What if global warming were reversed and the release of CO2 caused cooling. Would that be better or worse than today? Would we be happier as biological entities in a cooling world or would food have a harder time growing? Would more snow, and more glaciers help the biosphere of planet Earth be stronger? Would lower sea levels and increased glaciation make life generally better across the planet? I read a post at Judith Curry’s blog today that started with a single phrase that I disagree with:
We know that climate change is a problem
Climate change as we are now taught being global warming of course. I’m feeling a bit like the slow kid today, because I’ve been studying this subject for a while and I flatly don’t see any of the problems from warming. We aren’t seeing any more storms, rains, droughts, or weather extremes than we have seen in the past. They are simply and scientifically not happening. We have only seen very mild warming, vastly less than predicted, and ground measured temperature had no statistical trend in recent decades until the alarmist types inexplicably yet predictably tweaked upward the temperature trend of the incredibly confusing and weak quality oceanic data that makes up 70 percent of the record. Even that new higher trend doesn’t match models.
BUT what if we had global cooling? Now that would be frightening to me. Plants don’t like cold, and nor do animals, especially furless pale skinned monkeys like me. I like beaches and sunshine over cloud and snow. The next ice age is definitely coming if we trust the incredibly rhythmic history in ice core records, it is due, and it will surely be devastating and not the kind of devastating of a few C of warming, the kind of devastating that puts a mile thick glacier in my back yard for 80,000 years or so. I would suggest that even 4C of cooling would be horrifically bad, and I would also suggest that every aspect of mainstream science suggests that we are overdue for a chill of greater magnitude than that. Even without the big ice age, the vastly milder little ice age in recent centuries is powerful evidence that even a small temp change downward has a seriously negative consequences to life in general. Less food production being right on the top of the list of bad things. If cold is bad, and it surely is, and extreme scientists claim that more than 2C warmer is death to the planet, we must be in the ideal life window!!
I wonder what makes scientists so sure that the planet Earth has achieved the best temperature for life in this exact millennia? I’ve seen no case made for this argument. No papers released which prove or even rationally demonstrate that today’s temperatures are the best ever! I’ve only seen doom and gloom predictions in both temperature directions from government science, while us unfunded science practicing folk having no realistic expectation of Earth balancing at this exact temperature range over any kind of pseudo-permanent time frame. The planet will be different no matter what we do.
And then there are those reasonable people who see warming as mild, yet still want to do ‘something’ to help poor unwitting Gaia. The middle grounders. With so much nonsense going on in the subject, it is quite relaxing to see a bit of pragmatism from someone, but I don’t think even this group has the right of it.
A different view:
I want to suggest something to you folks who are so certain that even moderate warming requires a ‘response’. Especially those many of you who believe in the limitation of burning fuels. Instead of making the assumption that change caused by humans is necessarily and absolutely a bad thing, as so many of you readers and self-declared moderates do, I want you to consider an entirely reasonable alternative. Warming is net beneficial for life, humanity, weather, plants, animals, polar bears and penguins. The evidence for this is not minor, it is in fact everywhere. Observation ahead of theory.
We are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere and will have doubled the microscopically small pre-industrial CO2 levels in the near future no matter what we do with government policy. Of course that atmospheric concentration is still vanishingly small as a percentage of the air, but it is unequivocally known that this gas will still cause additional warming. It turns out that it is a small warming effect because even with the most aggressive warming assumptions, as the oceans can absorb literally a thousand years of the energy involved global warming with only 1C of temp change. That fact is way too often overlooked in climate science, even by the most skeptical of scientists and bloggers. More importantly though for this article, is that plant life generally experiences extreme reduction in growth at below 180 PPM concentration. Basically, CO2 levels are near plant starvation levels and in pre-industrial days we were right on the edge. Greenhouses respond to this known scientific fact by intentionally increasing the CO2 levels to as much as 1000PPM, to achieve better plant growth, which is a fact far too often overlooked in alarmist science.
So I would suggest something different for consideration. I would suggest that instead of being a disaster, or a problem on any level, increased CO2 levels at the magnitude we have and will achieve in the next 200 years, are in fact the single greatest positive environmental improvement that humanity has been able to achieve for life on planet Earth. More plants, greener oceans, more dynamic pole ice keeping oceanic currents flowing, powerful fertilizer, more land, slightly more humid air. All of these effects are scientifically justifiable and likely more realistic than the more hurricanes and shrinking fish, acid water nonsense our delicate neurons have been assaulted with per the whims of our extremist ridden scientology class aka “Climate Science (TM)”.
The single best thing humanity has ever done for wildlife on Earth. Greener, better, stronger, all because of CO2 and a bit of mild warming. In net balance, this positive isn’t a minor effect either, because atmospheric CO2 fertilization of near critically starved plant life has a huge impact on growth, improved biodiversity in the long term and will impact animal life in the same manner for years to come no matter which new productivity choking regulation our extremist overlords imagine.
So to those who believe CO2 emission should be reduced in any way, I tell you that there is no scientific evidence to support your assertion. By simple reason, we are very unlikely to be at the perfect temperature as a planet, by the same reason, colder is certainly worse for life. It seems pretty obvious to me that warmer is better for humanity and all of the wildlife on Earth but the amount ‘warmer’ we can expect from CO2 process is highly limited due to oceanic thermal mass and the extreme coldness of that mass.
When we think we “know global warming is a problem”, I am stating to you that we know no such thing, those who claim to know it is a problem have mislead themselves. I would suggest that we know global warming is not a problem, that it is nicely beneficial for all life on earth. It is greener, better, stronger and if we are really lucky, might help us stave off that next ice age for a short spell, although I doubt CO2 will have that kind of power over the weather.
It really is the greatest travesty of the whole global warming meme, the assumption that the net outcome is a problem. It is so easy to accept and so hard to objectively reject that a human induced change to planetary temperatures caused by various forms of combustion, is a bad thing. In reality, fossil fuels are an absolute boon to plant life, wildlife, human life and our economy. I urge those of you who fall into the category of ‘must do something’ to reconsider. Scientifically, the combustion of fossil fuels, humanity is likely one of the most environmentally beneficial acts we ever performed as a species and stopping that combustion is expensive, environmentally ignorant, and fortunately for the ‘do something crowd’, impossible to stop.