A few days ago I stumbled upon an interesting article from Time magazine, entitled: "Another Ice Age?". No it is not a recent article. It is politically incorrect to talk about global cooling these days. The article appeared in 1974, after "three decades of cooling" prompted some to believe that an imminent ice-age may be coming. It is interesting to read it in perspective. Perhaps there is a lesson we could learn from it. Here are a few excerpts from it. Read and enjoy:
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....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.
Namely, it is not a new phenomenon that people are worried about climate change. Today it is warming, but a few decades ago it was apparently cooling (though obviously not at the same hysteria levels of today). We can also see other parallels. For example, the arctic currently supplies evidence for global warming, but back in the 70's, it supplied clear evidence for cooling:
When Climatologists....analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.
And of course, there are those who frighten with catastrophic results:
Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic... and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years.
The question of attribution is where the similarity between today's global warming hysteria and the global cooling "concern" of the 70's. Back then it was not clear, at least according to the media, whether the source is anthropogenic or natural:
The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth's surface receives from the sun.... Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend... climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.
Of course, the level of hysteria today is also unparalleled. The concerns of the seventies seem like a minor curiosity when compared with the level of global warming propaganda seen today.
If you ask me, today's imminent global warming catastrophe is all taken out of proportion, considering that there is no real evidence to incriminate anthropogenic causes as the main factor behind current day warming. This seesaw between one extreme climate prediction and another doesn't add credibility to the field. Did you hear of the boy who cried wolf?