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HomeClimate WatchClimate change – just the latest in a long line of myths

Climate change – just the latest in a long line of myths


‘THE science is in!’ the messianic true believers would have us believe. They seem to have forgotten that science is never ‘in’. Newtonian science shot down Aristotle, only to be gunned down in turn by Einstein.

Do you recall being bullied into swapping your CO2-vomiting petrol engine car for diesel? So much greener! Now you are being bullied to get rid of your particulate-matter-ejecting diesel. Meanwhile nothing has happened, except that world temperatures have been at a standstill for most of this century despite increasing emissions.

The world climate body which preceded the UN’s current IPCC confidently, nay stridently, predicted that the previous 30 years of global cooling were leading inexorably to an all-year winter driven by nuclear testing and by man-made dust. They issued written warnings in 1974 of imminent global cooling. What happened? Global warming began.

An earlier flurry of ice age predictions came out in the 1920s: ‘Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada’ said the Chicago Tribune in 1923, reporting that Professor Gregory of Yale University’s opinion that ‘another world ice-epoch is due’. He was the American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress and warned that North America would disappear as far south as the Great Lakes, and huge parts of Asia and Europe would be ‘wiped out’.

Not just weather predictions have this record – in 1798 Thomas Malthus famously predicted worldwide starvation since population increased geometrically and food supply arithmetically. What happened? The population grew some more and fewer people are now living in poverty.

Lysenko was a name to drop at parties early last century. He promised Stalin that grain crops could be taught, like the people, and that if planted in colder climates they would adapt their DNA and thrive. What happened? Millions starved. Despite the bad press, Chairman Mao liked the idea and in came the Great Leap Forward. What happened? More than 30million starved as a result of this particular Five Year Plan.

Do you remember the Y2K bug? Too young? Let me remind you. The experts told us that a glitch in Excel would shut down all computers using this program at midnight on December 31, 1999, because all prior dates in the software had been written without inserting 19. Thus on the stroke of midnight, the program would go back to 1900, not forward to 2000, and chaos would ensue. What happened at midnight? Nothing. And there was Acid Rain, which faded away even though emissions did not.

What is common to all of these scares is that they turned out to be completely wrong: indeed, it is impossible to find any that have been even half correct.

Consensus does little better: the whole world knew that the planet was flat, and the sun rose and set across it daily. The world was created in 4004 BC, said a learned Irish prelate, everything on the planet had been put there by God, therefore there could be no such thing as extinction. The Geological Society of London believed in the fake species of human called Piltdown Man.

Ever since the first Earth Day protest against industrial pollution in 1970, we have been warned, again and again, that the world is going to end in a few years, a few months, a few hours. What is puzzling is that western governments haven’t been paying attention to the serial failing of this scientific consensus, the so-called 97 per cent who ‘know’ that ‘the science is IN.’

Those who are driving the present scare of global warming (or is it now climate change because the world is not warming as modelled?) should ask themselves why their endless predictions of catastrophe are failing – endlessly. Perhaps then they will come to realise that it is the height of madness to persist in their howling.

Predictions of imminent extinction have a lot of long-term support because more than 99 per cent of all the species that have ever existed on the planet are extinct, and there have been at least five major extinctions in the past 600million years. Only the who, what, where, when, why and how remain uncertain. But what is certain, is that such an extinction will only be delayed by increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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Howard Dewhirst
Howard Dewhirst
Howard Dewhirst has had a long career in international energy resources exploration relying on climate change-driven stratigraphic principles.

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