The long, slow cycle

I happened (after a breadcrumb trail of links) upon a real live Druid's blog this evening, and the first post I read is here.

I guess I'm what you could call a fence-sitter when it comes to the global warming debate, and this gentleman talks a lot of sense. This paragraph in particular is why I'm posting a link to his thoughts:
There’s good reason to think that the feedback loop by which popular attitudes generate their own supporting evidence via dubious science has distorted the global warming debate. The fingerprints show up all over the weird disconnect between current global warming science and the findings of paleoclimatology, which show that sudden, drastic climate changes have been routine events in Earth’s long history; that the Earth was actually warmer than the temperatures predicted by current doomsday scenarios at the peak of the current interglacial period only six thousand years ago; and that the Earth has been a hothouse jungle planet without ice caps or glaciers for around 80% of the time since multicellular life evolved here. Technically speaking, we’re still in an ice age – the current interglacial is on schedule to end in the next few thousand years, giving way to a new glaciation for a hundred thousand years or so, with several million years of further cycles still in the pipeline – and claims that setting the planetary thermostat a little closer to its normal range will terminate life on Earth are thus at least open to question.

Then again, given that he states we're still in an ice age - I'd really hate to think we need to survive anything consistently hotter than the days we've had recently!

There are many among the climate change lobbyists who warn of a 6 degree increase in global temps down the line. When you're shivering in winter, that sounds like something welcome. But walking a fair distance down the road today I was pondering this point - and wondering how well we'd survive it as humans. We're used to a moderately warm climate at best. The difference between a sweltering 40 degree day now and then (Celcius of course) and a maintained 46 degrees every day would get a bit much! It would certainly weed out the weaker and less tolerant of our species (perhaps that's a good thing for our future survival?).

OK, so the world may be getting warmer. And yes, all our polluting and using and abusing is probably/definitely contributing to it. But I'm also going to put my money on the fact that we are indeed running through a long, slow cycle of climate change - too long for our meagre lifetimes to acknowledge and properly record, even though we're not doing the world any good at the moment through our habits.

What do you think?

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