Imagine a new narrative of the Snow White story for our time.
The original story was set in the Black Forest. Near the mountains, the Black Forest was Germany’s holiday playground.
Imagine a new version set in the hill stations of northern India (my country). The hill stations are near the mighty Himalayas, India’s holiday playground.
The original Snow White was shaped by fears of wicked witches. The new one would be shaped by fears of wicked humanity. How are they wicked? By burning fossil fuels and causing dangerous global warming.
This new story would warn of shrinking forests, rising temperatures and disappearing snow in the mountains. It would forecast more frequent and intense severe weather, like heat waves and hurricanes. It would predict multiplying floods and droughts causing agricultural collapse, and wildfires devastating forests. It would paint a frightful picture of melting glaciers causing rapid sea-level increases and displacing millions living near our coasts.
And unlike the original, Snow White in a Warming World would be read not as fairy tale but as fact.
But should it be?
Against the Narrative
According to the logic of climate alarmists, India’s hill stations should be getting warmer and receiving less snowfall. Instead, this year winter arrived early.
In the state of Himachal Pradesh, at the foot of the Himalayas, winter began a month ahead of normal. There were several spells of snowfall, and high-altitude lakes froze. The Lahulu valley was entirely covered with snow. Locals say the snowfall is unprecedented. It left thousands stranded in late September. It’s not merely this year’s weather pattern. The overall climatic history of the country contrasts with alarmists’ claims.
The same has been true in other parts of the world. Last winter was severe in North America and Europe. Temperatures dipped to record lows in many cities. New York saw unprecedented snowfall. Heavy snows disrupted normal life across the continent.
This by itself doesn’t disprove global warming. But it isn’t the narrative of climate alarmists. They claim that current temperature levels have reached new, dangerous heights.
True, the world has been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age in the 17th century. But the warming began long before people started burning enough fossil fuels to affect temperature.
More important, there is no reason to believe the world has become dangerously warm. We also don’t know if or when cooling will resume. After all, earlier warm times ended — like the Medieval Warm Period (about 950–1250), the Roman Warm Period (about 250 B.C. to A.D. 400) and the Minoan Warm Period (around 1300–1200 B.C.). All were warmer than today. And the Holocene Climate Optimum (about 5000–3000 B.C.) was even warmer.
False Inferences and Forecast Failures
Why do climate alarmists’ predictions fail? Because they wrongly assume that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is the control knob for global temperature. Yet their models, based on that assumption, predict two to three times the warming observed.
Contrary to their predictions, there’s been little to no warming in the last 18 years. Indeed, observations from the past two decades showed that their predictions were wrong. They resulted in massive forecast failures.
Actual global temperature level has been stable for the past two decades. It remained largely unaffected by the exponential increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.
No wonder the alarmist math doesn’t add up. No wonder the winter holiday destinations in India and other countries continue to receive abundant snowfall and typical winter temperatures.
Climate alarmism is more fairy tale than fact. Global leaders and academic institutions need to wake up to this reality. They and the public should reject policies based on false claims.
As for the hundreds in India who endured the hot tropical summer, winter holiday destinations look promising: Free from alarmist propaganda, and full of snow!
Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.