Misconceptions About Plant, Animal And Human Adaptation To Climate Change

by Dr. Tim Ball on June 11, 2012

in Data,History,Philosophy,Temperate,Theory

Official climate science is based on the corrupted work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). One proof of corruption is the constant moving of the goalposts. They’re not moved to accommodate new evidence but to defend the hypothesis. A major example occurred in 2000 when CO2 continued to rise but temperatures declined, contradicting the claim that a CO2 increase caused a temperature increase. Global warming became Climate Change.

Climate changes significantly all the time. Some of us pointed this out, but were perversely called climate change deniers with the holocaust connotation. It’s wrong because we devote ourselves to explaining how much climate changes. Our message made people ask questions, so the goalposts moved to climatic disruptions. This was underscored by media reports of every weather event as being extreme. It isn’t extreme; a hurricane is normal weather, it is only potentially threatening to those who choose to live in hurricane regions.

The notion was introduced that extreme changes were occurring more frequently and greater severity than ever. It isn’t, but the idea maintained the fear factor. Every time a new threat was promoted the evidence showed it was incorrect. Often the threat only worked because the public didn’t understand. It required a threat more difficult to refute. Stories appeared claiming nature would be unable to adapt because the rate of change was abnormal.

It caught on because western science is based on the philosophy of uniformitarianism. This is the idea that change is gradual over long periods of time and emerged from Darwin’s need for time for evolution to occur. It was part of the battle between religion and science because it replaced Neptunism, the pre-flood, post-flood world of the Bible. Briefly at the end of the 20th century Chaos theory appeared. Stephen Jay Gould proposed a compromise called “punctuated equilibrium,” which said change was gradual with occasional catastrophic events.

This idea coincided with evidence that an asteroid had wiped out the dinosaurs and appeared to be a good example. (I sarcastically celebrate that event because it allowed the mammals and ultimately humans to emerge.) Despite this, traditional uniformitarian thinking persisted. Another catastrophic event occurred with the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980. Immediately predictions appeared that it would take a hundred years or more for nature to recover. After just thirty years scientists were amazed at the recovery rate. They were amazed because the basic philosophy was wrong; it’s the same error that allows the claim that climate change is too rapid for nature to cope.

In my research I found a map drawn by fur trader and biologist Samuel Hearne in 1772. He followed the tree line (he called it the “woods edge”) from Churchill on the southwest coast of Hudson Bay to the Coppermine River on the Arctic coast and plotted it on a map. It’s a very distinct boundary as I know from flying over this region for five years.

Hearne made a remarkable, astute, comment in his journal.

“I have observed, during my several journeys in those parts that all the way to the North of Seal River the edge of the wood is faced with old withered stumps, and trees which have been flown (sic) down by the wind. They are mostly of the sort which is called here Juniper, but were seldom of any considerable size. Those blasted trees are found in some parts to extend to the distance of twenty miles from the living woods, and detached patches of them are further off; which is proof that the cold has been increasing in those parts for some ages. Indeed, some of the older Northern Indians have assured me that they have heard their fathers and grandfathers say, they remembered the greatest part of those places where the trees are now blasted and dead, in a flourishing state. (Hearne, 1772, p.138).

His observations fit the record. The tree line advanced during the warm of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) then retreated in the cooling to the nadir of the Little Ice Age (LIA). It has warmed since and the tree line has advanced. The pattern of movement is appropriate for the general circulation of the region.

After plotting the woods edge as Hearne drew it in 1772 with the tree line 200 years later the amount of movement is significant. In the west/east portion movement was up to 200 km. This means it moved one kilometer per year, which most believe is impossible. However, even if it was only half that it is more than most would accept.

Once you realize climate changes significantly all the time it is much easier to understand that nature would have evolved for that eventuality. But this is only one of the misconceptions created to promote environmentalism as a religion and climate change for a political agenda. They claim extinction is abnormal, when it is the norm; that if one species disappears the entire interconnection collapses; that warming will cause nothing but problems.

Governments are misled and misdirected by the science and policy suggestions of the IPCC. They’re adapting for warming when cooling is occurring and is the greater threat because adaptation is more difficult. If it occurs as rapidly as it has in the past we appear disadvantaged. However, humans have prospered and progressed because we used technology, invention and innovation to adapt. Fire, clothing, irrigation are all adaptations to change. The biggest threat is to our food supply, but genetic modification, which allows adaptation in two years compared to over 15 years for plant breeding, significantly improves our adaptability.