Monday, January 15, 2007

Which is it: Global Warming or Cooling—or Neither?

The earth warmed about 1 degree F. in the past century. But even this small total is not a steady trend but rather the sum of several short-term warming and cooling cycles of 20 to 30 years or so. These cycles are simply too small to indicate global climate change, despite the hype attached to them. Pronouncements of climate cooling 20 or 30 years ago sound very much like the arguments made today for global warming. For example:

"The world's climatologists are agreed," said Science Digest (Feb. 1973), “that we must prepare for the next ice age."

The journal Science (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation."

"Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect," headlined the Christian Science Monitor (Aug. 27, 1974). It said glaciers "have begun to advance," "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter," and "the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool."

“A major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable,” said The New York Times (May 21, 1975), adding that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

On Sept. 14, 1975 The New York Times said global cooing "may mark the return to another ice age."

On July 24, 1974 Time Magazine published an article entitled "Another Ice Age?" Here's the first paragraph: "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."

Reminds me of the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

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