In a recent commentary, about the predictions of this winter (2019-20) being a bad one, I touched on the topic of that new religion, global warming.
Let us take a bit and put the claims in proper perspective. To do so, lets go back nearly 1500 years.
The worst year in history
An article came across my desktop recently, explaining how the year AD 536 was the worst year in history, and heralded the worst decade in history. (Well, at least since the Flood.) The reasons are explained in Science Magazine, as discovered by incredibly detailed analysis of Swiss glacial ice. The reason, as traced by an investigation that sounds like a mystery novel, was found to be volcanic eruptions in Iceland (one in 536 and another in 540). These plunged Europe into a long cold spell, resulting in reduced harvests, starvation, and economic collapse. Coupled with Justinian’s Plague starting in 541, there was a decade of famine, disease, and death across Europe and the Mediterranean (North Africa and the modern Middle East). A disaster which took more than a century to recover from. It set the stage for more, including the collapse of the Eastern Roman Empire and the sweep of Islam across Africa, Europe, and Southwest Asia.
Not the only time
You may know of the Little Ice Age, from about 1300 to 1850 (AD). This worldwide phenomenon is apparently pooh-poohed by the global manmade warming/climate change folks. Perhaps because it demonstrates that climate changes are not always caused by human activity – especially not increased generation of greenhouse gases. These various “scientists” also seem to reject the idea that solar activity has major impacts on the earth’s climate. Again, perhaps for the same reason.
But historians and real scientists have pondered the causes of the Little Ice Age for a long time, and usually credit it to reduced solar activity and volcanic activity.
Historians look at other similar events in history as well. The fall of Minoan civilization has been tied to similar causes, and earthquakes. The same for civilizations and empires in South Asia, dynastic falls in China, and more.
The good years
The opposite has happened, as well. Historians speak of the Medieval Warm Period, for instance. Between AD 900 and AD 1300, temperatures in much of the world rose 1.0 to 1.4 degrees Celsius, allowing much better crops, population growth, founding of cities, and more. A similar but briefer period may have existed between 1850 and 1920, providing better rainfall and temperatures in the Great Plains of North America, creating good farming conditions and making settlement of the “Great American Desert” easier.
(Again, oddly enough, the manmade global warming zealots have declared this didn’t happen.)
Similar periods have been found which seem to explain better conditions which allowed civilizations (and empires) to flourish. (And when the climate changed again, caused them to collapse.) A very recent series of articles stated this about the Neo-Assyrian Empire’s life (912 to 609 BC). Climate change is pointed at as a cause of both the rise and fall of Anasazi civilization in the American Southwest, between AD 900 and AD 1300.
What it means for us
First, none of these changes in climate appear to have been related in any way to human activity. Human actions may have made the impacts better or worse but didn’t cause them. Solar activity, volcanos, seismic activity, etc. has a far greater impact than anything we puny humans – even billions and billions of us – can do.
Second, human civilizations are significantly impacted. Improved (usually defined as warmer) conditions can allow civilizations (and empires) to flourish. Things get better! If they are already under great stress due to economic and political factors (including rebellion by subjugated peoples), the change in climate can trigger collapse.
Third, we can’t prevent them. We might (in the future) be able to forecast them better. We might be able to prevent things like massive asteroid strikes. But keep the sun from getting more (or less) active? Don’t hold your breath.
Notice that these historical sequences are virtually the opposite of what the gaea-worshipers and the manmade climate change extremists are proclaiming about the supposed current global warming crisis. They see warming as bad, see it as the end of civilization, not the opportunity for a new and better socio-economic order to emerge. They blame humans, not the universe. And they claim that we mere humans can prevent them.
It has been pointed out (and ignored by most) that a single large volcanic eruption can dump more greenhouse gas (mostly carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere in a single week than all of 21st Century industry and transportation can in a year. History demonstrates that that same volcanic eruption can cause a drop in temperatures as great or greater than decades of human emissions, just because of the sunlight blocked from reaching the surface. And history demonstrates that solar activity (as measured by sunspots and other conditions) directly impacts on global climate on a scale that beggars the imagination.
And so we get the likes of “maiden saint Greta” and prophet Algor preaching. Yes, humans are evil: we are destroying the world, despoiling Mother Gaea, and are going to wipe out the human race. But yes, we CAN save ourselves by surrendering to the Luddites, to the nannies, the tyrants and despots and elite, and – yes, in a total non sequitur – getting rid of much of the human race. Hubris indeed.
History also seems to demonstrate that the more centralized (and therefore, tyrannical if not totalitarian) a culture, a society, a civilization is, the harder the fall when things go bad. And when things get better – which is usually warmer – the societies that spring up and flourish usually (not always) have greater liberty, greater diversity, and opportunity. Freedom! That seems to be good news, to me.
And even though we can’t prevent or trigger these changes, we CAN prepare for them and have societies and economies that are adaptable. Which again means, Freedom!