This morning (July 9th) I was watching BBC World just after 6:00 a.m., in the Ibis Hotel in Strasbourg, to be greeted by the cheerful news that the world is facing its sixth mass extinction event (the fifth, 60 million years ago, saw the extinction of the dinosaurs), and that this was “caused by climate change and loss of habitat”. A glib observation offered without justification, and straight out of the BBC’s standard alarmist phrase-book. I can’t find a link to this morning’s broadcast, but here’s the flavour.
So I went to Google and pulled off a graph of temperature over the last 10,000 years. The graph above is typical, based on Greenland ice cores, and is one of many. The basic pattern is generally accepted in the scientific community. The ten thousand year period is significant because it covers most of the current Interglacial period – and in effect the whole span of human civilisation from the earliest agriculture. And here’s the fact that most scientists accept, and yet which climate alarmists hate to talk about. Not only have there been successive cyclical warmings during that period, on a roughly 1,000-year cycle, but the current warming – the one causing such global anxiety, and resulting in hugely expensive mitigation policies – is minor compared to previous cycles.
The current warming is less than the Mediæval Warm Period, which was lower than the Roman Warming, which was lower than the Minoan Optimum. Moreover the trend line over the period peaks at about seven thousand years ago, and has declined ever since. I have said it again and again, but I make no apology for repeating it: the current warming is modest, and is part of a well-established, long term, natural climate cycle. There is no reason to believe that it’s caused by human activity, and no reason to regard it as dangerous. Indeed the cyclical pattern is so clear and well-defined that it’s amazing that the whole climate alarmist industry has failed to recognise it. We’ve done enormous economic damage for a theory which is self-evidently nonsense.
Longer term: Pattern of Interglacials:
Source: Garnaut Climate Change Review http://www.garnautreview.org.au/
There is a broader pattern over the last two million years of warmer Interglacial periods lasting typically ten to twelve thousand years, every 120,000 years or so (with severe glacial conditions in between). Consider that pin-up species of the alarmists, the polar bear. Polar bear populations survived the Minoan and Roman and MWP warmings perfectly well. (How do I know? Because they’re still with us!). But it’s also true that their ancestors, who in evolutionary terms were pretty similar to today’s polar bears, survived previous warm periods. And the Eemian Interglacial around 120,000 years ago was warmer than the current interglacial. (Note: While the alarmists weep crocodile tears over the fate of the polar bear, out there in the real world polar bear populations and numbers are doing rather well).
So perhaps the BBC would like to take note. There may indeed be a major extinction event under way (though the climate alarmists love to be – well – alarmist, and tend to exaggerate). If so, I’d say it was caused by the pressure of human populations, by habitat loss, and by changed agricultural practices. The one thing it certainly wasn’t cause by is global warming, since demonstrably no such extinction event took place during previous, and warmer, climate optima.
Of course if you read the climate record (which climate alarmists are so reluctant to do – they dismiss the past as “the pre-industrial period”, as though climate started 150 years ago, rather like Pol Pot and Year Zero), you will know that Interglacials typically last ten to twelve thousand years, and that the current Interglacial has been with us for — well – ten to twelve thousand years. The financial services ads remind us that the past is not necessarily a guide to the future, but it’s the best indicator we have, and may be reliable for long-term cyclical events, (which pace the alarmists, are clearly driven by astronomical factors, not human activity). If so, then we should indeed be deeply worried at the prospect of climate change. Not +2oC, but -10oC. And a mile of ice over Chicago. And Glasgow. And Helsinki.