Letters to the Editor

Celebrate the Warmth

quill pen
Saturday 28th March is “Earth Hour” — a time to sit in the dark and appreciate the benefits of our cheap, reliable hydrocarbon energy.

To the Editor
Climate Conversation

26th March 2015

We should spend Earth Hour giving thanks for warmth.

Just thirteen thousand years ago, Earth was in the grip of a deathly ice age. Sea levels were indeed much lower but much of the land surface was covered by thick sheets of ice. Life struggled to survive and many species were extinguished by the sterile suffocating ice.

Without any help from humans, Earth escaped from the ice and as the oceans warmed they expelled part of their dissolved carbon dioxide which nurtured an enormous increase in plant and animal life.

But the ice still lurks near the poles, and Earth has suffered several cold relapses. The most recent “Little Ice Age” released its icy grip only about 150 years ago.

The modern warming phase ceased around the turn of this century — there are teenagers who have never lived in a phase of rising global temperatures. Of more concern, our sun is showing disturbing signs of reduced activity, which may presage a new cooling phase.

Earth is on a climate see-saw between a warm green globe and a frozen white wilderness. Unless you are a penguin or a polar bear, you should spend Earth Hour celebrating today’s warmth and giving thanks for our cheap, abundant hydrocarbon fuels which will help humans to survive any return of Global Cooling.

Viv Forbes


forbes [at] carbon-sense [dot] com

Views: 33

3 Thoughts on “Letters to the Editor

  1. Simon on 26/03/2015 at 4:07 pm said:

    So burning hydrocarbons (preferably from Stanmore Coal) does actually affect the climate?

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 26/03/2015 at 5:14 pm said:

    >So burning hydrocarbons (preferably from Stanmore Coal) does actually affect the climate?

    Of a living room and kitchen, yes sure does. Not necessarily Stanmore coal either. I was brought up in a farm house with 2 open fires burning Whatawhata coal and wood and coal and wood water heating.

    It’s about as much climate control from energy per kilogram you can get – except nuclear.

  3. Magoo on 27/03/2015 at 11:11 am said:

    Simon – ‘So burning hydrocarbons (preferably from Stanmore Coal) does actually affect the climate?’

    Who said it didn’t? The maximum warming effect of CO2 is generally accepted as being around 1.2C per doubling of total (not just man’s) atmospheric CO2.

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