Posts Tagged ‘prophecy’

Escalating prophecies of doom

Friday, April 4th, 2008

When prophecies of doom are not working out, the first reaction is to escalate them:

Ted Turner tells us:

We will be eight degrees hotter in thirty or forty years, and basically none of the crops will grow, most people will have died, and the rest of use will be cannibals, civilization will have broken down.

Over past millenia, global temperatures have risen and fallen several degrees. A few thousand years back, hippos and crocodiles basked in the warm waters of the river Thames. A little after that, the Thames froze over. A few hundred years back, trees large enough to support ship building grew in Iceland, and people made wine from grapes grown in Northern England.

Over recent decades temperatures have been warming, and if we draw a straight line through the warming, it has been warming at the far from alarming rate of 0.2 degrees per decade. Walk, walk for the hills!

But a straight line may not necessarily be appropriate. Global temperatures maxed out a decade ago, and are now falling. Because global temperatures are now falling, we are now hearing the prophecies of doom being escalated.