Written by Geraldo Luís Lino, special to Climate Change Dispatch reposted at WUWT by request.
The word resilience can be described as the capacity of resistance, elasticity and recovery from physical shocks. This is a property that Mankind has always demonstrated to possess while facing all kinds of threats to its evolution, and this is also the third and most important keyword for the needed reassessment of the climate debate.
Despite some transitory interruptions in the civilizational process and a lot of setbacks and tragedies of all dimensions, the intrinsically creative, associative and synergetic nature of our species have granted Mankind the evolving capacity (in terms of knowledge and socio-political-economic relations) and the resilience needed for overcoming all sorts of challenges so far: adverse climatic conditions, food scarcity, epidemic and pandemic diseases, natural hazards, conflicts of all kinds, bad rulers, short-sighted leaders, and with unfortunate frequency, irrationality pandemics fed by exotic ideas disconnected from any coherent process of understanding of the universal laws – like environmentalism and its standard bearer the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory.
It is worth reminding that our species appeared in the penultimate Ice Age somewhere in Africa and set out from there to conquer all the continents under much more unfavorable climatic conditions than those prevailing in the Holocene period, the last 12,000 years. It was under the harsh conditions prevailing during most of that time span that our forebears developed the “physical” and “social” technologies needed not only for their mere survival, but also for the advent of civilized life: fire, tools, sophisticated hunting weapons, the taming of animals, articulated language, capacity for group action and even profound abstract concepts like the intuition of a principle of universal order and a refined artistic sense (exemplified by the magnificent paintings in the Altamira and Lascaux caves and by the 35,000 year-old flutes made out of animal bones found in Southeast Germany). Only agriculture had to wait for the onset of our warm interglacial the Holocene.
So, with that 150,000-plus years inheritance of accumulated knowledge, Mankind has no shortage of conditions for facing any environmental scenarios created by the natural oscillations of the climate dynamics, with all the temperature, humidity, ice cover, sea level and other changes that may be expected in a foreseeable future. The keyword is ensuring the needed resilience for such capacity – instead of sacrificing the wellbeing and progress perspectives of much of the world’s population for an irrational obsession with a tiny rising of the thermometers and tide gauges.
More than that: for the first time ever, Mankind holds the necessary and sufficient body of knowledge and technical and physical resources for providing the virtual totality of the material needs for a population even larger than the existing one, opening the possibility of universalizing – in an enduring and entirely sustainable way – the general wellbeing levels enjoyed by the most advanced countries, in terms of water, sanitation, energy, transportation and communications infrastructure, health and education services and other conquests of modern civilized life. Despite the fallacious neo-malthusian/environmentalist arguments against such perspective, the main obstacles to its fulfillment in less than two generations are political and mental, not physical or environmental.
On the other hand, it is ironic that cooling conditions have ever been much more troublesome for Mankind, specially in what regards to human health and agricultural impacts, traveling and infrastructure disruptions and many other negative effects. Thus, we are the first generation in History who are worried about the warming of the planet – a condition that has always proven to be favorable to most of the biosphere (indeed, before Climatology was converted into a “politicized science,” the warmest phases of the interglacial periods were named “climatic optima”).
In fact, there are some indications that the next two decades or so will bring a cooling trend, due to the coincidence of a cycle of weak solar activity and cool phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and other cycles of sea surface temperatures, a combination that helps to explain much of the temperature oscillation during the last century. [1, 2, 3]
It is an statistically-proven fact that the natural catastrophes (including the climatic ones) usually cause much more physical harm and human suffering in the less developed countries that are less provided with modern infrastructure, including efficient public services of all kinds. Hence, the most intelligent and efficient way of increasing Mankind’s overall resilience for facing the inexorable climate changes – warm or cool, dry or wet climates – is by means of raising its general wellbeing and progress to the levels permitted by modern science and technology, and not by their restriction or virtual “freezing” – condition that would arise from the insane “de-carbonization” of the economy advocated by the followers of the AGW cult.
Resilience means the redundance and flexibility of the societies’ physical conditions of survival and functioning, allowing them to reduce their overall vulnerability to the climate oscillations and other potentially dangerous natural phenomena. Such requisites include things like the availability of genetically modified seeds for all climatic conditions, the redundance of food sources, food storage capacity, transportation, energy and communications infrastructure, and many others.
A recent demonstration of such concept was provided by the disruption of the international air traffic by the ash clouds from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökul volcano. In that case, the flexibility that allowed Europe to cope with the troubles caused by the closing of its air space was partially provided by the continent’s dense and efficient land transportation grid.
By the way, the enormous disturbances caused by an eruption that barely reached 4 in the logarithmic Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 8 points should call into question the criteria of choice for the setting of Mankind’s collective efforts agenda. We can only think about the potential impacts of eventual mega-eruptions like the also Icelandic Laki’s in 1783 (VEI 6) or the Indonesia’s Tambora in 1815 (VEI 7), on a much more densely populated, urbanized and interdependent world, with its vulnerable transport, energy and communication grids. 
Obviously, phenomena like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes cannot be controlled, but a better knowledge about their causes and monitoring systems capable of detecting their forewarning signals could contribute quite a lot to mitigate their destructive impacts. In some countries there are promising researches aimed at improving this detection capacity with the help of terrestrial and space sensors. However, the scale of these initiatives is still limited and the same happens with the needed coordination of efforts at the international level (all such initiatives would also benefit from a tiny fraction of the concern and resources that have been wasted with the false emergency of the AGW).
In physical terms, Mankind’s wellbeing and resilience will depend pretty much on a meaningful increase of the per capita energy use by the less developed populations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, that will have to be multiplied by factors of 3 to 6 in order to reach at least the current levels of the former Soviet countries (about half of the OECD countries’). Such a goal cannot be reached without a large scale increase of the use of coal, oil and natural gas, which already provide over 80% of the world energy consumption and two thirds of the electricity generation  – and for which there won’t be large scale replacements until the second half of the century at least (the enhanced use of nuclear energy will also play an important role).
As for their physical availability, the recurring and pessimistic “Peak Oil” reports must be taken with the due grain of salt. The recent discoveries of ultra-deep oil deposits off the Brazilian coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, besides the promising development of the technologies for exploring the vast and widespread reserves of shale gas, suggest that the alleged limits to the hydrocarbon production expansion are not at sight yet.
By the same token, the possibility of exploring ultra-deep abiotic hydrocarbons must be considered. Although it is contested by the Western mainstream geosciences thinking, the inorganic formation of hydrocarbons is admitted by Russian and Ukrainian scientists since the mid-20th century and certain non-sedimentary oil deposits have been successfully explored in those countries for decades.  Such promising possibilities were reinforced by experimental evidences of hydrocarbon formation in the Earth’s upper mantle, in recent experiments performed in the US and Sweden. [7, 8]
All these developments make still more relevant and urgent the neutralization of the AGW scare for the guidance of long-term political strategies.
Granted, the dismantling of the vast array of political, scientific, economic, mediatic and other interests grouped around the AGW scare is not an easy task, but it is fundamental for the future of Civilization and its improvement. Fortunately, the inconsistencies of the “warmist” scenario, the unscientific practices of many of its champions and the physical/economic unfeasibility of the “de-carbonization” agenda are becoming increasingly evident to the general public, as well as the quarrels among developed and developing countries on who should bear the brunt of the sacrifices to implement it and who should pay the bill. Besides that, an increasing number of undeterred scientists and motivated laymen all over the world have taken into their hands the crucial task of returning the discussion about climate change to the place it should never have been stolen from: the ground of real science, common sense and the common good.
As a way of conclusion, I share with the readers the inspiring words of two great scientists who have excelled in the struggle against the AGW irrationality and, above all, in the battle for giving back real science its due place in the guidance of the human affairs.
First, let’s hear Richard Lindzen in a 2001 testimony to the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, speaking about the really important priorities concerning the climate issues:
“The question of where do we go from here is an obvious and important one. From my provincial perspective, an important priority should be given to figuring out how to support and encourage science (and basic science underlying climate in particular) while removing incentives to promote alarmism. The benefits of leaving future generations a better understanding of nature would far outweigh the benefits (if any) of ill thought out attempts to regulate nature in the absence of such understanding.” 
Then, let’s call on Freeman Dyson, who reminds us of human nature itself and of our universal mission, both quite forgotten in these gloomy times of cultural pessimism and inconsequent and opportunistic catastrophism:
“Boiled down to one sentence, my message is the unboundedness of life and the consequent unboundedness of human destiny. As a working hypothesis to explain the riddle of our existence, I propose that our universe is the most interesting of all possible universes, and our fate as human beings is to make it so.” 
1. Luiz Carlos Baldicero Molion, “Aquecimento global, El Niños, manchas solares, vulcões e Oscilação Decadal do Pacífico” (Global Warming, El Niños, Sunspots, Volcanos and Pacific Decadal Oscillation), Revista Climanálise, Ano 3, No. 1., 1-5 (2006), http://climanalise.cptec.inpe.br/~rclimanl/revista/pdf/Artigo_Aquecimento_0805.pdf.
2. Joseph D’Aleo, “US Temperatures and Climate Factors since 1895” (2008), http://icecap.us/images/uploads/US_Temperatures_and_Climate_Factors_since_1895.pdf.
3. Horst Borchert, “Südpazifische Oszillation und Kosmische Strahlung” (South Pacific Oscillation and Cosmic Radiation) (2010), http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/SO_Borchert.pdf.
4. See the Wikipedia entry for “Volcanic Explosivity Index.”
5. See the International Energy Agency statistics page, http://www.iea.org/stats/index.asp.
6. See the session “Abiotic deep origin of hydrocarbons: Myth or reality?” of the 33rd International Geological Congress (Oslo, 2008), http://www.cprm.gov.br/33IGC/Sess_182.html.
7. Anton Kolesnikov, Vladimir G. Kutcherov and Alexander F. Goncharov, “Methane-derived hydrocarbons produced under upper-mantle conditions”, Nature Geoscience 2, 566-570 (2009).
8. Carnegie Institute for Science, “Hydrocarbons in Deep Earth?”, 7/27/2009, http://carnegiescience.edu/news/hydrocarbons_deep_earth.
9. Richard Lindzen, “Testimony of Richard S. Lindzen before the Senate Environment Public Works Committee on 2 May 2001”, http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/Testimony/Senate2001.pdf.
10. Freeman J. Dyson, Infinite in all Directions. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1988.
Geraldo Luís Lino is a Brazilian geologist and author of the book “The Global Warming Fraud: How a Natural Phenomenon was Converted into a False World Emergency” (published in 2009 in Portuguese and just published in Spanish in Mexico).