Wednesday, 12 October 2011

New study: Global cooling led to wars, famine and plagues in 1560-1660

The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was particularly blody 

A new study published in the PNAS (Procedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) shows that global cooling caused wars, famine and plagues during the so called Cold Phase (1560-1660 AD),

Here is the abstract:

Results show that cooling from A.D. 1560–1660 caused successive agro-ecological, socioeconomic, and demographic catastrophes, leading to the General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century. We identified a set of causal linkages between climate change and human crisis. Using temperature data and climate-driven economic variables, we simulated the alternation of defined “golden” and “dark” ages in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere during the past millennium. Our findings indicate that climate change was the ultimate cause, and climate-driven economic downturn was the direct cause, of large-scale human crises in preindustrial Europe and the Northern Hemisphere.

The authors, as well as the article below published in Ars Technica, refer to "climate change" as the "ultimate cause" for the disasters. However, as the abstract and the article clearly indicate, the real cause for all those catastrophes was cooling. Warmer weather in the 18th century lead to a speedy recovery of both the economy and the population in Europe.

Cooling during the Cold Phase (1560-1660 AD) reduced crop yields by shortening the growing season and shrinking the cultivated land area. Although agricultural production decreased or became stagnant in a cold climate, population size still grew, leading to an increase in grain price and an increased demand on food supplies. Inflating grain prices led to hardships for many, and triggered social problems and conflicts such as rebellions, revolutions, and political reforms.
Many of these disturbances led to armed conflicts, and the number of wars increased 41 percent during the Cold Phase. During the latter portion of the Cold Phase, the number of wars decreased, but the wars lasted longer and were far more lethal—most notable was the Thirty Years War (1618-1648),where fatalities were more than 12 times of the conflicts between 1500-1619.
Famine became more frequent too. Nutrition deteriorated, and the average height of Europeans shrunk 2cm by the late 16th century. As temperatures began to rise again after 1650, so did the average height.
The economic chaos, famine, and war led people to emigrate, and Europe saw peak migration overlapping the time of peak social disturbance. This widespread migration, in conjunction with declining health caused by poor nutrition, facilitated the spread of epidemics, and the number of plagues peaked during 1550-1670, reaching the highest level during the study period. As a result of war fatalities and famine, the annual population growth rate dropped dramatically, eventually leading to population collapse.
In the 18th century, the mild climate improved matters considerably, leading to the speedy recovery of both Europe’s economy and population.


This results of this study of course confirm what is wellknown from many other periods in the history of humanity: Prolonged periods of cold weather lead to a steep rise in mortality.

A more recent example from the US:

"From 1979 to 1997, extreme cold killed roughly twice as many Americans as heat waves, according to Indur Goklany of the U.S. Department of the Interior," Singer and Avery write. "Cold spells, in other words, are twice as dangerous to our health as hot weather."

Even the BBC has admitted that "Global warming 'may cut deaths."

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

EU warmists use opinion poll to hype increased interest in failed climate change policy

 Europe's top financial watchdog warned on Tuesday that the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis has become systemic and threatens global economic stability unless decisive action is taken urgently.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet issued the dramatic warning as chairman of the European Systemic Risk Board, created to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, amid growing fears that Greece will default on its massive debt.

The stern warning from the ECB president comes as no surprise. The same has been said by a great number of economists lately. Without doubt, ordinary citizens in Germany and the other EU net payer countries share Trichet´s worries (although they may not necessarily agree with all his suggestions for "decisive action").

The worsening financial crisis has also - quite sensibly - made governments in the major EU countries (e.g. Germany, France, Spain ,Italy and Holland) to rethink the huge subsidies - particularly for solar and wind energy -  which have beeen part of their "green agenda". The latest announcement comes from the David Cameron´s 'greenest government ever':

David Cameron and George Osborne want to scale back the green agenda on the grounds that low carbon technology, such as carbon capture storage (CCS) and offshore wind power, cost too much in a time of austerity.

The dramatic cuts in the "climate change" subsidies are happening at a time when opinion polls in most parts of the world show that ordinary citizens are less worried about climate change/global warming.

This development is, of course, extremely worrying for the EU climate change/global warming hight priests.

That is why EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard and her colleagues are now clinging to a fresh Eurobarometer poll, which appears to be showing that Europeans have become more worried about climate change. With the help of a number of "climate change friendly" journalists, the EU warmists have been able to create this kind of publicity:

Europeans believe that dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a new poll
She (Connie Hedegaard) said it was striking that the public were even more concerned about climate change than in the runup to the landmark Copenhagen summit on climate change in late 2009.
The number of people rating climate change as a very serious problem has risen slightly, from 64% when the poll was last conducted in 2009, to 68% this year.

Read the entire article here

Those who doubt the earth's climate is changing are a diminishing breed in Europe, according to a new survey released Friday. It shows large majorities in the European Union see climate change as a very serious problem — and fighting it as an opportunity to create jobs and boost the economy.
Overall, EU residents see climate change as the second most serious problem facing the world, after poverty, hunger and lack of drinking water, which were taken together as a single issue.
The EU's climate change commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, called the survey encouraging.

Read the entire article here

What Hedegaard and her journalist helpers do not want to say, is that the attitudes of people in major EU countries have NOT changed in favour of climate change/global warming, according to the same  Eurobarometer poll:  

In some of the bigger Western and Scandinavian Member States – UK, Germany, Belgium,
Ireland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Finland – the level of concern has remained constant or
decreased since 2009.

(The increasing "concern" is, according to the survey, seen in such countries as Latvia, Slovakia and Poland.)

It should also be pointed out that, although the survey as such was done by professionals, it was commissioned by the Hedegaard´s Climate Action service, which also was able to formulate the questions. So, this is just another case of the old trick using statistics to hype a weak case, when everything else fails.

Just one example: When asked about the most serious problems in the world, "the economic situation" was one alternative in the poll. It is quite obvious that, had they asked people to choose e.g. the alternative "financial crisis", "euro crisis" or "recession", the answers would probably have been quite different.

Not really a lot to "celebrate" for Hedegaard.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Climate change a dead issue among Swedish vacationers

"During your vacation you want to have fresh towels every morning"

Sweden - along with Denmark - is traditionally considered to be one of the international leaders with regard to "fighting" global warming and climate change. But "times they are a changing", also in Sweden, at least when it comes to travelling.

Martin Durnik, head of marketing for Sweden´s biggest privately owned travel agency, Ticket, says that climate change is a completely dead issue among Swedish vacationers:

"The environment is not something you consider when choosing a travel destination. The customers ask neither about the environmental work of hotels and flight emissions, nor about climate compensation possibilities. Quite simply you leave your environmental interest at home. During your vacation you want to have fresh towels every morning".

During recent years the "climate issue" has figured prominently in the annual opinon poll about the travel habits of the Swedes. This year climate change questions were not even included, because there is nothing to say about the completely dead issue, according to Durnik.

Read the entire article (in Swedish) here


Hopefully Paul Brown, President of Global Brands & Commercial Services, Hilton Worldwide (if he still has the job) and his colleagues take notice of these new findings (which probably are shared by travellers in other countries) before they again decide to switch off hotel lights and other equipment during "Earth Hour".