Population reduction & global cooling are really bad ideas

Caption: Global cooling sucks.

The grim green doomsayers of climate alarmism have a particular grudge against people. In any discussion of climate change you can bet with certainty on some misanthropic green puritan shrieking that ?the real problem is overpopulation!? and ?Humans are a cancer on the planet!?. Invariably, their solution is a dramatic reduction of the human population.

So you?d think that the Gaia-worshippers would be happy to hear that a mass reduction in the human population once caused global cooling. Quote:

When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they caused so much death and disease that it changed the global climate, a new study finds. End of quote.

As I?ve written before, popular reporting of science news is often appallingly bad. Too many journalists don?t seem to understand even the basics of science. Hyperbolic press releases are uncritically regurgitated, and proper qualifications and uncertainties in papers are erased with cavalier disregard for scientific caution. Tentative hypotheses are re-written as unquestionable scientific fact.

Worse, journalists? political prejudices ride roughshod over scientific description. Quote:

European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America, causing large swaths of farmland to be abandoned and reforested, researchers at University College London, or UCL, estimate. The increase in trees and vegetation across an area the size of France resulted in a massive decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, according to the study. End of quote.

Note the slant here: wicked Europeans killed, or slaughtered as it says elsewhere, indigenous people. Except, as even this study concedes, the killing was overwhelmingly done by diseases coincident with European arrival. Contrary to popular mythology, Europeans did not deliberately spread disease in some kind of germ warfare (in fact, Europeans wouldn?t even know what ‘germs’ were for another few centuries). When Europeans arrived, they unwittingly transmitted the diseases they had long adapted to: ?epidemics spread, often ahead of the European explorers,? as the study notes; ?epidemics [were] the main driver behind the majority of the deaths in the Great Dying?.

The depopulation estimates used are also problematic. It?s impossible to say with certainty what the pre-Columbian population of the Americas was. Estimates vary widely, by as much as 30 million; as climate alarmists are wont, this study opts for the very highest estimate. Quote:

Carbon levels changed enough to cool the Earth by 1610, researchers found. Columbus arrived in 1492?”CO2 and climate had been relatively stable until this point,” said UCL Geography Professor Mark Maslin, one of the study’s co-authors. “So, this is the first major change we see in the Earth’s greenhouse gases.” End of quote.

This is not entirely true. The Little Ice Age is reckoned to have begun as early as the 13th century, before intensifying in the 15th. Quote:

“For once, we’ve been able to balance all the boxes and realize that the only way the Little Ice Age was so intense is ? because of the genocide of millions of people,” Maslin told CNN?A small shift in temperatures — about a 10th of a degree in the 17th century — led to colder winters, frosty summers and failing harvests, Koch said. End of quote.

edition.cnn.com

There are a couple of things to take home from this: firstly, the way climate alarmism and bad science reporting constantly try to erase proper scientific uncertainty. The caution in the body of the study ? ?we estimate?, ?possibly?, ?may have? ? is cast aside in favour of politically-slanted certainty.

Secondly: cold climates suck. As the study concedes, the shift to a colder climate in the 17th century caused deadly cold winters, frosty summers and failing harvests. The Little Ice Age was characterised by misery and famine. It was a time so grim that the 16th-17th century has been dubbed ?the Iron Century?. Americans are finding out right now just how awful cold climates are. Quote:

Electrical grids collapsed, airline fuel lines froze?the dry, frigid air caused frostbite within minutes, led to spontaneous nosebleeds and turned even a brief foray outdoors into a potentially deadly activity.

Officials across multiple states have linked at least seven deaths to the weather, including several people who may have frozen to death in Milwaukee, Detroit and Rochester, Minnesota. End of quote.

stuff

So it looks like the alarmists? favoured solutions, reducing human populations and cooling the planet, are really, really bad ideas.

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