Sometimes, fake news media is making my job much too easy. Recent reports on a geological development on Iceland include both the unsubstantiated claim that carbon-dioxide-emission driven global warming was its cause and the incontrovertible refutation thereof. What is left for me to do except to call abject stupidity? This is really as stupid as it gets. Not only the volcano Ok has troubles keeping its head cold. Not only the ice on Iceland is getting mushy.
The British Broadcasting Corporation, a British media outfit, reports: “Mourners have gathered in Iceland to commemorate the loss of [Okjøkull], which has died at the age of about 700. […] What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano.” (My emphasis.) Euronews, an Egyptian media outfit, has it: “Environmentalists in Iceland have laid a commemorative plaque on the site of a [glacier] that has been declared ‘dead’ […] as a warning to the world about climate change. Iceland’s prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir was among those who attended the ceremony at the site where the [Okjøkull] glacier once was. Situated on top of a volcano, [Okjøkull] was declared dead five years ago because it no longer [had] the critical mass necessary to move and so [could] no longer be defined as a glacier. It had existed for some 700 years.” (My emphasis.) Oh, my!
Frankfurter Allgemeine, a German media outfit, steps shy of the 700-year trap, but with German thoroughness instead provides some other useful information: “Iceland’s glaciers have grown throughout history until they reached their maximum size around 1890. Since then, they have declined continuously with only short reversal periods.” (My emphasis.) So, let’s sum this up:
- During the mediæval warm period, 950 A. D. to 1250 A. D., over 700 years ago, there were no glacier at all on this volcano top
- As the climat grew colder during the little ice age, 1300 A. D. to 1850 A. D., a glacier formed over time
- As the climate has been getting warmer after the little ice age, which ended long before much carbon dioxide had been emitted from fossile sources, the glacier has been shrinking again. It has been shrinking for well over a century. But there is still more left of it than was there only 700 years ago, when there was no ice there at all. Fake News says so, so it must be true!
The history of this glacier has no connection whatsoever to carbon-dioxide levels, and this fact is stated explicitly in reports which purport to say the opposite!
But the real stupidity reveals itself in the ceremony recently and the plaque which was left as heavy-metal litter in the wilderness. The plaque says “August 2019 415 ppm CO2”. Well, the year 1320 A. D., when Okjøkull had just started to form at all, had about 280 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What of it? It was hotter then than it is now.
And what of the end of this little ice age, which is supposed to define an ideal, normal and pleasant climate? Well, this wonderful time when glaciers on Iceland reached their maximum is famed for one thing: famine. There were famines 1845 – 1849, 1866 – 1868, in 1891, and 1896 – 1902. These famines triggered mass emigration from Europe to America, especially from Ireland and Sweden, which both lost a substantial part of their surviving population.
This is what a cold climate and an alarmingly low level of carbon dioxide in the air produces: death and destruction! It is, luckily, not our normal climate! And it should not be celebrated.
Läs mer om klimatbluffen (in Swedish)