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‘Systemic climate racism’: Social justice warriors are now pushing scientific reason to extinction levels

By Melanie Phillips

What do you get when you cross “systemic racism” with “climate catastrophe”? You get Cecilia Martinez.

The Biden administration has appointed Martinez, executive director and co-founder of the Centre for Earth, Energy and Democracy, to serve as senior director for environmental justice at the Council on Environmental Quality. In a press release issued by the Equitable and Just National Climate Platform, Martinez said:

Unless intentionally interrupted, systemic racism will continue to be a major obstacle to creating a healthy planet. The only path forward is to design national climate policies that are centred on justice.

Good news for intersectional polar bears! Doubtless, those apocalyptic floods, tornadoes and rising sea levels that we’re told signal imminent global extinction are being caused by all that privileged breathing committed by white society projecting so much white supremacist carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Talking of which, we read that melting ice sheets confirm the “worst-case climate warming scenarios” set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As The Times (£)  reports:

A total of 28 trillion tonnes of ice has been lost between 1994 and 2017 and the annual rate of melting has increased by 65 per cent over that period.

In the 1990s the rate was 0.8 trillion tonnes per year and that increased to 1.3 trillion tonnes in 2017. Ice melting raises sea levels, increases the risk of flooding to coastal communities and threatens to destroy wildlife habitats.

The increase in ice loss has been caused by the rising average temperature of the atmosphere and oceans, which have warmed by 0.26C and 0.12C per decade respectively since 1980. The study, published in The Cryosphere, is the most comprehensive analysis of ice loss around the world to date, according to the researchers from the University of Edinburgh, University College London and the University of Leeds.

… The biggest losses were from Arctic sea ice, which reduced by 7.6 trillion tonnes over the 23-year period, and Antarctic ice shelves, down by 6.5 trillion tonnes.

Erm… since ice displaces its own weight in water, melting sea ice can’t raise sea levels. As is hastily acknowledged — with another of those, uh, ingenious climate-catastrophist explanations:

As sea ice is floating it does not contribute significantly to sea level rise when it melts. However, there is an indirect impact because open water is darker and absorbs more solar radiation that was previously reflected back into space by the ice.

Ah. Got that? But if you’re still scratching your head, read this on Everything Climate, the new spin-off created from the invaluable WattsUpWithThat website in its non-teenage rebellion against the extinction of scientific reason in the Biden White House:

Antarctica and Greenland are indeed losing ice mass, which is corroborated by a modest rise in annual sea levels.  However, this has been the case since the end of the last glacial maximum between 20 thousand and 19 thousand years ago.  At the height of this glacial period, gigantic ice sheets over a mile thick, covered all of the Artic, Canada and the US from approximately Seattle to New York City.  These tremendous ice sheets also covered much of Northern Europe and Asia as well as regions in Southern South America.  Antarctica and Greenland also had more extensive and deeper ice sheets than today.

Since the last glacial maximum, over the past 20 thousand years, virtually all of these ice sheets have melted away, leaving only Antarctica and Greenland and thousands of relatively tiny glaciers still in existence.  This is normal melting during interglacial periods that generally last approximately 10 to 30,000 years. The last four have averaged about 20 thousand years. (we are approximately 17,000 years into our current interglacial period).  This melting has occurred during each of the past 11 interglacial periods.  In fact, over the past 800,000 years, approximately 60-75% of the time the world has had extensive ice sheets over the Northern and Southern reaches of the North and South hemispheres.  Which means that about 25-40% of the time over the past 800,000 years earth has experienced the warm climate that we’ve experienced over the past 11,000 years.

This interglacial melting has caused an increase in sea levels. The deglaciation spanned approximately 14,000 years, starting about 20,000 years ago.  The vast majority of these ice sheets disappeared in the period between 12,000 and 6.8-6,000 years ago, when the earth experienced warming several degrees greater than we experience today.  In the past 8,000 years, the world has been generally cooling a bit, with intermittent spikes of warming and cooling.  Starting around 1450 the world experienced a significant decline in global temperatures that lasted about 400 years, ending in about 1850.  This period is called the Little Ice Age.  Since the end of the Little Ice Age, the world has been warming and the remaining massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica continue to experience fractional melting as a result.

… Despite the lack of long-term historical data, short term data contradicts theories of rapidly increasing ice mass loss due to increases in atmospheric CO2 levels. Thirty years ago, Antarctica was barely losing ice mass, and this remains so. In 2019 and 2020, media outlets began claiming the Antarctic ice cap is melting six times faster than 30 years ago.“Six times” almost no ice loss remains almost no ice loss. When recent ice loss measurements are compared to the full entire Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, the loss is so small that it is barely detectable.

Writing in the journal Nature, scientists at Columbia University and the University of Victoria, British Columbia report: “The Antarctic continent has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite a monotonic increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases”. The scientists also observe that over the past several decades, “Antarctic sea ice area has modestly expanded.”

Sea-level measurements also contradict claims that Antarctic ice loss threatens coastal flooding. NASA satellite instruments, with readings dating back to 1993, show global sea level rising at a pace of merely 1.2 inches per decade, which is not significantly different than sea-level rise from the mid-1800s to the 1950s, a period prior to the 1 part per 10,000 increase in atmospheric CO2, which is otherwise considered the cause of the melting. 

Summary: NASA and subsequent media stories have said this about Greenland and Antarctic ice: “The two regions have lost 6.4 trillion tons of ice in three decades; unabated, this rate of melting could cause flooding that affects hundreds of millions of people by 2100.” However, that is an imperceptible amount relative to the vast amounts of Greenland and Antarctic ice mass. As shown in the right graph in Figure 1, below, the total ice loss each year is a nearly undetectable three ten-thousandths of one percent (0.0003%) of the Antarctic ice mass. Despite statements of certainty, this loss is well within the range of measurement error.

All nonsense, eh? Because everyone knows that the world’s ice is melting through systemic climate racism.