Stop worrying about global warming

The idea of the “tipping point” is fashionable, cogent and attractive.  It is a concept that applies in many walks of life.  But like any compelling concept, it is sometimes applied inappropriately.

The climate alarmists are warning of a tipping point in the Earth’s climate.  Unless we take urgent action to halt carbon emissions and to mitigate global warming, they say, terrible consequences will follow.  Earth’s ice-caps will disappear.  The Gulf Stream will stop.  The tundra and the perma-frost will melt, releasing vast amounts of methane and CO2.  We shall create a positive feed-back loop.  We shall face an unstoppable, self-reinforcing, exponential rise in global temperatures which will threaten the very survival of mankind.

The alarmists are behaving as if 2008 were Year Zero.  If we had no history of the Earth’s climate, no basis on which to judge, then there might indeed be some grounds for considering scientific theories and fanciful speculation of this kind.  But the world is four and a half billion years old.  We have a good knowledge of climate history, and they should pay attention to it.  The very modest warming we have seen over the last 150 years is entirely within the normal range of variation, and perfectly consistent with well-established cyclical climate patterns over the last ten thousand years.  We see warmer and cooler periods every 1200 years or so.  We had the Roman Optimum, followed by a cool period in the Dark Ages, then the Medieval Warm Period, followed by the little Ice Age, and now we are moving to a 21st-century Optimum.  There is no reason to invoke special pleading and human activity to explain a perfectly natural phenomenon.

The world is cooler now than it was during the Holocene Optima, the Roman Optimum or the Mediaeval Warm period.  There was no run-away warming then: there will be none now.  The world was much warmer than today, for extended periods, over geological time, but there was no tipping-point, no runaway heating, no global holocaust.  Nor is today’s level of atmospheric CO2 particularly high by geological standards.  At one point CO2 levels were higher than today’s.  Much higher.  Indeed they were over ten times higher.  Was there run-away global warming? There was not.  In fact the exceptionally high CO2 level occurred during an extended Ice Age.

Viewed against climate history, we can see climate alarmism for the modish claptrap that it is.

That is not to say that there can never be a tipping point in the world’s climate.  In fact the record shows repeated tipping points. Few people realise it, but for a million years the world has been locked in an Ice Age, punctuated every hundred thousand years or so by inter-glacial periods of relative warmth.  The reasons for this cyclicity are not perfectly understood, but it seems to be driven primarily by astronomical cycles.  And the changeover from Ice Age to inter-glacial seems to happen rather suddenly, over a relatively short period.  This is indeed a tipping point.   The current inter-glacial, which has contained the whole history of human civilisation from the earliest cities of the fertile crescent, has lasted about ten or twelve thousand years.  And that is typically the length of an inter-glacial. So unless human activity has put an end to astronomical cycles, the next tipping point will herald not runaway warming, but runaway cooling (and let’s hope we have nuclear fusion on line by then, or we’ll be dead).

So you can stop worrying about global warming.  Worry instead about a mile of ice over Edinburgh.

FREE CLIMATE CHANGE DVD
Roger Helmer has just published a DVD entitled “Straight Talking on Climate Change”.  He argues that climate alarmism is misplaced, pointing out that the world has cooled in the last ten years (and cooled sharply in 2007); that increases in atmospheric CO2 from current levels will have a trivial impact on climate; and that the policies proposed to mitigate climate change and cut emissions will certainly cause vast economic damage, but will have little impact at all on climate.  The DVD is available free of charge from his UK office at Boswell House, 9 Prospect Court, Courteenhall Road, Blisworth, Northamptonshire, NN7 3DG.  Or e-mail pressoffice@eastmidsmeps.co.uk.

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7 Responses to Stop worrying about global warming

  1. timmy says:

    Yes stop worrying about global warrming and we should get focus on the ways which can slow down global warming because worrying cant help us out but action can surly.

  2. J. Roberts says:

    Roger,
    From your post I’m not sure what you are claiming. Are you claiming that the recent rises in man-made CO2 aren’t responsible for recent rises in temperature, and therefore that reducing CO2 emissions won’t prevent future rises?

    Or are you merely claiming that there won’t be ‘runaway warming’?

    What are your arguments for either of these claims? The fact that there has been much higher CO2 levels in the past without runaway warming doesn’t seem to me to be good reason to think that rising levels of CO2 can’t ever produce runaway warming. Perhaps the previous high levels occurred in the context of other factors which kept temperatures down – for example the ‘astronomical cycles’ which you mention.

    More generally, the fact that astronomical factors have had an effect on climate in the past doesn’t imply that recent rises in carbon dioxide levels have had little or no effect over the last century or so.

    I think that to say the least, your post glosses over the important subtleties of the arguments for the claim that the global warming we are currently experiencing is both man-made and extremely dangerous.

    For more detail a good place to start would be: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    And for some quick objections to the points you make: http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

    • Axel says:

      A better plan would have been for you to actually watch Roger’s video before you ask questions which he answers in the video !

    • valerie lehmans says:

      The “Realclimate.org” people are the very ones implicated in the recent ClimateGate scandal – a seeker after truth could not possibly rely on their (mis)information.

      Your post does not convey much understanding of climate science, earth history or logic. If you look up greenhouse gases for example, you’ll find that 96% is water vapour. Of the remainder, CO2 only constitutes 3.96% and of this amount, only a tiny fraction (some 0.3%) is man-made, the rest coming from natural sources). Official figures show that the mean global temperature rise over the entire 20th century was a mere 0.7 degC. That can hardly be considered “extremely dangerous”.

      The fact is that NO ONE knows precisely what causes climate to change – we only have competing hypotheses and theories but given the many past instances of the earth warming, then freezing, then warming, etc. long before man arrived with his polluting ways, it is not logical to attribute current variations to a rather moderate increase in CO2. Without CO2 we would be in deep trouble, since we would have no food. However, Climate Change or not, we absolutely must find a way to seriously reduce pollution, population growth and a dependence on Arab oil imports.

  3. Roger Helmer says:

    No Timmy. Nothing we can do will make a scrap of difference to climate. But it will do huge economic damage.

  4. Roger Helmer says:

    J. Roberts: “From your post I’m not sure what you are claiming. Are you claiming that the recent rises in man-made CO2 aren’t responsible for recent rises in temperature, and therefore that reducing CO2 emissions won’t prevent future rises? Or are you merely claiming that there won’t be ‘runaway warming’?”

    ANSWER: Both of the above.

  5. Axel says:

    Roger’s DVD Video is available on Video Wall #2 at the Fraudulent Climate of Hokum Science website, along with his 2010 update video, and hundreds of videos by other well known mam-made climate change skeptics. Go to the main page ….

    http://fraudulentclimate.atspace.com/

    then select Video Wall #2 from the Quick Page Menu button at the top left of your screen.

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