For those who like to make fun of historians with opinions on climate, we again offer up Brian Fagan’s very thorough and interesting 2000 book The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850. Which alarmists could immediately burn, if you bought appropriate carbon offsets, or actually read and blow out the match on discovering that he’s a true believer in man-made climate change. Only to strike another when they hit this passage (on p. 216): “Recently, James Hansen and a group of his colleagues have argued that the rapid warming of recent decades has in fact been driven mainly by non-CO2 gases such as chlorofluorocarbons.” What? The James Hansen? Raising other possibilities than “carbon pollution”? Somebody cancel that man.
Now to be fair Fagan is not actually a historian, at least if you have a diploma fetish. He is an anthropologist who commits the cardinal academic offence of having a wide range of interests. Including the way in which historical climate change impacted the societies that archeologists study, which is exactly like doing history except for the PhD.
As Wikipedia puts it, “Fagan is an archaeological generalist, with expertise in the broad issues of human prehistory. He is the author or editor of 46 books, including seven widely used undergraduate college texts.” Which sounds impressive. But if any alarmists reading this item haven’t already struck that match, they should prepare to do so.
You see, Fagan’s book doesn’t just say the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period existed. It claims that extreme weather increased dramatically as the planet cooled from the latter into the former, thus violating orthodoxy. And because it mentions that June 16, 2000 paper by Hansen and four others, which it might take an archeologist to unearth today, containing the heresy we’re focused on here, namely that “Fossil fuel burning CO2 and aerosols have both positive and negative climatic forcing effects, which tend to cancel each other out. Hansen and his team point out that the growth rate of non-CO2 gases has declined over the past decade and could be reduced even further. This, combined with a slowing of black carbon and CO2 emissions, could lead to a decline in the rate of global warming. Much more research is needed to confirm this hypothesis.”
More research? Surely the science is settled and always was. And what’s this business about negative forcing effects? Is this person funded by the Koch brothers?
Now again you might want to blow out the match because Fagan was not optimistic in 2000. He said with six billion people on Earth climate change would cause hunger in poor countries and then the rising seas would force mass migrations while drought ravaged the Sahel and so on. All predictions still struggling to be born, of course. But then climate is uncertain and more research is needed. Or so some lunatics say.
Why, even the mighty James Hansen questioned the role of CO2 in warming, and thought perhaps it would taper off. Man, they’re going to run out of matches.