Ignoring History Means Choosing Windmills Over Whales

While the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, which erupted on January 15, may be causing a spike in temperatures, there’s nothing historic about what’s happening. The Earth has been this hot before…and hotter—and it wasn’t that long ago either.

Before getting to historic hot spells, it’s worth noting that the volcano may not actually cause a big rise in global temperature over the long run. It’s true that the volcano’s eruption spewed a lot of water vapor into the atmosphere.

However, recent eruptions have also demonstrated volcanoes’ planet-cooling powers. In 1991, when Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines blew its top, aerosols spewed by this mighty volcanic blast lowered global temperatures by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degrees Celsius) for at least one year. Tonga expelled approximately 441,000 tons (400,000 metric tons) of sulfur dioxide, about 2 percent of the amount spewed by Mount Pinatubo during the 1991 eruption.

Image: Another dead whale on the East Coast. YouTube screen grab (cropped).

Basically, we tend not to know in advance what a volcano will do. What we do know is that the media will hysterically opine about climate change records. Except that they’ll be wrong (as always). There’s nothing exceptional about the current heat we’re experiencing:

  • Death Valley, California, holds the world-record temperature high: A whopping 134 F measured on July 10, 1913.
  • North Dakota hit its historic high of 121 F in 1936.
  • Montana experienced its highest temperature of 117F in 1937.
  • Despite being the USA’s warmest state, Florida’s record high is only 108 F, and that occurred in 1931.

Headlines from the 1930s bespeak incredible temperature spikes. Here are just some examples:

So, it’s always and often been hot. And sometimes it’s cold, which is also deadly. Even the leftist Lancet has admitted that “Cold caused 17 times more deaths than heat in the 13 countries studied.”

What’s really important isn’t that the Earth has extremes of hot and cold. What’s important is that fossil fuel has enabled people to avoid the worst consequences of those extremes:

Over the past hundred years, annual climate-related deaths have declined by more than 96%.

In the 1920s, the death count from climate-related disasters was 485,000 on average every year. In the last full decade, 2010-2019, the average was 18,362 dead per year—or 96.2% lower.

In the first year of the new decade, 2020, the number of dead was even lower at 14,885 — 96.9% lower than the 1920s average.

For 2021, the death count was even lower at 7,705 or 98.4% lower. For 2022, which is now complete, we see a continuation of this very low number of deaths: 11,873 or 97.6% lower than the 1920s average.

You heard a lot about some deadly climate catastrophes in 2022, but actually the top two deadliest, you probably haven’t even heard about.

2,465 died in Uganda in a July famine, and 2,035 died in from heavy rains in India over the summer. Pakistan’s monsoon floods are third at 1,739 dead.

If fossil fuels are no longer used, what will replace them? One alternative that is being seriously pursued involves offshore windmills. These are proving to be both environmental and economic failures.

But there is a side story that portends even worse consequences. Dead whales have been washing up on East Coast beaches in unprecedented numbers, with sixty-two known whale deaths in nine months. Sadly, the whales dying are Right Whales, and there are only 340 left.

A film titled Thrown to the Wind documents excessive loud, high-decibel sonar “emitted by wind industry vessels when measured with state-of-the-art hydrophones. And it shows that the wind industry’s increased boat traffic is correlated directly with specific whale deaths.”

Greenpeace, however, which was formed in significant part to protect whales, is not worried:

The oceans director of Greenpeace told USA Today that groups attempting to link offshore wind to whale deaths are part of a “cynical disinformation campaign.”


When you detonate massive explosives, repeatedly drive steel piles into the ocean floor with a hydraulic hammer and blast high-decibel sonar mapping signals underwater, you’re going to harm animals that rely on sound to orient themselves in the ocean.

It wasn’t that long ago when environmentalists were fighting the U.S. Navy over concerns of adverse sonar on whales and dolphins.

While no one is saying that the Navy is disobeying their current policy, the new ruling states that the measures currently in place are not doing enough to protect the sea’s creatures and that new rules and guidelines need to be put in place – though they do not mention what exactly those rules might entail, or when they might be rolled out.

Back then, environmentalists demanded action:

Environmentalists want the Navy to limit explosions in sonar in areas where they know marine mammals congregate at certain times of the year. But that would likely mean fewer exercises closer to shore, though the Navy resists moving exercises farther out to sea.

But now that excessive underwater noise is part and parcel of one of their pet projects, all concerns about cetaceans seem to vanish.

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