“Predicting disaster can be a profitable business and a path to speech-making celebrity.”
Despite getting off to a great start this winter, we’ve experienced two consecutive ski seasons where the snow has not been “what we could expect” based on the averages of the past 18 years. I use 18 years because that’s how long I have been skiing and observing the snow conditions.
Recency is a term I like to use when talking about climate change. I first started using it while in the real estate business. It’s a phenomenon which refers to our propensity to look at recent events and give them more credence than events that happened before recent times.
I believe the climate is changing.
I also believe it has been changing since the beginning of time, and will continue to change regardless of any actions by humans. It cools off and warms up based on phenomena which we know very little about. If we could come back in a thousand years, we’d be amused at the politicians and pundits predicting armageddon over the imminent ice age and the “forty years of darkness” which can only be prevented by citizens coughing up more tax.
My words on the internet will remain forever, so I hope someone will find this in a google search and prove me right in the year 3016. Better yet, I hope this prediction comes true in four years where…
“Four solar cycles are coming to an end between now and 2020. It’s gonna get colder, folks. A lot colder.” Cooling Down
Getting back to recency, Yale economist William Nordhaus notes that…
“the era of human expansion has coincided with a 12,000-year period of uncharacteristically stable climate. He surmises that human civilization may be unusually dependent on this stability.”
When you consider 12,000 years compared to 4.5 billion years, it could certainly be considered recency.
Nordhaus’ statement is contained in a lengthy but thought-provoking article. Lengthy, but I couldn’t stop reading, finding it immensely compelling Twilight of the Climate Change Movement. If you have an interest in this subject, and if your knowledge of climate change has been restricted to sound bites from the mainstream media, you owe it to yourself to read the article.
Here are a few excerpts (which I hope will encourage you to read the entire article)..
“The evidence is overwhelming that the planet has been warming off and on for several centuries.”
“the alarmists’ call for worldwide economic controls, including caps on fossil fuels, are largely recycled from previous scientific doomsday fads, such as the oil scarcity scare of the late 1970s. Despite the enormous costs these policies would impose, especially on poor countries, they would do virtually nothing to stop anthropogenic climate change, let alone protect anyone from relentless natural climate change that is one of our planet’s most prominent and inescapable features.”
“This repeating cycle of 100,000-year glaciations and 10,000 to 20,000 year interglacials has been fairly consistent over the past 2.6 million years. The planet has trundled through the entire cycle dozens of times. If the pattern holds, we are due for another major glaciation sometime in the next several thousand years: The northern hemisphere will again become substantially covered in glaciers, ocean levels will fall hundreds of feet, and the earth’s overall production of plant biomass will fall substantially below what the current human population needs to feed itself.”
The fact is we just don’t know, but there’s money to be made by special interest groups, politicians who need followers, and the media which needs sensational news to get higher ratings.
Anyone remember Y2K? Peak oil?
“I’m an old man. I’ve known about many troubles…most of which never happened.” –Mark Twain