The stupidity of policies to counter global warming may yet turn out to be one of the most lethal set of policies ever devised by the human race. We found ourselves able after a million years of primitive existence to harness various forms of energy to keep us warm, power our businesses, cook our food and transport us from place to place. For this, we have been using various forms of carbon-based fossil fuels that, because they have defied the leftist fools who predicted capitalist misery, have decided to bring in this misery on their own. They are despicable in their worm-eaten destructive impulse. But in this particular episode, may yet contribute to a catastrophic future of such immense misfortune, that there are no words to describe how misbegotten their effects will be.
Maurice Newman has a review of David Archibald’s The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short in today’s Australian, a book that I have a much longer review of coming out in the September Quadrant. But Newman, whose piece begins by asking What if David Archibald is Right?, spells out what ought to be part of our communal conversation.
Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years. Respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years. Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”. In their book The Neglected Sun, Sebastian Luning and Fritz Varenholt think that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree Celsius cooler by 2030 because of a predicted anaemic sun. They say it would mean “warming getting postponed far into the future”.
What worries me even in this review is that it merely suggests that AGW may be wrong. It doesn’t set out what happens if there is an actual global cooling. The effects, if Archibald is anywhere near right, are the deaths of tens of millions of people in a world that will no longer be able to feed, clothe and house its population because energy supplies are lower while growing seasons have been cut short. If you think it’s science fiction, the Great Plague wiped out between one-third and half of Europe’s population in a two year space. This is a future we can actually prepare for if we start thinking that we might have to. In the meantime, we are savaging our energy industries and raising the cost of all forms of production, including farm production. Human stupidity knows no upper bound. If this is yet another instance, well that’s how it will be. But we have been warned, and if you are still of a mind to side with the likes of Obama and Julia Gillard on the need to cut our greenhouse gases, you may end up being party to one of the greatest catastrophes the human race may ever have to endure.