The ol’ “appeal to authority” trick was just as common back then as it is today: “Many climatologists believe that since the sixties the world has been slipping toward a new ice age.” When you combine “many climatologists” with “the CIA” you have pretty much an unimpeachable case.
Armadillos are the previous panic’s polar bears. One always needs a cutesy “charismatic megafauna” to symbolize any crisis.
“And this ice sheet only has to reach a thickness of twelve inches to make a major new ice age irreversible. It is believed that the process could take only seven or ten years.” My God, at that rate — we’ll be in a new ice age by 1984!
Almost every country in the world (with the exception of the hottest areas) will suffer either “Obliteration by ice sheet,” or “Extensive Glaciation,” or “Severe Drought,” or “Parts Glaciated; Parts Drought-stricken.”
Interestingly, the “Impact Team” also gives space to the other faction of climatologists — whom they dub the “hot-earth men,” a primitive term for “Global Warmists.” The hot-earth men are the mortal enemies of the “cool-earth men,” i.e. the ice age predictors, who are obviously more correct and who are therefore given the soapbox throughout the book. What we see here in 1977 is an interesting historical pivot point: The crisis-mongers needed an ecological disaster to hype, and at that moment in history there were two factions battling for the microphone, each trumpeting the exact opposite scenario: the “hot-earth men” and the “cool-earth men.” The media weighed the two views, decided that the cool-earth men had more evidence, more team members and a better argument, and so ran with the “new ice age” story. When that didn’t pan out, they later dumped the cool-earth men and embraced their rivals.
In the three snippets above we see the standard theory of that era: That man-made pollution causes more dust and aerosols in the atmosphere, which end up blocking sunlight and cause a cooling effect that outweighs any warming effect. Needless to say, in the current era, the sun-blocking aspect of pollution is pooh-poohed and the greenhouse effect championed.
In the passages above the authors give a full explanation of the “hot-earth men”‘s theory about potential global warming. They lay this out as a backup plan; just in case the ice age doesn’t arrive, they would still be able to claim they they predicted the opposite as well. Like a fortune-teller who tells you that you’ll make a fortune betting on the stock market, but there’s also a slim possibility that you’ll lose everything; whatever happens, she can say “I told you so!”
And here we get to to gist of the book: the “solution” to the crisis. The remaining scans spell out all the steps we need to take to survive the upcoming ice age, and — who could have guessed? — they’re the exact same steps we now need to take to survive global warming! And the same verbiage and terminology is used as well: Americans are “junkies” who are “addicted” to oil, and the evil corporations dupe us into extravagance. Et cetera, and so forth.
On a more serious note, pay close attention to the sentence interrupted by this caption: the authors see the need for “legislation…specifying fuel selection and consumption.” This is the exact same wet dream of the Global Warming alarmists today.
Wait just a minute — you said this book was from 1977. But look: it refers to “Governor Jerry Brown of California.” He’s the governor right now, in 2012! So you must be lying — this must be a brand-new book!
“Now we must reduce our standard of living in small ways — lowered room temperatures, fewer gadgets, smaller cars — and in big ways — legislated home improvements, energy-use taxes, and staggered working hours.”
In order to stave off the next ice age, we must “add an ecology tax to each ton [of coal] extracted…to repair the damage done.” This is the precursor to today’s “carbon tax,” which as we all know is necessary to stave off global warming.
The remaining recommendations are partly in line with modern alarmists’ demands, but are not yet fully formed; the authors are still open to the idea of increased domestic oil production. Shocking!
“It is probable that only by supplying aid on an unparalleled scale can the rich nations of the world assist the poor…. America must address itself to a massive program of agricultural and economic assistance….”
This section is amazingly prescient: “The United States government must level with its citizens and explain that all man’s reserves are finite. Given the Earth’s natural limitations, our current phenomenal rate of waste, inherent in our current consumption of both fossil fuels and food, must stop. … In addition, it is probable that taxes should be based on the horsepower and corresponding energy efficiency of automobiles. Energy prices must be raised to reflect America’s energy import bill and the scarcity value of fossil fuels.” As you remark to yourself that this sounds remarkably similar to our current government policy, remind yourself that this was proposed in 1977 to combat a looming ice age.