There have been a flurry of “let’s get serious” articles on global warming. It is good to see that someone is giving some press to the fact that we just don’t know. The interesting thread is that two of these articles mention the ice age scare of the 1970’s.
First is George Will at RealClearPolitics.
Eighty-five percent of Americans say warming is probably happening, and 62 percent say it threatens them personally. The National Academy of Sciences says the rise in the Earth’s surface temperature has been about one degree Fahrenheit in the past century. Did 85 percent of Americans notice? Of course not. They got their anxiety from journalism calculated to produce it. Never mind that one degree might be the margin of error when measuring the planet’s temperature. To take a person’s temperature, you put a thermometer in an orifice or under an arm. Taking the temperature of our churning planet, with its tectonic plates sliding around over a molten core, involves limited precision.
Second, we have Charles Moore at the Daily Telegraph who makes an excellent connection between those that would impose greater state control in the name of climate control.
Once upon a time, pollution was something the Left almost approved of. New dams and factories and mines gave more power to the organised working class, and had to be rushed forward to replace the feudal societies which socialism overthrew. Worker control of the means of production was good; therefore production itself was good, and pollution was ignored on the you-can’t-make-an-omelette-without-breaking-eggs principle.
To those who like the idea that the state can control everything, it must have been a constant source of irritation that the weather could not be subject to five-year plans and government targets. If you accept climate change theories, it can be, indeed it must be. Without global governmental action, the doctrine teaches, we shall all perish.
Third, there is Mathew Parris at the Times of London, who speaks of the religous faith of the global warming crowd. I don’t agree with his tone, but he does make a point.
The prophets of climate change are their inheritors, reclothing new belief in the metaphor of the old, reconnecting it to those ancient drives. The Archbishop of Canterbury has sensed as much. Dr Rowan Williams told politicians this week that they would face â€œa heavy responsibility before Godâ€ if they failed to act to control climate change. He described the lifestyle of those who contribute most to global warming as â€œprofoundly immoralâ€. Asked how God would judge our age if we fail to act, Dr Williams said: â€œIf you look at the language of the Bible on this, you very often come across situations where people are judged for not responding to warnings.â€
Finally, there is the editorial in the Washington Times that links explicitly to the ice age scare of days gone by.
“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically,” begins the April 28, 1975, Newsweek article reprinted today on the opposite page. But this wasn’t a prediction of global warming. A new Ice Age worried Newsweek and its reporter, Peter Gwynne.
Future scenarios of widespread devastation, famine and starvation loomed because the Earth was getting cooler. “[T]he present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average,” Mr. Gwynne wrote. The scientific community was abuzz with fear. Melting the ice caps or diverting Arctic rivers to warm the globe were proposed.
Very interesting to see all of this commentary coming within a few days. Let’s listen and then get on to the science.
Update: The Washington Times has the orignal article on the pending ice age from Newsweek in 1975.
Hat tip to the Corner.