*Editor's Note: This piece was co-authored by Selvaraj Kandaswamy.
The Cancun global warming and wealth redistribution summit concluded last week, with little to show for two weeks of talking in 5-star hotels and restaurants, other than vague promises that countries will try to do something meaningful about the “threat” of “dangerous” climate change.
Indian Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh nevertheless praised the summit. Rich countries will finance global warming adaptation measures in poor countries, he announced, invoking the good will of “goddesses” of Mexico to achieve some degree of public relations success. (At least they promised, again, to provide some financing … someday … from somewhere.)
Meanwhile, the Northern Hemisphere was being blasted by record cold and snow, as Old Man Winter arrived early. Britain, the United States, other countries and even Cancun were pummeled by record cold, and early snowstorms shut down highways, airports and cities.
In India, at least three people died in the northwestern states of Punjab and Haryana, when night-time temperatures dropped by three degrees Celsius below normal. Cities from Hisar to Amritsar experienced record low temperatures of 3-7 degrees Celsius (5.4-12.6 F). In central England, the BBC reported, 2010 has ushered in one of the coldest starts to winter since 1659.
Is this how rising atmospheric CO2 increases global warming? A closer look at India’s history of climate change provides still more evidence that the “dangerous manmade climate disruption” thesis is backed by very little evidence.
The cold reality is that overall average Indian temperatures have increased by only 0.4 degrees C (0.7 F) over the past century, while northwestern India and parts of south India have witnessed cooling trends. Himalayan glaciers grew to their maximum ice accumulation about 260 years ago, according to the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, and their well-known retreats began as Earth warmed following the 500-year-long Little Ice Age – not because of human CO2 emissions.
Then why on Earth did Minister Ramesh work so hard to promote CO2-induced global warming, by issuing an official report, “Climate Change and India: A sectoral and regional analysis for 2030s,” just before Cancun? Why does he prefer to believe computer-generated scenarios of extreme warming 20-30 years from now, rather than rely on his country’s past climate variations? Is there a “goddess” in his computer who can foretell our future?
Apparently, there is much still to learn from Henry Blanford (1834-1893), the Geological Survey of India’s pioneering scientist, who wrote about Indian monsoons and climate change in Nature magazine in 1891: