This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor:
Peter Ferrara’s long and persuasive article in Forbes magazine last weekend is another body blow to the global-warming meme promoted by so many for so long: that anthropogenic (human-caused) warming will doom us all unless something is done! That something, of course, always and forever involves more government control, preferably at an international level, over people’s lives.
Ferrara is a libertarian scholar with the worldview that less government is better, and has been promoting this view for years. He has had stints at the Heritage Foundation and George Mason University’s School of Law, and is currently at the Heartland Institute. He is probably best known for promoting the idea of privatizing Social Security during the Bush administration.
In his article, he gives example after of example of how global temperatures – real temperatures, not those subject to manipulation by ideologues – have been dropping for years, to the consternation of the “warmers,” who have been hard-pressed to explain them away. He begins by reminding his readers that this is normal. The Little Ice Age, for example, lasted roughly from 1350 to 1850. Some held this ice age responsible for driving the Norse settlers out of Greenland, and for freezing the Thames River nearly solid in the early 1600s (resulting in “frost fairs” being held on the river). During the great frost of 1683-84, the Thames was frozen solid for two months, and ice extended for miles off the southern coast of England. In Manchester, the ground was frozen to a depth of 27 inches; in Somerset, to more than four feet.
Ferrara noted that the Franz Josef glacier on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island expanded so much during the early 1770s that it invaded the rain forest on that island. He reminded his readers of how cold it was in Valley Forge during the awful winter or 1777-78, and how New York harbor was frozen in the winter of 1780.
But the real news is this: the global warming that excited activists like James Hansen, perhaps the leading light for the global warmers, didn’t come from increases in carbon dioxide (CO2), but rather a rebound from the Little Ice Age:
The increase in global temperatures since the late 19th century just reflects the end of the Little Ice Age. The global temperature trends since then have followed not rising CO2 trends but … ocean temperature cycles….
Those ocean temperature cycles, and the continued recovery from the Little Ice Age, are primarily why global temperatures rose from 1915 until 1945, when CO2 emissions were much lower than in recent years.
The change to a cold ocean temperature cycle … is the main reason that global temperatures declined from 1945 until the late 1970s, despite the soaring CO2 emissions during that time from the postwar industrialization spreading across the globe.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. The warming effect the “warmers” expected from increasing CO2 emissions never happened. The temperature increases that did happen from the 1970s to the 1990s, however, were due to the ocean temperature cycles turning back from cold to warm. Ferrara explains: “Every 20 to 30 years, the much colder water near the bottom of the oceans cycles up to the top, where it has a slight cooling effect on global temperatures.” For those seeking more on this, check “sources” below for a discussion of the ocean’s multi-decadal temperature changes. Suffice it to say, these changes had much more to do with the recent increase (and now decrease) in global temperatures than CO2 emissions.
But something else is afoot, according to Ferrara: sunspots. They are highly correlated to earth’s temperature changes, and the number of sunspots has declined sharply over the last decade, dropping to nearly zero today. He quotes Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia:
Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease. The 11-year cycle doesn’t bring about considerable climate change – only 1-2%. [But] the impact of the 200-year cycle is [much] greater – up to 50%. In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.
It’s getting harder and harder to promote the global warming meme with data like these. But politicians the world over remain oblivious to the obvious. Christopher Booker, writing in the British Telegraph, noted:
Somehow oblivious to this, the world’s emissions of CO2 have continued to hurtle upward, by 50 per cent since 1990. Yet global temperatures have obstinately failed to rise. Attempts to get a global agreement on cutting CO2 emissions have collapsed. Pretty well every developed country, apart from Britain, is going flat-out to build more fossil-fuelled power stations – leaving our own politicians almost alone in the world with their fantasy that, by “decarbonizing” our economy at unimaginable cost, we can still somehow give everyone else a lead in changing the earth’s climate.
Has there ever in history been such an almighty disconnect between observable reality and the delusions of a political class that is quite impervious to any rational discussion?
That’s what clinging to a failed ideology does. It makes one “impervious” to the obvious.