‘They predicted global cooling in the 70s’–But that didn’t even remotely resemble today’s consensus
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide)
Objection: The alarmists were predicting the onset of an ice age in the ’70s. Now it’s too much warming! Why should we believe them this time?
Answer: It is true that there were some predictions of an “imminent ice age” in the 1970s, but a cursory comparison of those warnings and today’s reveals a huge difference.
Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus, supported by national academies and all the major scientific institutions, solidly behind the warning that the temperature is rising, anthropogenic CO2 is the primary cause, and it will worsen unless we reduce emissions.
In the 1970s, there was a book in the popular press, a few articles in popular magazines, and a small amount of scientific speculation based on the recently discovered glacial cycles and the recent slight cooling trend from air pollution blocking the sunlight. There were no daily headlines. There was no avalanche of scientific articles. There were no United Nations treaties or commissions. No G8 summits on the dangers and possible solutions. No institutional pronouncements. You could find broader “consensus” on a coming alien invasion.
Quite simply, there is no comparison.
If you want some additional detail, Real Climate has discussed this, and William Connelly has made a hobby of gathering everything that was written about global cooling at the time.
More stories in this series:
(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: Despite what the computer models tell us, there is actually no evidence of significant global warming. Answer: Global warming is not an output of computer models; it is …
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: CO2 levels are recorded on top of Mauna Loa … a volcano! No wonder the levels are so high. (image courtesty of Global Warming Art)
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The apparent rise of global average temperatures is actually an illusion due to the urbanization of land around weather stations, the Urban Heat Island effect.
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: One hundred and some years of global surface temperatures is not long enough to draw any conclusions from or worry about anyway. Answer: The reliable instrumental record …
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