An in­con­ve­nient cool­ing

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Re­ports of im­mi­nent cli­matic catas­tro­phes are turn­ing out to be rather an­ti­cli­mac­tic. That’s be­cause rather than heat­ing up to life-threat­en­ing lev­els, new sci­en­tific find­ings in­di­cate it’s more likely the Earth will cool in com­ing years. That’s bad news for a glob­al­warm­ing in­dus­try heav­ily in­vested in a sul­try fore­cast.

Cor­nelis de Jager, a so­lar physi­cist from the Nether­lands and for­mer sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional As­tro­nom­i­cal Union, an­nounced that the sun is about to en­ter a pe­riod of ex­tremely low sunspot ac­tiv­ity, which his­tor­i­cally is associated with cool­ing trends. Backed by other sci­en­tists, he pre­dicted the “grand so­lar min­i­mum” is ex­pected to be­gin around 2020 and last un­til 2100.

The ebb of so­lar ac­tiv­ity is shap­ing up to re­sem­ble what oc­curred dur­ing the Lit­tle Ice Age, the pe­riod from 1620 to 1720 when sunspot ac­tiv­ity di­min­ished and tem­per­a­tures dropped an es­ti­mated 3 de­grees Cel­sius. The era was noted for colder-than-usual win­ters in North Amer­ica and Europe. It also re­sulted in crop fail­ure and pop­u­la­tion dis­place­ment in north­ern re­gions such as Ice­land. To char­ac­ter­ize the im­pend­ing grand so­lar min­i­mum as an “ice age” — with glaciers form­ing at tem­per­ate lat­i­tudes — would be an ex­ag­ger­a­tion. The cor­re­la­tion be­tween de­creased sunspot ac­tiv­ity and fall­ing tem­per­a­tures means it’s likely to get colder when the sunspots be­gin to dis­ap­pear.

Global-warm­ing zealots are steamed. They’ve al­ready clev­erly re­branded their move­ment as “cli­mate change” in or­der to ap­pear rel­e­vant no mat­ter what the ther­mome­ter reads, but the re­cent find­ings could un­der­mine the ba­sis for their cause. They as­sert that man-made green­house gases — not that big fire­ball in the sky — are re­spon­si­ble for heat­ing up the Earth and threaten to end life as we know it. Af­ter nearly a gen­er­a­tion of po­lit­i­cally driven growth, count­less ca­reers and bil­lions of dol­lars have been sunk into this fairy tale. Noth­ing would dis­credit the story more quickly than tum­bling mer­cury.

Con­se­quently, those in­vested in global warm­ing have vig­or­ously as­saulted the news of an ap­proach­ing so­lar min­i­mum with ham­mer and ice pick. Cor­re­la­tion does not im­ply cau­sa­tion, they ar­gue, in­sist­ing that the Lit­tle Ice Age was not caused by di­min­ished sunspot ac­tiv­ity but by vol­ca­noes that spewed sun-re­flect­ing clouds into the at­mos­phere dur­ing that era.

As Al Gore preached in his 1993 book, “Earth in the Bal­ance,” “We must make the res­cue of the en­vi­ron­ment the cen­tral or­ga­niz­ing prin­ci­ple for civ­i­liza­tion.”

The goal of so­ci­ety has al­ways been to im­prove the hu­man con­di­tion and for one gen­er­a­tion to leave a bet­ter world for the next. Crip­pling the en­gines of progress, par­tic­u­larly in the pro­duc­tion of affordable en­ergy, will lead not to par­adise on Earth, but to poverty and squalor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.