Free Markets, Free People

A “Climate Change” Reminder

The year? 1972.

The problem?

Global cooling:

In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada’s wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone’s recollection.

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. 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. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.

Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% 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.

The reason(s)?

Sunspot Cycle. The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth’s surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth’s tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere—thereby altering the earth’s climate. Some observers have tried to connect the eleven-year sunspot cycle with climate patterns, but have so far been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of how the cycle might be involved.

Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin’s Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.

And the doomsday warning:

University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: “I don’t believe that the world’s present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row.”

Science and consensus all agreed. And man? Man was throwing up too much “dust and other particles”. And obviously, during this period there was hardly any industry and we had the most fuel efficient transportation possible.

But in ’72 they had at least a historical appreciation for what had happened in the earth’s past:

The earth’s current climate is something of an anomaly; in the past 700,000 years, there have been at least seven major episodes of glaciers spreading over much of the planet. Temperatures have been as high as they are now only about 5% of the time. But there is a peril more immediate than the prospect of another ice age.

It also appears, at least then, that they thought warmer was probably much better. In 1972, Chicken Little wore a parka.


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5 Responses to A “Climate Change” Reminder

  • And 40 years prior to that: (from Wikipedia…consider the source)

    “The 1936 North American heat wave was the most severe heat wave in the modern history of North America. It took place in the middle of the Great Depression, and it contributed to it, and led to catastrophic human suffering and an enormous economic toll. The death toll exceeded 5,000. Agricultural losses were enormous as well, as crops were destroyed by the high heat and lack of moisture. Many of the state and city record high temperature set during the 1936 heat wave still stand to this day.

    The year 1936 brought significant amounts of extreme weather. The winter was one of the coldest on record, and the summer was one of the hottest.
    The 1930s are remembered as the driest and warmest decade for the US (the Dust Bowl years). But help came in the 1940s with heavy rains.”

  • Just in my lifetime the so called experts have warned of certain doom from; The population bomb, the silent spring, nuclear winter, the china syndrome, the new ice age, the ozone hole, Y2K, the Hot zone, killer bees, global warming, and now global climate change.
    The truth is that scaring people is a good way to get your papers published, and get some research money.  People often buy books that scare them, they like to be frightened.

    • The American Entertainment industry has made a fortune out of scaring people, why shouldn’t guys like Al Gore get some money too?
      I think many people WANT to be scared, I think they seek it out, and this is just another thing they can latch on to.  I’m not sure why, but I think it’s genetic.  It’s almost a survival trait.  If you’re scared of the dark, you won’t wander away from the pack/tribe at night.  The ones who do, get et sometimes (see!  We were right!).  So as a species we get some kind of perverse satisfaction out of thinking doom is right around the corner and for some sick reason we’re not happy if we think it’s not, so we run around finding things to be scared of (Dinosaur killing Asteroids!  Super Novas!, Super Earthquakes!, Super Volcanoes!, Super Tornadoes!, Super Hurricanes!, Nuclear War!,  SWINE FLU!, The Vogon Constructor fleet!)
      I mean, Christianity is almost founded on that premise.  Any minute now the Lord is gonna show up and tell everyone to get out of the pool.
      Global Warming isn’t a lot different, but we can’t buy the Lord off.  Carbon, well, we think we can DO something about that (we’re not sure what, but doing something is extremely important!)

  • And that’s why I’m so sceptical of these models, which have nothing to do with science or empiricism but are about torturing the data till it finally confesses.

  • the ice age  alarmists are no better than the global warming alarmists they claim to despise