Need a hint? Its Bowie.

OK then, if you didn’t get it, the answer is “Time”. Bowie meant the abstract concept; this post is about the magazine, whose current cover is a polar bear wondering which floe to jump to next, with the headline Global Warming: Be Worried. Be Very Worried. Whilst I agree that people should be worried (in the sense of making efforts to reduce CO2 emissions; especially in he US), Time seems to be going over the top… Polar Ice Caps Are Melting Faster Than Ever… More And More Land Is Being Devastated By Drought… Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities… By Any Measure, Earth Is At … The Tipping Point. The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame. Why the crisis hit so soon–and what we can do about it. You have to watch a brief advert to see much past that, and I’m not really sure it was worth it.

The point I suppose is that getting your science from Time is obviously a bad idea. You’re better off with RealClimate or wikipedia. Although as an indication of where some peoples opinions are leading, it may be worth something.

Meanwhile JunkScience (I don’t usually go there… I blame G) dug out Another Ice Age? from their archive: Monday, Jun. 24, 1974. So I should thank JS, just for once: this particular one isn’t on my slowly-getting-out-of-date list at http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/. Though if you follow the misc non-science link you’ll find some Newsweek and NY Times stuff. Curiously, it begins 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. Which could easily have been taken from its recent Global Warming story… That article includes some blurred refs to Milankovitch forcing and 11-y solar cycles; and also the hypothesis that aerosols might be to blame. In other words, there was no good explanation for the observed trend then (and Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F gets the trend wrong: it was nothing like as big as that), and they knew it: Some scientists like Donald Oilman, chief of the National Weather Service’s longrange-prediction group, think that the cooling trend may be only temporary. But all agree that vastly more information is needed about the major influences on the earth’s climate. Which is rather different to today.

The 1974 article is far more tentative. That may reflect a more measured journalism of those days; but its also consistent with the state of the science now and then.

Comments

  1. #1 Jon
    2006/03/29

    “The point I suppose is that getting your science from Time is obviously a bad idea.”

    William is that ‘quote’ intended for those who read the magazine, or those who measure Time in billions of years.

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