A Bit of Climate History

One of our mantras at The Pipeline is "Climate Changes. Always Has, Always Will." This fact, which we've discussed in various contexts, is important to remember, as is Christopher Horner's addendum -- somehow, "saying 'climate changes' makes one a 'climate change denier.' Go figure."

For more of this genre of "climate change denial," check out the Ango-Irish pop historian and political commentator Ed West discussing Great Britain's recent heatwave with an eye towards history. He begins his post with a discussion of climatologist Hubert Lamb, who first noticed that descriptions of European agriculture from centuries past made little sense in the context of the modern climate.

Lamb concluded that Europe must have been considerably warmer during the Middle Ages, and in 1965 produced his great study outlining the theory of the Medieval Warm Period; this posited that Europe was at its hottest in the High Middle Ages (1000-1300) and then became unusually cool between 1500 and 1700. Since then, Lamb’s thesis has been reinforced by analysis of pollen in peat bogs, as well as the radioactive isotope Carbon-14 found in tree rings (the less sun, the more Carbon-14).

Somehow, we managed.

Lamb's first clue was an oddity which we've written about before in this space, namely the fact that Medieval England was renowned for its vineyards, whereas nowadays, an old joke holds that it takes four men to drink English wine: "one to drink it, two to hold him down, and the other to force it down the victim’s throat." More West:

[F]rom 900 A.D. the continent began warming up. The increase in temperature led to ten or even 20 days extra growing season and that meant far more food; during the medieval warm period England’s population went from 1.5 to 5 million, and France’s from under 6 to between 17 and 21 million. (Indeed France, generally, had a massive pre-modern population). In Europe as a whole, the number of people may have increased four-fold.... And during the height of this long summer, vineyards were found across the south of England.

Sounds great, but of course a changing climate can have costs too, which West certainly does not minimize:

Farmers in the Saastal Valley in Switzerland were probably the first to observe what was happening, back in the 1250s, when the Allalin Glacier began to flow down the mountain. Surviving plant material from Iceland suggests an abrupt decrease in the temperature from 1275 — and, as Rosen points out, a reduction of one degree made a harvest failure seven times more likely. From 1308 England saw four cold winters in succession; the Thames froze, chroniclers recalling dogs chasing rabbits across the icy surface for the first time....

Drenched and starved of sunlight, the crops failed across Europe. The price of food doubled and then quadrupled. By May 1316, crop production in England was down by up to 85 percent and there was ‘most savage, atrocious death’, as a chronicler put it. The Great Famine killed anywhere between 5-12 percent of the European population, although some areas, such as Flanders, suffered far worse death rates, losing up to a quarter of their population to hunger.

The facts are brutal, but the events which precipitated them are natural. This occurred before the industrial revolution, and in a world without fracking or gas-and-diesel driven automobiles. Moreover, it should be noted that global warming has tended towards human thriving, whereas cooling has tended to be an occasion for concern.

Contra the confident claims of the ignorant, the origin of these changes remains mysterious. As theoretical physicist and self-proclaimed "climate heretic" Freeman Dyson would often say, "The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand," unlike the overly-simplistic models employed by the climate change industry. The context is key, but asking for the context gets you labelled a denier. Go figure.

'Climate Cassandras' -- Plus ça Change

Remember “Anthropogenic Global Warming”?  “Global warming” became “climate change” because the warming… didn’t exist. It still doesn’t. The global temperature has, since 1997, flattened. This is explained-away by the climate alarmists as a “pause.” The problem? Here’s TIME magazine in 1974:

However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

"Three decades." Or since circa 1944. Added to the 1997 – 2014 “pause,” the global temperature has been cooling or flat for at least 47 of the past 76 years, or more than half the time. And this as post-war prosperity accelerated and hundreds of millions of people increased their use of carbon-based fuels to enter into and prosper from the Industrial Age.

Exactly zero temperature data sets exist supporting warming. None. Never have. Sure – a few data sets exist by once-reputable climate science organizations (NASA, East Anglia / CRU), but those are re-manipulated every few years to show whatever curve is required to support the climate alarmism-of-the-day. This manipulation is of the original data sets, both at the upper end (“The earth has a temperature!”) and at the lower end (“See how fast the temperature is increasing?!”). The original data did not show the temperature increase or steeper slope demanded by the alarmists, so the data were … adjusted. This is called many things, but “science” is not one of them.

Remember the “Hockey Stick” curve that started all this? This “curve” has been the subject of constant controversy since its creation, the foundation of Al Gore’s ridiculous film – and the basis for world governments to waste hundreds of billions (trillions?) of our dollars. The problem? The curve doesn’t exist.

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MIT also rejected the 'hockey stick' and the algorithm that created it, noting that random numbers provide a similar curve and fundamental mistakes are present in the underlying math. A large body of “science” supports the AGW argument, though, right?  Don’t 97 percent of scientists support "Climate Change"?

In a word? No.

Why, then, do so many researchers and academics support it? Here’s the answer from Dr. Richard Lindzen, the now-retired Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

It was the narrative from the beginning. In 1998, [NASA’s James] Hansen made some vague remarks. Newsweek ran a cover that says all scientists agree. Now they never really tell you what they agree on. It is propaganda.

So all scientists agree it’s probably warmer now than it was at the end of the Little Ice Age. Almost all Scientists agree that if you add CO2 you will have some warming. Maybe very little warming. But it is propaganda to translate that into it is dangerous and we must reduce CO2 etc.

If you can make an ambiguous remark and you have people who will amplify it ‘they said it not me’ and the response of the political system is to increase your funding, what’s not to like?

For the Left, “Science” is spelled “capitali$m,” as most “research” papers supporting “climate change” are written for, or occasioned by, grant money. We have a surfeit of unsupported climate fantasy funded by NGOs, academia and “philanthropic” organizations because academics can be greedy. They see Big Dollars or Big Careers (which equals Big Dollars) in supporting the climate flavor-of-the-month fixation of Big Government or Big Philanthropy. Whatever those organizations are demanding, they supply: the same kind of capitalism the Left is burning down America to protest.

Climate change policies are about one thing: collectivism. The ruling class rejecting the rising individualist middle class of the Western world and billing us for that rejection. It’s about rejecting the voice of people globally, people who, because of the internet and information awareness, now are knowledgeable of how badly and for how long the various Western governments have been and are continuing to screw their citizens.

Notice who the climate change “deniers” are: middle class Western individualists, while the climate change True Believers are anti-Western collectivists. Who makes the world go-round? Individualists (we invent everything). Who mooches off the going-round world? Collectivists (they invent nothing). And now the collectivists want to collect money from the individualists under the unsupported nonsense of “climate change,” usurping the power to choose what to do with our earnings, our property, our life’s work.

Every government needs authority and a common purpose in the eyes of those governed. These can be gained via both external and internal threats. Covid-19 masks and unlawful house arrest/lockdowns by some governors and mayors serve to control you. “Climate change” is being used to achieve that common purpose as well. It's all about control.

The data didn’t support anthropogenic global warming, so the name was changed, but the goals are the same: global totalitarian collectivism under our self-anointed betters, the destruction of entire industries, and robbing the West of wealth, progress, liberty and individualism in order to enrich the totalitarian ruling class in the guise of helping the Third World with cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner parks and playgrounds, and better schools.

When even the globalists at the U.N. admit that the entire climate hoax is not about the climate, but about destroying capitalism, you can be pretty sure that climate change is a feature for the left, not a bug; an excuse to advance totalitarianism and crush the middle class – and to get the middle class to join in, and pay for, its own destruction.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism. "This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.

We’ve seen this movie before. In the words of Princeton Professor Emeritus of Physics, William Happer, in 2017,

I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the consensus on climate change and the consensus on witches.  At the witch trials in Salem the judges were educated at Harvard. This was supposedly 100 percent science. The one or two people who said there were no witches were immediately hung. Not much has changed.

At least we aren’t hanging “deniers.” Yet.