Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Apocalypse Then

Dale Courtney has this posted over on Right Mind. It's a Newsweek article from April 28, 1975, discussing the dangers of global COOLING. Click and read the whole article. It's very amusing, especially the part about PURPOSEFULLY MELTING the arctic ice cap!!



I'm old enough to remember all that hooey. I also remember another, similar Armageddon scenario promulgated by astronomer Carl Sagan: the "Nuclear Winter" (again, to promote a political agenda, in this case, nuclear disarmament). Hopefully, we'll never put his theory to the test, but during Gulf War I, Sagan predicted a "year without a summer" environmental disaster following the Iraqis setting fire to the Kuwaiti oil fields in Gulf War I. On January 22, 1991, Sagan debated atmpospheric physicist Fred Singer on Nightline. Singer said that the smoke would be washed out of the atmosphere in a few days by the rain. Singer was proven right a shortly thereafter. Sagan later admitted in his book The Demon-Haunted World that he was wrong about the Kuwaiti oil fires and used that as an example of how science is a learning process.

Apparently, people are more gullible these days and "global warming" has gained much more widespread acceptance than the old "global cooling" theory ever did. The environmentalists have learned to control the message better, suppress and marginalize dissent, and have found willing allies in the media and Hollywood in the propaganda campaign this time around.

By the way, Dr. Singer believes global warming is natural:
The scientific world had known about the sunspot connection to Earth’s climate for some 400 years. British astronomer William Herschel claimed in 1801 that he could forecast wheat prices by sunspot numbers, because wheat crops were often poor when sunspots (and thus solar activity) were low. Not only did the Maunder minimum (1645-1715) coincide with the coldest period of the Little Ice Age, the Sporer minimum (1450–1543) aligned with the second-coldest phase of that period.
Click on the link and read the entire paper. It's very convincing.

We must be very careful in using the words "scientific consensus." At one time, the scientifc consensus was that the Earth was flat, that heavier objects fell faster than light ones, that heavenly bodies rotated around the Earth, and that there was no such thing as continental drift. I'm sure a hundred years from now, many of the things we currently regard as scientific "truth" will be regarded as being just as absurd as the examples I mentioned are today. We would be very rash to act on something that could turn out to be similarly fallacious.

3 comments:

Satanic Mechanic said...

I remember Carl Sagan's doom and gloom speeches in his books and on his television series "Cosmos".
I remember in the 80's the idea of a nuclear winter after the fallout of a nuclear war was accepted as "fact" by the media. During the 90's, this was found false.

Tom Forbes said...

A good discussion along similar lines is going on here

Dale said...

Tom,

I'm convinced that we are in a natural warming cycle, and there's nothing we can (nor should) do about it.

See: Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from the Canadian Arctic.

best,
Dale