JANUARY 2024. ''Oh''! The Disappointment.

“Oh!’’ The Disappointment.

There can be no such thing as a “Climate Denier”, nor can there be anyone called a “Climate Change Denier”, because both are patently untrue in the sense of the real world. Climate is in a constant flux. Everyone knows there are seasons but our experience of them is not a foregone conclusion. The terms are the anguished response of those who believe their fellow human beings are responsible for a deteriorating climate condition. The quality of the ether is one thing, but the state of the weather quite another. The first we can, and should, respond to; the second we must almost certainly, leave to God!

What is true is the argument that climate fluctuates over time, and is not consistent year on year. For example, 2016, 2019, and 2020, were all hotter than 2023 in the first half of the year. In fact, 2022 was 0.17°C cooler than 2020. It seems you can make what you like out of temperature variations. NOAA reports that since the turn of the century change in the earth’s surface temperature has been close to zero!

The elephant in the room is NASA who insist that global warming is the result of human activity, yet they will not commit to a one hundred percent certainty - covering their backs at a 95% certainty, even though the scientific model they use to calculate their findings is seemingly 120 years old! 

More interesting to the observer are “Global Warming Oscillations” - a factor in temperature variation over time. More or less, what happens today may not necessarily happen tomorrow! The famous “El Nino oscillation” varies between 2 and 7 years, and the “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation” varies from 50 to 70 years. Some extreme climate cycles are estimated to take thousands of years to complete their cycle. These are the reasons why the United Kingdom has experienced ice ages (120 thousand years ago) and tropical periods (25 thousand years ago). Currently we are experiencing an interglacial period which began about 12000 years ago with the retreat of ice sheets. Hence the warming. Climate Change activists, by shaking their fists at us, do so to no avail. They will have to learn to live with peaks and troughs. The average long-term temperature, apparently, has probably been no more than 1.5°C above and below current global levels. We can surely cope with that!

A given reason for temperature oscillations is considered to be a change in the earths orbit, which will bring areas of the earth closer to, or more distant, from the sun. Place your hand close to the heat from a functioning radiator (the sun) and move it closer, then further away. The temperature variations should be apparent. But it is a constant. The earth is different, and follows an elliptical orbit; no doubt, with a definite wobble every now and again. Not that anyone lives long enough to notice it!

Thus, Global temperature is considered to change over time - a time too slow to contemplate! Scientists consider the average temperature at the moment is 59°F, and estimate it has been as low as 10°F and as high as 95°F! (Over aeons of time you arrive at an average long-term temperature.) Where we are in this cycle is obviously something of a conundrum!

Modern data analysis uses material that goes back 2000 years - coral cores and tree rings - showing temperature cycles throughout that period. The results do not agree with the accepted narrative. Such evidence will not sink home to those who consider climate warming is out of hand. Nor will the fact winter temperature in the UK is 5-6° lower, at the moment, than last year. At least one can still breathe. The reality means it is extremely difficult to evaluate the fluctuation of the earth’s temperature over time. One can make a reasonable analysis of the past, but absolutely not of the future!

It’s therefore worth remembering that society has been coping with the problem of clean air since the close of the Second World War when coal fired heating and combustion engines - let alone Merchant Navy class locomotives with poorly attended fire boxes - reached impossible levels of pollution in the atmosphere. The fog bound world of the 60’s was not conducive to our good health, besides making finding your way home something of an adventure!  But society was clever enough to create change without social cost, which perhaps does not translate into any sort of reality to the mass of our good selves. Hence, as of now, manufacturers of family cars, despite their past optimism, forced by a real lack of demand in EV’s, are beginning to realise that perhaps only 20-30% of the public are in a position to contemplate such an acquisition. Meanwhile, the purchase of second-hand electric vehicles is too scary to contemplate. Ford, having lost 1.3 billion dollars on its EV division, along with General Motors doubtful improvement in sales, have probably seen the writing on the wall. Not that they considered the efficacy of their arguments, and they certainly, like those pessimistic prophets of doom, overestimated the practicality of such vehicles.

But, back to the real purpose of this discussion, acknowledgement that the earth is in constant convulsion - plate movements, volcanic eruptions, ice cycles, landscape erosion, earthquakes, desert flux, sea rise and fall, along with other marine consequences! Personally, I don’t remember being any worse off, when petrol engines had improved in efficiency and railway engines no longer used coal. Better off one suspects - but by how much? No matter, people went on to carp about diesel fumes, and school boys to turn their noses up at less romantic means of transport, and no longer hang about on railway platforms. Despite this small number of complainers, are we really going to be able to create the same seamless change by 2030! I wonder?

Certain parts of society are irrational and have spent the last decade trying to convince us that EV’s are the way forward, along with a smaller carbon footprint to combat Global Warming and that illusive Climate Change. They are not doing very well on either front as the general public contemplate large holes in their pockets! More to the point, none of these climate conditions are new. That great historian Edward Gibbon noted in his ‘Rise and fall of the Roman Empire’ written in the 1780’s: “The name of Rome must yet command our involuntary respect: the climate (whatsoever may be its influences) was no longer the same” …. also mentioning…. “The sea passage through the Straits of Gibraltar was hampered at certain times of the year by ice!”

Perhaps the most telling climate argument has been that on greenhouse gases. It has been best explained by Professor Steven E. Koonin - President Obama’s Undersecretary for Science - who gave a most succinct argument in respect of greenhouse gases in the climate system:

“Heat from the sun reaches the earth during daylight and loses heat from the earth during the night. This would mean the earth temperature would remain at O°c. This is avoided by a percentage of the radiated heat being captured by greenhouse gases. The Second Law of Thermodynamics guarantees that virtually all of it ends up in the climate system and is ultimately radiated into space.”

So, take heart, and live a good life. Seemingly the earth can look after itself. Climate change turns out to be REAL, but also NORMAL!