Cold More Dangerous Than Warming

Russ Steele

This is a reminder from a post at PJ Media by Dr Tim Ball and Tom Harris:

Far more people die due to excessive cold than due to excessive warmth. Cold weather is obviously much harder on our bodies than is warm weather. That is why people retire to Florida or Arizona, and not Alaska.

History demonstrates that warming has been good, and cooling bad, for civilization. That is why geologists named past warm periods “optimums” and cold times “dark ages.”

It was during the warmest period since the end of the last ice age, a time called the Holocene Optimum between 9,000 and 5,000 years ago, that the first civilizations flourished in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Other warm periods, climate optimums during Minoan, Roman, and Medieval times, and of course, the modern warm period, have all resulted in increased food productivity, lower death rates, and greater all-around prosperity.

In contrast, cold periods have been very rough on societies. The Dark Ages Cold Period between about 600 and 900 AD was a time of great retreat of agriculture and depression of human activity. There were plagues and starvation in many regions and people were forced to migrate away from farms in central Europe and Scandinavia.

The Little Ice Age (LIA) from about 1350 to 1850 was even worse; there was great misery for people around the world. Alpine glaciers overran mountain villages in Europe, and cold and wet weather killed millions of farm animals and ruined crops. With famine weakening the population, more than a third of Europeans died due to bubonic plague. People resorted to making bread from tree bark, and in some parts of Europe cannibalism was common. Later in the LIA, a million people died in Ireland and a million more left the country due to the Potato Famine brought on by the cold weather. Storms ravaged coastal settlements in both Europe and across the Pacific.

The IPCC 2007 Working Group II report on “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” states: “A focus on key vulnerabilities is meant to help policy-makers and stakeholders assess the level of risk and design pertinent response strategies.”

They are right. But it is impossible to do this without understanding the benefits of warming, and even more importantly, the dangers of cooling. The experience of India, which has prospered while warming over the past 50 years, demonstrates how well humans, even those living in hot climates, can adapt to warming. But cooling is a killer, and — scientists are increasingly telling us — a more probable event as well.

It has been found that the Earth is warmer when the Sun is more active as indicated by sunspot count. Our planet is cooler when there are fewer sunspots. The current 11-year sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, is already showing less spots than predicted, and expectations are for lower numbers still in Cycle 25, expected to start in about ten years. Not surprisingly, global temperatures have leveled and show signs of declining. By the mid- to late 2020s, conditions comparable to the LIA are a distinct possibility. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period should be a priority for governments. Besides, if you plan for cooling and it warms, adaptation is much easier than if you plan for warming and it cools.

President Barack Obama said in his victory speech last Wednesday: “We want our children to live in an America … that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

In the real world, we must forget about vainly trying to control global climate and instead get ready for the destructive power of a cooling planet.


6 thoughts on “Cold More Dangerous Than Warming

  1. David November 17, 2012 / 6:22 am

    Russ there is something more dangerous than it getting colder or warmer. It is brain washing and most people I meet are squeeky clean. You can show them maps and history and their eyes glaze over. Understanding history and basic science is hard and cuts in to time spent watching a Kardasian. Besides the teleprompter and chief has said this is true therefore it is so.

    I once even believed the global warming crap but at heart I am a scientist and studied their work and realized it was a sham. When you actually read their crap papers and realize it is all computer models and assumptions you lose faith if you have more than 1 working neuron. Unfortunately most people are one neuron short of a synapse.

    • Russ November 17, 2012 / 8:42 am


      Those of us with multiple neurons are preparing for the cooling.

  2. Luciano Miceli November 17, 2012 / 6:17 pm

    I too used to believe the global warming garbage but when they started to demonize those who disagreed with them and used real science and climate history I smelled a rat a large pack at that. Brainwashing and dumbing down of the general population has been going on for the last 60 plus years and gaining momentum, then you add that a very large part of the population who are wards of the state you can deduce that they eat up whatever the politicos in charge you end up talking to people who when approached for a discussion all you get in return is a regurgitation of what has been drummed into their heads thus what is left is a challenge or bet that in the very near future within the next five years they will feel more and more the increasing cold and higher and higher food prices thus cold and hunger will wake them up and rue believing all the lies they embraced so willingly responding by booting out all those politicos that promote this greatest of shams! I grew in a warm climate and love warm environment and fear what past cold periods did to people. Hopefully when I retire from work I won’t have to compete trying to find a place further south when people from the northern parts of North America start migrating south in large numbers.

  3. PuterMan November 18, 2012 / 4:19 am

    “Later in the LIA, a million people died in Ireland and a million more left the country due to the Potato Famine brought on by the cold weather”

    I have to take issue with you on that one. The ‘potato famine’ was not brought on by cold weather at all. At the same time there was a ‘potato famine’ grain of different types was being shipped back to England by the overlords. Had this not been the case there would have been plenty of food, but the Irish farmers were left with only potatoes to eat which failed, not because of the cold but because of blight kindly introduced by the English. We have suffered that here ever since. I will not say that the colder clime helped, but it most certainly was not the cause of the famine by any stretch of the imagination.

    That blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the English. (I am a Welshman living in Ireland by the way).

    I was about to copy the bit about European cannibalism to research it when I saw the above. Re the cannibalism however – great idea. Let’s eat those useless no good thieving lying bankers.

    • Russ November 18, 2012 / 9:09 am

      Thanks for the link. Most interesting that GISS is determined to create future warming by cooling the past. This is not science it is fraud.

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