Derbyshire at the top of his game:
The whole climate change business is now a zone of hysteria, generating far more noise — mostly of a shrieking kind — than its importance justifies. Opinions about climate change are, as Greg Cochran said, “a mark of tribal membership.” It is also the case, as Greg also said, that “the world is never going to do much about in any event, regardless of the facts.” […] If we did do anything the effect would likely be puny compared to, say, a single major volcanic eruption. Mother Nature laughs at our climate change fretting. […] Consider ice ages for example, like the one we are currently living through.
Ice ages last for tens of millions of years. We don’t know how many there have been. Our planet is 4½ billion years old; we only have clear evidence of ice ages for the last billion years, in which time there have been four ice ages, covering a total of one-third of a billion years. In its “normal” condition — the other two-thirds — the Earth is ice-free all the way up to the poles. […] The present ice age started around 2½ million years ago. Our best guess is that it’ll continue for several million years more. […] Within this ice age there have been ups and downs. The downs are called “glaciations,” the ups — comparatively warm spells, like the one we are currently in — are “interglacials.” […] … The climatic changes here are sensational. At the peak of the last glaciation in 20,000 B.C., the pleasant suburb where I am writing this was buried under an ice sheet several hundred feet thick. It is possible that during one of the earlier ice ages, 700 million years ago, the entire planet was covered with ice, down to the equator.
The dwarfing of scientific concerns to media spin-cycle wavelengths has to be counted among the greatest vulgarizations of our age.