The Coming of the New Ice Age: End of the Global Warming Era?
I just finished reading a terrifying new book about climate change. I learned this:
• Climate change is happening faster than we realize and it will have catastrophic consequences for mankind.
• There's very little we can do to stop it at this late stage, but we might be able to save ourselves if we immediately take these necessary and drastic steps:
- Increase our reliance on alternative energy sources and stop using so much oil and other carbon-based fuels;
- Adopt energy-efficient practices in all aspects of our lives, however inconvenient;
- Impose punitive taxes on inefficient or polluting activities to discourage them;
- Funnel large sums of money from developed nations like the U.S. to Third World nations;
- In general embrace all environmental causes.
You of course recognize these as the solutions most often recommended to ameliorate the looming crisis of Global Warming. But there's a little glitch in my narrative. Because although the book I read was indeed about climate change, it wasn't about Global Warming at all; it was instead about "The Coming of the New Ice Age," and it isn't exactly "new" — it was published in 1977.
The Solution Remains the Same
As many other pundits and analysts have pointed out, in the mid-to-late 1970s we endured a massive "climate change scare" that was the exact opposite of the one we're enduring now. Back then, the media and activists trumpeted the arrival of a new ice age, with the specter of ice sheets and glaciers covering half the northern hemisphere, and brutal winters in the remaining ice-free zones.
The fact that the media and popular culture and academia have veered from one panic-inducing disaster scenario to another one which completely contradicts the first one is funny enough in its own right. But reading The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age opened my eyes to an even more significant aspect of this serial crisis-mongering:
The "solutions" prescribed to solve both Global Warming and the looming Ice Age are exactly the same.
In both cases, proponents of the theory-du-jour say that in order to stave off disaster, we must reverse the march of civilization, stop our profligate use of carbon-based fuels, cede power and money from the First World to the Third World, and wherever possible revert to a Luddite pre-industrial lifestyle.
I realized: The solution (commit civilizational suicide) always remains the same; all that differs are the wildly divergent purported "crises" proffered up to justify the imposition of the solution.
Seen from this angle, the entire Climate Change field should be more properly reframed thus:
In order to weaken and eventually destroy the existing industrialized nations, we must devise an ecological "crisis" so severe that only voluntary economic suicide can solve it; and if this first crisis doesn't materialize as planned, then devise another, and another, even if they flatly contradict our previous claims.
I had long suspected that this is the most accurate characterization of Climate Changeology; but reading The New Ice Age clinched it for me. The true purpose of climate change disaster-mongering is to permanently cripple the First World, and to elevate the Third World, in order to create a planet with no economic inequality. The goal remains constant; the supposed imminent catastrophes justifying it come and go as needed.
Below, I'll present scanned pages from the book so you can see for yourself.
The scenario we're in reminds me of the classic Twilight Zone episode called "The Midnight Sun": At first we see the characters sweltering in increasingly unbearable heat as the Earth, knocked out of its orbit, slowly plummets into the sun. Just as they are all about to burn to death, in typical Twilight Zone fashion, the lead character wakes up — she had in fact merely been having a fever dream about the world getting hotter; in reality, the Earth had been knocked away from the sun, and they're all going to freeze to death. Ha ha — gotcha! Just as in the narratives spun by the climate change catastrophists, the Earth is doomed either way, even though the disaster scenario flips from one extreme to its exact opposite. Hot, cold, whatever; one way or the other, Mother Nature will wreak revenge on us for our hubris!
Ice Ages Are Making a Comeback
Turns out my choice of reading material (discovered recently at a rummage sale for 25¢, in case you're curious) was fortuitous, as climate change — and ice ages — are suddenly back in the headlines this past week. And the news is not good for the crisis-mongers.
First we learned that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is actually helping us stave off the next inevitable ice age by a few years. Yes, you read that right: the "runaway global warming" scenario is now off the table; a new ice age is coming for sure, and whatever human warming effects there may be will only make our descent into the deep freeze a little more comfy.
Then, in a different breakthrough, leading scientists announced the discovery of a heretofore undetected type of molecule in the atmosphere which spurs cloud formation and negates global warming effects. Thanks to something called "Criegee biradicals," the more we pollute, the more clouds form, and the cooler the planet becomes. Thus, the cumulative effect on the climate due to mankind's activity: zilch. So for the second time in a week, the entire Anthropogenic Global Warming theory was fatally undermined.
But wait! We're not done. Next up: A study out of Harvard proving that warming and cooling cycles are caused by orbital wobble and precession of the poles; and that the only reason the next ice age hasn't arrived quite on schedule yet is due to our beneficial increase in carbon dioxide. Yes, that's right: more data showing that another ice age is inevitable sooner or later.
A third nail in AGW's coffin in less than a week? Why wasn't this front page news?
But brace yourself — because those nails in the coffin were just the opening act. The next bit of news was the real blockbuster, a stake through AGW's heart:
Now we learn that the world has not warmed at all for the last 15 years, and that the entire recent "global warming" hubbub was totally imaginary. Furthermore, the recent cooling is so significant that we may be headed for — you guessed it — a "mini ice age."
Still not enough for you? The coup de grace came from our own USDA, which released a new "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" indicating that the mild global warming spike of a few years ago was actually good for plant growth and biodiversity. In other words: Even if we do experience warming, it makes the world a nicer place.
And that was just one week's news. I wonder what next week will bring?
Now, you'd think that this devastating barrage of body blows would basically bring an end to the whole Global Warming "controversy."
But no. Because, you see, true believers are nearly impervious to facts. In the midst of all this, the AGW activists and bullies continued their relentless quest to reshape the world's economic landscape, as if they still had the upper hand. They even launched a witch hunt against "denier" weathermen, threatening to get any TV meteorologists fired unless they present global warming propaganda during their forecasts. Meanwhile, Al Gore continued on his decade-long tirade, declaring that "civilization is at risk" if the presidential candidates don't cave into his demands immediately. And if you check the Web sites of any number of climate change nonprofits and organizations, they're all still in hysterical crisis mode about the coming calamity. To them, you see, news stories like the ones we saw this week may come and go, but Global Warming is forever!
Something's Gotta Give
"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold," as William Butler Yeats once wrote. This disconnect between reality and hysteria can't last forever. As impervious as Global Warmists may be to facts, they're highly sensitive to their social environment. Eventually, as the general public loses interest in humoring the hysterics, whose status is rapidly dropping from "cutting-edge hipsters" to "embarrassing kooks," the Alarmists will go into a huddle and emerge with a new crisis scenario so horrifying and immediate that something must be done NOW! And that something, as we learned above, will be the exact same something prescribed to solve the previous crisis.
We already saw the first half of this transition just a short time ago. For years, the crisis peddlers threw all their weight behind the phrase "Global Warming" to describe the looming disaster. But in recent years as data crept in casting some doubt on their prognostications, the phrase "Global Warming" was inconspicuously discarded and replaced with the more flexible "Climate Change." Voilà! No matter what the weather did, it could be chalked up to "climate change," because hey, change could go either way, right?
Needless to say, however innocuous "climate change" may have sounded, the activists said Trust us, it's way worse than mere "global warming," so the drastic solutions we proposed earlier are still required.
But the ever-growing mountain of evidence pointing to an eventual (naturally occurring) ice age phase in the distant future may trigger yet another huddle among the climate change crowd. Perhaps after a suitable wait, banking on everyone's short memory, they'll re-emerge from the huddle this time dropping "Climate Change" for something ice-age themed, like "Accelerated Glaciation," or perhaps "Man-Made Chill Factor."
And you can guarantee that they'll have a solution for this new crisis; and it will be the exact same solution they announced for climate change, and for global warming before that, and yes, for the looming ice age they worried about the previous time back in the '70s: De-industrialize the First World, end civilization as we know it, and cede power to "the global south," i.e. the Third World.
To prepare you for this eventuality, I hereby present scans from The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age, published in 1977 and written by "The Impact Team," a coalition of authors from various fields.
Each scan below is taken from a page in The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age; click on any image to see the passage in context on the full page.
Under each passage I'll make a few comments; but in general, the text speaks for itself.
Think of this as a warning from the past. Not a warning about looming ice ages, but rather a warning to ignore politically motivated disaster-mongers.
Put the words "Conspiracy" and "CIA" on a 1970s book cover, and you've got a guaranteed bestseller.
The thesis of the book is that ices ages are the long-term norm, punctuated by very brief warm spells; the one we're in now is quickly coming to an end.
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.
The evidence — it is overwhelming.
Oh no! Here comes the ice! Doom!
Armadillos are the previous panic's polar bears. One always needs a cutesy "charismatic megafauna" to symbolize any crisis.
Perhaps NBF ("Neo-Boreal Freeze") will be the new AGW ("Anthropogenic Global Warming").
"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!
Massive disaster scenarios like this are par for the course in the climate change field. Even extreme outlying possibilities have to be taken into account in our preparations.
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.
We're running out of oil; the Europeans are so much more advanced and frugal than us; we're going broke paying for our overuse of fossil fuels; you know the drill.
My God, solar power won't solve our energy needs for another 20 years? That's not until 1997! How can we survive until then?
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!
The authors still need some schooling to catch up to the modern way of thinking: there is still some optimism amid the pessimism.
And so it begins: "the need for major coordinated international efforts to cope with climatic change." Fast forward a few decades: Kyoto, Durban, the IPCC — [face palm].
"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.
It's incredible how the wet dreams of the crisis-mongers back then so closely resemble the wet dreams of today. A fast food tax, a big house tax, federal laws enforcing energy restrictions....
"Shower, Don't Bathe." Ah, the '70s. Nostalgia!
This list could be taken almost verbatim from any number of modern-day global-warming alarmist groups.