Thursday, September 24, 2009

Limiting global warming to not more than 2 degrees C above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures

Dear W.A. – I read that the European Union wants to limit global warming to maximal 2 degrees above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures. What does that mean? Signed: Curious.

Dear Curious

Yes, the EU Environment Commissioner has indeed stated that the EU wants to get an agreement at the upcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial revolution (IR) temperatures. Environmental organizations are saying the same thing. They are obviously not aware that before the IR, the world was in the Little Ice Age. Temperatures were at times about 1.5 degrees Celsius lower than now. The consequences of the Little Ice Age were disastrous. This is well described in Barbara Tuchman’s famous book A Distant Mirror – The Calamitous 14th Century (pages 24-25). Polar and Alpine glaciers advanced. Some villages in the Alps were destroyed by the advancing glaciers. Harvests failed all over Europe, resulting in famines. A weakened population were more prone to diseases, like the plague. There are reports of cannibalism. Norse settlements in Greenland perished. Cultivation of grain disappeared from Iceland and grain harvests in Scandinavia were severely reduced. There were also far more severe storms and floods than in the preceding Medieval Warm Period. For instance, according to the British Professor Lamb, probably as many as 400,000 people perished in the 1570 All Saints Day storm in NW Europe. Two catastrophic storms hit the Netherlands in 1404 and 1421, the so-called “St Elisabeth Floods”, during which tens of thousands of people drowned. It is a myth that man-made global warming will cause more extreme weather events. The opposite is true.

It is obvious that global warming zealots would like the planet to return to those Little Ice Age conditions.

Three points about the 2 degrees maximum dogma:

1. The dogma states that carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere should not rise above 450 ppmv (parts per million by volume) to prevent temperatures rising more that 2 degrees above pre-Industrial Revolution temperatures (others say 350 ppmv). As we have explained above those are Little Ice Age temperatures. However, this dogma is not based on scientific evidence. It is entirely arbitrary. It is mainly based on (non-validated) computer models. As the saying goes rubbish in, gospel out.

2. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are at present almost the lowest in the entire history of our planet. Plants are starved of carbon dioxide. This is clearly shown by many experiments that show plants thriving under elevated carbon dioxide levels. If carbon dioxide levels would go much lower, say to 200 ppmv, plant growth would stagnate.

3. Global warming advocates are saying that, to reach these 2 degrees and 450 ppmv carbon dioxide aims, we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Apart from the fact that such a reduction, if it would be possible at all, would not have the slightest effect on the climate, it would have disastrous effects on the well-being of billions of people. Many of the fantastic and beneficial achievements of the Industrial Revolution will be undone. The man-made-global-warming would like a return to pre-Industrial Revolution conditions. There are now 1.6 billion people without electricity. That number will swell enormously, as electricity is being demonised as contributing to catastrophic global warming (as exemplified by the ludicrous Earth Hour). Replacing coal fired and nuclear power stations with wind turbines and solar panels will lead to severe electricity shortages. Agriculture will have to return to the ox and plow. Transport will be by foot, horse and donkey. Sea travel will be by sailing boats. No more modern medicine. Back to extracting teeth without anaesthetic. Lifespans will decrease to the good old days.

Recently, a major authoritative and definitive answer to the IPCC dogma has been published in the US. It is a hefty 868-page tome from the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), titled Climate Change Reconsidered, published by the Heartland Institute. It is well-structured and reads easily. Every statement and argument is extensively backed up by referring to peer-reviewed scientific publications. However, I don’t think that this book will have the slightest influence on the present extreme political agendas and manipulations in the lead-up to the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December. Too many reputations and too many financial interests are at stake.

Therefore, dear Curious, I hope that you are old enough not to have to experience this calamitous future.