Thunderpig’s Mirror

Fire and Ice–Journalists Can’t Decide

Posted by Thunder Pig on December 12, 2007


I am old enough to remember the last climate change scare. I was in elementary school and one of our Lefty Teachers was warning us of the impending Ice Age that would put us under snow six months out of the year. Some of us were very excited, because of all the snow days we would get. I still remember the winter of 1980/81,there was a six week period where we got in maybe 9 days of school (counting the two weeks off for Christmas) because of snow and ice. We would typically get in a day or two, or a half day before a new storm would force us to go home for the next two or three days, then repeat the cycle all over again. Once, a storm caught everyone unprepared, and buses couldn’t run, and those whose parents couldn’t come get them would have to spend the night in the gymnasium. Unfortunately, my mom had a Chevy Blazer, and she got me and my little brother, and took us home…so we didn’t get to camp out at school.

That was the last good winter, except for 1993, but I was an adult on the local fire department, so I couldn’t enjoy the chaos and do cool stuff in the snow.

I can remember being told by my science teachers in middle school of the dangers of global warming. Crap, no more snow!

Why all the anecdotal stories? To provide a personal background for this from the Business & Media Institute:

It was five years before the turn of the century and major media were warning of disastrous climate change. Page six of The New York Times was headlined with the serious concerns of “geologists.” Only the president at the time wasn’t Bill Clinton; it was Grover Cleveland. And the Times wasn’t warning about global warming – it was telling readers the looming dangers of a new ice age.

The year was 1895, and it was just one of four different time periods in the last 100 years when major print media predicted an impending climate crisis. Each prediction carried its own elements of doom, saying Canada could be “wiped out” or lower crop yields would mean “billions will die.”

Just as the weather has changed over time, so has the reporting – blowing hot or cold with short-term changes in temperature.

Following the ice age threats from the late 1800s, fears of an imminent and icy catastrophe were compounded in the 1920s by Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan and an obsession with the news of his polar expedition. As the Times put it on Feb. 24, 1895, “Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again.”

Those concerns lasted well into the late 1920s. But when the earth’s surface warmed less than half a degree, newspapers and magazines responded with stories about the new threat. Once again the Times was out in front, cautioning “the earth is steadily growing warmer.”

After a while, that second phase of climate cautions began to fade. By 1954, Fortune magazine was warming to another cooling trend and ran an article titled “Climate – the Heat May Be Off.” As the United States and the old Soviet Union faced off, the media joined them with reports of a more dangerous Cold War of Man vs. Nature.

Source: BMI Special Report: Fire and Ice
Related: Newsweek April 28, 1975

Commentary

I almost never pass up an opportunity to mock the Global Warming Freaks, and I have noticed in the past year, some of them have started to change their language from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change.” I’m guessing with the recent news of changes in solar activity (2003 Jaworowski) (2007 Al Fin), they are keeping their options open so they can gear up to preach on “The Impending Ice Age.” I wonder if they’ll try to claim that pollution is the cause of this one, too.

Of course, most of the people who try to hype Global Warming are using that as a lever to gain power, the power to control every thing you do. These watermelon enviro-whackos want to use the whole debate to redistribute wealth from the capable to the incapable (economically speaking, that is) so that everyone is on a level playing field, which reminds of a quote form HL Mencken:

The urge to save humanity is nearly always a cover for the urge to rule.

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