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Meanwhile in China

16 Oct 2019 | Science Notes

Via the Global Warming Policy Foundation we learn that researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences have analysed organic material in deep lake bed sediments and concluded that there have been numerous long-term cycles of warming and cooling there, likely driven by solar cycles. By comparing these cycles to Chinese historical records, they were also able to conclude (in the “Shhhh, don’t tell Greta” file) that China prospered and grew during the warm intervals, and when it cooled, Chinese society collapsed. And, ominously, their model of solar cycles leads them to conclude we are heading into another long cooling phase and it will be very costly for society.

Wait, isn't warming supposed to be causing a crisis? Well as Oscar Wilde might have put it, the only thing in the world worse than warming is cooling. Don't forget it was not that long ago (the 1970s, to be precise) that scientists were declaring a crisis of global cooling. Now after a couple of warm decades they are declaring a warming crisis. But as these Chinese scientists have reminded us, historically speaking, warming has been good for human society, and cooling has tended to be disastrous. (For instance the cooling of the Dark Ages coincided with the end of the stability and prosperity of the Roman Warm Period.)

If warming is bad, and cooling is bad, that means the climate at this very moment must be the best of all worlds. Which is implausible especially since the present climate already varies so much depending on where you are that it makes no sense to say a little further change would wipe us out.

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