Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Monday, January 11, 2010

Climate change and industrial activity

Could the current cold weather be partly related to a downturn in fossil-fuel-powered manufacturing and transportation? I only ask because I seem to recall reading/hearing that big freezes also happened in the 70s, and after both World wars.

8 comments:

Nick Drew said...

interesting

my immediate question would be: was industrial production down in the closing years of WW2 ? (pure ignorance on my part)

my broad assumption would have been that it picked up - at least on the Allied side - to the point where every bit of productive capacity was flat out: & that would have included wholly new plants as well as pre-war capacity

Sackerson said...

Hi Nick. Yes, I think it was down for a while, because factories had to change back from making armaments & munitions, also there was suddenly a surplus of trucks, jeeps & motorbikes, and Europe was generally broke hence the Marshall Plan and our desperate attempt to grow groundnuts in Africa. We were all on our backsides - some of my time as a v. young child was spent with my mother and other families in a Nissen hut heated by burning rubbish an an empty white spirit drum; returning soldiers, finding homes bombed-out, squatted in decommissioned airbases, even caves in Staffordshire. The machine pretty much stopped.

hatfield girl said...

A bit o/t but those caves in Staffordshire were still occupied in the 'eighties (1980s that is). I was taken to see them by friends who lived in Dudley.

Nick Drew said...

OK of course: I was being dull

Sackerson said...

HG: not at all o/t - I quite fancy a cave and we might need them yet!

Paddington said...

The cold snaps are merely oscillations, and they don't react that fast. The trend is still upward, and would be, even if we all died tomorrow, judging from CO2 levels in ice cores.

Paddington said...

Actually, if the climate models are correct at all, we will all see much bigger temperature swings in both directions. One of the most worrisome things is that the Arctic melt might divert the Gulf Stream, which would mean a MUCH colder England.

Sackerson said...

I was merely speculating about proximate causes or triggers. I am not a "climate change denier", but since the Earth has previously been both far hotter and far colder, I think human influence may have been overstated. There's still strong reasons for us to use resources with care - apart from anything else it means saving money.