George Will Q&A on his recent column

Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review decided to ask George Will a few questions about his recent column. I respect Steigerwald, precisely because he goes to the trouble of calling up people and asking questions directly. As many WUWT readers know, Will was recently villified for his column and for his printing of his interpretation on arctic sea ice. in particular. The excerpt below gives a window into Will’s thinking. – Anthony

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Will on warming: The cold facts

By Bill Steigerwald

TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Saturday, March 7, 2009

After George F. Will wrote a column last month questioning the faulty premises and apocalyptic predictions of global-warming alarmists, he caught holy heck from America’s “eco-pessimists.” He and his editors at The Washington Post were blasted with thousands of angry e-mails, most of which challenged Will’s assertion that global sea ice levels have not been dramatically reduced by man-made global warming, as environmentalists claim, but are essentially the same as they were in 1979. Will, who had used data from the Arctic Climate Research Center as his source, also was accused of multiple inaccuracies by The New York Times’ Andrew Revkin. Will wrote a second column defending his data and returning fire at Revkin.

All is calm now and Will is getting ready for the start of his favorite season — baseball season. I talked to him by phone on Thursday from his office in Washington.

  • Q: You have felt the righteous wrath of those who believe in man-made global warming. Are you still all there?
  • A: Oh, heavens. Yeah. The odd thing about these people is, normally when I write something that people disagree with they write letters to the editor or they write a responding op-ed piece. These people simply set out to try and get my editors to not publish my columns. Now I don’t blame them, because I think if my arguments were as shaky as theirs are, I wouldn’t want to engage in argument either.
  • Q: The big issue was about how much global sea ice there is now compared to 1979.
  • A: And that of course was a tiny portion of the column. The critics completely ignored — as again, understandably — the evidence I gave of the global cooling hysteria of 30 years ago.
  • Q: They like to pretend that there really wasn’t any hysteria back then.
  • A: Since I quoted the hysteria, it’s a little hard for them to deny it.
  • Q: What disturbs you most about this global warming consensus that seems to be pretty widespread and doesn’t seem to be eroding?
  • A: Well, I think it is eroding, in the sense that people sign on to be alarmed because it’s socially responsible … (and because it makes them feel good). But once they get to the price tag, once they are asked to do something about it, like pay trillions of dollars, they begin to re-think.

I’ve never seen anything quite like this in my now 40 years in Washington. I’ve never seen anything like the enlistment of the mainstream media in a political crusade — and this is a political crusade, because it’s about how we should be governed and how we should live; those are the great questions of politics. It is clearly for some people a surrogate religion. It’s a spiritual quest. It offers redemption. But what it also always offers, whether it is global cooling or global warming, is a rationale for the government to radically increase its supervision of our life and our choices. Whether the globe is cooling, whether it’s warming, the government’s going to be the winner and the governing class will be the winner.

read the entire column at the Pittsburg Tribune-Review

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113 thoughts on “George Will Q&A on his recent column

  1. Very dangerous to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. Even worse to quote what someone said 5,10,30 years ago. Students have been expelled from college just for reprinting (word for word) what their instructor said in class. At least Will has the courage to try.
    “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”

  2. Excellent article!

    •Q: Will you dare to do any more on global warming?
    •A: Well of course! It doesn’t take daring. Seriously, I don’t understand what there is to worry about. In fact, the global warming “caucus,” if you will, seems to me singularly toothless. They can’t even get the globe to cooperate…

    It’s good to hear someone in the mainstream media finally telling the truth.

  3. A breath of fresh air for sure. I wonder that the warmist behave like an old watch dog with a large deep bark but no teeth. It seems that our friend Gore has had another invite to debate and this time it is being well publicized. Perhaps he will have to defend his position and explain how he is making millions off the hysteria he has been chief in promoting.
    Times are a changing,
    Bill Derryberry

  4. The best part of the column is the second half, in which Will puts the whole issue in perspective and describes the repercussions from his column as “just another encounter with another interest group doing interest-group politics. This strikes me as a very minor event.” The discussion then moves on to baseball, a truly important activity.
    What was really revealing was in his description of the response to his column, the effort to, in effect, silence him.
    So, change the social graces guide. In a gathering, do not discuss religion, politics, or environmentalism.

  5. To Destroy the Borg we have to plant a virus. I have invented one that I found that has been around us for millions of years. It is a double helix virus that should destroy any attempts to assimilate us into it’s collective. That virus is truth and facts. The hard part is removing emotion.

  6. George Will lives in his own mental parallel universe — his entire column was pure rubbish, totally unfounded in science, not just the bit about the global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change, a fact that you ALWAYS conveniently leave out for your readers — what’s up with that?
    REPLY: “global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change” Thanks for that Tenney, we’ll remind you of your quote in the future. – Anthony

  7. Tenney Naumer (05:27:37) :
    —”…his entire column was pure rubbish, totally unfounded in science,”
    How could it be rubbish if it was unfounded in eco-pseudo-science? Then new “science” is the rubbish. We will be cleaning up this pigsty for the next fifty years.

  8. We have to get over thinking that “science” matters, or that “facts” are meaningful.
    The real fact is that government needs more money to take care of us, and using “cap and trade” is a good way for them to get it. Then, they can help the poor.
    Are you against helping people?

  9. George Will is true-blue. How else can one describe a man who has spent a conscious lifetime in unwavering fidelity to the Chicago Cubs?

  10. George Will really does live in his own mental parallel universe.
    What an idiot!
    I really can’t believe that anyone in their right mind would predict that the Pirates would be better than .500 this season.


  11. Whether the globe is cooling, whether it’s warming, the government’s going to be the winner and the governing class will be the winner.

    Only if good people do nothing. Thank you for doing something.
    –Mike Ramsey

  12. Bravo!, however the hard argument of GWrs is : “If the UN and many scientists of all the world back these theories then they must be true”. Without the UN backing him the leader of this eschatological “cult” would be seen as one more of those preaching “the end of the world”. So, the efforts of people like George Will, should be aimed to the source…..and he could take the Pirates along to help him!

  13. bill (05:47:44) :
    Yes, indeed. If there was a real problem we would be spending all of the cap and trade money on it. Just another transparent re-distribution scheme.

  14. Sure Anthony,
    Feel free to remind me and the NSIDC and Cryosphere Today while you are at it.
    REPLY: Thanks Tenny, we always do. Thats why both NSIDC and Cyrosphere have made changes to the web presentations. We remind them when they are in error. Along those lines, by labeling people with angry words, what do you expect to accomplish? – Anthony

  15. (and because it makes them feel good)
    That’d be about all you really actually need to know about global warming. (Amongst about a half-dozen other hysterias propogated by certain political groups.)

  16. OT but a company called Evelop are wanting to build wind turbines in UK. They brag on their website that 11 of their staff are amongst the 2000 “scientists” who have written the IPCC reports.
    Evelop are only one company. There must be plenty of other companies benefitting from the warming scare who also have staff wotking with the IPCC.
    Clearly the IPCC cannot claim to be independent, unbiased or objective.

  17. He also says “..we have enormous political and financial stakes in convincing people that vast shifts of power and resources should be given to the government to combat climate change.”
    In Europe (and the US) there is a huge government desire to stimulate the world economy. Leaving aside for a moment the direct spend, the thinking goes that environmental regulation generally (and that related to climate change in particular) is a great way of stimulating innovation – both the desire to produce and the need or desire to purchase innovations:
    – new or better products and processes;
    – those that better meet the new regulations;
    – new low carbon fuels;
    – efficient powertrains, etc.
    This is universally seen (by those in power) as a good thing, regardless of whether global warming is real or not. It is for this reason that the AGW ideology will hold on at a political level for a long time – as long as it can.

  18. Anthony, who is angry? Not me. You still have not explained the utility of the global ice extent figure. What is up with that?
    REPLY: Tenney, some introspection is in order for you. I urge you to review your comments here. You use labels, for effect and for derision. You also don’t get to change the subject. What do you hope to accomplish by using such labels? Do you think that you’ll win any converts by calling them “flat earthers”?.
    May I offer some assistance for you? I suggest reading How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
    See point #1 as it pertains to the labeling you practice. On the plus side, you have softened just a bit. Initially you referred to me just as “Watts” in your first posts. Now you’ve changed to addressing me by my first name. I appreciate the improvement in your demeanor. – Anthony

  19. bill (05:47:44) :
    Bill,
    Congratulations you managed to fit two types of fallacious arguments into that short post.
    1. “The real fact is that government needs more money to take care of us, and using “cap and trade” is a good way for them to get it. Then, they can help the poor.”
    This is circular reasoning argument that first assumes that the government wants to take care of us, (and even assumes that would be a good thing) and uses that assumption to prove that cap and trade is a good thing because the government can take care of us.
    2. “Are you against helping people?
    This is a straight forward argument by rhetorical question; a crude construct that needs no response.
    But your first point that science doesn’t matter to the current administration is correct. Maybe not well received here on this science based site, but correct.

  20. Tenney Naumer (05:27:37): global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change
    Agreed, Tenney: “the ‘science’ of ‘climate change'” = “fossil fuel CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and we’re all gonna’ die from it [repeat, repeat, repeat….]”
    Except, that for those such as Tenney who are attacking and trying to shut up George Will, there is no “discussion”.

  21. Would George be interested in a guest post here?
    REPLY: Compared to his reach, WUWT is small potatoes. Besides, his contract likely stipulates otherwise. – Anthony

  22. hey bill
    when the government helps the poor people by taxing the not-so-poor
    does the government create more poor people??
    other wise noted in the past as taxing yourself to wealth..

  23. Being a liberal, with very odd extremely conservative beliefs peppering my “love is hard enough to find for anyone so let gays marry, we collectively need to take care of those who truly cannot care for themselves, stay outta my bedroom and babywomb, etc”, persona, there is much for me not to agree with when it comes to Will. But on this point, I am firmly in his camp.

  24. Tenney Naumer (05:27:37) :
    George Will lives in his own mental parallel universe — his entire column was pure rubbish, totally unfounded in science, not just the bit about the global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change, a fact that you ALWAYS conveniently leave out for your readers — what’s up with that?

    I have yet to see anyone provide any “science” to disprove what Will wrote. And I’ve been looking really hard.
    The only arguments I’ve seen against Will are either ad hominem attacks or arguments by assertion. Argument by assertion is, by definition, not very bright. Kinda like trying to beat your opponent up with a cotton candy bat.

  25. “The real fact is that government needs more money to take care of us, and using “cap and trade” is a good way for them to get it. ”
    There it is right there.
    Someone who wants to be taken care of by a nanny state and doesn’t care if the rest of us don’t want that.

  26. Ellie in Belfast,
    If government wants to give the economy a kick start and speed up innovation they need do only do a few things.
    -Scrap income tax. Government collects plenty of taxes from alcohol, firearms, licenses, road tax, sales tax, cigarettes, gas, import/export duties, TV licenses, and so on! The money we keep from scrapping income taxes gets spent on most of the above anyway.
    -Lead by example. Streamline government and making it more efficient.
    -Technology, automobile and energy companies should be given a tax rebate for every penny they spend on Research and Development. This encourages them to spend as much as possibly on development and head hunting for talent.
    Very simple solution and much better than flooding banks with Monopoly money.

  27. It is only anecdotal, but the lows in Plentywood, Montana for the next 3 days are to be -6, -17, and -25F.

  28. Aron,
    For the most part I couldn’t agree more. Especially with your last two lines.
    R&D tax credits do that exist are good, but it is still a case of the government controlling how money is spent (i.e. we’ll tax you, then allow you to claim it back for certain things we really want you to do).
    The point I’m making is that they will do all they can to keep global warming as an excuse.

  29. Tenney declared,
    ” global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change”.
    Have you told Gore that?
    Next thing you’ll be doing is telling us global temperature trends are worthless when discussing the science of climate change.
    Tenny,
    Do you realize how many unrelated observations the alrmists have, without any basis, attributed to global warming? It’s a stunning demonstration of
    cult like fabrications.
    Yet you are inferring that it is Will, et al, (people here) who are applying worthless data to global warming.
    You must have a job in the global warming arena.

  30. bill: “Are you against helping people?”
    I prefer to help people when I choose, where I choose, how I choose. I do not believe in the government taking my money by threat of force to help people they want to help which may not be the same as those I want to help.
    It is a tried and true method of dictatorships to first take away the people’s money, then their guns and then ration the staples of life to keep everyone dependent on those in power. Step one is underway in the US, beware when step two begins (very shortly I think).

  31. George Will: “I’ve never seen anything quite like this in my now 40 years in Washington. I’ve never seen anything like the enlistment of the mainstream media in a political crusade “…. perhaps then this chap should start paying attention to the world around him. He could start with the widespread failure of the media in the build up to the Iraq war. He could also look into the medias hyping of the housing boom (espcialy neanderthals like Jim Cramer).
    Actualy any ‘journalist’ who makes a statement like the one above is either lying or stupid.

  32. Thanks for this post Anthony.
    The value is Will’s identification of AGW as interest group politics. Present day AGW theory is IMO, an altruistic mutation. At the outset, enviro-greens embraced the need for a more sustainable planet. Their goal was to enlist youth and progressives into a political movement with ecology as its front piece. But buried inside the ecology is the core agenda: social engineering, behavior modification, and collective government.
    The architects of the eco-front are trained in “catastrophe action.” The causal effect of fear-based behavior modification. For global modification they needed a global catastrophe – so a few scientists hatched the carbon dioxide scenario as their focal point. Global warming addresses a concoction of political enemies: big oil, big industry, market-based economies, sovereign nationality, materialism and ultimately, individuality. While many climbed aboard the train to alternative energy/energy independence with good intent – it has veered far off track to an absurd level of social engineering and virtual sophistry.
    As is acknowledged here daily – the science behind AGW is wobbly at best. Mr. Will, and a growing body of honest scientists, skeptics and good people are coming forward to tell that story. It WILL be heard for one simple reason: it is true.

  33. Tenney:
    Have you ever complained to AGW proponents, like Gore for instance, that ” global sea ice extent, [is] a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change”? If not, why not?

  34. Pragmatic, what you describe is eerily similar to communism… and we all know what the human cost ended up being.

  35. I hope George Will and the “Where’s the Beef?” editorials etc. are the start of a new wave in journalism.
    The shrill and sophomoric reactions we’ve been hearing lately are true signs of AGW desparation. It won’t be too long before the rats start to leave their sinking ship.
    I hope that George Will will keep his promise to keep writing about AGW.
    I expect he will once Congress starts their grand Cap & Trade legislation in earnest.

  36. Tenney @ (05:27:37):

    George Will lives in his own mental parallel universe — his entire column was pure rubbish, totally unfounded in science, not just the bit about the global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change,…

    Tenney, in all seriousness, have you not heard or seen the hue & cry from the AGW crowd and their friends in the media about the poor, helpless, drowning polar bears over the past number of years? It is one of the most often-used canards that is trotted out by Mr. Gore and his fellow AGW alarmists as proof of global warming “climate change”.
    The good Rev. Watts and his incredibly talented team of deniers skeptics have repeatedly corrected the >scientific record with their carefully-researched responses to the unscientific, shoddy and, sometimes, shady “peer-reviewed findings” and reporting on AGW. (The recent BBC kerfluffle immediately leaps to mind.)
    Mr. Watts and his fellow researchers are more than happy to openly debate the facts and, more importantly, they will admit when mistakes in data crunching have been made and they will correct the record publicly, for all to see. Will you be admonishing Mr. Gore & his good friend, James Hansen, for their on-going refusal to publicly debate the facts, in a neutral forum, and their continued refusal to publicly (and loudly) admit the gargantuan flaws in their “science”?
    Best regards,
    B.C.

  37. There’s blue smoke coming out of the tailpipe of AGW, and a big oil drip when it’s parked. George Will and the Boston Globe just left a couple of tickets on the windshield. Fixit tickets.

  38. “There must be plenty of other companies benefitting from the warming scare who also have staff wotking with the IPCC.”
    There is a name for this economic arrangement. It is fascism. Here is a definition of fascism that is pretty even handed.
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html
    Most of the other links to fascism are ironically very funny, because they purport to show that Bush was a fascist, but when you look at them, the “points of fascism” fit Obama far better than they do Bush. For instance, Orwell predicted the “Weekly Hates” that improve loyalty among the faithful. These hates were aimed at individuals. The most recent “hate” of the Obama followers is Rush, but before that it was George Will, before that it was Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter is always good for a sweet frisson of lefty hate, of course there is the incomparable Bush, but before that, they hated his dad, they hated Reagan with a deep passion. The left needs a crisis, “it is a shame to let a good crisis go to waste” Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emmanuel both said it, so let’s invent one in Global Warming.

  39. “He could also look into the medias hyping of the housing boom (espcialy neanderthals like Jim Cramer).”
    Dorlomon, don’t read this post if you want to keep your precious beliefs intact, because it is devastating, and the sooner you forget all of this evidence of Democrat malfeasance, the better for your brownshirt voice on the blogs.
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/03/meltdown.html
    Hint, Barack Obama, as a young lawyer, filed suit against CitiBank to force them to make sub prime loans, on the grounds that not to do so was racist.
    I guess the new weekly hate is against Jim Cramer, who dared to criticize “the one.” All patriotic comrades who benefit from the glorious revolution must now hate evil enemy of the people “Jim Cramer” as he has been denounced as traitor by White House!

  40. Mike Kelley (08:32:05) : said
    “It is only anecdotal, but the lows in Plentywood, Montana for the next 3 days are to be -6, -17, and -25F.”
    MIke, this is alarming, especially as I have noticed that the English Channel a few hundred yards from my house suddenly dropped no less than 2 feet in an hour and half an hour later was down by 3 foot 6. So there are two ecological disasters about to happen.
    The first is that through a series of complex yet robust calculations I can confidently state that Plentywood will have reached absolute zero within 15 hours. Secondly that the entire English Cannel will be drained in the same time, thereby stranding ships and causing all the fish to die.
    Extrapolation of trends is a well known and highly exact science so can you please let me know this time tomorow if you have managed to survive absolute zero? For my part I will be taking the opportunity to walk to france. Keep safe and wrap up well.
    TonyB

  41. All journalists must stand the criticism with which they level.
    It doesn’t mean we hate them, and it doesn’t mean that to criticize them makes us facist. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t make one a facist, either.
    When the dissenting views are quashed, that is the day you can be alarmed.
    Until then, the Sun remains blank of spots, the solar flux is flatlined, the cosmic rays are at max, the magnetogram is listless, the ocean is not rising 10 feet a year, the Poles are not melting in searing heat, and journalists like George Will take their aim at obvious “where’s the beef” discrepancies.
    Solar Physicists like Leif Svaalgard put out their predictions and theories with the understanding that if they are wrong, they will withdraw gracefully.
    Others like Hathaway keep twiddling and draw the fire they deserve.
    Still others, like Hansen & Gore, go over the edge when they start demanding that half the power in the US be turned off on the basis of thier model that has obviously gone terribly awry.

  42. If you want a truly alarming predicition, try Johannes Friede (1204-1257)
    “When nights will be filled with more intensive cold and days with heat, a new life will begin in nature. The heat means radiation from the earth, the cold the waning light of the sun. Only a few years more and you will become aware that sunlight has grown perceptibly weaker. When even your artificial light will cease to give service, the great event in the heavens will be near. ”
    It’s so darned easy to look back 50 years or so and make a prediction, is it not?
    How hard is it to make a prediction 750 years ago, and hit a homer?
    Hint: You can’t go around handing out dates 3/4 of a thousand years hence.
    Your hockey stick will have crumbled into dust long before that.

  43. Leave it to a George Will to tread first where others tremble.
    Nobody bats a 1,000, but there are those who are Willing to face the meanest/scariest pitchers, with the game on the line in the 9th inning, and earn thier respect every day of the week.

  44. For all of you believers in science, who are picking on Tenney Naumer, please reconsider your arguments.
    He’s right, not for the reason you read into his post but because of the weasel wording of his argument. Tenney did not say that global sea ice extent was worthless when discussing “global warming”. He said it was worthless “when discussing the science of climate change”. And there’s the rub, there is no science behind climate change.
    The first rule of the scientific method is that a hypothesis must be formulated in such a way that it can be disproved. The hypothesis of global warming has been disproved by a decade of cooling and multiple studies of the components of the computer models.
    That’s why Al Gore and associates have spent $300M re-branding the issue as climate change. Because climate always changes, the concept of climate change cannot be disproved. And so it is not science.
    Climate change or climate crisis are just red herrings to keep the focus off of the failure of the hypothesis of CO2 caused global warming.
    Politics anyone?

  45. Tenney had it right. i am surprised by the reactions. GLOBAL sea ice extend is an unimportant factor. global warming has its strongest effect on summer arctic sea ice. and VOLUME is the important factor, that you guys should look at.
    the “global cooling hysteria” of the 70s is a myth as well. a handful of articles in popular science magazins, nothing in real scientific journals.

  46. Tenney Naumer (#8)
    “George Will lives in his own mental parallel universe — his entire column was pure rubbish, totally unfounded in science, not just the bit about the global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change, a fact that you ALWAYS conveniently leave out for your readers — what’s up with that?”
    Then that means we shouldn’t see the MSM trot out the “sea ice extent reaches new low”, or “sea ice extent levels have unprecedented decline” or…
    Any talk about a “ice free Arctic” means they ARE discussing the sea ice. Remember, the majority of the Arctic IS sea ice.
    And, BTW, if this number is so unimportant, why are the NSIDC and Cryosphere Today tracking it, anyway?

  47. I think in some ways the press releases from places such as NASA have generated some unrealistic expectations on the part of the average person. By sounding so authoritative in tone, people get the impression that we know, with a high degree of confidence, what is going on inside the sun. So when the forecasts fail, they want to cast the scientists involved as incompetent or something. I see it as the sun is sort of like a black box. We can’t know what is actually going on inside right now and we attempt to deduce what is going on by what emits from the box. Now maybe there is no “one thing” that drives the solar cycles.
    Maybe there is a combination of many factors. Maybe we don’t even know about them all yet. And so you might have one group of researchers who are looking at one set of indications and another group of researchers watching another. Maybe some cycles one group is more accurate maybe other cycles the other group is more accurate. It might not mean that one group or the other is more or less competent than the other. It might just mean that the thing one group is watching this cycle is more dominant in the total dynamics going on inside and in other years, the other thing is dominant. And it could be that all things things operate independently and “beat” against each other in ways that make them both wrong sometimes and other things they haven’t discovered yet dominate what is going on or they all cancel each other out or something.
    We seem to have this expectation that a researcher can forecast with some degree of certainty what is going to happen with the sun each cycle. And when one group or individual gets it right this time, everyone runs from the other forecasters and say things like “Others like Hathaway keep twiddling and draw the fire they deserve.”
    Didn’t Hathaway get cycle 23 pretty much right? What happens when we get a cycle where Svalgaard and Hathaway both get it wrong? I don’t think that reflects on their competence as researchers and scientists, I think that reflects on the complexity of what they are studying and how much humans still don’t know about what is going on inside the sun.
    Maybe there are things going on that we can’t see. Maybe as the sun goes around the galaxy we go through areas that have more or less “dark” matter and maybe that stuff causes changes in how the sun works. We can’t see the stuff so we can’t tell in advance what is going to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not literally saying that dark matter changes the sun because I would have no way of knowing that. What I am saying is that there could well be things that we can’t see yet or know about yet that have an influence on what goes on. Or there could be several things and they operate on slightly different cycles and sometimes they add together and sometimes they cancel or there could be other things that modify the things we know about.
    In other words, I believe this expectation that any researcher is going to “get it right” 100% of the time given the state of our knowledge of what drives solar cycles is unreasonable and unfair to the researchers involved.

  48. Polyscience is for us layman sitting around having a beer with friends. We don’t mean anything by it, and we don’t go around forcing it on others.
    If you get up on the Soapbox and start dishing out scary predictions that fail, then prepare to get escorted off the Soapbox. You’ll be the talk of the next round at the Pub, and attract the barbs of journalists like Will.
    If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    Next!

  49. I also thought of “Iraq’s WMDs” when George Will talked about how the media has become a hysteria machine rather than a provider of information. If it bleeds, it leads. Same applies to a great deal of the silly stuff we do nowadays.

  50. sod:

    the “global cooling hysteria” of the 70s is a myth as well. a handful of articles in popular science magazins, nothing in real scientific journals

    LOL!
    No, it was real. You obviously weren’t there… but go ahead, make absurd claims about something you know nothing about. That seems to be the hallmark of your “side”.

  51. The global cooling scare isn’t a myth, but it wasn’t as wide scale as anything you see now

  52. Maurice Garoutte wrote:
    “For all of you believers in science, ”
    Anyone who ‘believes’ in science can exit stage left right about now. Science and the scientific method is not about belief, it is about predictions and results. Science produces an abstraction of reality, a reduced (reductionist) view of reality that can be used to make predictions about the the physcial world. Even Newtons fantastic model of gravity was eventualy supplanted by special and general relativity, but can still be widely used.
    One should not ‘believe’ in science, one should simply accept that it represents a series of efforts to reduce the universe to understandable and predictable abstractions.

  53. And back when the Ice Age coming hysteria was out and about, we the ordinary walk of life were more concerned about the immediate consequences and what was being done about it. Nobody paid attention to who was calling for it, or what political persuasion they were.
    The biggest surprise I got with AGW was to find out that Hansen was formerly IAC (Ice Age Coming).
    The hockey stick was simply flip over (flip-flop).
    So does a fish on the shore. Flip-Flop.
    George Will would be the cat pawing the water out of the goldfish bowl.
    Yummy fishy.

  54. sod wrote:
    “Tenney had it right. i am surprised by the reactions. GLOBAL sea ice extend [sic] is an unimportant factor.”
    HUH???
    Well I guess it is a free country and a free world and I suppose people are free to say what they want to say and free to believe what they want to believe…no matter how ridiculous.
    But back to this thread:
    How about that George Will?? He is (and always has been) one of the best intellects in the journalistic world.
    His weapon? Logic, truth, and a good dose of common sense. He would make a damn good scientist.
    My favorite quote of Will in this latest interview (my emphasis in CAPS:)
    “I’ve never seen anything quite like this in my now 40 years in Washington. I’ve never seen anything like the enlistment of the mainstream media in a political crusade — and this is a political crusade, because it’s about how we should be governed and how we should live; those are the great questions of politics. IT IS CLEARLY FOR SOME A SURROGATE RELIGION.”
    Spot on, George! Keep it coming.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  55. sod
    In light of the fact that the great loss in sea ice extent predicted for the last two summers never happened and that taking into account the uncertainties involved it doesn’t appear there has been any decline in 30 years in ice extent, what the heck makes you think the ice volume is vastly different?
    In the absence of some pretty unlikely to exist evidence, that contention is just silly.
    As to the 70s global cooling hysteria, it wasn’t as persistent or immune to scientific evidence as the current rubbish; but, I lived through it, saying it is a myth is a bald faced lie. The agenda driven pseudo scientists appear to have learned from their failure to get modern society to commit suicide with their acid rain hysteria, or with their nuclear winter scenario, or pesticides, or take your pick of a dozen other evironmental apocalypse predictions; that doesn’t mean they are finally right this time.

  56. sod (14:40:45) :
    Thanks for that sod. Unfortunately it’s not “hard data”, it’s an opinion piece.
    Come up with some *real* hard data please. Thank you.

  57. I think that what Sod and Tenney are arguing is that GLOBAL sea ice is meaningless. This follows the typical warmist meme of cherry picking. The Antarctic ice is growing? It’s “climacticly isolated”. The arctic ice is shrinking? It’s the “canary in the coal mine ” for AGW.

  58. I find myself impatient with those who insist there was no Global Cooling hysteria at the time in question in this thread. Perhaps those insisting it never happened are simply younger people. Those of us getting old (I’m 57) remember, and to tell us it didn’t happen, and it was no big deal . . . is very unsatisfying. One can forgive those who get a little testy about being told that the fact they observed never happened.
    Also, John is right about the “Myth of the global cooling consensus”. I would add that soon there will articles touting the “Myth of the global warming consensus”! 🙂
    Best to you all, and goodnight!
    Grant Hodges

  59. I threw out some things from my parents house that were all related to programs in school that covered the “coming ice age”. I wish I had kept them, but there was absolutely concern over this issue.
    As to Tenney’s first post on this topic, if sea ice extent is such a worthless number (in my opinion it would be properly termed a value), what makes it so? And further, what value would be appropriate?
    I ask you Tenny to check how sea ice extent has been used to support the theory of man made CO2 as the primary driver of global warming.
    A simple web search :
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/10/an_inconvenient_truth_team_gor_1.html
    This is just one of many articles purporting that declining sea ice extent has had a remarkable effect on the environment. This one was relating to how the reduction in ice extent is imperiling the polar bear. Even “An Incovenient Truth” has it cited.
    There are many more, but I’m waiting for some “proof” on your part rather than a swipe at those who are skeptics. The burden of proof on your theory is on you. Please, show me how wrong I am.

  60. Grant,
    I remember the cooling scare and I was really frightened.
    I think that anyone who denies this past event might be properly called a “cooling scare denier”, just as those who deny another past event might properly called “holocaust deniers”.
    If you don’t believe something that is supposedly manifesting itself NOW however, I don’t think you can properly call that person a denier. Am I a “parapsychology denier”, a “ghost denier” or a “flying saucer denier”. No, but I am rightly skeptical that those things are verifiable, even though the documentation is voluminous and the percentage of Americans who believe is astounding.
    In my opinion AGW Skeptic is the only honest way to describe someone who does not believe the ramshackle case for man-caused warming.

  61. Once again, this thread has boiled down to the actual problem: a Belief system.
    Kids today don’t “believe” in the ice age scare, because they look stuff up on Google and can’t see much there. Of course, it doesn’t occur to them that back in the 70s THERE WAS NO INTERNET… no method of gaining news other than the mainstream media or wild-eyed lunatics passing out typewritten screeds on streetcorners. As a result, we were forced to believe what the media told us.
    Oh, and we believed a lot of crap. Take, for example, the baby boomer generation. The entire generation that were teens and early 20s in the 1960s were uniquely programmed to believe some of the most absurd and ridiculous things. They were forced to endure a war (as if no other generation before them ever got drafted), and were empty vessels to be used for propaganda by the enemy… which many did very enthusiastically and effectively (ahem Jane Fonda).
    It’s no wonder conspiracy theories abound, since so much of what we were told was outright BS. It is easy to make the logical leap and realize that if X and Y were lies, maybe we shouldn’t trust Z. Was it Lee Harvey Oswald? Did they really land on the moon? Etc. Etc.
    As the boomers grew up, most of them also outgrew their naive willingness to believe utter crap. It’s hard to not trust anyone over 30 when you are in your 60s.
    However, many prominent boomers remember clearly the fame and sometimes fortune they had when they were younger and the world was more gullible. So tie in a “GLOBAL THREAT” to a built-in target audience already willing to embrace anything “eco” or “green”, in spite of the fact that most of these “eco” and “green” groups do FAR more harm than good, and you can skim a lot of cash. Who cares about the consequences? I got mine.
    And hey, is it coincidence that the people driving this short bus are boomers? Gore, Hansen, make the list, check what they were doing during the Summer of Love.
    Hit the buzz words and you can convince a majority of anything. It’s for the children. Save the animals. Save a particular cute type of animal, that’s more effective. These people believe it is okay to deliberately lie and exaggerate to force others to their will, and even when it is revealed that this is their plan, the gullibles still want to believe.
    What I find most amusing is the sheer quantity of willing accomplices they have convinced, willing to do battle against those who have seen through the charade. No, not every scientist doing AGW research is “fraudulent”, and many of them probably fervently believe in what they are doing. But if you go in search of something, you won’t stop until you find it (lesson from the Holy Grail). It’s easy to discount evidence that what you are seeking does not exist when you are completely convinced it does.

  62. And some of those folks around in the 70’s were sidetracked by ‘other’ things, like Saturday Night Fever. Not everyone paid attention to the fantastic picutures coming in from Pioneer, Voyager etc., so it is not surprising if folks who enjoyed the warmer climates paid little attention to the coming Ice Age hyperbola. In the West, we actually did have a drought. The weather forecast was sickeningly monotonous: “Fair through Doomsday”. It was short lived, and so was the Ice Age Warning that couldn’t deliver the Beef.

  63. I like the WUWT comment at the start
    ” I respect Steigerwald, precisely because he goes to the trouble of calling up people and asking questions directly. ”
    Unlike Mr Will of course 😉
    Regards
    Andy

  64. John Laidlaw (16:57:56) :
    contra
    sod (14:40:45) :
    “Thanks for that sod. Unfortunately it’s not “hard data”, it’s an opinion piece.”
    John must have missed the graphs, tables & “hard numbers” clearly showing the preponderence of studies on warming – not cooling – from 1965-1979. Granted, especially given that William Connelly, Wikipedia’s AGW Gatekeeper, was one of the authors, there could have been some cherrypicking; but on the face of it, the article is pretty convincing (and I too lived through & remember the cooling scare of the mid-70’s; but what I remember was exclusively in the popular press – I didn’t read scientific publications back then).
    So unless someone can show evidence of bias in the article & produce some “hard” evidence that climate scientists are simply Blowin’ in the Wind, I’m prepared to concede the point: The so-called Scientific Consensus on Global Cooling was a media-fabricated myth.
    And for the record, I am firmly in the “unconvinced” camp when it comes to AGW.

  65. “The so-called Scientific Consensus on Global Cooling was a media-fabricated myth.”
    That may well be true, but there really was a cooling scare. I also believe there is a warming scare happening now.
    Is there a scientific consensus for catastrophic global warming now? I will believe there is when every science organization has a secret ballot of their members, and more than 80% of their members agree that Global warming is caused by man and will cause catastrophe within twenty years. Otherwise it’s just another scare like every other scare… with more money at stake.
    The so-called Scientific Consensus on AGW may well be another media-fabricated myth. Where’s the beef?

  66. PaddikJ (00:18:36) :
    Actually I didn’t miss them – I just took into account the journalistic style of the article (it starts with a two-word sentence, “The myth.”), the fact that on page 6 under the heading “Popular Literature of the Era”, the opening sentence starts, “There are too many potential newspaper articles to adequately assess…”, and the fact that William M. Connolley is an author, is enough to say “trust this only after you’ve checked every single fact, figure and citation”. The graphs, tables and citations do indeed exist and are consistent with each other – one would expect nothing less – but this does not mean they are exhaustive, accurate, or actually say what the article infers they do.
    This is an article from (at least partly) an author who has no problem presenting a slanted and misrepresentative view on the world in order to advance his own agenda… just like the rest of us, eh? :). But, he is a politician… failed, but still a politician. And yes, I do know he’s a Ph.D. He has also gained a reputation for being intractable and invariant in his views, and will shout down any who disagrees even slightly with those views. He is, I believe, attempting to rewrite history to suit his purpose, in much the same way that others attempted to expunge the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.
    So, no, I didn’t miss the ‘graphs, tables & “hard numbers”’, I just didn’t accept them blindly.

  67. I think that what Sod and Tenney are arguing is that GLOBAL sea ice is meaningless. This follows the typical warmist meme of cherry picking. The Antarctic ice is growing? It’s “climacticly isolated”. The arctic ice is shrinking? It’s the “canary in the coal mine ” for AGW.
    this is false.
    there is a big difference, between the northern and the southern hemisphere. the south has more water, and reacts differently to warming.
    the important part of sea ice, is summer ice. looking at GLOBAL levels is useless, because you always have one part in summer and one in winter size.
    the norths shows a significant downward trend. as predicted by the models.

  68. sod,
    I clearly recall the incessant hand-wringing in the media during the 1970’s over the global cooling scare. Stories were everywhere: radio, TV, newspapers and magazines. It was like today’s global warming scare, only back then the scare was over global cooling.
    The paper by Connolley, et al is bogus. The authors use an extremely subjective term — “implying” — when counting whether a media report was about warming or cooling. ‘Implying’ can mean just about anything the authors want it to mean. They extrapolate from their own count of their implied articles, and tally the results.
    Then they excuse their shoddy and biased research by stating:

    There are too many potential newspaper articles to adequately assess.

    So they picked the media reports that they wanted to pick.
    Note that one of the authors is a journalist. Any scribbler worth his salt has the resources to research every article on global cooling and global warming printed at the time in question. Claiming that there are ‘too many articles to adequately assess’ is hogwash. They picked what they wanted, and discarded the inconvenient articles.
    It’s no secret that William Connolley has an axe to grind; an AGW agenda to promote. He promotes it heavily. Please don’t try to deny that obvious fact. And Connolley wouldn’t co-sign a paper with people he disagrees with, so they are all tainted from feeding at the same trough.
    Just because something has a .pdf appended doesn’t mean it’s not intended to be propaganda.

  69. Pragmatic (09:21:04) :
    Thanks for this post Anthony.
    The value is Will’s identification of AGW as interest group politics. Present day AGW theory is IMO, an altruistic mutation. At the outset, enviro-greens embraced the need for a more sustainable planet. Their goal was to enlist youth and progressives into a political movement with ecology as its front piece. But buried inside the ecology is the core agenda: social engineering, behavior modification, and collective government.
    The architects of the eco-front are trained in “catastrophe action.” The causal effect of fear-based behavior modification. For global modification they needed a global catastrophe – so a few scientists hatched the carbon dioxide scenario as their focal point. Global warming addresses a concoction of political enemies: big oil, big industry, market-based economies, sovereign nationality, materialism and ultimately, individuality. While many climbed aboard the train to alternative energy/energy independence with good intent – it has veered far off track to an absurd level of social engineering and virtual sophistry.
    As is acknowledged here daily – the science behind AGW is wobbly at best. Mr. Will, and a growing body of honest scientists, skeptics and good people are coming forward to tell that story. It WILL be heard for one simple reason: it is true.

    Antonio San (09:37:37) :
    Pragmatic, what you describe is eerily similar to communism… and we all know what the human cost ended up being.

    Anybody familiar with the 1980’s nuclear freeze crowd and the West Germans ‘Greens’? These ‘enviro’ groups were heavily funded and supported by the former Soviet Union.

  70. Wondering Aloud (16:37:49) :
    sod
    In light of the fact that the great loss in sea ice extent predicted for the last two summers never happened and that taking into account the uncertainties involved it doesn’t appear there has been any decline in 30 years in ice extent, what the heck makes you think the ice volume is vastly different?
    In the absence of some pretty unlikely to exist evidence, that contention is just silly.
    As to the 70s global cooling hysteria, it wasn’t as persistent or immune to scientific evidence as the current rubbish; but, I lived through it, saying it is a myth is a bald faced lie. The agenda driven pseudo scientists appear to have learned from their failure to get modern society to commit suicide with their acid rain hysteria, or with their nuclear winter scenario, or pesticides, or take your pick of a dozen other evironmental apocalypse predictions; that doesn’t mean they are finally right this time.

    I remember it quite well. Being a teenager at the time, my response to an impending ice age was ‘cool‘!
    We didn’t have the World Wide Web in those days, or other alternate media. The media then was all over the threats of a new ice age, but this was quickly forgotten after a few years and some other ‘crisis’ was found. (I believe it was ‘nuclear winter’ that next came to forefront.)

  71. We are far more likely to be destroyed by what we don’t know about than what we do know about. Particularly when we pretend that we do know all about what we don’t know about.

  72. I recently watched “Expelled” by Ben Stein. Although the subject of that film has nothing to do with AGW, it’s amazing the similarities in tactics that are used to silence voices that do not adhere to the approved dogma.
    I also ran across an interesting quote in a book that is repected in some circles over the weekend:
    O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called
    1 Timothy 6:20 (King James Version)

  73. So they picked the media reports that they wanted to pick.
    the paper actually doesn t really look at “media reports” at all. it looks at SCIENTIFIC PAPERS.
    there is a difference. as there is a difference between GLOBAL sea ice extent and ARCTIC sea ice extent, and its relevance for AGW.
    there was at best a tiny “hysteria” about global cooling in newspaper headlines and popular magazins in the 70s.
    this is something completely different to the major concern about global warming in scientific papers today.
    Just because something has a .pdf appended doesn’t mean it’s not intended to be propaganda.
    please read it, before you comment on it. it doesn t say, what you claim it says.
    Anybody familiar with the 1980’s nuclear freeze crowd and the West Germans ‘Greens’? These ‘enviro’ groups were heavily funded and supported by the former Soviet Union.
    all of this is false.
    We didn’t have the World Wide Web in those days, or other alternate media. The media then was all over the threats of a new ice age, but this was quickly forgotten after a few years and some other ‘crisis’ was found. (I believe it was ‘nuclear winter’ that next came to forefront.)
    again, what the media said is irrelevant.
    and even the media problem was mainly in false headlines, that didn t fully capture the story. (a rather typical problem, since much longer than the 70s..)
    and false representation of scientific articles. (another problem, that continues up until today. Will s articles about global warming are the best recent example!)

  74. Off subject:
    As an anesthetist I think it is hilarious that the EPA may soon deem co2 a pollutant. In surgery during laparascopic procedures we insufflate the abdominal cavity with co2. This is done thousands times each day all over the globe. Will this co2 insufflation become illegal? Hundreds of thousands of liters are used each day around the world.

  75. Tenney Naumer (05:27:37) :
    George Will lives in his own mental parallel universe — his entire column was pure rubbish, totally unfounded in science, not just the bit about the global sea ice extent, a virtually worthless number when discussing the science of climate change, a fact that you ALWAYS conveniently leave out for your readers — what’s up with that?

    Someone obviously forgot to tell the IPCC:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=10560630&pnum=0

  76. sod, you must be too young to remember the frantic alarmism over the global cooling scare in the ’70’s. You stated that “there was at best a tiny “hysteria” about global cooling.” ‘Tiny’?? That statement is so far off the mark it can only be called flat wrong. There was a huge amount of global cooling hysteria back then, comparable to today’s global warming hysteria. The only thing missing was the internet.
    I remember very well the scary speculation and panicked frenzy about how global cooling would bring climate disaster; anyone who believes that the scientific establishment wasn’t on board the global cooling bandwagon is either young and naive, or mendacious. Our friend William Connolley is in the latter category.
    Let’s look at just one of the endless media reports of the scientific establishment during the 1970’s, on the specter of global cooling. Newsweek cited a study by the National Academy of Sciences, which stated that the famines resulting from global cooling could be “catastrophic.”
    The NAS study continued: “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale because global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”
    It also reported on a survey done the prior year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the NOAA, which showed a decline of .5° in global temperatures between 1945 and 1968.
    And a report from Columbia University referred to satellite photos showing large increases in Northern Hemisphere snow cover during the 1971 – 72 winter.
    Other scientists reported that the growing season in England had been shortened by two weeks since 1950, resulting in a loss of 100,000 tons of grain. The same report stated the consensus that meteorologists are “almost unanimous” in their view that the cooling trend would continue.
    Yet another NOAA study was reported, which concluded that the average amount of sunshine reaching the ground fell by 1.3% between 1964-72.
    Still another NOAA scientist, Dr. James McQuigg, stated in 1970’s-style global cooling alarmism worthy of Al Gore: “The world’s food producing system is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago.”
    Reid Bryson was quoted as saying in 1975 that the cooling had taken the planet one-sixth of the way to the next Ice Age. That’s scary, no?
    And the National Academy of Sciences back in 1975 sounded just like they sound today: “Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.”
    Yet today’s political establishment is very anxious to spend $Trillions in new tax money to mitigate… what, exactly? There happens to be no global warming at all, only scary alarmism backed by endless “what ifs.”
    You say that “this is something completely different to the major concern about global warming in scientific papers today.” That is simply not true. And Connolley, et al, know this, so they are trying to cover up the truth with their academic-style propaganda piece.
    The reports from the scientific community quoted above are all from just one issue, from just one magazine, from a decade that saw many hundreds, if not thousands of similar global cooling reports from the scientific community.
    Connolley falsely asserts that all of these different scientists and professional organizations were not jumping on the global cooling bandwagon, and he’s falsifying the record when he says that the scientific community believed in global warming in the 1970’s just the same as they do today.
    The quotes above prove that William Connolley is lying when he argues that the global cooling scare was mostly limited to the media, and that the scientific consensus in the 1970’s believed in global warming. Did Newsweek simply fabricate those quotes?
    Finally, another poster made the comment: “Anybody familiar with the 1980’s nuclear freeze crowd and the West Germans ‘Greens’? These ‘enviro’ groups were heavily funded and supported by the former Soviet Union.”
    Your lame response: “All of this is false.” Not only is that no answer, but it is completely wrong. It is a fact that throughout the Cold War the Soviets funneled plenty of money to individuals and organizations helpful to their ideology. And today’s FSB [successor to the KGB] continues to use useful fools to undermine the countries that it still considers to be their capitalist enemy.
    The old Soviet Union funded the same “green” groups that people like George Soros fund today. After the Berlin Wall came down, a lot of formerly classified Soviet documents found their way to the West. Google the Venona papers. There are reams of information showing conclusively, among other things, that the Soviets heavily financed and supported the environmental movement [and many other anti-Western organizations].
    I hope you’re simply too young to have much perspective in these matters. Youth and inexperience gets cut a lot of slack, and rightly so. But if you’re old enough to have lived through the global cooling scare of the ’70’s, and you are still defending the mendacious Mr. Connolley, then you’re just another Fellow Traveler. So let’s hope you’re still a young guy riding the learning curve.

  77. J,
    I see that Tenney isn’t the only one living in a parallel universe. From your link:

    Scientists calculate that if industrial emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases eventually produce a global temperature increase of around 4C, Greenland’s ice covering might melt completely. It would add around 7m to the planet’s sea levels. The consequence: utter devastation.

    The AGW proponents’ desperate scare tactics are looking more and more like the boy who cried “Wolf!!”

  78. On Lucia’s blog it has apparently been decided that George Will did not tell the truth about sea ice. I have taken the liberty to type up this recantation that I am sure George Will will be happy to sign:
    I, George Will, arraigned personally before this tribunal, and kneeling before you, Most Eminent and Revered Scientists, having before my eyes and touching with my hands, the IPCC Report, swear that I have always believed, do believe, and by Gore’s help will in the future believe, all that is held, revealed, and taught by the IPCC. But whereas — after an injunction had been judicially intimated that I must altogether abandon the false opinion that the global sea ice was at the same level on Dec. 31, 2008 as it was on the same day in 1979, and that I must not hold, defend, or teach in any way whatsoever, verbally or in writing, the said false information, and after it had been notified to me that the said doctrine was contrary to the IPCC– I wrote and printed a column in which I discuss this new information, already condemned, and adduced arguments of great cogency in its favor, without presenting any solution of these, and for this reason I have been pronounced by the IPCC to be vehemently suspected of Lying, that is to say, of having held and believed that the global sea ice was at the same level on Dec. 31, 2008 as it was on the same day in 1979:
    Therefore, desiring to remove from the minds of your Eminences, and of all faithful Warmers, this vehement suspicion, justly conceived against me, with sincere heart and unfeigned faith I abjure, curse, and detest the aforesaid errors and lies, and generally every other error and Lie whatsoever contrary to the said IPCC, and I swear that in the future I will never again say or assert, verbally or in writing, anything that might furnish occasion for a similar suspicion regarding me; but that should I know any skeptic, or person suspected of Lying about the climate, I will denounce him to the IPCC. Further, I swear and promise to pay all fines that shall be imposed upon me by the IPCC or any other governmental body. And, in the event of my contravening, (which Gore forbid) any of these my promises and oaths, I submit myself to all the pains and penalties imposed and promulgated by the IPCC and other governmental bodies against such delinquents. So help me Gore, and these His IPCC Reports, which I touch with my hands.
    I, George Will, have abjured as above with my own hand.
    ______________________________(sign here)
    __/__/2009

  79. sod, you have no idea what you are talking about, re the 1970s cooling scare.
    I posted this on the earlier George Will thread, but it bears repeating here:
    Re the Global Cooling in the 70’s
    This illustrates just how pervasive and convincing the impending doom of Global Cooling was in those days. I was there. It affected me (but in a good way).
    Apart from the hysteria from the media, there was ample proof for the average Joe / Jane just by looking at the outside thermometer.
    For example, the winter of 1972-73 was notable in Texas, where I was a freshman in undergrad in Austin. Just after New Year’s, the entire state grew very cold for a prolonged period, such that there was not enough natural gas to keep everyone warm (hard to believe in Texas, but it was true).
    The extreme cold and natural gas shortage led to natural gas rationing, and non-essential users were cut off, including colleges. The University of Texas made an unprecedented move to remain closed after the Christmas holiday (we were still allowed to call it that, back then). The administration delayed the start of classes for a week as I recall, but it may have been two weeks. Classes were extended into June to make up the lost hours, with much disruption to graduation plans and starting dates for new jobs, as one can imagine.
    Lawsuits were filed all around, of course, against Oscar Wyatt and his Coastal corporation. One allegation was that Oscar had over-sold his natural gas delivery capabilities, with the expectation that the entire state would not freeze at the same time. Usually, that strategy worked, but not that winter. (The same Oscar Wyatt who got in rather more trouble recently).
    In response to the natural gas shortage, the University dug a big hole in the ground under the south steps leading to the main building, and installed two giant fuel storage tanks. The idea was that they would have their very own little Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and burn fuel oil in the University’s central utility system when a severe cold snap happened again. Classes would not be delayed ever again.
    Now, if the Global Warming side was convincing in those days, why would a rather large and sophisticated University go to all that trouble and expense to install their own private SPR?
    There was also a really nice (and rare) snowfall in January 1973 in Austin, I remember it being about 6 to 8 inches on the Austin campus. It was much more fun to play in the snow, than go to classes! We loved it. Ahh, to be 19 again!!!

  80. John Laidlaw (04:37:04) :
    The key phrase in your response is “Popular Literature of the Era”, which clearly shows that you (and Smokey) are missing the point. “Popular Literature of the Era” was a side-bar discussion and irrelevant to the main thrust of the article, which is the scientific literature of the era. I’ve already qualified my acceptance of the authors’ data, so there is no need to re-hash that. The rest of your response is simply a collection of putative reasons why we shouldn’t trust the authors, esp. Connelly. I agree with you on most of them, but that discussion is irrelevant. Connelly, et al, provided hard data which showed that warming was the main concern of working scientists of the era, no matter how the popular press chose to portray it. Their data may very well have been cherry-picked, which I also acknowledged, but until you or someone provides hard evidence of this, I, at least, am prepared to provisionally accept them. They also provided an explicit list of search terms, which you are free to agree or disagree with, or even indpendently verify.
    sod (07:15:29) :
    Mostly accurate; but no matter how much you qualify, slice, and dice, you can’t call something “global” when the long-term trends of two huge regions (the poles) are going in opposite directions (see recent threads at Climate Audit for problems with the most recent Mannian/Steig meta-analysis alleging that Antarctica has actually warmed slightly since the mid-50’s).
    Your closing statement is semi-accurate: recent ice loss in the arctic is much greater than the models predicted, which is why the more emprirically-minded researchers are looking at things like the NAO. Atmosphere alone couldn’t possibly transport enough heat to melt that much ice that quickly (and of course, the arctic ice pack has rebounded significantly this year).
    John Galt (10:33:45) :
    “The agenda driven pseudo scientists appear to have learned from their failure to get modern society to commit suicide with . . .”
    That’s a ways over the top, don’t you think? Especially considering that the scientists from the 70’s are mostly retired, and it’s now a completely different crowd (except, of course, for the Godfather of Global Warming, James Hansen).
    Smokey (15:49:03) :
    “Let’s look at just one of the endless media reports . . .”
    Exactly – media reports. No matter how much the media claims to represent the science, simply claiming doesn’t make it so. Connelly, et al, provided hard numbers from the scientific literature. Accept them or reject them, but please stay focused on them, and forget the popular media.
    “And the National Academy of Sciences back in 1975 sounded just like they sound today: ‘Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.’ ”
    Actually, that sounds nothing like today. That sounds like real science – appropriately tentative, as opposed to the over-certainty and over-selling that has characterized climate science lately.
    You accuse Connelly of bald assertion, sans evidence, but by relying – in your own words – on “just one issue, from one magazine” you engage in the same practice, and when you assert that
    “Connolley falsely asserts that all of these different scientists and professional organizations were not jumping on the global cooling bandwagon, and he’s falsifying the record when he says that the scientific community believed in global warming in the 1970’s just the same as they do today.”
    you are being, frankly, bizarre. Connelly, et al, provided hard data from the scientific literature. Were they cherry-picked? Quite possibly, but If you’re going to accuse them of falsifying the record, you’ll have to do better than just making your own bald assertions.
    And BTW, I lived in Boulder, CO during the mid-late 70’s, and with Stephen Schneider then working at NCAR, Boulder could have been fairly described as the epicenter of the Global Cooling Scare. While there was a lot of talk, and Scheider and collegues were regularly quoted in the local media, there was nothing even remotely close to the AGW hysteria of today (and it is hysteria – there is simply no other word for it).
    “Not only is that no answer, but it is completely wrong.” Right; it’s no answer, but it’s the wrong answer. The remainder of this and the following paragraph rapidly descend into rambling rabid-right paranoia. Did the soviets support western groups that they thought might be cordial to their interests? Absolutely – just as the U.S. and other western powers supported groups within the Soviet Union for the same reasons. If you’ve got any evidence of Soviet support for the specific cases mentioned (German Greens & the nuclear freeze crowd)(or any other enviro groups, for that matter), let’s see it.
    Finally, regarding Will’s article: Give it up, people. Lucia just did a fine job of refuting it:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/what-george-will-meant-why-its-wrong/
    Will foolishly relied on Tech Central Station (never the most reliable of sources), which in turn chose two outliers in the dataset, apropos of nothing, except their desire to “prove” that arctic sea ice is about in the same condition it was 30 years ago. The only points of significance in the whole tawdry affair were the foaming-mouthed fury it provoked in the greens, and that even Andy Revkin’s impeccable green creds provided no protection. Hell hath no fury like a church scorned.

  81. sod (07:15:29) :
    Mostly accurate; but no matter how much you qualify, slice, and dice, you can’t call something “global” when the long-term trends of two huge regions (the poles) are going in opposite directions (see recent threads at Climate Audit for problems with the most recent Mannian/Steig meta-analysis alleging that Antarctica has actually warmed slightly since the mid-50’s).

    thanks Paddik, i agree with most of what you wrote.
    but i disagree with the part that i quoted.
    if i had just lost my left leg, it would have a massive “global” impact on my whole body. an argument focused on “but we should look at both legs” doesn t really make sense under this conditions.
    on the other hand, a “global” problem, like smoking, could easily only have a strong effect on one leg. again, looking at both would make the problem any better.

  82. PaddikJ (20:26:27) :
    You make some very good points. I (fairly obviously) cannot accept the article at face value, but I *am* going to keep my trap shut until I can prove my point :).

  83. Mike Bryant,
    Excellent parody. Why is George Will being held to a higher standard than Nobel prize winners and government bureaucrats?
    Al Gore, the UN/IPCC, Michael Mann, James Hansen and others consistently make major errors, and even use fraudulent data, but they cause hardly a ripple. But George Will repeats one point that turns out to be inaccurate, and even Lucia goes on the attack. Makes you wonder.
    PaddikJ,
    See my comment to Mike. William Connolley could not be more biased. But we get a ‘Well, OK, he’s the Wiki gatekeeper, but after all he did provide us with charts and graphs and numbers.’
    Please re-read my post, because I think you missed the whole point of it, which was that one Newsweek article [out of one issue, and among dozens/hundreds of similar magazine and newspaper articles spanning a decade] repeatedly quoted the NOAA, and physical scientists by name, and the National Academy of Sciences, and meteorlologists, and universities — all predicting global cooling.
    Connolley contends that most scientists in the ’70’s were predicting global warming. If Connolley couldn’t find what I posted, and plenty of other scientists and organizations beating the global cooling drum, then it’s clear that he’s deliberately picking only those that support his highly inaccurate contention.
    Connolley is heavily biased. He has an agenda, and he is doing everything he can to downplay the global cooling scare because its existence refutes today’s global warming/AGW scare; both were ratcheted up in large part by monkey-piling on the latest craze, whether it’s global cooling or global warming. And scientists followed the money back then, just like they do today.
    If you prefer to give Connolley the benefit of the doubt because his self-selected propaganda has a .pdf at the end, fine. But I was working in a metrology lab in my late 20’s during the global cooling scare of the 1970’s, specifically on temp and humidity calibration. We received all the current literature, and I honestly can not recall any serious discussion, scientific or otherwise, claiming that we were heading toward global warming. Anything along those lines was definitely a minority opinion. The consensus in the 1970’s, among both scientists and the general public, was that global cooling was the probable outcome.
    Today the frenzy is more pronounced because there is a lot more money involved, and the internet makes it much easier to question data, methodologies and motives. But human nature hasn’t changed. Money and status are big motivators. And scientists are not immune to their effects.

  84. “I threw out some things from my parents house that were all related to programs in school that covered the “coming ice age”.”
    Odd, I read similar comments occasionally as further support for the 70’s cooling meme. I was teaching at the time. At best, there were a couple of articles in Time for Kids or similar topics since all they had to do was rewrite an extant article and provide some reading comprehension questions for the classroom teacher.
    If there were any ‘programs’ it seems odd that no one has actually been able to provide a copy or even a reference. For a program to be developed, it takes a few years to establish a need ( say updating science books), have material written or produced, vet, promote, get materials accepted into curriculum, purchased, and teachers trained in their use. The cooling paradigm didn’t last that long even in the public’s eye – the only mention of it was a brief mention that science was unsure in the 70’s in much later (late 90’s) science books.

  85. The clique:
    NASA/GISS Director: James Hansen. Gavin Schmidt works under Hansen.
    NASA web site operators: Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann [of the discredited “hockey stick”].
    GISS Modeler: Gavin Schmidt — whose models totally failed to predict the rapid cooling since 2007.
    RealClimate is run by Gavin Schmidt, and owned by Michael Mann; contributor: William Connolley
    Wikipedia editor: William Connolley.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    The Consensus:
    Votes for “Best Science” site:
    RealClimate: 1,446
    WUWT: 14,150

  86. Children’s comic book from the early 1990’s: click
    uppps, that isn t a scientific piece of work, is it?
    but even though, it is RIGHT.
    looking at the experience with “global” sea ice, i have some doubts that you can spot the difference between this WILL happen (or this has a very high probability) and this COULD happen.
    the plastic sheets (white ones though..) are currently used to protect alpine glaciers in Swiss.
    GISS Modeler: Gavin Schmidt — whose models totally failed to predict the rapid cooling since 2007.
    you don t understand the models at all. they simply will NEVER “predict” any annual events.
    If you prefer to give Connolley the benefit of the doubt because his self-selected propaganda has a .pdf at the end, fine. But I was working in a metrology lab in my late 20’s during the global cooling scare of the 1970’s, specifically on temp and humidity calibration. We received all the current literature, and I honestly can not recall any serious discussion, scientific or otherwise, claiming that we were heading toward global warming.
    so it is your personal memory, against his numbers?
    sorry, you lose.

  87. Giles, I noticed that some self-described sod butted in when I provided you with the cover of a fun comic book used by some schools in the early ’90’s.
    Pay him no mind, it’s not important. But here’s another comic you might enjoy: click
    In another 20 – 30 years’ time folks will look at PETA and AGW believers the same way; as extremist promoters of a failed movement.
    Oh, and here’s another: click
    PETA, AGW/catastrophe believers. Same closed mindset.

  88. Haha…..the “clique.” More like…the INBRED family.
    And we all know what Mother Nature thinks of inbreeding.
    Perhaps some inbreeding has already occurred.
    CASE IN POINT: One once-brilliant Astronomer / Director of NASA (something happened to him and we are not quite sure) became a founding member of the International Church of the Anthropogenic Global Warming…..and that was all she wrote.
    The brainwashing of the cult had begun.
    Move over Jim Jones and the Church of Scientology.
    Is that goofy hat that ex-scientist-turned-social-activist Dr. James Hansen was wearing at the snowbound AGW event in DC last week, part of the garb for their new religion?? Just wondering… (LOL)
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA

  89. “..fun comic book used by some schools ..”
    No, not really. In some school libraries probably, certainly available in various book stores. But Usborne doesn’t provide curriculum materials and I’d be somewhat surprised if their stuff comes up on recommended reading lists either.
    So, so far, no links to anything showing school materials actively promoting a consensus on ‘global cooling’. A nice meme, but not an accurate statement of the state of educational materials either currently or in the 70’s or 80’s.

  90. Giles, Mrs. Smokey, a middle school Principal for seventeen years, doesn’t agree with you. You would be surprised at some of the educational reading material bought by school librarians.

  91. Mrs Smokey should be able to explain the difference between “..programs in school’..” and school library materials which may or may not be bought to support said programs.
    So, still; nothing but anecdotal reminiscences about purported “programs in school that covered the “coming ice age”.
    When I wrote curriculum materials, our research was vetted and we couldn’t get ‘The Ice Age is Coming!’ type stuff into the materials since if there weren’t the scientific data to support that inclusion. The Peterson Connolley Fleck paper (http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2008BAMS2370.1) provides that analysis in this case.

  92. smokey isn t a greta fan of serious links. so far he provided exactly ZERO of those.
    the Usborne children book obviously isn t a scientific book. it isn t “hysteric” either.
    you can t simply take any mentioning of “global cooling” as evidence of a hysteria at that time. source, context and details matter.
    i am looking forward to links on some curriculum…

  93. As Roger Sowell comments above:

    sod, you have no idea what you are talking about, re the 1970s cooling scare.

    True dat [and who’s t a greta?]
    Neither does Giles, who either didn’t read my post @15:49:03, or has a reading comprehension problem. That post had ample ‘source, content and details.’ And it named names — names which Connolley avoids mentioning, because he is writing propaganda and trying to pass it off as ‘science’ that only the gullible will swallow.
    It’s not surprising that Giles and sod [one and the same?] posted the same information: the completely discredited .pdf file by Connolley, his pal and a newspaper scribbler. Those three stooges pretend they couldn’t find the names of the scientists and organizations, like the NOAA and the NAS, that were prominently displayed in one of the biggest U.S. news magazines expressing concern over declining global temperatures, in the middle of an article about global cooling.
    They did, of course, read the Newsweek article, and plenty more like it. But they still pretend that the global cooling scare didn’t happen. Why? Because they can not admit that they were wrong before. Who are they trying to fool now? They’re just like Dan “Fake but accurate” Rather, who also fabricated his information.
    There’s no convincing people whose minds are made up and closed tight, but as anyone else can see from other comments in this thread, the folks who grew up in the 1970’s remembered the whole global cooling scare. To pretend that it didn’t happen is wishful thinking.
    In fact, there were several global cooling scares. They alternate with global warming scares, like the tide coming and going.
    This detailed report covers several of the warming/cooling scares over the past century or so: click
    Anyone who actually believes that schools do not teach current events — whether it is the global cooling scare, or Al Gore’s high-priced moneymaker foisted on schools — has no clue about how education works in this country.

  94. sod, Giles Winterbourne: re school curricula regarding the Ice Age Cometh:
    Will you accept eye-witness accounts from students who were taught this, in say, 1964?
    If you will, I can provide at least 30 from my class (4th graders, in Houston, Texas).
    I clearly remember those classes: The globe is cooling, our best scientists tell us so, the ice and snow are increasing, glaciers will be advancing, polar bears will range farther south, that is ok, we are in Texas and it is a long way for them, besides, we have rifles at home and our Dads know how to use them, and the trump-card: we have airplanes that can sprinkle charcoal dust on the snow to make it melt.
    Public school, using approved curricular materials, authorized by the School Board.
    No, I don’t have the materials, we had to check them out in September, then return them in May each year.

  95. robert brucker (15:14:32) :
    Off subject:
    As an anesthetist I think it is hilarious that the EPA may soon deem co2 a pollutant. In surgery during laparascopic procedures we insufflate the abdominal cavity with co2. This is done thousands times each day all over the globe. Will this co2 insufflation become illegal? Hundreds of thousands of liters are used each day around the world.

    An evil and heretical practice that must be banned to save the planet…
    However, for a small fee, that can be appropriately passed on to the patient a carbon indulgence may be purchased to redeem these acts.

  96. Haha….”indulgence” is the key word here.
    The International Church of the Anthropogenic Global Warming…is currently selling them.
    Beware.

  97. ” …7 articles indicating cooling compared to 44 indicating warming..” Which would tie in well with the 7 or 6 articles cites from that Newsweek article.
    Peterson Connolley Fleck _The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus_ Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2008BAMS2370.1
    And still, nothing but anecdotal reminiscences about purported “programs in school that covered the “coming ice age”.

  98. You know, I’ve rarely seen such an obtuse example of DENIAL as this demonstration here…
    Really… the 70s were ALL about cooling. Denying it is absolutely hilarious to those of us who remember it. Which is, well, ALL of us who lived through it.

  99. Really… the 70s were ALL about cooling. Denying it is absolutely hilarious to those of us who remember it. Which is, well, ALL of us who lived through it.
    look, the person in denial is you.
    a couple of facts:
    the 70s were rather cool.
    there wasn t any “hysteria” though, especially not in scientific papers.
    instead, scientist during that cool spell correctly “predicted” the coming increase in temperature.

  100. I went to school in the 60’s and our science lessons were about hard science and I was never taught anything about the climate. The global cooling articles were only found in the newspapers and magazines. In those halcyon days I was able to dissect rabbits, frogs dogfish etc. in Biology classes and in my Chemistry labs we expperimented with proper chemicals that exploded. No Health and Safety the., Thank God.

  101. This is getting downright embarrassing. As stated in my first post, I am firmly in the unconvinced, luke-warmer camp, but the behavior of the “skeptics” here looks a lot like what they claim to deplore in the Warmists: Bald assertions, name-calling, Ad-hominem attacks, conflating popular journalism with science, reliance on recollections and anecdotes . . . comic books???
    Jeebus.
    Smokey would do well to heed the advice of John Laidlaw (04:46:32):
    “. . . I am going to keep my trap shut until I can prove my point . . .”
    Thus far, he & every other “skeptic” here have provided not one piece of hard, verifiable data. Connelly, et al, at least gave something that is replicable, at least in theory.
    Look: if you want to refute their study, then try to replicate it. See if their data are good, and complete. See if they cherry-picked. In other words, stop bitching and moaning and do some research & analysis. That’s what Lucia did with the George Will piece; that’s what Steve Mcintyre does all the time. That’s how they blow sloppy research out of the water.
    And for God’s sake, stop with the “Connelly’s got an agenda” whining – it’s old news, and besides, everyone has an agenda (except me, of course).
    Name calling, bald assertions & baseless accusations are wimpy – the surest indication of rhetorical poverty. Facts are powerful.
    =================
    And BTW, why does Smokey keep harping on this “I’m not impressed that it’s a PDF” thing? Almost any document can be turned into a .PDF. That has no significance whatsoever.

  102. The global cooling comic book reference wasn’t meant to be serious scholarship, as some may think. Even so, Giles admitted its use in schools. My wife, a long time Principal, told me that similar materials were in use back then. If you argue with her, she’ll make you put on the dunce cap and go sit in the corner. The PETA comics weren’t intended to be serious either. They were just for general interest.
    But Connolley’s fake claims were falsified, so the only conclusion is that PaddikJ either didn’t read, or maybe didn’t comprehend, the info posted @15:49 and information by other commenters in this thread.
    Take another look at that Newsweek article. See all the names of the scientists? See their quotes? See the government and professional organizations named? You know, the same ones that William Connolley and his newspaper sidekick couldn’t seem to find? And that was from just one issue of one news magazine.
    I’m willing to invest more time to refuting Connolley’s bogus claim with even more examples… just as soon as anyone falsifies the theory of natural climate change. Wake me when that happens. For the umpteenth time, it is not the job of skeptical scientists to refute any newfangled hypothesis that pops up. Rather, it is the job of the climate alarmists to falsify the long established hypothesis of natural climate variation — if they can. So far, they have repeatedly failed.
    And if the quotes and organizations provided are not enough to satisfy folks who won’t read the Newsweek article, there’s always Google. Have at it. Or you could read this, which is right in line with the recollections of all the other folks who matured in the ’70’s: click
    Yes, facts are powerful — if they’re utilized. But some folks will only believe what they want to believe, and facts right in front of them be damned. If someone believes global cooling was a non-issue thirty years ago, then all the facts in the world won’t be enough to convince them. They will believe what they like, it’s more comfortable that way.

  103. Better go talk with Mrs. Smokey about “… its use in schools. ”
    This started with ‘programs in school’ in the 70’s. A single book (from the 90’s’ is offered as proof. A book with a single mention of cooling tossed off in a sidebar.
    And some anecdotal reminisces…
    My libraries contained Bibles, Korans, various creation mythologies, books on hairdos, evolution, books about sexuality, novels with gay protagonists, books on paper airplanes. All were freely checked out by students. But not part of any ‘program’, not in that sense, ‘used by schools’ .

  104. Giles, first you criticize the reminiscences of others as being of no account — and then you use your own recollections to try and make a point! If you will recall, I was simply commenting on a global cooling comic book in response to your post. My original comment was good natured and friendly. I certainly was not being antagonistic with you about it.
    But you went on the attack over that very minor comment and made it into your primary argument defending the odious William Connolley. Your increasingly hyperbolic responses [over a comic book comment!] makes it clear that you’re grasping at straws to support your belief that there was no avalanche of global cooling stories back then, when in fact there were.
    If you are blind to the obvious fact that William Connolley has a partisan axe to grind, that’s fine and you have my sympathy. But please calm down, and stop pretending that the global cooling scare didn’t exist in the 1970’s. It did. Just look at the recollections from others upthread. They were there, and they remember the scare stories. And despite your insinuations, they are not lying or deluded.
    If the internet had existed back then like it does today, the same level of frantic debate would have occurred regarding the 1970’s global cooling scam that goes on today over the global warming scam. If you can’t understand that, then surely everyone else with a little common sense can.

  105. Sigh.
    For the fourth (and final) time: The topic before us is not what the press reported the scientific community was thinking or concerned of; it is not what may or may not have been in school curricula; it is not whether or not there was widespread panic (“The Glaciers are coming! The Glaciers are coming!”) (or fear, or mild concern, or complete indifference) among the general populace. All of the above are interesting, but off-topic.
    It is about what the scientific community was concerned with. Period.
    Therefore, we may discard press reports – for all we know, the press may have had its own axe to grind (or more likely, was sensationalizing as usual – exactly as it is doing today with AGW). We may also discount personal recollection, the contents of school libraries, celebrity scientists, and the girl in 7th grade who almost got frostbitten toes from when the bus was 30 minutes late on that -30 degree morning.
    The only reliable way to gauge what the scientific community was concerned with is by looking at the scientific literature of the era. Primary sources only – Newsweek is a secondary source. Connelly & company did this. They may have been selective in their search; they may have biased their search terms to give the desired result; they may have even egregiously misinterpreted the main thrust of the articles they cited. All of this is amenable to review & replication, unlike, say, the silly op-ed piece by Naomi Oreskes purporting to show the mythical Overwhelming Consensus; which did not provide any information that could be used by another researcher attempting to replicate her findings.
    There. I simply can’t put it more clearly.
    ==========================
    A few last crumbs:
    Smokey’s paragraph about falsifying natural climate change is a total red-herring. Absolutely no one, not even M. Mann with his broken hockey stick, argues against natural variability. Natural climate change isn’t even a theory – it’s a fact. There is nothing to refute; and even if there were, it would be completely off-topic vis-à-vis the current discussion.
    What, exactly, in Giles Winterbourne’s comment leads Smokey to believe that he’s in need of calming down?
    Strictly speaking, partisan means party affiliation and arguing along party lines, and more generally, arguing along ideological lines, ie: Liberal, Conservative, etc. When Smokey asserts (for the umpteenth time) that “Connelly has a partisan axe to grind”, what, exactly, is his point – again, vis-à-vis the current discussion?
    And finally, given that I stated almost everything above in my very first post, Smokey may want to be a little more careful in tossing off phrases like “. . . PaddikJ either didn’t read, or maybe didn’t comprehend . . .”
    And with that, I am, truly,
    Over and out.

  106. ????
    Nope, my anecdotal reminisces carry no more weight than the others – except that I was a bit older and teaching and developing curriculum in the ’70’s and the personal reminisces from others seem to be as ‘4th grade’ or other students. But, since the argument is that it was being taught, it would seem the weight of the evidence would be to produce that science book. And we haven’t seen one yet. And that argument has been out there for several years.
    Will was trying to (and has tried several times in the past) to sway public perception of the state of climate change research by implying they were wrong in the past. he Peterson Connolley Fleck paper (http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2008BAMS2370.1) provides analysis that (44 to 7) there was more discussion of warming than cooling in that period. ~snip~
    Now, if you don’t like the Peterson Connolley Fleck paper; rather than just say ‘agenda’ or ‘bias’ go check the data, work through the methodology. You’ll notice that there isn’t much discussion on skeptic sites. And there is a reason for that.
    A small addendum: why are not Peterson and Fleck named as biased or with an agenda?
    Then look at the Newsweek artcle: “…climate seems to be cooling…” “Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend” . No cites of actual articles and who knows how much was cut to provide the quotes. And, no discussion from any scientist who didn’t fit that cooling meme the reporter was pushing.

  107. Giles, Paddikj, Smokey, sod, et al,
    another article from today’s Washington Post.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/03/20/ST2009032003115.html
    And I want to write a few things about the casual dismissal of eye-witness accounts.
    Eyewitness testimony, such as offered by me and others above, is one of the strongest forms of evidence available. Period. When an eye-witness testifies, “I saw him with the gun, then saw him pull the trigger, and heard the gun go off, and saw the victim fall with blood spurting out from his chest,” that is very strong evidence. Many who stand accused have been convicted and sentenced to death on eye-witness testimony such as that.
    So to dismiss as fantasy, or dreamy remembrances of days gone by, or “they were merely 4th graders,” shows a lack of understanding of evidence and persuasion.
    An attorney reading this will think, Ah, but these comments above are not even admissible! They are hearsay only, and worse, some are from anonymous writers. And that attorney would be correct. (Hearsay is an out-of-court statement, offered for the truth of the matter asserted). Anonymous hearsay is virtually never allowed as evidence in a court of law. But, I am not anonymous, and if asked, I would be perfectly willing to testify to my account from 4th grade above.
    Equally compelling, in my view (naturally, as I offered it), is the expenditure by the University of Texas of a huge sum in order to adapt to future cold episodes. If global warming was the thinking of the day, that would not have happened.
    Finally, even the distribution of scientific papers, skewed 44 to 7 on warming vs cooling, is not compelling to convey the sense of the scientific community. Why were there 7? More generally, in any scientific matters, why would the number of publications count for anything? Did Einstein have hundreds of fellow-publishers when he wrote his world-changing paper on relativity? I think not. Quantitative arguments on the volume of publishing do not win in science. Quality and accuracy are what win.

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