Effect Measure

The 1970s Ice Age myth

The science of climate change is difficult and everyone agrees there are uncertainties and a contested point or two. But some points are asserted over and over again and aren’t really contested. They are just plain false. Yet no matter how often they are refuted they rise again from the dead, true zombie lies. One of the great things about writing on the internet is the ability to link to really excellent pieces and Darksyde over at DailyKos has just such a piece you owe it to yourself to read. It’s not short but not excessively long, either. Just long enough to get the job done. And the job? To put a stake through the heart of this undead right wing talking point:

“In the 70s, all the scientists were predicting a new ice age, so why should we listen to them now.” To hear the usual suspects tell it today, the earth science community was in a fenzied panic, claiming the ice was about the begin another long trek south. Like most zombie lies, this one is based on a few grains of truth, and a whole lotta whoppers:

Despite active efforts to answer these questions, the following pervasive myth arose: there was a consensus among climate scientists of the 1970s that either global cooling or a full-fledged ice age was imminent. A review of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979 shows this myth to be false. The myth’s basis lies in a selective misreading of the texts both by some members of the media at the time and by some observers today. (Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck, The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus,Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society)

If you want the details beneath the details the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society that Darksyde links to above will give it to you, but the Darksyde piece is a shorter version and extremely lucid. It supplies the historical context and cites the evidence that there never was a consensus that cooling from anthropogenic sources was more likely than heating (the majority opinion always favored greenhouse effect heating over particulate effect cooling). Since then, advances in climate science and computer power have abundantly confirmed that view.

While not the main point of the piece, he also touches on a number of other issues, such as the causes of previous Ice Ages and the place of the Milankovitch cycle. To True Deniers, this won’t be convincing. They do not live in a Reality-Based World. But one thing is quite clear. The bogus claim amplified by the Right Wing Megaphone that there was an earlier scientific consensus that human activity would bring forth an Ice Age is a myth.

As always, it’s not the things we don’t know or are uncertain about that are to be feared most. It’s the things we think we know that we’re wrong about.

Comments

  1. #1 K
    November 24, 2008
  2. #2 NJ
    November 24, 2008

    But, but, but, I have a science video from the 1970′s that says an ice age was coming. It’s an episode of In Search Of…. It was hosted by Mr. Spock Leonard Nimoy. It must be true!!!!!

  3. #3 eddie
    November 25, 2008

    Does that mean Larry Niven and Gerry Pournelle are just as much cranks as Orson card?

  4. #4 Sean Case
    November 25, 2008

    Does that mean Larry Niven and Gerry Pournelle are just as much cranks as Orson card?

    Yes.

  5. #5 M. Randolph Kruger
    December 15, 2008

    But you probably arent aware that the Arctic and Antarctic both have had record breaking cold in the last year and three years. I dont need to reiterate the snow in New Orleans and Houston. But you do have to have it cold to have it snow and form ice.

    I recall that the IPPC totally discounted volcanoes in their modeling and especially cyclical cooling. We cant have volcanic activity enter the picture either because that upsets their modeling (and agenda) and its all based upon models.

    I also point out that the Russian climatologists absolutely include it in their models. They also said that we peaked as early as 1996 for GW and we are heading to the deep freeze. But, thats if you think its a cycle and not some pumped up going to save the world in a solar powered sauna. It works to the advantage of the people with the agenda such as Gore who own a lot of shares in the solar and wind companies.

    Then there is the fact that it was -61 in Central Canada last week, oh and the ice is advancing like crazy into the Bering Sea and back out into Baffin Bay. How about them Narwhal Whales that had to be killed because the air hole that they were using was freezing up in Canada? Notice that Hudson Bay is almost completely frozen up. Doesnt happen often…Like about once every hundred years.

    http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/loop/usa-1mo-loop.html
    http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/loop/nhem-1mo-loop.html
    http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/loop/ak-1mo-loop.html
    http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims/loop/asia-1mo-loop.html

    HMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm?

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081214/D952LKP00.html

    Someone PLEASE remind the IPCC that Australia had a terribly cold winter this year and it was -137 as a recorded temp in Antarctica.

    http://www.physorg.com/news90782778.html

    Cold? Sheyit… it must be an anomaly, the models say its going to be cold. So it MUST be cold out there. Cant be that the models are wrong.

    We have only had computers for the last 60 odd years. So can someone please tell me how they can take 150 years of data and come up with a global prediction? Even The Weather Channel dumped its Environmental people. They called it cost cutting. More like its hard to get people to believe its GW when its been colder across N. America than it has been in 30 years, and in 100 years in many places.

    Volcanoes… Sheveluch, Karymsky, Kasatochi, Chaiten, Klyuchevskoy all in eruptive status. So2 in the atmosphere chewing up the clouds. But again, discounted by the IPCC.

    Read the report, discount volcanoes and cyclical warming and cooling. Burn the report to stay warm.

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/gore-helped-found-company-that-deals-in-carbon-offsets

    While you are reading it in the dim light of your solar powered lightbulb, lets shatter some records. SHATTERED I SAY!

    000
    SXUS75 KBOU 151343 RRB
    RERBOU

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER CO
    642 AM MST MON DEC 15 2008

    …NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES IN DENVER FOR DECEMBER 14TH AND 15TH…

    THE LOW TEMPERATURE AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON DECEMBER 14TH
    DROPPED TO -18 AT 635 PM AND NEVER DROPPED BELOW -18 PRIOR TO MIDNIGHT.
    SO THAT ESTABLISHES A NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER 14TH
    BREAKING THE OLD RECORD OF -14 DEGREES SET IN 1901.

    THEN ON DECEMBER 15TH…THE TEMPERATURE BOTTOMED OUT AT -19 DEGREES
    AT 231 AM. THIS IS A NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR DECEMBER 15TH
    BREAKING THE OLD RECORD OF -6 SET IN 1951.

    BENTON

    000
    SXUS75 KBOU 150704 RRB
    RERBOU

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER CO
    1203 AM MST MON DEC 15 2008

    …NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE IN DENVER FOR DECEMBER 14TH AND 15TH…

    THE TEMPERATURE AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT PLUNGED TO -15
    DEGREES AT 552 PM ON THE 14TH BREAKING THE OLD RECORD OF -14 DEGREES
    SET IN 1901. THE TEMPERATURE CONTINUED TO FALL AND BOTTOMED OUT AT
    -18 DEGREES AT 635 PM.

    THE 15TH STARTED WITH A NEW RECORD . AT 1200 AM THE TEMPERATURE WAS
    -13 DEGREES SETTING A NEW RECORD LOW FOR THE DAY. THE OLD RECORD WAS
    -6 SET IN 1951. A LATER STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED IF THE TEMPERATURE
    DROPS ANY FURTHER.

    CLB

  6. #6 eddie
    January 1, 2009

    Thanys for that M.

    Sinbad’s Bullshit Detector describes that as an Inductive Fallacy.

  7. #7 Jonah
    December 11, 2009

    I just don’t understand how a TAX will save us, if the earth is warming or cooling why is a frigging tax going to save us?