Alarmists run both hot and cold.
Our dreadful destiny was that we were either going to starve to death or be buried by advancing glaciers in a new Ice Age.
The alleged villain was global cooling, coming faster than anyone had predicted. It wouldn’t be all that long before polar bears would be rummaging through the aisles of Macy’s in Manhattan.
That was the dire warning by Newsweek’s science editor, Peter Gwynne, in the magazine’s April 28, 1975 issue.
“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production — with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth,” explained Gwynne. “The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now,” i.e., 1985.
In fact, the opposite occurred. World food output and per capita world food production both increased steadily in the decades before and after Gwynne’s prophecy of drastic food scarcities.
Gwynne cited top climate experts to support his premise of global cooling: “A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.”
Interestingly, the aforementioned era of alleged global cooling in the Northern Hemisphere, 1945 to 1968, is the exact period that saw unprecedented increases in overall manufacturing in the Northern Hemisphere and, in particular, huge increases in the number of motor vehicles on the roads, as well as huge increases in the size of the fins on an ever-growing number of ever-lengthening Coupe de Villes.
It’s odd that no one at Harvard got a federal grant to study the obvious correlation between the sales of Cadillacs and the well-being of polar bears, the clear link between bigger fins, falling temperatures and more ice between 1945 and 1968.
In any case, Newsweek’s Gwynne saw an avalanche of evidence for global cooling and a quickly growing scientific consensus: “The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.”
On top of citing a report from the National Academy of Sciences about how temperature changes would “force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” Gwynne highlighted a professor who had figured out that we were already a sixth of the way to all becoming ice sculptures: “Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras — and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average.”
Gwynne additionally pointed to the increasingly frigid winters between 1600 and 1900 — “years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.” And, funny, even with no Hummers at the malls to warm things up a bit, the ice on the Thames somehow just melted away.
Nearly a year before Newsweek’s ominous warning about global cooling, Time magazine was beating the same drum, running “Another Ice Age?” in its June 24, 1974 issue.
“However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades,” reported Time. “The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassabdras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.”
The evidence, said Time, was everywhere, “from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving armadillo from the Midwest.”
In addition to the traveling armadillos, reported Time, satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere showed that “the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12 percent in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online