Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Scared of global warming? Don't be - fear the cold instead

James Spann has been reporting on weather for 30 years and has an interesting post regarding "global warming" here.

Two years ago, it seemed like nothing could stop the global warming train. Most of the media, those in Hollywood, politicians (many on both sides of the cultural divide), and “enlightened environmentalists” were all telling us that man was causing runaway warming of the earth’s atmosphere, meaning global catastrophe only decades ahead for all of us.

Spann then cites various sources to contest some of the misinformation spread about by the Canutists in defence of their belief that they can control the climate. It's well worth a read, but I won't go into it in any more detail here.

What I will say, though, is that given a choice I would rather have a warmer world than a cooler one. It is a choice that I don't have - the climate will do what it bloody well wants regardless of what you, me or the IPCC say or do - but this is something that we should all take note of.

Bi et al. report that "death rates were around 50-80 per 100,000 in June, July, and August [winter], while they were around 30-50 per 100,000 in the rest of the year, including the summer," and that "this finding applied both to the general population and to the elderly population, and to deaths from various causes."

This was a study of death rates in Brisbane, Australia - which has, by our standards, fiendishly warm summers and remarkably mild winters. And yet, even in that city more people die during the cold months than in the summer heat waves.

Of course, this is not really a startling revelation. We know in this country that every year thousands more die in winter than in the summer, but the alarmists would have you believe that a warmer climate will mean more deaths than a cooler one and that is proven to be total rubbish.

Meanwhile, Dennis T. Avery has warned that the world is set for a 25-30 year period of "moderate cooling".

Avery stressed that the planet is only 150 years into a Modern Warming—part of a moderate, natural 1,500-year cycle that’s likely to last several more centuries—and be far more favorable to humans, wildlife and vegetation than the next “icy age” that will inevitably follow.

That's a little more comforting to know that we're not on the threshold of the new ice age just yet, but let's be blunt about this - Avery is suggesting that we will have a period of cooling that will last for a generation or more.

Even though that cooling may be "moderate", the implications for people are severe. Not least because of the increase in deaths which occur in cooler times, but also for the simple fact that a colder climate means less food production. And with 6 billion people competing for food, land and energy it is clear that a cooler climate - even a moderately cooler one - will put significant strains on the human population.

And what if Avery is wrong about the level of cooling? The sun is incredibly quiet at the moment - the solar conveyor has slowed to a crawl, solar cycle 23 continues to drift to conclusion and solar cycle 24 refuses to get going in any meaningful way. At the same time the PDO and AMO have switched to negative cycles which is generally considered a precursor to cooler climate too. With all this going on, some people are predicting a return to a period as cool as the Dalton Minimum or even the Maunder Minimum.

The implications of that are even more severe. Skating on the Thames might sound like fun for a 23 year old living with his parents in a centrally heated home in Richmond-Upon-Thames, but for a pensioner living alone in a badly heated terrace in Carlisle it could mean death.

The truth is, no one knows. Not Avery, not Spann and certainly not the IPCC. But we should find out over the next 10 or 20 years. I hope to God that it doesn't get any colder, but I have more faith in the evidence of history than the computer model predictions of the IPCC.

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