Sorry Gunter, Even Fox News Doesn't Buy the "Global Cooling" Myth

Tue, 2007-07-24 09:57Kevin Grandia
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Sorry Gunter, Even Fox News Doesn't Buy the "Global Cooling" Myth

Here's an opinion piece by Lorne Gunter that ran in yesterday's National Post about “global cooling.”

Even Fox News doesn't buy into this myth that is propped up as somehow refuting the current science around climate change.

From the Fox News article:

One might say: First the Earth was supposed to be getting colder; now scientists say it's getting hotter — how can we trust scientists if they're predictions are so wishy-washy?

Because the first prediction was never actually made. Rather, it's something of an urban climate myth.”

Previous Comments

Considering what has been going on in Chicago recently I have to wonder if Lorne Gunter and other National Post columnists have “non-compete” deals with the scientists, i.e. “If you pay me enough I won’t compete with you scientists, in fact we will distribute complete non-sense”.

Kind of makes sense when you think about it.

Ian Forrester

The Cooling World

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras – and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the “little ice age” conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 – years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. “Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data,” concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. “Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.”

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases – all of which have a direct impact on food supplies.

“The world’s food-producing system,” warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA’s Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, “is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.” Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.

Really, eco-hitler, I’d be far more impressed if you found an actual peer reviewed scientific paper (or two, or ten) from 1975 where scientists unambiguously predict the occurrence global cooling. From what I understand, scientists of the time were still not sure about the relative strengths of cooling from sunlight blocking pollution versus warming due to an enhanced greenhouse effect from human produced carbon dioxide. Most of of what was said about global cooling was pure speculation based on a lack of knowledge at the time.

Since that time, scientific knowledge has grown immensely. By your line of reasoning, I could question the findings of any scientist, because in the past for example, some scientists believed absurd things such that the Earth was flat.

Are you looking in my window and copying my screen? LOL

“Since that time, scientific knowledge has grown immensely. By your line of reasoning, I could question the findings of any scientist, because in the past for example, some scientists believed absurd things such that the Earth was flat.”

Well, going by your line of reasoning, you’d have us believe scientists will never contradict themselves again now, and into the future.

Given the track record, your absolute faith appears to be based on wishful thinking, inspite of quite recent experience.

Thanks, this ha only been sent to me about 1000 times. 

It's kind of frightening that the deniers are holding up a 1975 Newsweek article as some type of proof that the current science of climate change is incorrect. As the Fox News and many, many others have pointed out the global cooling prediction did receive some media attention, it was refuted – through the scientific process – and science moved on. 

It did not enjoy the scientific rigor that current climate change science enjoys today, not even close. 

Oh, and here's another big news story from 1975 that received a lot of media attention and I am currently using to argue that UFO's are real, although I don't have any scientific data to back up this claim, I'm quite positive that it will substantially refute any claims to the contrary. 

“It’s kind of frightening that the deniers are holding up a 1975 Newsweek article as some type of proof that the current science of climate change is incorrect.”

No less “frightening” than your holding up an article from last week from Fox News that the current science of climate change is correct.

You can’t have it both ways. Sorry.

What’s the matter? Is your nose getting so long it keeps hitting “Enter”?

“even Fox News” == the key word being “even,” meaning most everyone including Fox News knows that this is a myth. 

Global cooling was proposed, received initial media attention and was then refuted, by many of the same scientists who proposed it in the first place. 

That is science, as self-correcting process that refines its conclusions based on further support or refutation of hypotheses. A friggin article from 25 years ago does not in any way serve to refute the body of evidence pointing to human-induced climate change.

Get your head out of the sand Eco H.

“meaning most everyone including Fox News knows that this is a myth.”

That’s an odd thing to repeat, given that I’ve just shown that the claim of “global cooling” is clearly not a “myth”, and, in fact, is a claim that received wide press coverage. Unfortunately you can’t change the historical facts in this case.

“Global cooling was proposed, received initial media attention”

Then I guess it’s not a myth, is it?

“…and was then refuted, by many of the same scientists who proposed it in the first place.”

Okay, then tell us the names of these scientists you claim originally proposed – and then refuted – “global cooling”?

“That is science, as self-correcting process that refines its conclusions based on further support or refutation of hypotheses.”

Really? But that would completely contradict one of the main points in your political manifesto: “The Science is Settled.” We can’t have that, now can we?

“A friggin article from 25 years ago does not in any way serve to refute the body of evidence pointing to human-induced climate change.”

Nobody said it refutes current science. It does, however, very much undermine how seriously anyone should take the latest claims. You angrily call it a “friggin article”, I call it An Inconvenient Truth.

“Get your head out of the sand Eco H.”

Clearly, one of us needs to do that, and I’m fairly sure it’s not me.

Wow, you’re really struggling„, and losing.

What’s the point of bringing this up yet again? Everyone knows now that it is wrong.

Eco-H*****, this is just another stalling tactic by you and your “skeptic” ilk to try and prevent action on climate change. This stalling will result in slightly higher sea levels that could cause more deaths which should all be heaped upon your collective consciences, if, that is, you and your “skeptic” friends have a conscience.

…pure speculation based on a lack of knowledge…

Ironic that the Suzukian faithful are too thick headed to connect the dots and realize that that comment is equally applicable to end of the world global warming hysteria.

Before you all jump in to start flaming me with “the science is settled” nonsense, remember that grand computer projections aren’t knowledge. They’re not really science either, but they’re probably a lot of fun to produce.

Zog, I used to think that you really were interested in having an honest discussion. Your antagonistic use of characterizations such as “Suzukian faithful”, followed up with describing a statement like “the science is settled” (see Oreskes!) as a flame, suggests that you have lost all interest in intellectual honesty. Probably more serious is the fact that you are willing to put your name to this statement: speculation and lack of knowledge that produced a Newsweek article in 1975 is equal to the 30 years of high-powered science that has produced the current scientific consensus.

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This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we’re amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you’ll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

Films of tropical forests don’t accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems....

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