T Nation

Can Global Warming Save Us?


"There is also another possibility, remote but much more serious. The Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and other evidence show that for the past several million years, severe glaciation has almost always afflicted our planet.

The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years.

The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years.

The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027.

By then, most of the advanced nations would have ceased to exist, vanishing under the ice, and the rest of the world would be faced with a catastrophe beyond imagining."

Not that someone writing a fictional book about something lends it any validity, but just for amusement, Niven wrote an SF book back in the 80’s (I guess) about a near-future ice age where the people of that time were bitterly damning those that had clamored for reduced CO2 output, and gotten it, from their fears of global warming.

I can just imagine how much, when/if our butts are freezing off, we’ll all be thanking Al Gore for capping carbon output.

Yeah, that’s all well and freaking interesting and all; but the thing we should always consider is, will the polar bears thrive?