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1970s global cooling alarmism

This is a guest post via Andrew at Popular It outlines just how much media hype there was over global cooling in the 1970s.

During the 1970s the media promoted global cooling alarmism with dire threats of a new ice age. Extreme weather events were hyped as signs of the coming apocalypse and man-made pollution was blamed as the cause. Environmental extremists called for everything from outlawing the internal combustion engine to communist style population controls. This media hype was found in newspapers, magazines, books and on television:

1970 - Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age - Scientists See Ice Age In the Future (The Washington Post, January 11, 1970)
1970 - Is Mankind Manufacturing a New Ice Age for Itself? (L.A. Times, January 15, 1970)
1970 - New Ice Age May Descend On Man (Sumter Daily Item, January 26, 1970)
1970 - Pollution Prospect A Chilling One (Owosso Argus-Press, January 26, 1970)
1970 - Pollution's 2-way 'Freeze' On Society (Middlesboro Daily News, January 28, 1970)
1970 - Cold Facts About Pollution (The Southeast Missourian, January 29, 1970)
1970 - Pollution Could Cause Ice Age, Agency Reports (St. Petersburg Times, March 4, 1970)
1970 - Pollution Called Ice Age Threat (St. Petersburg Times, June 26, 1970)
1970 - Dirt Will .Bring New Ice Age (The Sydney Morning Herald, October 19, 1970)
1971 - Ice Age Refugee Dies Underground (The Montreal Gazette, Febuary 17, 1971)
1971 - U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming (The Washington Post, July 9, 1971)
1971 - Ice Age Around the Corner (Chicago Tribune, July 10, 1971)
1971 - New Ice Age Coming - It's Already Getting Colder (L.A. Times, October 24, 1971)
1971 - Another Ice Age? Pollution Blocking Sunlight (The Day, November 1, 1971)
1971 - Air Pollution Could Bring An Ice Age (Harlan Daily Enterprise, November 4, 1971)
1972 - Air pollution may cause ice age (Free-Lance Star, February 3, 1972)
1972 - Scientist Says New ice Age Coming (The Ledger, February 13, 1972)
1972 - Scientist predicts new ice age (Free-Lance Star, September 11, 1972)
1972 - British expert on Climate Change says Says New Ice Age Creeping Over Northern Hemisphere (Lewiston Evening Journal, September 11, 1972)
1972 - Climate Seen Cooling For Return Of Ice Age (Portsmouth Times, ‎September 11, 1972‎)
1972 - New Ice Age Slipping Over North (Press-Courier, September 11, 1972)
1972 - Ice Age Begins A New Assault In North (The Age, September 12, 1972)
1972 - Weather To Get Colder (Montreal Gazette, ‎September 12, 1972‎)
1972 - British climate expert predicts new Ice Age (The Christian Science Monitor, September 23, 1972)
1972 - Scientist Sees Chilling Signs of New Ice Age (L.A. Times, September 24, 1972)
1972 - Science: Another Ice Age? (Time Magazine, November 13, 1972)
1973 - The Ice Age Cometh (The Saturday Review, March 24, 1973)
1973 - Weather-watchers think another ice age may be on the way (The Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 1973)
1974 - New evidence indicates ice age here (Eugene Register-Guard, May 29, 1974)
1974 - Another Ice Age? (Time Magazine, June 24, 1974)
1974 - 2 Scientists Think 'Little' Ice Age Near (The Hartford Courant, August 11, 1974)
1974 - Ice Age, worse food crisis seen (The Chicago Tribune, October 30, 1974)
1974 - Believes Pollution Could Bring On Ice Age (Ludington Daily News, December 4, 1974)
1974 - Pollution Could Spur Ice Age, Nasa Says (Beaver Country Times, ‎December 4, 1974‎)
1974 - Air Pollution May Trigger Ice Age, Scientists Feel (The Telegraph, ‎December 5, 1974‎)
1974 - More Air Pollution Could Trigger Ice Age Disaster (Daily Sentinel - ‎December 5, 1974‎)
1974 - Scientists Fear Smog Could Cause Ice Age (Milwaukee Journal, December 5, 1974)
1975 - Climate Changes Called Ominous (The New York Times, January 19, 1975)
1975 - Climate Change: Chilling Possibilities (Science News, March 1, 1975)
1975 - B-r-r-r-r: New Ice Age on way soon? (The Chicago Tribune, March 2, 1975)
1975 - Cooling Trends Arouse Fear That New Ice Age Coming (Eugene Register-Guard, ‎March 2, 1975‎)
1975 - Is Another Ice Age Due? Arctic Ice Expands In Last Decade (Youngstown Vindicator - ‎March 2, 1975‎)
1975 - Is Earth Headed For Another Ice Age? (Reading Eagle, March 2, 1975)
1975 - New Ice Age Dawning? Significant Shift In Climate Seen (Times Daily, ‎March 2, 1975‎)
1975 - There's Troublesome Weather Ahead (Tri City Herald, ‎March 2, 1975‎)
1975 - Is Earth Doomed To Live Through Another Ice Age? (The Robesonian, ‎March 3, 1975‎)
1975 - The Ice Age cometh: the system that controls our climate (The Chicago Tribune, April 13, 1975)
1975 - The Cooling World (Newsweek, April 28, 1975)
1975 - Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead (PDF) (The New York Times, May 21, 1975)
1975 - In the Grip of a New Ice Age? (International Wildlife, July-August, 1975)
1975 - Oil Spill Could Cause New Ice Age (Milwaukee Journal, December 11, 1975)
1976 - The Cooling: Has the Next Ice Age Already Begun? [Book] (Lowell Ponte, 1976)
1977 - Blizzard - What Happens if it Doesn't Stop? [Book] (George Stone, 1977)
1977 - The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age [Book] (The Impact Team, 1977)
1976 - Worrisome CIA Report; Even U.S. Farms May be Hit by Cooling Trend (U.S. News & World Report, May 31, 1976)
1977 - The Big Freeze (Time Magazine, January 31, 1977)
1977 - We Will Freeze in the Dark (Capital Cities Communications Documentary, Host: Nancy Dickerson, April 12, 1977)
1978 - The New Ice Age [Book] (Henry Gilfond, 1978)
1978 - Little Ice Age: Severe winters and cool summers ahead (Calgary Herald, January 10, 1978)
1978 - Winters Will Get Colder, 'we're Entering Little Ice Age' (Ellensburg Daily Record, January 10, 1978)
1978 - Geologist Says Winters Getting Colder (Middlesboro Daily News, January 16, 1978)
1978 - It's Going To Get Colder (Boca Raton News, ‎January 17, 1978‎)
1978 - Believe new ice age is coming (The Bryan Times, March 31, 1978)
1978 - The Coming Ice Age (In Search Of TV Show, Season 2, Episode 23, Host: Leonard Nimoy, May 1978)
1978 - An Ice Age Is Coming Weather Expert Fears (Milwaukee Sentinel, November 17, 1978)
1979 - A Choice of Catastrophes - The Disasters That Threaten Our World [Book] (Isaac Asimov, 1979)
1979 - Get Ready to Freeze (Spokane Daily Chronicle, October 12, 1979)
1979 - New ice age almost upon us? (The Christian Science Monitor, November 14, 1979)

While a silent majority of the scientific community may have been more skeptical, you ironically find one of the most outspoken supporters of modern day Al Gore style global warming alarmism was promoting global cooling in the 1970s, the late Dr. Steven Schneider;

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - Life of Reason, George Santayana

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Reader Comments (84)

Perhaps someone should remind our forthcoming Commons Select Committee, that (many) scientists' predictions can change as frequently as our climate.

Mar 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Thankfully it wasn't a consensus or we would be doomed.

Mar 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterredc

Tsk tsk...list is incomplete, it's missing the CIA report I have rediscovered myself in the British Library in 2009.

Anyway this discussion is identical to the one about the pause in global warming. It just shows how arch-warmists just cannot admit what reality is.

Remember, in the immortal words of William Connolley, By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood.

Global cooling...widely accepted. Case closed.

Mar 1, 2013 at 4:49 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

We had alarmism about global cooling in the 70s, we now have alarmism about global warming in the 90s/00s. Where do the ecoloons go next for their scaremongering? Perhaps the new alarmism will be weather weirding. An undefined mechanism, driven by something or other they don't want the human race (ie everyone apart from the greens) to do, causing wild swings about a stationary average.

You read it here first!

Mar 1, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Is the reason that the more scientifically literate elder gentlemen who frequent these blogs, such as myself, find the alarm aspect of CAGW so unconvincing that we clearly remember the CAGC alarm from the 70's, despite being repeatedly told that such alarm never actually occured?

According to New Scientist:

A survey of the scientific literature has found that between 1965 and 1979, 44 scientific papers predicted warming, 20 were neutral and just 7 predicted cooling. So while predictions of cooling got more media attention, the majority of scientists were predicting warming even then.

Is this just revisionism?

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:04 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Steve Jones, you seem to have changed your views since you wrote that report for the BBC.

Or was that perhaps a different Steve Jones?

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

steveta - what that "survey" did was play some sleight of hand, nothing more.

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:09 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

One of my favourite old articles from the ever-changing New Scientist is dated 18 October 1979 - "The Ice Age could be just decades away". Quoting an article published in Nature (vol 281, page 558) the gist is that the previous interglacial period ended "quite suddenly", and we could be seeing the same patterns now (ie 1979). Phew, what a lucky escape... (google '"new scientist" "ice age could be just decades away" 18 October 1979')

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterpete


Different Steve Jones old chap. I did used to state that I wasn't THE Steve Jones on my posts. It might be easier just to change my name!

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

...The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
'Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river...


Mar 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Englishman

I appreciate this is off topic but I am desperate for information.
This post at Jo Nova's site

seems to suggest that Michael Mann's lawsuit against Tim Ball has been settled. Does anyone know more about this? Surely a story here?

Mar 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

A worrying thought occurred to me. What if the worries expressed in the 1970s about global cooling turn out to be correct? Perhaps by the 4th decade of this century, just 17 years away, average temperatures might have dropped to below the levels of the 1970s.

If that happens the Greens will probably insist that mankind is to blame.

Mar 1, 2013 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Great reference. Thanks to Andrew and Andrew.

Mar 1, 2013 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

@ Jack Savage.

I noticed that but I haven't seen any corroboration. There is though a truly vicious personal attack on RationalWiki, whatever that is ( I would have immediately complained were I able to find a link by which to do so. Perhaps someone here would be able to do so.

Mar 1, 2013 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter C

Is that David Cameron in the photo ?

Mar 1, 2013 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorphMorph

We were told that the cold winters were cyclic. My parents told me about the 1947 winter when pneumatic drills were used to remove ice from the local streets.

I can remember 1963, 16 years later, much of the county was snowed in.

Then in 1979, 16 years later, we had another bad winter.

Our fate was sealed.

Mar 1, 2013 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

There is a clear need for a serious and properly sober investigation into what triggered the idea in the mid to late 60s that pampered Western youths, male and female, had suddenly been granted an otherwise unprecendented insight into the corrupting of impact of their civilisation, of which they were all obvious beneficiaries, and which, left unchecked, would inevitably spark a new global catastrophe.

Then it was the imminent arrival a new Ice Age. Today, of course, precisely the opposite is claimed. Either way, it is asserted that the result will be the same: a world rendered uninhabitable, despoiled, ruined, left waste, a monument to conspicuous consumption that can be avoided only by self-flagellation on an equally epic scale.

How does anyone explain this perverse inversion of truth? You have never had it better so you immediately want to destroy precisely those elements that have made your life safer, happier, more secure and richer than at any time in humanity's otherwise inglorious existence?

Is there an in-built mechanism that affects pampered youths that demands that the moment a society has overcome all the basic insecurities of practically the whole of human history it should be laid waste?

I can just about understand Millenarium types in the Middle Ages waiting on mountain tops for what they assumed was their inevitable, deserved destruction, victims of an implacable, cruel god. Theirs was a world that was unforgiving in every sense.

But what, in name of everything rational, leads the world's most pampered generation to decry everything that has made their lives so desirable?

If human ingenuity knows few limits, you can only say the same about human perversity.

Time for a stiff drink.

Plus ca change . . .

Mar 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

I know it's an idea that is discounted, if not indeed sneered at, but there is a marked correlation between the increase in scare-stories (and an apparent hankering for them) and a decline in religious belief.
I make no value judgment and agree that correlation is not causation but it's worth bearing in mind Chesterton's adage that when men stop believing in God they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything.
Certainly if you cast yourself adrift from one mooring (whether that mooring was actually real or not) you're likely to latch onto any passing buoy that looks plausible, no?

Mar 1, 2013 at 7:08 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Billy Connol(l)ey knows it isn't true and has vandalised Wikipedia to reflect this. All of youse crazy deniaramalists should stop believe your lying memories.

Mar 1, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterFergalR


I remember the winter of 1947 very well. I lived in Leeds at the time. The snow was pilled up alongside
the roads to a height of 4 or 5 ft and you had to walk along until you found a gap in order to cross the road.
Ice was packed on the roads and gangs of workers broke up the ice and loaded it onto lorries to be
taken away and dumped. Driving was difficult on some roads because there was often a 10inch drop where the ice had been removed. As I recall, it lasted a good six weeks and our school never closed.

Mar 1, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Don't tempt fate. Geologically it is as inevitable as the eruption of any dormant explosive volcano, and far more devastating. It is crazy that no priority for climate research is targeted at understanding the detailed evolution and causes/effects of past interglacial/glacial transitions to aid prediction and preparation for the next.

Mar 1, 2013 at 8:40 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

From that Radio Times cover we can see that BBC climate coverage has been balanced: both extremes of alarmism given equal weight.

Mar 1, 2013 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

There has no doubt been a great deal of dotting the 'i's and crossing the 't's since the 1970s, and of course the computer models have grown in numbers, speed, and size. But apart from that, what have been the big developments in climate science since then that should encourage us to give more credence to the warming scare than we ought to have given the cooling one? None that I know of. Well done guest poster Andrew for compiling that interesting and important chronology from the media back then. Plus ca change!

Mar 1, 2013 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Mike J:

Quite right. The credulousness of otherwise apparently sentient humans beggars belief.

We live in an age of scientific and material progress that would have staggered anyone even 200 years ago.

Yet we still call on the same dimly perceived gods to give apparent purposes to our lives.

Your average green is of course peculiarly prone to this need to appease a vengeful nature, wind turbines being no more than the most obvious means of paying such homage, though very much less beautiful and certainly less enduring than the likes of Chartres cathedral.

Mar 1, 2013 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

And don't forget this reference :-)

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonW

We live in an age of scientific and material progress that would have staggered anyone even 200 years ago.
Waddya mean, 200 years ago? We live in an age whose technology would have baffled my aunt who died 30 years ago! Smartphones and satellite TV would have puzzled my mother who died more recently than that.
Which is why the whole thing is so weird — we are better informed, supposedly better educated, more knowledgeable, more "techno-savvy" than ever and we're still prey to the first snake oil salesman that wanders past!

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:28 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Global cooling was far from a US/UK-only phenomenon. I have found a long list of articles about it in Italian too, covering 1976-1985 at least.

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:43 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

We’re not actually dealing with a particular scare, just a certain type of anti-human mentality that revels in the certitude of its own ignorance.


Mar 1, 2013 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

look look...

Peterson, Thomas C., William M. Connolley, John Fleck, 2008: The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, 1325–1337. doi:

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHans Erren

Hans - that's where I took this quote from. Connolley is so used to manipulate information, he did not even notice a sentence in his article totally contradicted the rest of it:

By the early 1970s, when Mitchell updated his work (Mitchell 1972), the notion of a global cooling trend was widely accepted, albeit poorly understood.

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:48 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

OK Mike:

I'll settle for 30 years. Which makes the witch-doctor like objections to human advancement all the more baffling. To wit, a resolute determination to reject precisely those advances that have allowed such privileged voices in the first place.

Is it really necessary to provide lessons why it is generally a bad idea, given a loaded gun, to point it at your foot and pull the trigger?

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Agouts/Mike: I blame the ennui of small-minded people scared by the thought of having it all.

Mar 1, 2013 at 10:57 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos


. ... our school never closed.

A friend of mine who is a few years older than me lived in London in 1947. Hs school remained open as well. He normally went to school on the train. However, that winter they went to the station and were led down the side of the rail track to school. All the necessary health and safety rules were followed, they were told not to touch the live rail!

Mar 1, 2013 at 11:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

I've seen an old video of a young Stephen Schneider, perhaps from the late 60s, in which he was honest about his, and the science's, ignorance of the direction of future climate change. I don't think he has been as effective ever since.

The cooling scare lives. Which is more likely, cooling or warming, over the next few centuries and millenia? Which will be more devastating, not only to the human race, but to all Gaia's little critters?

Mar 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Agouts: It's been named: "The Madness of Crowds."

Mar 1, 2013 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilH

This really covers the spectrum, -every A-list scientific journal from The Southeast Missourian to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Howeber,, the same hacks displayed equal enthusiasm for soaring temperatures a generation before .</a.

Mar 2, 2013 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I wonder if anyone has calculated the mean time required for a protracted shift in the weather to spawn a climate alarmist that feeds off that shift in the weather. Extra points for anyone who can show the cycle time of the Schneider Response which includes 180º flip flop in moral outrage.

Bonus question: It took less than 16 years to flip from ice age alarmism to AGW alarmism. Why is there no climate change pause alarmism? It's been going on for a very long time and that should be alarming.

Mar 2, 2013 at 1:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterdp

"Ice Age". 1978. Joy Division.

Mar 2, 2013 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

In search of .....The Coming Ice Age
Season 2 Episode 23 (May 1978)

(Part 1 of 3)

(Part 2 of 3)

(Part 3 of 3)

Mar 2, 2013 at 2:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocmartyn

The Left/Green's aim has always been to drag everybody down to their own inadequate level, and to do that you need to establish control over people.

Purported global catastrophes (climate, food, pandemics, population) serve as a useful reason for instituting mechanisms of control.

They are very fond of saying "global problems require global solutions". It would be more accurate to say that they crave global solutions and so are forever making up global problems.

Mar 2, 2013 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

In the 1980 film Alligator there's a brief scene where our hero, the alligator hunter, is looking at the cover of a tabloid newspaper. He's looking at it because it features a headline story about him. Above that headline, in much larger typeface, appears the main headline story: "New Ice Age Coming?"

Mar 2, 2013 at 3:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Agouts, Mike Jackson, omnologos
These are the right questions to be asking, and loss of religion, rising wealth, leisure and ennui are among the factors which are part of the answer. I’d add the expansion of university education, leading to te rise of a social class whose entire purpose is to digest and regurgitate information, plus the technological revolution which makes that purpose so much easier and more fun to pursue.
When intellectuals are just a few isolated individuals pursuing their hobbies, whether it’s evolution or phrenology (thanks Lord Deben for the example) they can’t do much harm. When they form a critical mass of millions of professional communicators, they require an ideology to bind them together. Concern for one’s fellow man is all very well, but we can’t all go out to Africa and found a leper colony, can we? Some of us have to stay at home and create NGOs, write reports, draw pie charts, and network with our fellows. There are millions of us, and we include all the journalists, social scientists and academics whose job it is to cast a critical eye on society.
This problem isn’t going to go a way just because the average global temperature refuses to budge.

Mar 2, 2013 at 5:58 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

A few years ago, or thereabouts, I found a similar article on Greenie Watch and posted it here. This one appears to be a bit more comprehensive for the 70s but ignores earlier Icy and warming as taken from Greenie Watch:::

Here are some comments from earlier days:

There is most certainly a pattern to climate change… but it’s not what you may think...

For at least 114 years, climate “scientists” have been claiming that the climate was going to kill us…but they have kept switching whether it was a coming ice age, or global warming.

* 1895 - Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again – New York Times, February 1895

* 1902 - “Disappearing Glaciers…deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation…scientific fact…surely disappearing.” – Los Angeles Times

* 1912 - Prof. Schmidt Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age – New York Times, October 1912

* 1923 - “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada” – Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, – Chicago Tribune

* 1923 - “The discoveries of changes in the sun’s heat and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age” – Washington Post

* 1924 - MacMillan Reports Signs of New Ice Age – New York Times, Sept 18, 1924

* 1929 - “Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that it will continue to get warmer” – Los Angeles Times, in Is another ice age coming?

* 1932 - “If these things be true, it is evident, therefore that we must be just teetering on an ice age” – The Atlantic magazine, This Cold, Cold World

* 1933 - America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise – New York Times, March 27th, 1933

* 1933 – “…wide-spread and persistent tendency toward warmer weather…Is our climate changing?” – Federal Weather Bureau “Monthly Weather Review.”

* 1938 - Global warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide, “is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power.”– Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

* 1938 - “Experts puzzle over 20 year mercury rise…Chicago is in the front rank of thousands of cities thuout the world which have been affected by a mysterious trend toward warmer climate in the last two decades” – Chicago Tribune

* 1939 - “Gaffers who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right… weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer” – Washington Post

* 1952 - “…we have learned that the world has been getting warmer in the last half century” – New York Times, August 10th, 1962

* 1954 - “…winters are getting milder, summers drier. Glaciers are receding, deserts growing” – U.S. News and World Report

* 1954 - Climate – the Heat May Be Off – Fortune Magazine

* 1959 - “Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures” – New York Times

* 1969 - “…the Arctic pack ice is thinning and that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” – New York Times, February 20th, 1969

* 1969 – “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000″ — Paul Ehrlich (while he now predicts doom from global warming, this quote only gets honorable mention, as he was talking about his crazy fear of overpopulation)

* 1970 - “…get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come…there’s no relief in sight” – Washington Post

* 1974 - Global cooling for the past forty years – Time Magazine

* 1974 - “Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age” –

Here are the last few lines from the original article which I quoted:

Here is the original link to the above article, just copy, paste to Google. (Peter Walsh)

This link still works, I have just tested it. PW 2 March 2013

Mar 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

If there were anything about trends in climate I remember picking up as a kid in the 70s, then I do remember the “overdue” ice-age being the issue. But also I don’t remember being as worried by that as I was by the fear of nuclear war.

Now that really was the stuff of nightmares; the thought of sudden mushroom clouds appearing because the grown-ups didn't get on for some mysterious reason was quite terrifying.

I often wonder if kids today really are as scared of AGW in the same way. As a kid when you see adults themselves are really genuinely scared, then that is very powerful.

There may be a few ultra-tofu families around today that have inculcated this stage of fear among themselves about AGW, but I bet most kids see through the common adult posturing about AGW concerns today. I really don't think kids today have the same quality of fear mongering as we had in our day ;)

Mar 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Peter Walsh mentioned climate scares going back over 100 years. There is a more detailed account of these at the web page below.

Fire and Ice

It seems fairly obvious from such sources that fears of global warming alternate with fears of global cooling and whichever is uppermost depends, naturally enough, on the most recent trend. Using that data perhaps someone could construct a computer model which would predict how long it will be before the Greenies start worrying about global cooling!

Ironically if such scares do move in cyclical fashion there may be more reason to take the next one seriously. After all a slight drop in temperatures might well cause a significant reduction in production of some of the world's staple crops.

Mar 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Thanks for that link, Roy (10:35 AM) - a new one for me. An informed and illustrated commentary on 4 climate scares in the printed media since 1895. His conclusions include this (my emphasis added):

It would be difficult for the media to do a worse job with climate change coverage. Perhaps the most important suggestion would be to remember the basic rules about journalism and set aside biases — a simple suggestion, but far from easy given the overwhelming extent of the problem.

Three of the guidelines from the Society of Professional Journalists are especially appropriate:

“Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.”

Mar 2, 2013 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Yes I remember it well, but there was no internet back then to help reinforce the false propaganda just the BBC. Much of the ''information'' was missed unless you were an avid newspaper reader and then it depended on the newspaper. Now we are bombarded from all sides so perhaps the problem would seem worse than it is again depending on who you read/view/blog etc..

Mar 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Dr Who - the Ice Warriors....

Mar 2, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJabba the Cat

As scriptwriter of the BBC programme "The Weather Machine" in 1974, featured on the Radio Times cover sent to you by David Whitehouse, I wonder if your readers might be interested in a follow-up that I posted in 2010:

We were just reporting what the leading climate scientists were saying in the 1970s.

Mar 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterNigel Calder

The pernicious effect of the pseudo-universities had slipped my mind. Must have been getting tired.
The creation of what are often known as Mickey Mouse degrees (poor Mickey; what has he done to deserve such notoriety?) in Mickey Mouse subjects has certainly played a significant role in giving some people ideas above their station — to resurrect an ancient saying.
I keep being reminded of the succinct comment of a friend of mine about a fellow rugby player who was quite useful provided he was playing in a position where he was kept busy.
"The trouble with playing him on the wing is that he has too much time to think. Unfortunately he lacks the equipment!"
Too many so-called graduates also lack enough of the essential equipment but having been told that a degree is the Open Sesame to a good, well-paid job, they fail to understand why they haven't got one.
And — to dig up another cliché — the devil finds work for idle hands, not to mention idle brains.

Mar 2, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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