By Paul Quigg, columnist
I can’t understand how warm weather has been allowed to be vilified as the root cause of a catastrophic future. The earth blooms and prospers in the warmth of spring and summer and things wither and die in the fall and winter. The human death rate is 15 percent higher in January than in July, and the graph of this fact is eerily consistent year to year. Today people are moving to the warm south, away from the cold north, the warm south is booming and the colder north is stagnating.
Our doomsday friends have nothing good to say about the coming warming, not a peep. Never acknowledging the fact that CO2 is a gaseous fertilizer, which is already having a very noticeable positive effect on plant growth. As an example, greenhouses pump in 1000 parts-per-million of CO2 to stimulate growth while we live with 415 ppm. The earth has warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius in the last 140 years. The warming has been fairly consistent except for a slight dip in temperature from 1945 to 1983, in spite of rapidly growing CO2 emissions after WWII. The dip in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s resulted in a “global cooling” scare which died later as the temperature returned to its upward trend.
It is plain to see that the global temperature is rising, and will continue to rise as we pour more and more CO2 into the atmosphere. My concern is that the climate activists say the higher temperature will be catastrophic. They predict more localized droughts, more localized rainfall, more disease, less food, more intense storms, and more of anything bad that they can think of. Over the past 20 years they have become more and more confident in their predictions based almost entirely on increased computer power. No new evidence to support their catastrophic claims.
It sounds crazy to make such a dramatic accusation that warming is good, but when you take the time to explore the evolution of future climate science you can see that climate scientists never wanted to find anything good to say about warming. I have followed the careers of many climate scientists and if they fail to follow the party line they are soon dropped from consideration in future government, United Nations and thick tank publications.
I don’t know what the future climate will be like, there are just too many variables to predict what it will be like in 50 or 75 years. When I look at the total failure of past emission reductions, I feel secure in assuming the global community will continue to emit greenhouse gases and rationalize the results as the temperature continues to rise in basically the same trajectory as in the past. This should result in a 2C total temperature rise toward the end of this century.
The doomsday projections of 3C, 4C, 5C do nothing but muddy the waters and scare the hell out of everyone. The voices at both ends of the climate discussion dominate the conversation and the middle ground is where we will find the solution. A realistic appraisal of a future 2C climate is mandatory for planning future mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Mr. Quigg, a University of Virginia graduate and resident of Luray, has practiced architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1962. As a lifelong environmentalist, in the 70’s he was appalled at the polluted air and water and has dedicated much of his time since in studying and commenting on the environment. He has been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.