The “Extinction Rebellion” Climate protests in London and elsewhere have caused enormous inconvenience to countless thousands of people. They link in with the School Children protests on the same topic. Go to the Extinction Rebellion website and you’ll find reams of scientific-sounding information on how Life on Earth is plunging into extinction due to man-made CO2.
You don’t need fancy science to understand the stupidity here. A little common sense and a little history are all we need:
1. Climate and weather are not the same thing. Climate may change slowly over hundreds of years. Weather changes rapidly, showing marked up and down variations over periods of decades or even hours.
2. Any idea of accurate analysis of the composition of the atmosphere going back hundreds of years is purely imaginary. It took until about 1800 for the Oxygen theory of air to be fully accepted. (The work of Anton Lavoisier was crucial here.) It took a further hundred years for all the inert gases to be discovered, the last, Radon, being confirmed only in 1900. We might possibly compare the CO2 content of air today with a hundred years ago, but that’s about as far back as one can go.
3. There is also an insurmountable problem of comparing temperature measurements today with those of the past. About one thousand five hundred weather balloons are now released every day from different locations. The first ever weather balloon was as recent as 1896. There is simply no possibility of valid comparisons going back more than a century. And it’s hardly necessary to discuss “comparable” satellite observations!
4. Here’s the killer! Frost Fairs took place on the River Thames about every ten years from the 15th to the 19th century. See here The ice was sometimes so thick that an ox could be roasted on a bonfire. The last of these Fairs took place in 1814. This period is often known as the Little Ice Age. Amazingly, people have often tried to connect the old London Bridge, which had a large number of narrow openings, with the Thames freezing over. I was even told in Primary School that such was the cause. Bridges do not change temperatures; that is phantasy physics. Debate continues on the possible causes of this cold climate and the preceding Medieval Warm Period. In spite of the magnitude of the changes we still simply do not know. However, what is clear is that there has been a warming process going on for hundreds of years which preceded any significant use of fossil fuel. There is no reason to assume that this process has stopped, nor to assume that CO2 has any significant impact.
So now we have seen massive, well-organised and coordinated protests. Who is behind them? The Extinction Rebellion website gives no clue. But the media has latched on to a sixteen-year-old Swedish schoolgirl called Greta Thunberg. She has received considerable coverage and many plaudits. She is open about her diagnoses with depression, Aspergers, OCD, and Selective Mutism. After seeing the shambles our best and brightest have made of Brexit, one can forgive people for thinking an autistic schoolgirl might be a better guide. However, the hard and genuinely relevant facts are always our best touchstone. These are what the media constantly and deliberately withhold. The protests give them endless opportunities to hype this matter without reference to those facts. Greta Thunberg, though she won’t know it, is just a pawn in the game. The organising power is not hers.
As ever, our advice to readers is “Think, re-think, and think again.” Do not simply absorb the Mainstream Media’s account. Whether it’s about war, evolution, climate, politics or whatever else there is an agenda behind it. The truth is no more likely to just land in your lap than a flying pig.
Note: We are fully sympathetic with and in no way opposed to people with any diagnosis like Thunberg’s; only with presenting this as either beneficial or irrelevant, rather than dealing with the realities behind the climate issue.
Interesting: At the time of the Thames Frost Fair of 1608-9 lagoons in Venice froze. This picture, Le lagon gelé en 1709, is a contemporary work
by Gabrielle Bella. In the severe Winter of 1963 much of the non-tidal Thames (above Teddington Lock) froze. It was possible, though not recommended, to walk on it. In the days of the Frost Fairs the tidal section would also freeze as far downriver as Greenwich (well below the Old London Bridge.) Those events give a clear comparison of worst case cold weather over three hundred years. Warming has been happening for a long time.