By S. Fred Singer
I want to change public concern from Global (GW) to Global Cooling (GC). Presented here are three arguments in favor of such a drastic shift — which involves also a drastic shift in current policies, such as mitigation of the greenhouse (GH) gas carbon dioxide.
My main argument relies on the fact, backed by historical evidence, that cooling, even on a regional or local scale, is much more damaging than warming. The key threat is to agriculture, leading to failure of harvests, followed by famine, starvation, disease, and mass deaths.
Also, GC is reasonably sure, while GW is iffy. The evidence, again, is historical — from deep-sea sediment cores and ice cores. Our planet has experienced some 17 (Milankovitch-style) glaciations in the past 2 million years, each typically lasting 100,000 years, interrupted by warm inter-glacials, typically of around 10,000-yr duration. The most recent glaciation ended rather suddenly about 12,000 years ago. We are now in the warm Holocene, which is expected to end soon.
In fact, we may have already entered into the next glaciation — as we can discover only in retrospect. (Past cycles suggest a very gradual cooling initially — with ice accumulation and a drop in global sea levels, a decrease in atmospheric CO2 into the cooling oceans and lowest temperatures occurring only much later in the cycle.)
Archeological data show that the recent glaciation wiped out the Neanderthalers and much of the fauna that constituted their source of food. Most of humanity may not survive the next, inevitable glaciation.
We need to consider also the warming-cooling (Dansgaard-Oeschger-Bond — DOB) cycles, which seem to be solar-controlled and have a period of approx 1000-1500 years; its most recent cooling phase, the “Little Ice Age” (LIA), ended about 200 years ago. For details, see Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years by Singer and Avery .
The LIAs are not nearly as severe as the major glaciations; yet they present an important threat to the food supply and to current civilization. Available technology seems adequate to assure human survival — at least in industrialized nations. The main threat is warfare, driven by competition for food and other essential resources. With nuclear weapons and delivery systems widely dispersed, the outcome of future wars is difficult to predict. Read More..