Global Cooling: Environmental Nightmare Scenario of the 1970s

Neatorama has many posts about global warming, which is generally agreed upon by today's scientists as real and a cause for concern.

But did you know that in the 1970s, the concern was the exact opposite? Here's a story about global cooling:

INTRODUCING Newsweek's Aug. 13 cover story on global warming "denial," editor Jon Meacham brings up an embarrassing blast from his magazine's past: an April 1975 story about global cooling, and the coming ice age that scientists then were predicting. Meacham concedes that "those who doubt that greenhouse gases are causing significant climate change have long pointed to the 1975 Newsweek piece as an example of how wrong journalists and researchers can be." But rather than acknowledge that the skeptics may have a point, Meacham dismisses it.

"On global cooling," he writes, "there was never anything even remotely approaching the current scientific consensus that the world is growing warmer because of the emission of greenhouse gases."

Really? Newsweek took rather a different line in 1975. Then, the magazine reported that scientists were "almost unanimous" in believing that the looming Big Chill would mean a decline in food production, with some warning that "the resulting famines could be catastrophic." Moreover, it said, "the evidence in support of these predictions" -- everything from shrinking growing seasons to increased North American snow cover -- had "begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it."

Link: Boston Globe Editorial | The Article at Extreme Mortman | Newsweek's Global Warming Cover Story - via Scribal Terror


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Scientific rigor isn't about taking a vote. If it were, we'd still be working off Caloric Theory. A lot of absolute geniuses of the day (Lavoiser, Laplace, Carnot, et al) thought it was correct. But it stayed a THEORY and people continued testing it until it was eventially disproven and replaced with modern Thermodynamics.

The global warming cult has gotten to point of fascism; if you express skeptism, they call you bad names and try to destroy your credentials.
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded: "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations".

The basic conclusions reached by the IPCC have been endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is the only scientific society that officially rejects these conclusions.
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As an engineer who develops emission control systems for a living, I get a bit piqued when folks like 'andrew' confuse carbon dioxide with "pollution". Carbon Dioxode is (along with water vapor) the natural product of PERFECT COMBUSTION. Every species in the animal kindom creates CO2 and exhales it on every breath. Your own CO2 emissions are constant unless you "off" yourself.

If you are burning ANYTHING that contains any carbon atoms, you are going to make CO2, no matter how good your pollution controls are! The only ways to get rid of CO2 are to spend MORE energy making elemental carbon out out it (essentially turning it back into coal -- gobs of energy needed for this!) or compressing it (more energy) and sequestering it into tanks or deep underground (more energy).

Confusing CO2 with real pollutants like hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, aldehydes, &c. minimizes the effects of these and just marks one as somebody who never took (or passed!) chemistry. If you want yourself taken seriously be people who know better, it's a good idea to stop doing this.

Analyze the issue like a trained scientist or engineer. Concurrence does not imply causality. People are looking at one tiny (miniscule!) little sliver of time (the 200 years since the start of the Industrial Revolution) on an earth that has been heating and cooling (in swings much longer & at often at MUCH faster rates!) for an estimated 4.5 BILLION years. Do that math! 200/4,500,000,000 = 0.0000044%! The earth's temperature has almost never been flat; it's always been in a cycle up or down.

It is fine to study and learn more, but there's no reason to go crazy on the advice of people like AL Gore -- he's a lawyer and politician with zero training in science or the scientific method. Everyone is free to have hunches, but to treat a theory extrapolated from such a tiny (in the epoch of time) piece of data as fact and threaten and name-call skeptics is a different matter... it's poor science, frankly.

Oh, I'm not implying that there is a "vast global warming conspiracy" but I think almost all of the leaders in the movement have either money or power to gain. The loyal "foot soldier" masses are largely sincere, yet scientifically-naive environmentally conscious folk (Ed Begley types). I don't condemn these people, but miss no opportunity to attmept to educate them as to their folly.

Straight talk from Sid.
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I think it's a tragedy that the entire issue has become so politicized. Considering that 90% of the time, you can peg someone's political party (in the U.S. at least) by their stance on global warming (climate change, whatever).

What bothers me most about the anti-global warming crowd is that many of them use the evidence against it as a blanket excuse not to care about pollution and fire up the smokestacks. On the other hand, my biggest gripe with pro global warming types is sensationalism and general cluelessness in their arguments. I would almost hazard that those with a clue who could argue for global warming stay quiet in the fear they'll get lumped in with people like Sheryl "one square of toilet paper" Crow.
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