Climate change apologist calls for a hotter planet

It's hard to keep up with the latest in climate change denial: it's just so far out. Last week Paul MacRae, a pro-climate change author associated with climate change denier central, Watts Up With That, boldly called for more planetary warming.

No, really.

Specifically, he sees the goodness of a time when CO2 levels in the atmosphere were vastly higher than they are today, and temperatures were far hotter than today. When the north and south poles were ice free, and the temperate regions (like the continental U.S.) tropical as the Amazon.

Of this era he writes admiringly:

This geological age was at least 10°C warmer than today, free of ice caps, and with CO2 levels, [Donald] Prothero suggests, of up to 3,000 parts per million, which is almost eight times today’s level of about 400 ppm. Yet Prothero calls the Eocene a “lush, tropical world.”[8]

At the end of the still very warm Oligocene (33-23 mya), Prothero puts CO2 levels at 1,600 ppm, or four times today’s levels.[9] Prothero’s 1994 CO2 estimates may be a high, but no one—not even [James] Hansen—denies that CO2 levels were several times higher than today’s in the Eocene and Oligocene and, indeed, right down to the Miocene (23-5 mya).

For Prothero, the boundary between the Eocene and Oligocene was “paradise lost” because it was then, about 33 million years ago, that the planet began its slide from a “lush, tropical world” into its current ice age conditions (see Figure 1), with glaciations every 85,000 years interspersed with brief, 15,000-year warm interglacials.

Who wouldn't want to live in the tropics? Well, sea level researchers have some concerns. Imagine Manhattan, Florida, and much of the eastern seaboard underwater, and sea level up to five feet higher along the California coast by 2100, according to a June study from the National Academy of Sciences. 

But MacRae sees it as "paradise regained." Perhaps it might look something like this, from The New Yorker's recent cover contest on global warming. 

Polarbearcover

One species paradise is another species hell. 

Comment (1) Add yours ↓
  1. Steve Bloom

    Among other things, the tropics in such a climate would be largely uninhabitable by humans.

    On the whole, I suppose we can expect more of this sort of fantasizing.

    July 31, 2012 Reply

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