Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) was the Swedish scientist who first claimed that the burning of hydrocarbons like coal, gas, oil, peat, and wood might cause global warming. In 1895, he calculated—incorrectly, it turns out—that a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration would lead to a four- to five-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.
Arrhenius suggested this increase would be beneficial, making the various climates on Earth “more equable” and stimulating plant growth and food production.
About a century later, showman/politician Al Gore gave life to the theory that extra carbon dioxide caused by human activities will cause dangerous global warming.
Temperatures refused to obey the alarmist computer model forecasts, so they switched to a universal bogeyman, “climate change,” and blamed every bit of bad weather on Western industry.
That did not scare enough people, so it morphed into a “climate emergency,” under which moniker coal, oil, gas, cars, and cattle were blamed for everything bad. Bushfires, coral bleaching, droughts and floods, heatwaves and snowstorms, pollution anywhere, and species extinction are all supposed proof of the purported climate emergency.
Time for Carbon Sense
The carbon dioxide scare is proving to be just that: a scare. It’s time for some climate sense.
Human activity cannot control atmospheric carbon dioxide or global temperature. Much bigger forces are at work, such as the absorption and expulsion of carbon dioxide by the oceans, cloud cover, declining magnetic field and magnetic pole reversals, El Niño and La Niña episodes, solar cycles, variable cosmic rays, and volcanic activity (especially on the sea floor).
Geological records show today’s carbon dioxide levels are very low historically, from a geological perspective—so low, in fact, that plants grow more slowly and require more water.
In addition, ice core records from Antarctica and Greenland show the atmospheric temperature always rises before carbon dioxide levels rise. That means increased carbon dioxide levels are an effect of rising temperatures, not the cause. Warming oceans are like warming beer: they both expel bubbles of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. When oceans cool, they take it back.
Fear Cold, Not Warmth
The dense plant and animal populations in equatorial regions demonstrates humans do not need to fear global warming. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the possibility of warming for his cold land.
We have been living in a natural warm interlude, but we are past the warming peak. There will still be fluctuations and extreme weather events, but the next big climatic move will be global cooling, the 11th freeze-up in about a million years. All it needs are oceans heated by submarine volcanoes, and skies made cold by volcanic ash that blocks incoming solar energy. This will trigger evaporation of water from the oceans and heavy snowfalls on land. Once the summer sun fails to melt all the winter snow, glaciers and ice sheets will advance again. The increase in the amount of light reflected or diffused from the Earth’s surface, its albedo, from the snow and ice will cause further cooling.
Ice ages have been a periodic threat to much of life on Earth. As ice sheets spread from the North Pole, there will be massive depopulation, and survivors will need to relearn hunter-gatherer skills if they do not have access to reliable energy. Wind turbines and solar panels will not work in snowy conditions, and many hydropower plants will freeze up. Even Niagara Falls froze in 1848, during the Little Ice Age.
Bureaucrats Will Survive
The United Nations’ climate bureaucracy will probably still collect climate taxes and organize conferences in places with a warm climate and reliable power, where the elite attendees will be well-fed.
Climate alarmism is the great gravy train for academics, bureaucrats, globalists, politicians, and speculators seeking excuses for ever-more power and revenue.
The so-called climate emergency is an exercise in global politics, not science. The plan is to scare us into transferring money and power from Western nations to the United Nations—a fake answer to an invented problem.
Viv Forbes ([email protected]) is a geologist and chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition.