Climate change vs Nuclear War

Ambush Predator rightly mocks what the Telegraph describe as “The world’s leading scientists” for their rather hysterical claims that climate change is as much of a threat to humanity as nuclear war.

According to the group of scientists, Nobel laureates all

“It is comparable in magnitude [to nuclear warfare]. With business as usual we will have another five or six degrees Celsius [9 to 10.8F] – that could not sustain civilisation as we know it, which is quite comparable to a nuclear shoot-out. It would mean 80 metres rise in sea level – London, Paris and Copenhagen would disappear. This could not sustain nine billion people [the predicted population of the world.]”

As Ambush Predator asks

Is that all?

No giant marshmallow man? No radioactive monster lizard? No hot hail?

Pah! Some disaster movie…

So we loose a few cities, we can’t sustain so large a population as we’d like and it’s a bit warmer and that’s really about it. There is routinely a five or six degree Celsius temperature difference between where I’m sitting now and Devon. During the summer, Barcelona is usually around ten degrees Celsius hotter.

And while an 80 metre rise in sea level sounds quite bad, should one chose to believe such a figure, it certainly doesn’t match the sort of ‘long night, nuclear winter, all higher life forms scythed from the biosphere, nothing left but dust and cockroaches, etc.’ kind of Armageddon scenario that I grew up having nightmares about.

Perhaps I am just more cynical than Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent and author of this bum gravy, but since there seemed to be such a large disparity between what I was being told now, and what I remembered having been told before, I took ten seconds out of my busy schedule and undertook the minimum possible amount of research available to a 21st Century human with an internet connection. Yes, I googled it.

And well well, what do you say, looky there at the first link. A wikipedia article about nuclear winter.

Now I’m not one to blindly trust wikipedia articles, but a look through the sources for this article reveals it to be largely based on the paper “Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences” by Alan Robock, Luke Oman and Georgiy L Stenchikov. A 2007 study of the climatic effects of a nuclear war which is rather adequately summarised by the article.

For a conflict involving one third of the world’s nuclear arsenal

A global average surface cooling of –7°C to –8°C persists for years, and after a decade the cooling is still –4°C (Fig. 2). Considering that the global average cooling at the depth of the last ice age 18,000 yr ago was about –5°C, this would be a climate change unprecedented in speed and amplitude in the history of the human race. The temperature changes are largest over land … Cooling of more than –20°C occurs over large areas of North America and of more than –30°C over much of Eurasia, including all agricultural regions.

So, no agriculture for at least a decade. At all. None. Most of the surface of the earth at or below freezing. And that’s just the climate, without taking into account the additional destruction to life and infrastructure that would accompany a nuclear conflagration of such proportions.

So in point of fact it isn’t really even comparable, by any sane person, to the scenario outlined in the article for worst case climate change. A large scale nuclear dust up would, in all likelihood kill us all and most of the other warm blooded species on the planet.

You’d like to think that such a supposedly elite bunch of ‘scientists’ would have bothered to check the facts before issuing such utter tripe as a press release, but apparently if you’re a climate scientist, this isn’t necessary.

Either that or the bastards are happy to knowingly participate in a deceitful propaganda campaign that suits their agenda.

Either way, is it possible to have someone’s Nobel taken off them ?

Members of the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium you are charlatans.

And Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, you are a complete waste of oxygen. It took me one google search to discredit this story but you have regurgitated it in it’s entirety without bothering to check a single fact, you stupid pointless bitch.

UPDATE : Bishop Hill catches The Times out in similar cut’n’paste climate journalism here.

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