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Must have been all those buses

03 Jun 2020 | News Roundup

A story out of China says early humans had to adapt to climate instability in One Million B.C. and did. How? Well, not the way Victor Mature did it, wrestling with a Triceratops. Instead, “At 1.1 million years ago the early human inhabitants of the Nihewan Basin lived under a changeable and unstable environment, experiencing strengthened aridification. As climatic variability produced ecological changes, including landscape alterations and mammalian extinctions, novel technological innovations likely provided benefits to early hominin populations in the Nihewan Basin.” Reminding us one more time that the claim that climate was stable until the Nixon years is one of the most absurd as well as unhelpful canards in the debate.

This finding out of China is the sort of thing that leads Paul Driessen of CFACT, who “helped organize Earth Day #1 programs on my college campus,” to insist that alarmists have become the real deniers because of “the steadfast, often nasty determination of scientists, politicians and interest groups promoting alarmist themes – and profiting immensely from them – to reject and deny any science, history and evidence that undermines their claim that nothing like this ever happened before.”

Hence, he says, “The “highest ever” temperatures are a mere few tenths or even hundredths of a degree above previous records set many decades ago. The United States recently enjoyed a record 12-year respite from Category 3-5 hurricanes, ended finally by Harvey and Irma in 2017. Violent tornadoes were far fewer during the last 35 years than during the 35 years before that, and the complete absence of violent twisters in 2018 was unprecedented in US history. Modern day floods and droughts were certainly no worse than past floods or the multi-decade droughts that devastated Anasazi, Mayan and other civilizations. However, alarmists insist, Earth’s climate and weather were stable and unchanging until humans began using coal, oil and natural gas.”

Driessen is unimpressed, to put it mildly: “Their disconnect from reality is astounding. Equally fascinating is the notion that melting glaciers are something new... It amounts to claiming the glacial epochs never happened; their mile-high ice sheets never blanketed a third of the Northern Hemisphere, multiple times, with warm periods in between; and seas haven’t risen some 400 feet since the Pleistocene ice age, leaving the entrance to Cosquer Cave and its Paleolithic paintings 115 feet beneath the Mediterranean.” And he makes a point we also have about the retreating glaciers disgorging artefacts from a thousand years ago, and also notes the discovery of the remains of forests off the Florida coast and under the melting Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska.

An even more amazing approach is to try to claim that if there was past climate change, it was man’s fault. Specifically white man’s, like the “world ends, women and minorities hardest hit” article in Vice that says not only are white people now causing disastrous warming, they also caused disastrous cooling by killing off most inhabitants of the New World, leading to a collapse in farming there that sucked carbon out of the air causing the Little Ice Age.

Meanwhile in the real world a new study says climate change did in the carnivorous kangaroo. Which might lead to a chorus of cheering for climate change. It is, as Eric Worall notes, a “sensitive” question whether Australian aborigines, like North American ones, might have caused megafauna extinctions while living in perfect non-white-person harmony with nature. That the locals of any hue would not have regarded 600-lb, seven-foot-high meat-eating kangaroos as something to be dealt with firmly is hard to wrap one’s head around. But however it may be, the Canberra Times says climate done it in the Outback with a temperature increase.

Once again we ask: How can it be? It seems 40k years ago, during the last glaciation, around South Walker Creek and presumably far beyond it, in “the youngest megafauna site in northern Australia”, “The loss of water flow, intensified drying, increased burning and vegetation change created the conditions to drive the extinction of at least 13 species of super-sized megafauna species, the study led by Queensland Museum found.”

Extinctions? Caused by climate? But without man or, we should now say, person? Yes. Down went K Rex, apparently, and a crocodile six metres long and various other creatures we’d really like to see back. Way back. But here’s the puzzle. What could have caused such devastating climate instability back then if the climate doesn’t vary naturally?

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