NOVO-OGARYEVO, January 11 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has urged power engineering specialists to fix energy failures without delays...
“In addition to the global warming challenges, we need to address 'global cooling' effects and to do so promptly,” he said.I wonder how many people have thought about the marginal effects of global warming versus global cooling on the food production of countries like Russia, Canada, and even the US. There are enormous tracts of potential farmland that lie right on the bubble: too much cooling and they are taken out of production altogether, a little more warming and they can support a harvest or maybe even two. Just imagine the food production you could get if Siberia or Saskatchewan had an extra degree Celsius or another 5 weeks of growing season.
I remember a book that David Craft gave me a few years back, sort of an "end of the world and the happy-go-lucky days that followed*," which featured a pretty sweet comet that hit the earth and brought about an immediate ice age. Russia's response was to nuke China, because they knew their population would have to move south en masse and they wanted to make sure a billion troublesome Chinese peasant farmers wouldn't get in the way of that necessity.
Too much global cooling has always been worse on global food production than too much warming; the last great period of cooling** has been called "The Calamitous 14th Century," and not just because of the 100 Years War or the Black Death. Those calamities, as bad as they were, simply exacerbated the troubles of a few dozen years where the best news about food production problems was that there were a lot fewer mouths waiting to consume it. Warming, on the other hand, has tended to bring about Viking ravages, which is not too bad so long as you're not a Cowboys fan.
* I think it was called "A Hitchhiker's Guide to Lucifer's Hammer."
** right at the end of the Medieval Warm Period.