Suppose the planet is cooling and not warming

You can find at Quadrant Online a review, taken from the magazine, of Twilight of Abundance by an Australian, David Archibald, that for me was one of the most devastating critiques of the global warming hysteria I have ever read. What made it so extraordinary is not that it began from the premise that global warming is a con and that the planet is not warming and whatever temperature changes there may be are only to a very slight degree affected by human industrial activity. Lots of people say that so there would be nothing new if all he did was add his name to the chorus. Making the book somewhat more remarkable is that he began from the premise that the planet may be cooling and not warming at all which while still unusual is not all that unusual any longer since the evidence of potentially falling temperatures is all around us (did you see, for example, the level of ice cover on Lake Superior in June?).

What, in fact, made the book extraordinary is that he combines the possibility of global cooling with every other green scare I have ever come across, but does it in a way that I find plausible. What he argues is that if we end up with falling temperatures, contracted growing seasons, resource depletion, energy shortages and an over-populated planet, the result is the kind of catastrophe once forecast by Paul Ehrlich which he described as the population bomb. Here is Ehrlich’s famous first sentence, published in 1968, that has kept his name before the public ever since:

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.

None of this happened, of course, so that I along with many others have become inured to the arguments of catastrophists of every kind. And every one of these has been wrong, including the global warming crowd, for whom the only evidence they ever had has evaporated over the years since around 1999. The planet is not warming even though greenhouse gases continue to pour into the atmosphere. So what exactly are Archibald’s credentials to be discussing any of this:

David Archibald is a Perth, Australia-based scientist working in the fields of oil exploration, climate science, energy and geostrategy. After graduating from Queensland University in geology in 1979, he worked in coal and oil shale exploration in Queensland and then in oil exploration with Exxon in Sydney. A long period in stockbroking in Sydney as an analyst was followed by moving to Perth in 1999 to work for a private investor. He subsequently started the oil exploration company Oilex in 2003 and then joined a Canadian-listed oil exploration company in 2006. Also at that time, he was CEO of the mineral explorer Westgold Resources.

What intrigued me about Twilight of Abundance is that it has proposed an equal and opposite future to everything that the greens have come up with that, if true, is something that is truly frightening. And given that there is as much if not more plausibility in what he has written than in the entire green-AGW campaign which has been discredited at every turn, one wonders why this is not now being thought about as one possible future that needs to be taken on board.

I have been astonished myself that during my lifetime, the population of the world has gone up from around two billion to seven billion. If this has been a consequence of an abnormally warmer climate, the Green Revolution and the abundance of cheap energy, then we should be thinking about what might happen if the warm weather disappears while the cheap energy provided by carbon-based fuels are depleted.

The Greens as well as other parties to the left have grabbed hold of global warming as one more vehicle to attack market economies and give them political power. If Archibald is anywhere near right, it will only be those economies that are capable of adjusting in the face of new circumstances that will avoid the disasters that would follow. I therefore invite you to read the review, and then the book after that. Since none of us know what is really happening, this is one conjecture that ought to be put on everyone’s watch list since things could turn very nasty more quickly and in ways quite different from what most people at the present time are prepared to believe.

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