I think ^(link) therefore I err

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Global Cooling

George Will takes on the Time magazine article and notes the global cooling scare of the 70s. I've brought it up in conversation before and people vaguely remember it. I'll link to this article because it notes the dates of the scientific magazines when that scare hit. Safety in factoids.
The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster than Even Experts Expect," Aug. 27, 1974) reported that 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." Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World," April 28, 1975) that meteorologists "are almost unanimous" that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that The New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age."

The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" now that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

In fact, the earth is always experiencing either warming or cooling. But suppose the scientists and their journalistic conduits, who today say they were so spectacularly wrong so recently, are now correct. Suppose the earth is warming and suppose the warming is caused by human activity. Are we sure there will be proportionate benefits from whatever climate change can be purchased at the cost of slowing economic growth and spending trillions?

Are we sure the consequences of climate change - remember, a thick sheet of ice once covered the Middle West - must be bad? Or has the science-journalism complex decided that debate about these questions, too, is "over"?