David Middleton complains on Watts Up With That that in addition to trying to erase the Medieval Warm period and Little Ice Age, what he calls “Warmunists” are also trying to get rid of “The Holocene Highstand”. In case your view of “Highstands” is “Huh?” the problem Middleton is drawing our attention to is that there’s good evidence that sea levels were higher 6000 years ago than they are now. Problem? Well, yes, if you want to keep insisting that current conditions are unprecedented.
A “highstand”, it turns out, is “one phase of a sea level cycle”. As in “Rising, Highstand, Falling, Lowstand”. Probably also known as a peak. And while the term “Warmunist” might seem overwrought, if clever, there’s some justification in pointing this particular finger of blame at those who would airbrush historical periods out of the timeline in the way that Stalinists used to airbrush people out of photos if they had been deemed counterrevolutionary.
Some people eschew the airbrush for the paint bucket. Al Gore, for instance, declared brazenly in An Inconvenient Truth that “The places where people live were chosen because of the climate pattern that has been pretty much the same on Earth since the end of the last ice age 11,000 years ago.” Alarmist Bill McKibben has said that “Just like us, our crops are adapted to the Holocene, the 11,000-year period of climatic stability we’re now leaving… in the dust.” And former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed in a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2014 that climate had been stable for millions of years at “the ideal life-sustaining temperature, average temperature of the Earth has been about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which keeps life going”, and that CO2 formed a heat-trapping layer perhaps half an inch thick “way up there at the edge of the atmosphere”, without being called out by fellow alarmists.
Others try to smooth out the Medieval Warm period and avoid talking about the Roman Warm Period and the possibility that when Hannibal took elephants over the Alps there were no glaciers in his way. Or ponder how it is that Otzi the “Iceman” could have emerged from a glacier as it retreated in the 20th century unless he was first engulfed by one as it advanced after he was done in some 5000 years ago.
There is in principle no reason why climate alarmists would feel obliged to erase natural variability from the approved history of the Earth. They could easily say there have been cycles, but what is happening now is unprecedented and heralds disaster. Except for one thing.
If they admit there are cycles, some clown is going to look at those cycles and draw lines through the various peaks, from the temperatures in the Medieval Warm Period to sea levels in the Holocene Highstand and go hey, what’s happening today isn’t unprecedented.
So these comrades are not to be mentioned.