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13 Mar 2024 | News Roundup

A committee of experts has voted down the notion that the Holocene Epoch has ended and the Anthropocene has begun due to our general awfulness. But don’t expect us to be popping any corks, and not only because we think the notion of the Holocene as a separate Epoch rather than just one more interglacial is misleading as well as vainglorious. The main point is that science is not done by committee. Or by celebrity pronouncements. The news story said the vote didn’t matter because Michael Mann and another guy said we were trashing the planet anyway. We say it didn’t matter because science is not done by a show of hands, whether waving or clenched into fists.

We are all going to die but don’t panic except do. “B.C. report says climate change brings health risk, as doctor fears ‘colossal harms’”, which sounds bad. Then we’re assured that “Dr. Michael Schwandt, a medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health, said… ‘events like the 2021 heat dome aren’t expected to happen in a given summer’” which we knew, and which is sort of good, and we certainly haven’t seen one since. But nevertheless “we need to be prepared for something like that every single summer going forward.” So are we or aren’t we? Run in circles, scream and shout.

Also, we are all going to roast, with the Guardian panicking that “heatwaves are killing people in increasing numbers and governments have a duty to warn their citizens of the risks” because dopey ordinary people don’t know from heatstroke. However it turns out that definitions vary, with a heatwave in Sweden meaning over 25C for five days, and on the Scottish borders over that for three. Which might startle the Scots but is unlikely to lay them in the dust, or heather, in vast numbers.

For people who think the world is made of playdoh, Peter Coy at the New York Times asks cheerily “Why don’t we just ban fossil fuels?” since after all we ban arson. And then answers his own question and silly metaphor with “Unlike arson, the combustion of oil, natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels provides real benefits – running our cars, heating and cooling our homes and so on.” But who needs that stuff? So “a ban or severe restriction isn’t entirely crazy, either, if it’s phased in as part of a long-term plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to zero. Why not? We’ve banned things before.” Yeah. Alcohol, for instance. And drugs. How did those bans work out? (Or swearing on the telephone.) So let’s ban something infinitely more useful and find out.

We can’t resist the tale of Canada’s government, which aims for universal prosperity in the morning and world peace after lunch but cannot do anything right including buying ships that work instead of ones whose anchors break off while their decks flood, and has also bungled the project of planting 2 billion more trees in a land that already has over 300 billion. But now (wuk wuk wuk) the Quebec provincial government wants to let forestry companies cut some of them down to make money. What, saving the Earth is so hard it might take all week? Why weren’t we told?

In the wacky world of climate alarmism, every silver lining has a cloud. Thus “After decades of Arctic sea ice getting faster, models suggest a dramatic reversal is coming”. And apparently sea ice getting faster is bad because it creates navigational hazards for all that Arctic shipping. But it getting slower is bad too because it’s all melting and we’re all going to die. “It doesn't change the fact that sea ice cover is steadily declining, right?” says the same expert whose wisdom the story paraphrases as, “Some models suggest that the slowdown will start within the next decade, while others suggest it will start toward the end of this century.” So we have, in fact, no idea at all what will happen. Just that it will be bad.

2 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. And I'd like to see what kind of personal sacrifices that Peter Coy will make if we were to ban fossil fuels.And while we destroy our economies in the
    West,it's drill baby,drill or more coal mines and coal powered plants in China,India,Russia,et al.Meanwhile the champagne and caviar crowd continue
    to jet set all over the world.Beats workin' I guess!

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