Following up on the story earlier about predictions of a looming mini-Ice Age due to changes in solar sun spot activity, reader Billy sent me a link to this Time magazine article from 1974, Another Ice Age?
I’ll excerpt the article here, but you really have to read the whole thing. Substitute “warming” for “cooling” and you pretty much have the current scientific “consensus” as to which no legitimate questions may be raised, lest one be deemed a Global Warming Denier (or is it Climate Change Denier)?
It’s spooky to read this, but here goes (emphasis mine):
… 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….
The changing weather is apparently connected with differences in the amount of energy that the earth’s surface receives from the sun. Changes in the earth’s tilt and distance from the sun could, for instance, significantly increase or decrease the amount of solar radiation falling on either hemisphere—thereby altering the earth’s climate. Some observers have tried to connect the eleven-year sunspot cycle with climate patterns, but have so far been unable to provide a satisfactory explanation of how the cycle might be involved.
Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin’s Reid A. Bryson and other 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.
The article ended with this ominous warning:
University of Toronto Climatologist Kenneth Hare, a former president of the Royal Meteorological Society, believes that the continuing drought and the recent failure of the Russian harvest gave the world a grim premonition of what might happen. Warns Hare: “I don’t believe that the world’s present population is sustainable if there are more than three years like 1972 in a row.”
Which sounds ominously familiar to the current food warnings (this time, substitute “cooling” for “warming”):
It is now clear that global warming is a major cause of rising food prices that hurt all Americans in their pocketbooks, every day. This will be a very big issue and revive national enthusiasm for action to combat global warming. I am in close touch with one very senior national Democrat who will soon launch a campaign appealing to voters to lower food costs by combating global warming.
Makes one wonder how the scientific consensus could have been so wrong in 1974, and if 35 years from now people will wonder how the scientific consensus could have been so wrong in 2011.