There is so much evidence of global cooling at the moment so that given the preoccupation with AGW, the consequences could be more catastrophic than anything anyone is remotely contemplating precisely because no one is thinking about this at all. Here’s how the article starts:
We may be witnessing the sun’s last dying gasps before entering into a long slumber. The impact of that slumber on Earth’s climate remains the subject of growing scientific speculation.
In 2008 William Livingston and Matthew Penn of the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, in a controversial paper that contradicted conventional wisdom and upset global warming theorists, predicted that sunspots could more or less disappear after 2015, possibly indicating the onset of another Little Ice Age. They stated, “The occurrence of prolonged periods with no sunspots is important to climate studies, since the Maunder Minimum was shown to correspond with the reduced average global temperatures on the Earth.” The Maunder Minimum lasted for approximately 70 years from about 1645 to 1715, and was marked by bitter cold, widespread crop failures, and severe human privation.
And this is how the article ends:
The upshot for scientists and world leaders should be clear, particularly since other scientists in recent years have published analyses that also indicate that global cooling could be on its way. Climate can and does change toward colder periods as well as warmer ones. Over the last 20 years, some $80 billion has been spent on research dominated by the assumption that global temperatures will rise. Very little research has investigated the consequences of the very live possibility that temperatures will plummet. Research into global cooling and its implications for the globe is long overdue.
Make hay while the sun shines is a concept a bit out of fashion. But there may come a time not that far off that we will deeply regret our attempts to keep the planet from warming by killing off our carbon-based energy production. If the planet is about to cool we will find what “severe human privation” really means in practice.