variabilities in the energy output of the sun, cosmic ray bursts from outer space that affect cloud formation, and the ever-changing position of our solar system in the galaxy itself.
Of one thing we can be certain, these changes are always happening and it is our task to deal with them. The process is not “fighting climate change” which in this context is utter nonsense, but rather adapting to it as we have throughout our history using our ingenuity and latterly the vast resources generated by our carbon-based economy to alleviate any negative by-products, a process which is ongoing and continues to evolve.
This is the only way forward. Indeed, future economic development, the certain discovery of new technologies and energy efficiencies will see succeeding generations benefit hugely.
This hopeful, optimistic picture is in total contrast to the current alarmist and fear mongering tone of the so-called climate change narrative and the Paris Climate Accord, which in effect has given the carbon-based economy only another 34 years before its “necessary” total transformation by as yet undiscovered means.
Indeed, China has promised to begin reducing CO2 emissions only by 2030 leaving a 20-year balance for this process. Even Mr. Rapley, firmly on the side of “drastic actions to curb warming” has great difficulty with this.
The fact that mankind looks forward and is by nature a builder of new and better worlds is a concept about as far removed as one can get from the prim, risk-free, politically correct and ultra-safe climate change narrative with its accompanying cohorts of believers.
Climate change has become all things to all men, a motherhood issue beyond reproach, and quite simply irresistible to politicians, so-called scientists and, of course, theologians – all of this in essence because of the enormous sums of money involved in what promises to be one of the greatest wealth redistributions schemes in history.
A profoundly depressing picture, perhaps, and most certainly no credit to any of the parties named, and yet, hopefully, so unwieldy and so fundamentally dishonest that the day will come when it falls of its own weight.