Glacier Scientist Claims Global Warming Is ‘Good,’ Says ‘It Doesn’t Matter’ If Man Causes It

One scientist doesn’t dispute that global warming is a legitimate claim, nor does he necessarily dispute that man is causing it. According to Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences and Climate Change at the University of Maine Terry Hughes, “it doesn’t matter” if human activity is causing climate change.

In fact Hughes, a glaciologist, takes it a step farther: global warming is good because it’s much better than, say, global cooling. In fact, Hughes is very explicit that he doesn’t doubt the legitimacy of climate change for a second, the Capital Journal reports:

I never doubted it for an instant. The Earth has not always been like this.

In fact, Hughes feels that humans likely have a lot to do with the shift in our planet’s climate:

It may have given it a nudge. But there are so many natural events that swamp that out, for example, the eruption of Vesuvius, or Krakatoa. The industrial revolution was more gradual, over decades.

Hughes, however, looks back to the 1970’s when he says his colleagues feared a new ice age. But, as Skeptical Science notes, the “predictions” of an impending icy doom were mostly based in the media’s fear-mongering. The majority of peer-reviewed research at the time actually predicted a warming trend spurred by increasing CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Between 1965 and 1979, only 7 papers total predicted a cooling trend, while 42 said that the earth would warm as a result of the increased CO2.

Peer-reviewed research be damned, Hughes complains that his colleagues at NASA and the University of Maine have “urged me to march in lockstep with Albert Gore, the drum major in the parade denouncing global warming as an unmitigated disaster.”

“It’s human nature for them to pound the panic drum,” said the now-retired scientist, who claims that global warming will be “a big plus, in the balance.”

According to Hughes, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will spur agricultural production, especially since the thawing permafrost will open areas of the arctic and subarctic to additional agricultural development through Alaska, Canada, and Russia, the Capital Journal notes:

Thawing permafrost would increase by one-seventh Earth’s landmass open to extensive human habitation. That would be a new frontier in the same way the New World was, and on a similar scale. At the same time, the portion of Earth open to two annual harvests would increase by two-sevenths, Hughes calculates.

Melting sea ice would open the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage to year-round shipping. The cost and time to travel between the West and the Orient would be cut in half. New cities and seaports would spring up to service the sea traffic.

Melting sea ice and the rising sea level, if the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt, would open new fishing grounds that could join in the boom in ag production to feed the planet.

The drastic changes, according to Hughes, would stimulate a new age of advances in technology and engineering as humankind endeavored to overcome the new challenges presented by what most would view as a global catastrophe.

In an unpublished paper, Hughes pushes the theory that reducing carbon dioxide would possibly cause the ice age only a fringe group of his peers fear:

We know that endgame: A sheet of ice thousands of feet thick from south of the Great Lakes across the North Pole almost to the Mediterranean Sea, the situation only 18,000 years ago.

Why is that scenario never stated? Would reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide trigger that calamity?

Is this the new evolution of climate change denial? Will others join Hughes’ march toward the theory that it’s real, and man-made, but the economic benefits outweigh the dangers?

Only time will tell.