Politicians can't talk enough of carbon taxes and credits and cleaner technologies, but are they just fiddling while Rome freezes?

If the climate were a sentient adversary with a will, he might be laughing right now. Because while mankind is doing a Chicken Little worrying about anthropogenic global warming (AGW), nature just might be preparing an attack we least expect: another ice age.

For sure, many Americans feel like we're already in one. While last winter's frigid temperatures - with record cold in many parts of the world (South America experienced its coldest winter in 90 years) - might seem a tough act to follow, Old Man Winter has risen to the occasion. Parts of Alaska have experienced temperatures reaching 78 degrees below zero, North Dakota had record December snow, a Minnesota sled-dog race was actually canceled due to heavy snow, and Ohio ski resorts have called a recent winter storm "a stimulus package for their industry." Yet, critics may point out that this is anecdotal evidence and thus not scientifically significant. This would be true, only, in this case the science happens to coincide with the anecdotes. As Gregory F. Fegel at Pravda.ru tells us:
earth is now on the brink of entering another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.
I'm inclined to believe this. Why? Unlike AGW theory, whose predictions rest on the unprecedented and unproven - a great climatic shift due to man's activities - this is less a prediction and more a relation of natural cycles. It's much as if a man told you in August that, due to human behavior, it was going to be warmer in January while another man just smiled and said it would be colder, same as usual. Whose words would you likely heed? Given that you know about the cycles called seasons, you'd probably break out winter wear and not your swim trunks.

Likewise, the world also experiences much longer "seasons." For example, science has identified 1500-year cycles of warming and cooling. But the ones in question here are even longer and more profound: extended ices ages interrupted by relatively short warm periods. Fegel explains:
"Ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age glacial maximums which each last about 100,000 years, separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years."
This is the pattern, and the old adage "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior" applies to the planet as well as people. Thus, unlike with AGW, it's not a matter of if another ice age will occur, only when.

As to this, experts are divided. Many believe it is only 50-150 years away, while the most optimistic among them say it may still be 1000 or even 10,000 years off. Yet others bear a more ominous message - that it has already begun.

Some may note that these seem much like the dubious predictions of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) fear mongers. Yet one prediction is ironclad: an ice-age world is a truly scary scenario.

Is this statement just the twin brother of AGW alarmism? If it is, it's the good twin. The reality is that despite the dire warnings about the perils of a hotter Earth, such an environment is highly conducive to the flourishing of life. As the Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) points out:
". . . a warmer planet has beneficial effects on food production. It results in longer growing seasons-more sunshine and rainfall-while summertime high temperatures change little. And a warmer planet means milder winters and fewer crop-killing frosts. . . ."
Then there is the matter of CO2 (which, mind you, seems not to precipitate temperature changes but be a result of them; CO2 levels only increase 800 years after the temperature does). While listening to AGW alarmists can give the impression it's a poison akin to cyanide gas, it's actually a vital element of our atmosphere, and higher levels of it encourage the growth of flora. The CGFI explains:
"Based on nearly 800 scientific observations around the world, a doubling of CO2 from present levels would improve plant productivity on average by 32 percent across species."
This is not theory, but fact. It is precisely why botanists have long pumped CO2 into their greenhouses.

In reality, this is all common sense. Plants don't grow in an arctic environment; in fact, most animals don't fare too well, either. Just think about how our tropical jungles teem with millions of organisms while the Arctic has relatively few. And if you had to play Survivorman, you'd probably rather be dropped in the Amazon than the Yukon.

Whenever the next ice age does strike, it will render most of the Northern Hemisphere inhospitable if not uninhabitable. For certain, we won't be able to sustain our large warm-era population using our current warm-era agricultural practices. If we are to have food, it will have to be grown and raised indoors or via some other alternative method. We will have to adapt, which is, of course, a key to surviving any radical environmental change.

But this process takes time, a luxury we may not have. While we might expect a gradual transition from interglacial to glacial maximum, some experts - such as Polish scientist Zbigniew Jaworowski - say it could possibly occur over a single year.

Given this peril, if I really believed in AGW, I'd recommend we follow China's lead and start mainlining coal. My slogan might be "Increase your carbon footprint for the children." Unfortunately, though, it wouldn't work. Perhaps regrettably, it seems CO2 can be used to raise only one thing - taxes.

Selwyn Duke is a columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show, at WorldNetDaily.com, in American Conservative magazine, is a contributor to AmericanThinker.com and appears regularly as a guest on the award-winning, nationally-syndicated Michael Savage Show. Visit his Website.