Climatic Irony Found in An Old National Geographic Magazine

Guest essay by Doug Ferguson

Having moved from Minnesota to Alaska this past summer, we have been making the rounds of thrift shops, stores and other venues to restock our home with things we left behind to reduce our moving costs.

Before heading out to one of our recent forays, I caught up on the news on the well known climate blog, “Watts Up With That” and read the 10/30/17 article, How Google and MSM Use “Fact Checkers” to Flood Us with Fake Claims by Leo Goldstein. You should read it. The link is here

The main example was Time magazine, but it made me think of another publication that has more subtly switched gears over the past 40 years or so to maintain the sense of impending climate doom. This is the venerable National Geographic, which currently is in full global warming alarm mode.

Therefore it was with great interest and a sense of irony as we browsed this particular thrift shop to find a big collection of this publication’s older magazines. Most of them were from this century, but mixed in were a few from the 1970’s. In particular one from November 1976 had a 45 page feature article titled, “What’s Happening to Our Climate?” by assistant editor Samuel W. Matthews. I bought this one for 25 cents to take home and read.

The ’70’s were at the very beginning of the media’s interest in our planet’s climate and the start of the pattern of alarmism on the subject that their path on the subject would take. On the first page of the article Matthews states:

“That earth’s climate changes, and even now maybe changing quite rapidly, is widely recognized. The questions facing worried experts are: Is the world as a whole cooling off, and perhaps heading into another onset of huge ice sheets? Or are we instead warming the atmosphere of our planet irreversibly with our industry, automobiles , and land clearing practices? What sort of weather will our children and our grandchildren know? On the answers may rest the fate of nations and millions of people.”

This sort of drama and alarmism is exactly what Michael Crichton highlighted in his 2004 novel, “State of Fear” regarding the collusion between the media, government and industry to constantly hype fear in the public on global warming to promote their various interests. While a book of fiction and criticized as being non-scientific by the pro “human caused” scientific community, it struck a [chord] with many in the public and sold over 1.5 million copies on the number one best seller list.

However, back in 1976 and in this particular National Geographic article, most of the emphasis for concern was the apparent global cooling occurring in most parts of the world. A quote in the article from Dr. J. Murray Mitchell, Jr. of NOAA and member of the U.S National Science Board in 1974 gives the reason:

“During the past 20 or 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but sharply over the last decade.”

Then there is a string of quotes from a variety of other “experts” around the globe listing a range of “strange” climate trends being measured or experienced. Some of these showed warming, but most of the troublesome reports had to do with either cooling or more ice or advancing glaciers such as the Meares Glacier in Alaska that “nudges toward Prince William Sound at 100 feet a year.”

Graph presented in the November 1976 National Geographic article by Matthews. Photo by William Connolley.

To be fair, the article does give a pretty good review of what was known at the time about the ancient history of the ups and downs of the climate of our earth and how the current era is warmer than most of its history. Matthews interviews a dozen or more scientists working on some aspect of the climate and goes into detail on many of the techniques being tried to establish past climate history and to project the future.

Closeup of graph in the November 1976 article by Matthews

When it comes to theories about the controlling factors governing our climate he gets a wide variety of opinions. One thing they all agree on is that we should be spending more resources (tax money?) to understand once and for all if we are either heading into another ice age or into a waterless desert and this could be an issue for our grandchildren!

The article concludes with proposed plans starting in 1978 that involve “–surface station measurements, ships, planes buoys, balloons, rocket and satellites to attempt to track air and temperature variations over every region of the earth’s surface.”

The proposed project was to be part of the UN’s Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP). Doing a brief search of this organization’s history, it seemed to me that the biggest thing it accomplished was to provide a very limited amount of data coupled with a lot of proposed theories of global warming that was used to lobby universities and, in turn politicians and bureaucrats, to fund the whole generation of global warming climate scientists that we see today.

In case you weren’t aware of it (I wasn’t until just recently as it never received a great deal of publicity and still doesn’t), the Global Change Research Act of 1990 promoted and passed during the H. W. Bush administration, is a law requiring research into “global warming” and related issues and a report to congress every four years on the “environmental, economic, health and safety consequences of climate change” (from Wikipedia). According to the government website on this program (now known as the Climate Change Science Program – CCSS), the direct funding burn-rate of the agencies governed by the law is slightly under 3 billion dollars a year! This doesn’t include many of the other indirect expenditures and grants the government makes to universities, companies and local governments to “study” or “remedy” the effects of “global warming”.

The reality is that by some estimates today, there has been spent anywhere from 90 to well over 100 billion dollars in the last 20 to 30 years by just our own government alone funding “climate studies” in one form or another. In spite of this huge amount of resource expended, we are just beginning to learn how to do world wide climate measuring with automated buoys (the ARGO network), satellites, and an error prone (due to urban heat bias) surface measuring system originally designed only for local weather forecasting.

Also a great deal of the effort (and accompanying hype) to understand the climate has been through generating complex computer models. The output of these models have been used to set energy, pollution and other policies by our government and others around the world. As limited as the data is from all the new measuring systems, over the long term it hasn’t seemed to correlate with the output of these highly touted computer programs. . We are faced with more questions than answers with this new information and are no further toward conclusively predicting what the future holds.

Still, it is interesting and ironic to read this report of 41 years ago when a group of scientists and at least one journalist had the optimistic view that if we just spend enough money on the problem we would surely solve it!


The entire “What’s Happening to Our Climate?” 1976 National Geographic article is available on line (h/t to WUWT reader Mike)

Doug Ferguson is a retired electrical engineer whose interests span politics, nature, science, the great outdoors and who recently moved with his partner from Minnesota to Alaska, the Last Frontier

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November 6, 2017 11:44 pm

Moved to Alaska?
Climate refugee?
Best wishes, Doug, in your new home!

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  martinbrumby
November 7, 2017 2:24 pm

Out of the refrigerator, into the deep freeze, as it were….

Bengt Abelsson
November 6, 2017 11:52 pm

The solution seems to be, as someone said, that poor people in rich countries sends money to rich people in poor countries.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
November 7, 2017 8:16 am

+1 :<)

November 6, 2017 11:52 pm

Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
“THAT earth’s climate changes, and even now maybe changing quite rapidly, is widely recognized. The questions facing worried experts: are we warming the atmosphere of our planet irreversibly with our industry, automobiles, and land clearing practices? What sort of weather will our children and our grandchildren know? On the answers may rest the fate of nations and millions of people.”

SOUND like the all too familiar talking points of a circa 2017 warming alarmist?

NOT quite! The (edited) paragraph was from 1976, printed in NatGeo during the perceived man-made “global cooling” apocalypse.

SAME fears, different scare!

Read the full post by WUWT guest blogger Doug Ferguson…

Tom Halla
November 7, 2017 12:00 am

That is the great thing about mid-20th Century print sources. It is a non-trivial expense to produce a “revised” version of a glossy magazine, but quite often done with purely on-line “sources”.

R.S. Brown
November 7, 2017 12:24 am

The original Matthews (1976) graph projects what would now-a-days be called a
“tipping point”, for temperature, measured there in degrees Kelvin. It also
was a point where the political aspects of climate could have gone one way or

Natural or man induced carbon dioxide hadn’t been nominated as a bad gas.

Global cooling didn’t have the traction for quietly organized socio- political action…
and a great deal of international “co-operation”, which would have otherwise been
branded as favoring stealth socialism.

Global cooling didn’t mesh well with population control and some of the other
little isms floating around at the time.

Global WARMING on the other hand could be made to fit the need for something
to serve as a nucleus for organization. Bad gas promulgated by bad corporations,
bad modes of transportation, and bad wealth distribution can all be put in one
big basket.

From the 1990s onward the semi-science/bureaucratic gate keepers have made
sure the information filters have been skewed toward the “warming” scenario.
The one-world global government advocates are right there in their support.

Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” was so hated that some warming supporters
went out to buy it just to keep it from circulation.

Reply to  R.S. Brown
November 7, 2017 5:26 am

My hardcover copy of Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” has a prominent place in my bookcase. 🙂

Caligula Jones
Reply to  PaulH
November 7, 2017 11:44 am

Can’t do that with my Kindle version, but I know what you mean. I’ll be buying some physical copies for friends for this Christmas. Don’t know why I took so long to read it…

Reply to  R.S. Brown
November 7, 2017 3:23 pm

how many copies did George soreA$$ and steyer buy???

Russ Wood
Reply to  R.S. Brown
November 8, 2017 8:16 am

Yep! Chrichton’s “State of Fear” and its appendices are what jolted me out of my belief in the MSM!

Reply to  R.S. Brown
November 8, 2017 12:21 pm

Buying a book to keep it out of circulation … that’ll just improve the sales figures and they print more. But you can’t accuse warmists of clear thinking.

November 7, 2017 12:49 am

… if we just spend enough money on the problem we would surely solve it!

We’ve been throwing bags of money at cancer for decades with disappointing results.

In pharmacology generally we are seeing Eroom’s Law.

Eroom’s law is the observation that drug discovery is becoming slower and more expensive over time, despite improvements in technology (such as high throughput screening, biotechnology, combinatorial chemistry, and computational drug design), a trend first observed in the 1980s. The cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years.[1] In order to highlight the contrast with the exponential advancements of other forms of technology (such as transistors) over time, the law was deliberately spelled as Moore’s law spelled backwards.

Actually it’s worse. New useful drugs are becoming less frequent over time, not just more expensive.

Reply to  commieBob
November 7, 2017 1:46 am

In medicine we have suffered from Reductionism for decades, and wasted hundreds of billions because of it. We have largely dealt with the easy stuff that has single, identifiable causes and now we are faced with complex biological problems with multiple factors. Yet we continue to treat humans like cars, “fixing” the thing that appear to be broken rather than attempting to understand how everything actually works together.

If we had spent 10% of the wasted cash on really finding out how human biology works, we might have got somewhere.

Reply to  Phoenix44
November 7, 2017 8:21 am

Like how? Don’t underestimate the work people do. A banally short conclusion is not justifed.

Reply to  commieBob
November 7, 2017 2:14 am


It costs drug companies $1 BILLION(with a “B”) PER DRUG to jump through the FDA approval hoops, with a good chance of FDA failure.

That’s why new drug introductions are so slow (just 15 or so new drugs/yr), because it takes so long just to recoup the development/drug approval expenses for existing drugs….

It also explains why US drugs are so expensive…

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 7:18 am

But how does that explain the cost of the same drug outside the country?

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 7:40 am

Nationalized health care and artificial price caps in other countries force drug makers to recoup costs in the only market without those artificial price controls.

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 7:45 am

It’s usually because other countries use laws to limit how much can be charged.
As a result US consumers are forced to pay most if not all the cost of drug development while other countries free ride.

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 7:45 am

“But how does that explain the cost of the same drug outside the country?”

Varying elasticities of demand. Wealthy countries can easily afford to pay most of the cost of development of the new drug and then the less wealthy can be tapped to further increase revenue and profits, albeit at a much lower margin but nevertheless adding to overall profitability. It would be nice if the drug companies could extract more from poorer markets but they can’t so the wealthy have to pay the higher price if any of them are to benefit from the drug. You might like to think of it as Tesla sports car owners facilitating the Tesla S for the masses although perhaps that’s a poorer example here. Perhaps Apple iphones in the US ultimately facilitating Nokia 520s for the Indian continent.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 8:25 am

“… because it takes so long just to recoup the development/drug approval expenses for existing drugs… Not if it only costs $1 billion to develop a new drug! Take a look at one of the cable business channels and you will see drug companies bragging about some new drug expected to bring in $1.5 billion or so the first year. That’s the only industry I know of that expects full payback on development costs the first year.

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 8:32 am

Joe, that’s for one drug.
What about the hundred drugs that never make it through the FDA approval process and hence never earn the company a penny?
Or the dozens of drugs that aren’t mega-hits?

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 1:20 pm

Samurai – the skyrocketing cost of development is indeed a key problem. It focuses all the effort on drugs that can expect a huge market – mostly the major ailments of older people that need to be treated/mitigated on an ongoing basis. Things such as antibiotics simply don’t pay — too few patients, too short duration of use. We need to return to sanity in terms of regulation and litigation.

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 7, 2017 2:44 pm

But it costs a max of $100 million to do the science (including safety) … The rest is compliance and lawyers. Sigh, I joined the wrong profession. It’s like the cost of GPs in the US. Half of their charges is public liability insurance. In New Zealand we have a “Good Samaritan” law where providing you are doing your best and act ethically and appropriately you cannot be sued.

Reply to  commieBob
November 7, 2017 2:45 am

Actually we’ve made spectacular progress with some cancers albeit mostly the rare ones, blood cancers and testicular cancer. For example ALL used to be a quick death sentence- now 5 year survival is circa >90%.There are some extremely exciting new therapeutic classes on the horizon that look like making serous headway into the major epithelial cancers too.

So yes- let’s keep on spending government dollars on curing/preventing cancer because frankly private enterprise is not well suited to developing some classes of drugs unless you’re cool with paying $10,000 a pill (antibiotics, antineoplastics etc). Maybe start taxing the bejesus out of those multinationals and rich twats using Caribbean tax havens?

Mark B.
Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 7:39 am

The five year success rate could almost completely be explained by earlier testing, both by prescreening and better tests.

Reply to  Mark B.
November 7, 2017 9:19 am

Where? Do you have data? Not in most developed countries with a nationa health service., Ealy detection is important, but treatment is also much more effective for many cancers. Not all. Depends on the cancer. Maybe different where you live?

Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 7:47 am

Another socialist who hates it that people are still permitted to have more than he does.

Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 8:43 am

MarkW November 7, 2017 at 7:47 am

Another socialist who hates it that people are still permitted to have more than he does.

My ancestors hated that the nobles owned everything and controlled everything … obviously filthy socialists.

Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 11:17 am

One of the benefits of socialism is that the definition of such gets to change, depending on the needs of the socialist.

Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 2:56 pm

“The five year success rate could almost completely be explained by earlier testing, both by prescreening and better tests.”

Ahhh the wonderful thing about the internet- every chump gets to voice their opinion even when they know SFA. And isn’t this website just the poster child for that?

None of those cancers I mentioned are routinely screened for in any country that I know of- and certainly not in the US. ALL is predominantly a pediatric disease for christ’s sake. The improvements in survival for all these diseases is almost entirely due to better treatment.

Whether you embrace socialism or not doesn’t matter to me Marky. Just don’t come crying to me when the orange shtigibbon takes away your health care plan and you go bankrupt. Personally I like having free health care, 6 weeks paid vacation every year and don’t mind at all that a third of my substantial income goes towards helping society in general and those less fortunate than me. Over here we call it “not being a cnut”.

Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 7:51 pm

Actually brucey it was the brown shtigibbon that took away my “insurance” (note that a “health care plan” is an entirely differently thing than “insurance”). Now I can’t buy insurance that doesn’t come with a health care plan that I can’t use, and I don’t need.

I would like to see the orange shtigibbon follow through with his proposal of getting rid of the health care penalty (for not buying an ineffective health care plan).

I would like to see the orange shtigibbon decimate the ACA so it can fail sooner than later.

Reply to  Bruce
November 7, 2017 8:10 pm

I’m sorry to hear that DonM. We don’t have to worry about that thing you call health insurance, never have to pay to go to hospital (unless we choose to see a private physician), never have to worry about going bankrupt, and have quick access to some of the best health care in the world. We live longer than Americans, earn more on average, and pay far less for pharmaceuticals. We even have far more millionaires per capita than you do. I’ve often found it strange that Americans don’t demand the same of their own government who in contrast seem obsessed with giving billion dollar giveaways for a smattering of McJobs. Freedumb indeed.

Reply to  commieBob
November 7, 2017 3:44 am

Off topic but important. Absolutey wrong re cancer, thankfully. As survivors will tell you, and the national stats in the UK and probaly in US for rich people show, survival rates have never been higher. We are now targetting tumour type specific drugs to the different types of cancer using gene typing, as blanket drugs don’t work so well as the cancers are rather individial because, while of particularly general types, are generated by the individuals own cell reproduction system (NOT radiation or external causes!) and are individual themselves. TRadional chemo and radio therapy attack generic properties rather than specific and cause much damage to healthy cells – hence the dreaded neutoropenic sepsis from depressed immune systems at the final stages of chemo. When the USA gets some scial justice which includes a health service free at the point of use – “no citizen left to die” – that values all lives in the same way, then y’all, literally, might have access to such treatment – that our commie social medicine, while rationing early release because of cost, forces down the prices of and makes such treatments available to all who can benefit from it. Cancer is on the back foot thanks to advances in DNA typing and increasingly tailored drug therapy procedures. No [precautionaryt principles, no religion too. Progress through technoogy, painfully proven, step by step, so less and less people suffer an early death this way. More Americans are living to die naturally by their own hands through their inalienable right to free market effects of sugar fuelled obesity ;-). PS Seems there is a link between cancer incidence and sugar consumption, but that is the latest “news”, have not read study.

Reply to  brianrlcatt
November 7, 2017 6:37 am

I’m going for another Twinkie. I can’t stand it.

Reply to  commieBob
November 7, 2017 7:46 am

Survival rates for all cancers are way up.

Reply to  MarkW
November 7, 2017 3:29 pm

bruce is a typical liberal, and we all know math (statistics) is hard for them. Detection has certainly played a part in survival rates. Knowledge has also played a part in detection. And, after proving his limited math skills, he verbally wanks on about FREE health care. Shall you, or should I tell the poor dear, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREE

Reply to  MarkW
November 7, 2017 4:55 pm

NME- see my comment above cnut.

Reply to  MarkW
November 8, 2017 4:38 am



Reply to  MarkW
November 8, 2017 10:20 am


math/statistics is hard for typicals (and everybody else as well). Honesty on the other hand is only hard for typicals….

Reply to  commieBob
November 7, 2017 2:35 pm

Eroom’s Law applies generally, not just to drug discovery. Moore’s Law applies to applications, not to fundamental discoveries, such as subatomic particle research, astronomy, agricultural research, molecular biology etc., all of which are getting both more expensive and slower.

Ian Magness
November 7, 2017 1:08 am

Thank you for an excellent essay Doug.

Nigel S
November 7, 2017 1:20 am

I like the idea of having a big clear out to move home and them going round the thrift shops to find stuff to make the new place feel more like home.

Old England
November 7, 2017 1:24 am

Reading the amounts spent each year by the US government – $3 billion alone on Govrenment research reminded me of something I told fellow county councillors during a budget meeting some 25 years ago.

“No matter how much we spend on our Services the leading officers will always present us with reasons for why they need to spend more.”

The UK local authorities budget year ended in March each year and the busiest months for spending were inevitably January, February and March as thay year’s underspends had to be spent before the end of the year … if not then a service’s budget would have no argument to stay the same or increase. Companies selling to local govrenment in the UK were very well aware of this …..

Where Government spending is concerned the same principle applies, no matter how much money is thrown at them, vast amounts are wasted and the ‘Need’ for more money simply grows and grows. Once the appetite has been created it is tough to try and rein it back in.

Reply to  Old England
November 7, 2017 1:52 am

Yup, this is why budgets don’t work (except for the self-regulating spending type of budget).

We now have an annual budget for my wife who’s disabled. I’d be foolish not to spend all of it, or it would be cut and given to someone else not so foolish. Why save government money? There’s always so much more available!

I would add a sarc tag, but unfortunately it’s the solid truth.

Reply to  Old England
November 7, 2017 7:50 am

Part of the problem is that budgeting is not an exact science and since you need money to cover unexpected expenses, you typically delay buying the less important or time insensitive stuff to the end of the cycle, just to make sure that you don’t run out.

Reply to  MarkW
November 7, 2017 2:40 pm

You mean to say that the Danish observation that “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future” is true??? It can’t be since there are so many well funded computer predictions about climate. We all know that computers can’t make mistakes.

November 7, 2017 1:36 am

The projections in the 1970’s have turned out wrong, but still appear more accurate and competent than those developed since. The effect of manmade CO2 reduction could be started with a pilot phase of draining the CACA swamp first.

November 7, 2017 1:45 am

‘Old England’ – you are SO right….!
Not just local authorities, I might add – companies as well..
I remember clearly working for an American-owned chemical company in the 1980’s – in February and March, the engineering director would issue the edict: ‘For God’s sake – spend some money….!’

Reply to  David
November 7, 2017 5:33 am

The USAF flight crews used to call it missions to “bore holes in clouds” when they were flying “training” flights toward the end of the fiscal year just to burn fuel so the next year’s fuel allotment wouldn’t be reduced (but would maybe be increased?).

November 7, 2017 1:45 am

Alaska, the Last Frontier

I dunno, the Australian outback is probably more like ‘the last frontier’. The only place a nuclear bomb has been detonated by a NGO and was not discovered for decades. That’s how big and unknown the place is.

Reply to  Jer0me
November 7, 2017 2:33 am

Oh yeah, Jer0me,
Whose bomb, when , where & why? Geoff

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 7, 2017 2:30 pm

Google is your (sort of) friend :

The New York Times

Seismic Mystery in Australia: Quake, Meteor or Nuclear Blast?
Continue reading the main storyShare This Page
LATE on the evening of May 28, 1993, something shattered the calm of the Australian outback and radiated shock waves outward across hundreds of miles of scrub and desert. Around the same time, truck drivers crossing the region and gold prospectors camping nearby saw the dark sky illuminated by bright flashes, and they and other people heard the distant rumble of loud explosions.

The mysterious event might have been lost to history except for the interest of Government investigators in Australia and the United States who eventually came to wonder if the upheaval was the work of the Japanese doomsday cult accused of the poison-gas attack on Tokyo subways in 1995 that killed 12 people and hurt thousands.

The fear was that the terrorists had acquired nuclear arms or other weapons of mass destruction and had been testing them that night in the Australian wilds.

The hope was that the upheaval was an earthquake, a mining explosion or even a meteorite strike from space, any natural event.


Continue reading the main story
The evidence was ominous. Investigators discovered that the cult, Aum Shinrikyo, had tried to buy Russian nuclear warheads and had set up an advanced laboratory on a 500,000-acre ranch in Australia near the puzzling upheaval. At the ranch, investigators found that the sect had been mining uranium, a main material for making atomic bombs.

Reply to  Jer0me
November 7, 2017 2:57 pm

Complete crap.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 7, 2017 9:54 pm

I think it may have been a UFO crash at Banjawam station, a fireball travelling on a flat trajectory strikes the earth with a blue white flash.

On the the Richter-scale it supposedly caused a 3.9 earthquake

Reply to  Jer0me
November 7, 2017 7:51 am

NGO’s got nukes????

Reply to  MarkW
November 7, 2017 7:52 am

BTW, nuclear blasts are detected by satellites that are looking for radiation and sensors that detect tremors.
It doesn’t matter where in the world it goes off, it will be detected.

November 7, 2017 1:48 am

For some reason we are obsessed as a species about trying to know the future. From perhaps Stonehenge onwards we have wasted vast amounts of effort and money trying to predict what will happen, and we still haven’t learnt that we are far, far better at adapting to what happens than forecasting what will happen.

We continue to play to our weaknesses rather than playing to our strengths.

Reply to  Phoenix44
November 7, 2017 7:34 am

You have posted twice here, managing to say nothing at all, what is your agenda?

Reply to  Phoenix44
November 7, 2017 7:53 am

In other words, don’t bother planning, just wing it.

That’s a really stupid way to live your life, or run your country.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  MarkW
November 7, 2017 10:29 am

Mark and Michael
I don’t think Phoenix44 said nothing at all. Planning should be based on knowledge/experience etc. So if a place floods regularly don’t build there or build a house that floats. With the climate I don’t know how it is possible to see trends in 30 or even 100 years of data considering the long slow path to a glacial maximum is anywhere between 50 and 80 thousand years and that is with a lot of fluctuation on the way down. One thing is for sure is that we are cooler now than 8000 years ago. So what should we plan for? The lions share of sea level rise has already happened which was over 300 ft. from the end of the last glacial maximum. Since the beginning of the current inter-glacial we have learnt with increasing rapidity to manage our environment in extraordinary ways; some good and some bad: On the plus side the Dutch have made a habitable country by reclaiming land from the sea and where parts are still well below sea level, and not millimetres but metres. On the negative side the Aral sea has almost been destroyed by diverting the in-flowing waters away. This has changed the local climate detrimentally.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Phoenix44
November 7, 2017 11:56 am

If we intend to go over a mountain pass in the winter — we check the forecast. Seems smarter than just heading up there and spending the night in a snow drift. Even when the forecast seems okay, we have a box with food and drinks, and extra clothes.

Henning Nielsen
November 7, 2017 2:35 am

“…advancing glaciers such as the Meares Glacier in Alaska that “nudges toward Prince William Sound at 100 feet a year.””

That’s a nudge, all right! Almost as discreet as the “Nudge, nudge, wink, wink” of Monty Python fame.

November 7, 2017 2:57 am

I remember now that I first saw this in National Geographic rather than the Times.
This was as scary as what we are dished up with now minus the Billions spent this time around.

November 7, 2017 3:10 am

$100 Billion just in “studies”, and still no proper data, and still a single theory, or rather dogma, with no proper theory allowed to even exist (not even think of funding it …).
First thing first: data.
You want to study climate? You think it is worth >1$ Billion ? fair enough. I agree. Most people would agree, because it really matters for every day life, just to know.
Just don’t throw the money at “studies”, rather keep working a solid climate network of data station, satellite, balloons, buoys network , recording temp, pressure, water content, albedo, sunlight, radiations, etc.
As a scientist can write:
“In god we trust. All other bring data. Peercheck and modelcredits not accepted”

I Came I Saw I Left
November 7, 2017 3:11 am

“The ’70’s were at the very beginning of the media’s interest in our planet’s climate and the start of the pattern of alarmism on the subject that their path on the subject would take.”

That’s debatable. Tony Heller has published numerous newspaper ‘clippings’ from the early 1900s showing that the media have been doing this for well over a century.

November 7, 2017 3:55 am

If you look at the graph, the 1930’s warm period is very clear for all to see.

Reply to  Hivemind
November 7, 2017 4:06 am

Is there any global temperatures graph like that one published in a peer reviewed scientific journal around the seventies or earlier? I haven’t seen any. It would be nice to have one to show and tell. A CONUS temps will do too.

November 7, 2017 4:01 am

When I first got really interested in climate and where it’s going and why (late 90’s), I went over the New York Times news articles from the 1800’s until current time. Every 30 years or so, they switch from global warming to global cooling and back. Climate is obviously quite cyclical, and generations live, generally through only one cycle. I was born in the 40’s the tail end of a warm cycle, and lived through the 60’s and 70’s the cool cycle. And now the warm cycle again. I would be willing to bet we could stop spending a single penny on climate research, and it would STILL revert to the impending cooling phase. There are already predictions that cooling has started, and will last well into this century. At my age, I probably won’t see the depth to which this cooling will go, but I can confidently say what the New York Times will have to say about it.
Oh, and it will take nearly 15 years of cooling before global warming is declared gone…we just don’t seem to be able to see further into the past far enough to understand what is coming…

Crispin in Waterloo
November 7, 2017 4:56 am

Is it true that the record cold temperature for Alaska is about the same as the record cold temperature for Minnesota? Maybe there is a forlorn valley frozen somewhere in Alaska that is colder but I see Minnesota’s record is -60 F.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
November 7, 2017 6:51 am

In 2014 we were colder in Dow, IL than Anchorage, AK for much of the winter. The warm blob in the Pacific and the MJO were the culprits IIRC.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 7, 2017 12:56 pm

Anchorage is on the Cook Inlet where it gets the moderating benefits of the pacific ocean currents as do most coastal communities along the Pacific coast.. Alaska is a huge state and a more comparable area to mid-continent USA would be Fairbanks a good 400 plus miles to the north between the Alaska Range and the Brooks Range where there are similar extremes of temperature from summer to winter.

November 7, 2017 5:24 am

1976 was just about the seminal point for this, just ahead of the two winters of blizzards (’77-’78 and ’78-79) that clogged the streets of Chicago and impeded air travel or completely shut down O’Hare Airport.

I don’t know if there is a parallel between that kind of winter weather and subsequent summers that are mild to hot, but that’s what happened up to about 2008, when the heavy snows returned and summers began to cool a little more each year.

It’s just a recurring cycle over which we have no control. It’s more sensible to acknowledge that it’s a cycle and be prepared for it than to go into panic attacks and spread fear as a means of grabbing money.

WE have no control over the weather or its cycles. If this warming cycle and/or interglacial is nearing its end, spreading alarm with false narratives, as the Warmians like to do, does not help at all.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Sara
November 7, 2017 12:05 pm

We moved into our new house in Northern Ontario, Canada, in December 1976:

December 8: High of -10.6 (C), low -31.7, 38 cm of snow on the ground

And everyone remembers the 70s. It was cold and snowy. Other decades weren’t.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Sara
November 8, 2017 8:22 am

“We have no control”? No! The UN has unequivocally told everybody that if we give them enough money, they can change the weather! And the _UN_ wouldn’t lie, would they?

November 7, 2017 5:32 am
Reply to  richard
November 9, 2017 5:43 am

Those mid-60s RAND reports are still available. J. O. Fletcher did several. It has been a while since I ordered and read one of these, but I believe he was projecting Global Cooling circa 1968.

I read this when the “just a couple people had suggested Global Cooling in the 1970s” fake news was bouncing around, a few years ago.

The problems are different, but are always projections into the future, and always the same answers: “give a lot of money to some handful of scientists to run the world, and everything will be fine.”

John W. Garrett
November 7, 2017 5:37 am

Thank you; that’s a nice piece. National Geographic has become a climate propaganda distribution operation and lost all objectivity many decades ago.

****** Nitpicking (“Marian The Grammarian”) ***********

“10/39/17” ????? (2nd paragraph)
“cord” should be “chord” (6th paragraph, below first quote)

Reply to  John W. Garrett
November 7, 2017 9:11 am

Also, it should be ’70s, not ’70’s. It’s not possessive, so the second apostrophe is not needed.

Reply to  John W. Garrett
November 7, 2017 9:53 am

Fixed, thanks.

Doug Ferguson
Reply to  Anthony Watts
November 9, 2017 10:02 am

My bad! I originated the errors!

john harmsworth
November 7, 2017 5:43 am

Most interestingly, after 40 years of AGW, I can’t tell any difference between the weather then and the weather now! Some catastrophe! Laughable, Socialist B.S.!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  john harmsworth
November 7, 2017 7:00 am

We who can remember back that far are dangerous to the progressive socialist movement’s pseudo-scientific justification. That’s why they say we are suffering from dementia or have psychological problems since we refuse to accept their version of how science works.

Dr. Deanster
November 7, 2017 5:46 am

I can’t believe I’m the first to post on a glaring point …… the graph has the 1940 max at some 60+ degrees. The whole thing is expressed as temperature, not anomaly. The 1930s look as if they easily cracked the 0.5 increase since 1880. Hoping one of you data wonks can do a comparison of today’s plots with this one back in 1976. Can’t tell if the red line is doing just that , but would like some confirmation.

Dr. Deanster
Reply to  Dr. Deanster
November 7, 2017 5:56 am

In fact …. as I here it the increase since 1880 has been some 0.8K …. that 0.5K is above zero and K. More proof of data manipulation?

Dr. Deanster
Reply to  Dr. Deanster
November 7, 2017 5:58 am

Uggg ….. and doesn’t include the increase from 1880 to 0K

Reply to  Dr. Deanster
November 9, 2017 5:49 am

There are a few software programs that scan a figure, such as these, and give you the data values.

I have not used them, but I thought I would share this note – Example:

November 7, 2017 5:52 am

The entire “What’s Happening to Our Climate?” 1976 National Geographic article is available on line

Reply to  Mike
November 7, 2017 9:23 am

Thanks for the link.

Here is a little non Mannian gem:

David L. Hagen
November 7, 2017 5:53 am

John Murray Mitchell, Jr. was the world expert on temperature change!

Title: The Measurement of Secular Temperature Change in the Eastern United States.
Authors: Mitchell, John Murray, Jr.
Publication: Thesis (PH.D.)–THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, 1960.Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 21-07, page: 1975.
Publication Date: 00/1960

An overview of climatic variability and its causal mechanisms Quaternary Research Volume 6, Issue 4, December 1976, Pages 481-493

A variance spectrum of climatic variability is presented that spans all time scales of variability from about one hour (10^−4 years) to the age of the Earth (4 × 10^9 years). An interpretive overview of the spectrum is offered in which a distinction is made between sources of variability that arise through stochastic mechanisms internal to the climatic system (atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere) and those that arise through forcing of the system from the outside. All identifiable mechanisms, both internal and external, are briefly defined and clarified as to their essential nature. It is concluded that most features of the spectrum of climatic variability can be given tentatively reasonable interpretations, whereas some features (in particular the quasi-biennial oscillation and the neoglacial cycle of the Holocene) remain fundamentally unexplained. The overall spectrum suggests the existence of a modest degree of deterministic forms of climatic change, but sufficient nonsystematic variability to place significant constraints both on the extent to which climate can be predicted, and on the extent to which significant events in the paleoclimatic record can ever manage to be assigned specific causes.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
November 7, 2017 7:28 am

Thanks David. Didn’t know climate change was secular in the past, but the current one is ecclesiastical.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  David L. Hagen
November 7, 2017 2:20 pm

Mitchell’s wiki article portrays him as a forerunner in global warming…

“…Mitchell was a pioneer in investigation and understanding of climate change, and from the 1960s onwards sought to alert the public to issues of global warming. In 1976 he described the conjecture of global cooling as irresponsible, and around that time supported other scientists in warning of the damaging effects of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere…”

David L. Hagen
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
November 8, 2017 8:42 am

What did he actually say? Suggest editing towards that reality?

Mike Bryant
November 7, 2017 6:40 am

Who drew the red line over the “Closeup of graph in the November 1976 article by Matthews”? What does it represent? Thanks…

Reply to  Mike Bryant
November 7, 2017 7:48 am

Worth noting, too, is that according to that graph the 1970s were as cold as it was around the turn of the century. This revisionism toward greater warming is quite (orwellian) disturbing…

Mike Bryant
November 7, 2017 6:56 am

According to this:
The world average temperature is colder than the “OK” line. All is well… the panic is over.

Pop Piasa
November 7, 2017 7:21 am

For decades, rhetoric has increasingly drowned out the data stream as reality shows growing disparity with the modeled theory, mislabeled as ‘settled science’.

November 7, 2017 8:28 am

The 1970s were a productive decade for establishing the time scales of long-term climate change. Projects CLIMAP and SPECMAP confirmed the Milankovich theory.

November 7, 2017 8:42 am

The U.N. couldn’t keep that acronym? GARP.
Man right now we could have the world according to GARP. lol.

November 7, 2017 8:53 am

Wait, land clearing, are we allowed to talk about that…

Clyde Spencer
November 7, 2017 9:11 am

In the guest essay: “…the article does give a pretty good review of what was known at the time about the ancient history of the ups and downs of the climate of our earth…” Is this what “Exxon knew?” That the future temperatures might go up — or down?

CD in Wisconsin
November 7, 2017 9:37 am

Meanwhile, at NatGeo present-day website, James Hansen reportedly told Nat Geo’s Stephen Leahy that…

“…..An enormous amount of money is urgently needed to dramatically slash emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), take existing CO2 out of the atmosphere, and for countries to cope with the impacts of climate change, Hansen argues……”.

“….take existing CO2 out of the atmosphere….”.

Unbelievable. I’m at a loss.

November 7, 2017 10:55 am

The demise of National Geographic as a valuable combination of travelogue, science, and photography is a sad affair. I have subscribed to it for decades but really didn’t take notice of its decline into soft popular culture until recently. I knew something was seriously wrong when one issue this summer
had a cover story on “the science of transgenderism”.

October’s issue has a cover story on the three happiest places in the world – namely Denmark, Costa Rica and Singapore. This is according to a study by none other than the UN on happy places in the world. As you might imagine, the U.S. ranks quite low in happiness. Check out the page where a map of the world is presented, with the relative happiness of each country is depicted by a smiley face with grins of varying intensity.

I can’t figure out whether NG actually believes in this junk or is cynically seeking to exploit millinenials as their target market. My guess is that there long-standing base of support comes from oldsters like me and thus is dwindling as we die off. Millennials are noted for their devotion to values of “sustainability” issues like global warming and thus are the new target audience for NG. But for whatever reason, NG’s descent is a sad thing to watch.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  scraft1
November 7, 2017 12:17 pm

The Gruniad, the NYT, the Toronto Star, Teen Vogue, Gothamist…anyone sense a pattern here?

Investors don’t want to keep paying for bad writing disguising (barely) bad politics. Or is it the other way around?

Jane Rush
November 7, 2017 2:18 pm

I found this old letter from 13 April 2005 on the New Scientist magazine website:

“Chilling predictions
From Ivor Williams
William Connolley maintains that 30 years ago no one said an ice age was coming (19 March, p 29). He obviously hasn’t read Nigel Calder’s “Imminent arrival of the ice” in the BBC’s Radio Times (14 November 1974), or David Bowen’s “The next, inevitable, glaciation” in Geographical Magazine (August 1977), or “Chilling confirmation that the next Ice Age is on the way,” in New Scientist (24 November 1983, p 575). There are dozens more.
Okehampton, Devon, UK”

Reply to  Jane Rush
November 7, 2017 3:54 pm

William Connolly, was wrong since papers like this published in 1972 made this statement:

Cooling Since 1940, Forecasts for Continued Cooling/Ice Age (156 papers)

1. Kukla, 1972

Climatic changes result from variables in planetary orbits which modulate solar energy emission and change seasonal and latitudinal distribution of heat received by the Earth. Small insolation changes are multiplied by the albedo effect of the winter snow fields of the Northern Hemisphere, by ocean-atmosphere feedbacks, and, probably, by the stratospheric ozone layer. The role of volcanic explosions and other aperiodic phenomena is secondary. The immediate climate response to insolation trends permits astronomic dating of Pleistocene events. A new glacial insolation regime, expected to last 8000 years, began just recently. Mean global temperatures may eventually drop about 1oC in the next hundred years. A refinement of the Milankovitch theory in terms of the lunar orbit and more data on solar periodicities are needed for reliable long range predictions.

Stephen Skinner
November 7, 2017 2:22 pm

And on page 594 are pictures of the Hintereisferner and Kesselwandferner glaciers showing significant ice retreat from 1903 to 1956:
“Glacial retreat high in the Austrian Alps marks the abnormal warmth that prevailed in the first half of this century. By 1940, the confluence of the glaciers Hintereisferner and Kesselwandferner has broken. Where ice once lay 650 feet thick, only a small tongue of Hintereisferner appears at far left in 1956, nearly a mile from its farthest advance.”
Looking at the same glaciers today it would appear they have gained some ice since 1956?

November 7, 2017 3:23 pm

The fall of temperatures from the 50’s till the 70’s was measured much more reliably than the warming from the 80’s onwards, for a simple reason. During the cold war there were many more weather stations globally than now. Their numbers collapsed after the fall in the Berlin wall. That decimation of weather stations has never been made good in spite of all the jowl-flapping about climate change, revealing the stark fact that political will to know the truthful picture of global climate does not exist.

November 7, 2017 5:29 pm

Alaska-The Great Land! I lived there for 10 years and wish I would have stayed.
My mother, sister and her family still do, 37 years for them. Strangely enough, we all moved from Minnesota too. Good luck in Alaska.

November 8, 2017 3:19 am

In addition to that program spending we have had continuous research spending on nuclear fusion power and its episodic promises of imminent breakthrough on limitless cheap power.

November 9, 2017 2:10 am

I have one question about all the new equipment they’re using, because unless we’re doing this, it all seems like an exercise in futility: Are the instruments re-calibrated yearly?

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