Political Editors / October 14, 2019

Climate Alarmism of the Last 120 Years

What is clear is that the climate has been constantly changing for a very long time.

To error is human. And if science is only as good as the scientist, then, since scientists are human … any reasonable person would be foolish not to hold a healthy amount of skepticism toward any declarations of the science being “settled.” This is especially the case when it comes to the politically charged topic of global warming or climate change or whatever it will be called in the near future. A few years ago, Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That? put together a list of the last 120 years of climate alarmism. Given that the list is still relevant because alarmists never quit issuing new dire predictions, here are a few examples of just how wrong they’ve been over the years:

  • 1895 — Geologists Think the World May Be Frozen Up Again —The New York Times

  • 1902 — “Disappearing Glaciers … deteriorating slowly, with a persistency that means their final annihilation … scientific fact … surely disappearing.” —Los Angeles Times

  • 1923 — “Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada” —Professor Gregory of Yale University, American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress, in the Chicago Tribune

  • 1933 — America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-Year Rise —The New York Times

  • 1954 — Climate — the Heat May Be Off —Fortune Magazine

  • 1969 — “The Arctic pack ice is thinning and … the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” —The New York Times

  • 1969 — “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000” —Paul Ehrlich (while he now predicts doom from global warming, this quote only gets honorable mention, as he was talking about his crazy fear of overpopulation)

  • 1974 — Global cooling for the past forty years —Time Magazine

  • 1974 — “Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age” —The Washington Post

  • 1974 — “The facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure … mass deaths by starvation, and probably anarchy and violence.” —The New York Times

  • 1975 — “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind” Nigel Calder, editor, New Scientist magazine, in an article in International Wildlife Magazine

  • 1990 — “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” —Senator Timothy Wirth

  • 1998 — No matter if the science [of global warming] is all phony … climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.“ —Christine Stewart, Canadian Minister of the Environment, Calgary Herald

  • 2006 — "I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” —Al Gore, Grist magazine

  • 2014  — Climate change: It’s even worse than we thought. Five years ago, the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change painted a gloomy picture of our planet’s future. As climate scientists gather evidence for the next report, due in 2014, Michael Le Page gives seven reasons why things are looking even grimmer. —New Scientist (undated in 2014)

Again, these are but a few of the climate headlines over the last century. What is telling is how in more recent years the climate alarmism has become increasingly tied to leftist politics, to the detriment of science.

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