Over on his blog, John Fleck dispatches one of the most ridiculous urban legends of climate change: that scientists in the 1970s were predicting that an ice age was impending.

John and his colleagues, Thomas Peterson and William Connolly, point out that, even in the 1970s, most scientists thought that global warming was the dominant problem.

It should also be pointed out that those worried about global cooling did not necessarily dispute the fact that carbon dioxide causes warming. Rather, the global cooling theory was based on the idea the dust and other stuff people were putting into the atmosphere would reduce sunlight by more than enough to overwhelm the heating from carbon dioxide. The net result would be cooling.

There is in fact no credible dissent to the argument that carbon dioxide warms the climate. Even the Dean of Skeptics, Dick Lindzen, admits that (although he predicts less warming than the IPCC).

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So, two things to remember:

  1. The consensus that an ice age was coming in the 1970s didn’t actually exist.
  2. The theory that an ice age was coming does not contradict the theory that carbon dioxide warms the climate.