The Comical Conservative

I keep coming back to this topic. There is a Facebook feed titled The Comical Conservative. Check it out. Facebook friends from time to time alert me by reposting stuff from The Comical Conservative, and I tend to agree they are comical. Here’s the most recent:

Climate-Change-Resized

This is a cartoon depicting conflicting statements by scientists regarding global warming, otherwise known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW). I am unable to decipher the artist’s signature, but the cartoon traces back to Cagle.com, and the artist appears to be Rick McKee. To enable search engines to find the content, I’m providing a transcription as follows:

Actual Climate Change Pronouncements by Scientists

  • 1970 We’ll be in an ice age by 2000!
  • 1976 Global cooling will cause a world war by 2000!
  • 1989 Global warming and rising sea levels will wipe entire nations off the map by 2000!
  • 1990 We have five to en years to save the rainforests!
  • 1999 The Himalayan glaciers will be gone in ten years!
  • 2000 Snow will soon be a thing of the past!
  • 2007 Global warming will cause fewer hurricanes!
  • 2008 The arctic will be ice-free by 2013!
  • 2012 Global warming will cause more hurricanes!
  • 2014 The science is settled!

These certainly are wildly inaccurate and even contradictory statements, and taken together they demonstrate the science behind AGW is a hoax.

Not quite. Anybody who has engaged in the rough and tumble of real science will already know that it’s not what people say that counts, but what they can demonstrate. Bluntly, science deals with the real world. My blog is titled Skeptical Analysis, and this appears to be a place for some. A good place to start would be to examine each of the above:

1970 We’ll be in an ice age by 2000!

I’m trying to track down the source of this. The problem is, the cartoonist, and by extension The Comical Conservative, fails to cite sources. This is a problem consistent with condensing complex topics into a ten-part cartoon, and the artist is to be forgiven. Not so much those employing the cartoon. It’s unfortunate none of the publications I have found carrying this art have seen fit to provide references. More on that later.

While the statement cannot be attributed to a single source, there was talk during the 1970s about global cooling. This was earnest talk, based on known history of the Earth. Geological evidence is that within the past few million years this planet has undergone cycles of glaciation lasting in the order of 100,000 years, interspersed by periods of thaw lasting in the order of tens of thousands of years. We emerged from the most recent ice age about 11,000 years ago, so the civilized world can expect to confront another period of glaciation in the next few thousand years. This is serious business. The most recent ice age produced ice kilometers thick on the North American Continent. Paradoxically, AGW could forestall the next ice age.

The Skeptical Science blog has a nice summary of what was said related to this question:

Ice age predicted in the 70s
“[M]any publications now claiming the world is on the brink of a global warming disaster said the same about an impending ice age – just 30 years ago. Several major ones, including The New York Times, Time magazine and Newsweek, have reported on three or even four different climate shifts since 1895.” (Fire and Ice)

In the thirty years leading up to the 1970s, available temperature recordings suggested that there was a cooling trend. As a result some scientists suggested that the current inter-glacial period could rapidly draw to a close, which might result in the Earth plunging into a new ice age over the next few centuries. This idea could have been reinforced by the knowledge that the smog that climatologists call ‘aerosols’ – emitted by human activities into the atmosphere – also caused cooling. In fact, as temperature recording has improved in coverage, it’s become apparent that the cooling trend was most pronounced in northern land areas and that global temperature trends were in fact relatively steady during the period prior to 1970.

At the same time as some scientists were suggesting we might be facing another ice age, a greater number published contradicting studies. Their papers showed that the growing amount of greenhouse gasses that humans were putting into the atmosphere would cause much greater warming – warming that would exert a much greater influence on global temperature than any possible natural or human-caused cooling effects.

By 1980 the predictions about ice ages had ceased, due to the overwhelming evidence contained in an increasing number of reports that warned of global warming. Unfortunately, the small number of predictions of an ice age appeared to be much more interesting than those of global warming, so it was those sensational ‘Ice Age‘ stories in the press that so many people tend to remember.

Continuing:

The fact is that around 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting a warming rather than a cooling planet. Today, with 30+years more data to analyse, we’ve reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming.

Basic rebuttal written by John Russell

1976 Global cooling will cause a world war by 2000!

This one was not so easy to track down. No searches matched the above quote. I did get to this, however:

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

This is a story from Newsweek appearing 28 April 1975, reprinted on denisdutton.com, and appears to be typical of such claims. The story cites a National Science Foundation report, and there is a prediction of dire consequences of global cooling. However, nowhere is the year 2000 mentioned.

1989 Global warming and rising sea levels will wipe entire nations off the map by 2000!

I only did a brief search, but I came up with this:

It was hardly the first time UN bureaucrats had made such dire predictions, only to be proven wrong. On June 30, 1989, the Associated Press ran an article headlined: “UN Official Predicts Disaster, Says Greenhouse Effect Could Wipe Some Nations Off Map.” In the piece, the director of the UNEP’s New York office was quoted as claiming that “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.” He also predicted “coastal flooding and crop failures” that “would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos.”

This is from a site promoting skepticism of AGW, but I will make the assumption the quote is genuine. Given that the quote is genuine, it is at variance with “wipe entire nations off the map by 2000.” What it does say is “if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.” Ultimately, nothing exactly, or even closely, matched the text in the cartoon. Anybody who can locate the source of this quote is invited to forward me a note. I will do an update.

1990 We have five to ten years to save the rainforests!

Again, my search did not turn up anything that matches the text. What this has to do with AGW is anybody’s guess. Comments, suggestions, all are welcome.

1999 The Himalayan glaciers will be gone in ten years!

Again, no matches. But this one could still have some juice. Here is a near match:

The UN’s climate science body has admitted that a claim made in its 2007 report – that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 – was unfounded.

The admission today followed a New Scientist article last week that revealed the source of the claim made in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not peer-reviewed scientific literature – but a media interview with a scientist conducted in 1999. Several senior scientists have now said the claim was unrealistic and that the large Himalayan glaciers could not melt in a few decades.

In a statement (pdf), the IPCC said the paragraph “refers to poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession and date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers. In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly.”

Yes, once again science has screwed it up. All right, maybe not science, but reporting on science has screwed it up. There is a little more meat on this one:

On page 2, the WWF report cited an article in the 5 June 1999 issue of New Scientist which quoted Syed Hasnain, Chairman of the International Commission for Snow and Ice (ICSI), saying that most of the glaciers in the Himalayan region “will vanish within 40 years as a result of global warming”. That article was based on an email interview, and says that “Hasnain’s four-year study indicates that all the glaciers in the central and eastern Himalayas could disappear by 2035 at their present rate of decline.” Both the article and the WWF report referred to Hasnain’s unpublished 1999 ICSI study, Report on Himalayan Glaciology, which does not estimate a date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers.

The second sentence of the questionable WGII paragraph which states “Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035″ could not refer to the Himalayan glaciers, which cover about 33,000 km2. Cogley said that a bibliographic search indicated that it had been copied inaccurately from a 1996 International Hydrological Programme (IHP) report by Kotlyakov, published by UNESCO, which gave a rough estimate of shrinkage of the world’s total area of glaciers and ice caps by 2350 [sic].

But no cigar. Nothing mentions “ten years.”

2000 Snow will soon be a thing of the past!

Well, not exactly. Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia made comments similar to that:

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

Without a doubt, David Viner is stepping out of peer-reviewed science in making a statement like that. To be sure, if the globe warms a few degrees, some places that have snow will have less snow, and it may disappear from places that seldom have it. Predictions that snow will disappear from the face of the Earth may be unfounded, were they ever to be made.

And that demonstrates conclusively that AGW is a gigantic scientific hoax. Actually not, but we can go on to the next point.

2007 Global warming will cause fewer hurricanes!

This one is going to be closely linked to number nine below. There is scientific disagreement on this, as illustrated by the following, again from Skeptical Science:

The current research into the effects of climate change on tropical storms demonstrates not only the virtues and transparency of the scientific method at work, but rebuts the frequent suggestion that scientists fit their findings to a pre-determined agenda in support of climate change. In the case of storm frequency, there is no consensus and reputable scientists have two diametrically opposed theories about increasing frequencies of such events.

The background to these enquiries stems from a simple observation: extra heat in the air or the oceans is a form of energy, and storms are driven by such energy. What we do not know is whether we might see more storms as a result of extra energy or, as other researchers believe, the storms may grow more intense, but the number might actually diminish.

What do the records show? According to the Pew Centre, “Globally, there is an average of about 90 tropical storms a year”. The IPCC AR4 report (2007) says regarding global tropical storms: “There is no clear trend in the annual numbers [i.e. frequency] of tropical cyclones.”

But this graph, also from the Pew Centre, shows a 40% increase in North Atlantic tropical storms over the historic maximum of the mid-1950, which at the time was considered extreme:

NATS_frequency

But while the numbers are not contested, their significance most certainly is. Another study considered how this information was being collected, and research suggested that the increase in reported storms was due to improved monitoring rather than more storms actually taking place.

And to cap it off, two recent peer-reviewed studies completely contradict each other. One paper predicts considerably more storms due to global warming. Another paper suggests the exact opposite – that there will be fewer storms in the future.

2008 The arctic will be ice-free by 2013!

Yes, this is a real quote from a real scientist. No, it’s not. It’s a real quote from a real politician:

“It is already upon us and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now,” he [John Kerry] wrote. “Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now. Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and — yes — even to American national security.”

Wait a moment. Let me take another look at the title of this cartoon:

Actual Climate Change Pronouncements by Scientists

Readers, there is a reason it’s called The Comical Conservative.

2012 Global warming will cause more hurricanes!

See number seven above.

2014 The science is settled!

I’m not bothering to look this one up. “Settled” is an apt term applied to the current scientific consensus, and I have reviewed this previously:

John Blanton “Settled science” is a term that gets thrown around, but in the final analysis it’s not what counts. What counts is what can be demonstrated. Right now what is being demonstrated is the case for AGW. I have some facts plus a bit of comedy for your reading enjoyment. Comments are welcome. I have more facts.
https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/…/the-age-of…/

That’s a lot said, and there is no way to compress it into a ten-part cartoon. It’s the way of real life. Snippets of propaganda are not the way dig at meaningful issues.

There is a reason the argument against AGW science is condensed into a ten-part cartoon, and that reason is there is no real evidence to support the artist’s position. Besides, this is from an artist and not a writer, but that’s another matter. If there were some meaningful facts to support  Rick McKee’s position, assuming this is his position, then laying out the facts would be the way to make the argument. If a reader were interested in learning the facts, then the place to get the facts would be some well-researched literature on the subject, and not a collection of fact-devoid comments. In researching this topic I came across a number of sources employing the Rick McKee cartoon. It’s worth taking a look at one of them:

Cartoon Brilliantly Illustrates Why “Climate Change” is a Scam

Via the Heartland Institute:

“It is the greatest deception in history and the extent of the damage has yet to be exposed and measured,” says Dr. Tim Ball in his new book, “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science”.

Dr. Ball has been a climatologist for more than forty years and was one of the earliest critics of the global warming hoax that was initiated by the United Nations environmental program that was established in 1972 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established in 1988.

And that’s it. This is what passes for proof in some circles. Note the link to the Heartland Institute. We have been down that well before:

HeartlandBillboard-02

I have been following the topic of AGW for over 20 years, and a recurrent observation is that people opposed to the science rely on quotes and opinions, some from real scientists, and not so much on the basic science. What any opponent to the science needs to do to refute AGW is to disprove one or more of the following:

  • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not absorb infra red radiation.
  • Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are not increasing dramatically.
  • Increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are not due to human activities.
  • There are natural sources to the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that supersede the human contribution.

I have put this out before, and nobody has come back at me on it. Keep reading.

5 thoughts on “The Comical Conservative

  1. Pingback: The Age Of Embarrassment | Skeptical Analysis

  2. I’m flattered you devoted so much time and energy to trying to pick apart my cartoon. I’m puzzled as to why you couldn’t find the source material, since you seem like a fairly tech-savvy individual. Or, you could have just emailed me. I would have been happy to provide it for you. This is not where I got the original sources, but I believe they are all here, plus lots more: Happy reading. I look forward to your update:

    124 years of Failed Climate and Environmental Predictions

    Is our climate changing? The succession of temperate summers and open winters through several years, culminating last winter in the almost total failure of the ice crop throughout the valley of the Hudson, makes the question pertinent. The older inhabitants tell us that the Winters are not as cold now as when they were young, and we have all observed a marked diminution of the average cold even in this last decade. – New York Times June 23, 1890

    The question is again being discussed whether recent and long-continued observations do not point to the advent of a second glacial period, when the countries now basking in the fostering warmth of a tropical sun will ultimately give way to the perennial frost and snow of the polar regions – New York Times – February 24, 1895,

    The Oceanographic observations have, however, been even more interesting. Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never been noted. The expedition all but established a record….Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society – January 1905
    “Fifth ice age is on the way…..Human race will have to fight for its existence against cold.” – Los Angles Times October 23, 1912

    The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot…. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone… Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. – Washington Post 11/2/1922

    Scientist says Arctic ice will wipe out Canada, Professor Gregory of Yale University stated that “another world ice-epoch is due.” He was the American representative to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress and warned that North America would disappear as far south as the Great Lakes, and huge parts of Asia and Europe would be “wiped out.” – Chicago Tribune August 9, 1923

    The discoveries of changes in the sun’s heat and southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to the conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age – Time Magazine 9/10/1923

    America in longest warm spell since 1776; temperature line records a 25 year rise – New York Times 3/27/1933

    “Gaffers who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right…weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer.” – Time Magazine Jan. 2 1939

    More than eighteen years of observing the fluctuations of Arctic weather conditions in the fifty-eight Soviet scientific stations in the Far North….lead Russian meteorologists to a forecast of warmer winters and hotter summers for the North and South Poles. They believe that the earth is entering a new cycle of warmer weather. A series of curious discoveries have been announced in support of this theory. It has been noted that year by year, for the past two decades, the fringe of the Polar icepack has been creeping northward in the Barents Sea. As compared with the year 1900, the total ice surface of this body of water has decreased by twenty per cent. Various expeditions have discovered that warmth-loving species of fish have migrated in great shoals to waters farther north than they had ever been seen before..Our generation is living in a period when remarkable changes are taking place almost everywhere throughout the world. – Examiner April 12, 1939

    A mysterious warming of the climate is slowly manifesting itself in the Arctic, engendering a “serious international problem,” – New York Times – May 30, 1947

    Greenland’s polar climate has moderated so consistently that communities of hunters have evolved into fishing villages. Sea mammals, vanishing from the west coast, have been replaced by codfish and other fish species in the area’s southern waters. – New York Times August 29, 1954

    After a week of discussions on the causes of climate change, an assembly of specialists from several continents seems to have reached unanimous agreement on only one point: it is getting colder. – New York Times – January 30, 1961

    Like an outrigger canoe riding before a huge comber, the earth with its inhabitants is caught on the downslope of an immense climatic wave that is plunging us toward another Ice Age. – Los Angeles Times December 23, 1962

    +-+-+-+

    Col. Bernt Balchen, polar explorer and flier, is circulating a paper among polar specialists proposing that the Arctic pack ice is thinning and that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two. – New York Times – February 20, 1969

    The United States and the Soviet Union are mounting large-scale investigations to determine why the Arctic climate is becoming more frigid, why parts of the Arctic sea ice have recently become ominously thicker and whether the extent of that ice cover contributes to the onset of ice ages. – New York Times – July 18, 1970

    +-+-+-+

    A comparison of climatic data for the eastern United States from the 1830’s and 1840’s with the currently valid climatic normals indicates a distinctly cooler and, in some areas, wetter climate in the first half of the last century. The recently appearing trend to cooler conditions noticed here and elsewhere could be indicative of a return to the climatic character of those earlier years. – Monthly Weather review Feb. 1968 *

    The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. — Paul Ehrlich – The Population Bomb (1968)

    It is now pretty clearly agreed that the CO2 content [in the atmosphere] will rise 25% by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.- – Presidential advisor Daniel Moynihan 1969

    By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half…” Life magazine, January 1970.

    Get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters–the worst may be yet to come. That’s the long-long-range weather forecast being given out by “climatologists.” the people who study very long-term world weather trends…. Washington Post January 11, 1970

    Because of increased dust, cloud cover and water vapor “…the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born,” Newsweek magazine, January 26, 1970.

    In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. — Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)

    “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind. We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” – Barry Commoner Washington University Earth Day 1970

    “(By 1995) somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970.

    “By the year 2000…the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America and Australia, will be in famine,” Peter Gunter, North Texas State University, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

    Convection in the Antarctic Ice Sheet Leading to a Surge of the Ice Sheet and Possibly to a New Ice Age. – Science 1970 *

    “In the next 50 years fine dust that humans discharge into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel will screen out so much of the sun’s rays that the Earth’s average temperature could fall by six degrees. Sustained emissions over five to 10 years, could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.” – Washington Post – July 9, 1971

    “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Paul Ehrlich 1971

    New Ice Age Coming—It’s Already Getting Colder. Some midsummer day, perhaps not too far in the future, a hard, killing frost will sweep down on the wheat fields of Saskatchewan, the Dakotas and the Russian steppes…..Los Angles Times Oct 24, 1971

    “It is projected that man’s potential to pollute will increase 6 to 8-fold in the next 50 years. If this increased rate of injection… should raise the present background opacity by a factor of 4, our calculations suggest a decrease in global temperature by as much as 3.5°C. Such a large decrease in the average temperature of Earth, sustained over a period of few years, is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age. However, by that time, nuclear power may have largely replaced fossil fuels as a means of energy production” – Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate” Steven Schinder Science July 1971 *

    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. Insolation and Glacials -Boreas March 1972 *

    Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000. – Los Angles Times – May 16, 1972

    The climatic warming trend since the 1880s, which seems to have been global in extent and was manifested by an upward trend in mean annual (and particularly mean winter) temperatures, seems to have given way since the 1940s to a cooling trend, which is most marked in higher latitudes. -Recent Climatic Change and Increased Glacierization in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. Nature. June 1972 *

    For the past 25 to 30 years the Earth has been getting progressively cooler again. Around 1960 the cooling was particularly sharp. And there is by now widespread evidence of a corresponding reverse in the ranges of birds and fish and the success of crops and forest trees near the poleward and altitudinal limits. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Courier Aug-Sep 1973*

    “There is very important climatic change (Global Cooling) going on right now, and it’s not merely something of academic interest. It is something that, if it continues, will affect the whole human occupation of the earth – like a billion people starving. The effects are already showing up in a rather drastic way.” – Fortune Magazine February 1974

    “A review of selected literature on latitudinal climatic shifts and atmosphere-ocean interaction suggests some similarities between the patterns of climate in the 1960s and the climate of the Little Ice Age”. – Climate of the American tropics and subtropics in the 1960s and possible comparisons with climatic variations of the last millennium – Quaternary Research June 1974 *Quaternary Research June 1974 *

    General agreement that the present warm epoch has reached its final phase, and that disregarding possible man-made effects – the natural end of this interglacial is “undoubtedly near”. – Background to a geophysical model of the initiation of the next glaciation -Quaternary Research Dec 1974 *

    “Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age” – Time Magazine June 24, 1974

    “The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climatic change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (1600-1850) – an era of drought, famine, and political unrest in the western world”… Leaders in climatology and economics are in agreement that a climate change is taking place and that it has already caused major economic problems throughout the world. As it become apparent to the nations around the world that the current trend is indeed a long term reality, new alignments will be made among nations to insure a secure supply of food resources. Assessing the impact of climate change on major nations will in the future, occupy a major portion of the Intelligence Community’s assets. Central Intelligence Agency Report – “A study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems” – August 1974

    A number of climatologists, whose job it is to keep an eye on long-term weather changes, have lately been predicting deterioration of the benign climate to which we have grown accustomed….Various climatologists issued a statement that “the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a decade,” If policy makers do not account for this oncoming doom, “mass deaths by starvation and probably in anarchy and violence” will result. New York Times – December 29, 1974

    Regardless of long term trends, such as the return of an Ice Age, unsettled weather conditions now appear more likely than those of the abnormally favorable period which ended in 1972. This possibility and its implications must be considered in planning and determining national and world food policies. There is an urgent need for better understanding and utilization of information on weather variability and climatic change in this context.– Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – October 10, 1975 *

    A RECENT flurry of papers has provided further evidence for the belief that the Earth is cooling. There now seems little doubt that changes over the past few years are more than a minor statistical fluctuation – Nature – March 6, 1975 *

    Scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. – The Cooling World Newsweek, April 28, 1975

    The regions that would be most severely affected by a continuation of the cooling trend to the year 2000 would be the higher latitudes (above 50 degrees) where spring wheat is grown and the warm band below 30 degrees latitude where rice is the principal grain crop.- Weather Variability, Climatic Change, and Grain Production – Science May 9, 1975 *

    “Scientist ponder why World’s Climate is changing; a major cooling is considered to be inevitable – New York Times May 21, 1975

    The trend of world temperature in this century appears to be directly related to the trends of atmospheric carbon dioxide content and atmospheric turbidity (dustiness). Both are believed by various scholars to be related to human activities. Since 1940, the effect of the rapid rise of atmospheric turbidity appears to have exceeded the effect of rising carbon dioxide, resulting in a rapid downward trend of temperature. There is no indication that these trends will be reversed, and there is some reason to believe that man-made pollution will have an increased effect in the future. – The Changing Global Environment 1975, pp 139-147
    This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000. — Lowell Ponte “The Cooling”, 1976

    An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. – New York Times – January 5, 1978

    Move Where (to escape the cold)? The Brutal Buffalo (NY) winter might be common all over the United States. Climate experts believe the next Ice Age is on its way. According to recent evidence, it could come sooner than anyone expected. – In Search of – “The Coming Ice Age” 1978

    One of the questions that nags at climatologists asks when and how fast a new ice age might descend. A Belgian scientist suggests this could happen sooner and swifter than you might think. – Christian Science Monitor – Nov 14, 1979

    Evidence has been presented and discussed to show a cooling trend over the Northern Hemisphere since around 1940, amounting to over 0.5°C, due primarily to cooling at mid- and high latitudes – Present Climatic Cooling and a Proposed Causative Mechanism – Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – November 1980 *

    A global warming trend could bring heat waves, dust-dry farmland and disease, the experts said… Under this scenario, the resort town of Ocean City, Md., will lose 39 feet of shoreline by 2000 and a total of 85 feet within the next 25 years – San Jose Mercury News – June 11, 1986

    Greenhouse Effect Culprit May Be Family Car; New Ice Age by 1995?…As the tropical oceans heat up (due to increased greenhouse gases), more of their moisture is evaporated to form clouds. The increasing pole-tropic wind systems move some of these additional clouds toward the poles, resulting in increased winter rainfall, longer and colder winters and the gradual buildup of the polar ice sheets. This phenomenon has come to be widely recognized by climatologists in recent years. What most of them do not recognize is that this process may be the engine that drives the 100,000-year cycle of major ice ages, for which there is no other plausible explanation….we may be less than seven years away, and our climate may continue to deteriorate rapidly until life on earth becomes all but unsupportable…. New York Times – Larry Ephron , Director of the Institute for a Future – July 15, 1988

    [In New York City by 2008] The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change. There will be more police cars. Why? Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up… Under the greenhouse effect, extreme weather increases. Depending on where you are in terms of the hydrological cycle, you get more of whatever you’re prone to get. New York can get droughts, the droughts can get more severe and you’ll have signs in restaurants saying “Water by request only.” – James Hansen testimony before Congress in June 1988

    STUDY FORESEES 86 NEW POWER PLANTS TO COOL U.S. WHEN GLOBE GETS HOTTER: Global warming could force Americans to build 86 more power plants — at a cost of $110 billion — to keep all their air conditioners running 20 years from now, a new study says…Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees by 2010, and the drain on power would require the building of 86 new midsize power plants – Associated Press May 15, 1989

    U.N. OFFICIAL PREDICTS DISASTER SAYS GREENHOUSE EFFECT COULD WIPE SOME NATIONS OFF MAP – entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect – Associated Press June 30, 1989

    ‘New York will probably be like Florida 15 years from now,’ – St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sept. 17, 1989

    Some predictions for the next decade (1990’s) are not difficult to make… Americans may see the ’80s migration to the Sun Belt reverse as a global warming trend rekindles interest in cooler climates. – Dallas Morning News December 5th 1989

    “(By) 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots… “(By 1996) The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers… “The Mexican police will round up illegal American migrants surging into Mexico seeking work as field hands”. – Michael Oppenheimer, The Environmental Defense Fund – “Dead Heat” 1990

    Giant sand dunes may turn Plains to desert – Huge sand dunes extending east from Colorado’s Front Range may be on the verge of breaking through the thin topsoil, transforming America’s rolling High Plains into a desert, new research suggests. The giant sand dunes discovered in NASA satellite photos are expected to re- emerge over the next 20 to 50 years, depending on how fast average temperatures rise from the suspected “greenhouse effect,” scientists believe. -Denver Post April 18, 1990

    By 2000, British and American oil will have dimished to a trickle……Ozone depletion and global warming threaten food shortages, but the wealthy North will enjoy a temporary reprieve by buying up the produce of the South. Unrest among the hungry and the ensuing political instability, will be contained by the North’s greater military might. A bleak future indeed, but an inevitable one unless we change the way we live…..At present rates of exploitation there may be no rainforest left in 10 years. If measures are not taken immediately, the greenhouse effect may be unstoppable in 12 to 15 years. – 5000 Days to Save the Planet – Edward Goldsmith 1991

    ”I think we’re in trouble. When you realize how little time we have left – we are now given not 10 years to save the rainforests, but in many cases five years. Madagascar will largely be gone in five years unless something happens. And nothing is happening.” – ABC – The Miracle Planet April 22, 1990

    The planet could face an “ecological and agricultural catastrophe” by the next decade if global warming trends continue – Carl Sagan – Buffalo News Oct. 15, 1990

    Most of the great environmental struggles will be either won or lost in the 1990s and by the next century it will be too late. — Thomas E. Lovejoy, Smithsonian Institution “Real Goods Alternative Energy Sourcebook,” Seventh Edition: February 1993

    Today (in 1996) 25 million environmental refugees roam the globe, more than those pushed out for political, economic, or religious reasons. By 2010, this number will grow tenfold to 200 million. – The Heat is On -The High Stakes Battle Over Earth’s Threatened Climate – Ross Gelbspan – 1996

    “It appears that we have a very good case for suggesting that the El Ninos are going to become more frequent, and they’re going to become more intense and in a few years, or a decade or so, we’ll go into a permanent El Nino. So instead of having cool water periods for a year or two, we’ll have El Nino upon El Nino, and that will become the norm. And you’ll have an El Nino, that instead of lasting 18 months, lasts 18 years,” he said. – BBC November 7, 1997

    One of the world’s leading climate experts warned of an underestimated threat posed by the buildup of greenhouse gases ‘ an abrupt collapse of the ocean’s prevailing circulation system that could send temperatures across Europe plummeting in a span of 10 years. If that system shut down today, winter temperatures in the North Atlantic region would fall by 20 or more degrees Fahrenheit within 10 years. Dublin would acquire the climate of Spitsbergen, 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle. “The consequences could be devastating,” said Wallace S. Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s – Science Magazine Dec 1, 1997

    Scientists are warning that some of the Himalayan glaciers could vanish within ten years because of global warming. A build-up of greenhouse gases is blamed for the meltdown, which could lead to drought and flooding in the region affecting millions of people. – The Birmingham Post (England) July 26, 1999

    A report last week claimed that within a decade, the disease (Malaria) will be common again on the Spanish coast. The effects of global warming are coming home to roost in the developed world. – The Guardian September 11, 1999

    “But it does not take a scientist to size up the effects of snowless winters on the children too young to remember the record-setting blizzards of 1996. For them, the pleasures of sledding and snowball fights are as out-of-date as hoop-rolling, and the delight of a snow day off from school is unknown.” – Dr. Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund New York Times – January 2000

    “We are beginning to approximate the kind of warming you should see in the winter season.” – Star News, Mike Changery, National Climatic Data Center, Mar 11 2000

    Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives. Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries. – Charles Onians -UK Independent Mar 20, 2000

    Within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting even. Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” Dr David Viner, Senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia – Mar 20, 2000

    “Good bye winter. Never again snow?” Spiegel, 1 April 2000

    Officials with the Panama Canal Authority, managers of the locks and reservoirs since the United States relinquished control of the canal in 1999, warn that global warming, increased shipping traffic and bigger seagoing vessels could cripple the canal’s capacity to operate within a decade. CNN November 1, 2000

    In ten years time, most of the low-lying atolls surrounding Tuvalu’s nine islands in the South Pacific Ocean will be submerged under water as global warming rises sea levels, CNN Mar 29, 2001

    “Globally, 2002 is likely to be warmer than 2001 – it may even break the record set in 1998. – Daily Mirror August 2, 2002

    Next year(2003)may be warmest recorded: Global temperatures in 2003 are expected to exceed those in 1998 – the hottest year to date – Telegraph UK- December 30, 2002

    (The) extra energy, together with a weak El Nino, is expected to make 2005 warmer than 2003 and 2004 and perhaps even warmer than 1998 – Reuters February 11, 2005

    Environmental refugees to top 50 million in 5 years –“There are well-founded fears that the number of people fleeing untenable environmental conditions may grow exponentially as the world experiences the effects of climate change and other phenomena,” says UNU-EHS Director Janos Bogardi. – United Nations University news release – October 11, 2005

    NOAA announced its predictions for the 2006 hurricane season, saying it expects an “above normal” year with 13-16 named storms. Of these storms, the agency says it expects four to be hurricanes of category 3 or above, double the yearly average of prior seasons in recorded history. With experts calling the coming hurricane season potentially worse than last year’s, oil prices have jumped 70 cents per barrel in New York and made similar leaps elsewhere. Economists anticipate that demand for oil will rise sharply over the summer, when as many as four major hurricanes could hit the United States. — Seed Magazine 5/19/06

    “The more than ‘unusually ‘warm January weather is yet ‘another extreme event’, ‘a harbinger of the winters that are ahead of us’. … The global temperature will ‘increase every year by 0.2°C” Michael Müller, Socialist, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Die Zeit, 15 Jan 2007

    This year (2007) is likely to be the warmest year on record globally, beating the current record set in 1998, – ScienceDaily Jan. 5, 2007

    Very Active 2007 Hurricane Season Predicted – The U.S. Atlantic basin will likely experience a very active hurricane season, the Colorado State University forecast team announced today, increasing its earlier prediction for the 2007 hurricane season. The team’s forecast now anticipates 17 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30. Nine of the 17 storms are predicted to become hurricanes, and of those nine, five are expected to develop into intense or major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. – ScienceDaily April 3, 2007

    “According to these models, there will be no sea ice left in the summer in the Arctic Ocean somewhere between 2010 and 2015”. “And it’s probably going to happen even faster than that,” Professor Louis Fortier – Université Laval, Director ArcticNet – November 16, 2007

    NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions. – National Geographic Dec. 12, 2007

    Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years. Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss. “Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007,” the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC. “So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.” Professor Maslowski’s group, which includes co-workers at Nasa and the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), is well known for producing models that are in advance of other teams. – BBC Dec. 12, 2007

    Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer (2008), report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field. “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker. – National Geographic News June 20, 2008

    “There is a possibility of an ice-free Arctic Ocean for a short period in summer perhaps as early as 2015. This would mean the disappearance of multi-year ice, as no sea ice would survive the summer melt season….Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report – 2009

    Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, predicts that a new “Little Ice Age” could begin in just four years. WND Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change May 10, 2010

    “It could even be this year or next year but not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer,” he said, pulling out a battered laptop to show a diagram explaining his calculations, which he calls “the Arctic death spiral”. – David Vaughan Glaciologist & IPCC scientist – Financial Times Magazine Aug 8, 2012

    Granted, when making projections, it’s good to have sophisticated models. I don’t claim to have used those, but I’ve got a good eye and by the looks of it, sea ice will be gone in September 2014. -Sam Carana Arctic News Sep 21, 2012

    For the record—I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean….” – Paul Beckwith Sierra Club – March 23, 2013

    • Cartoonist Rick McKee has posted a detailed reply, for which I am much appreciative. I would have appreciated it more had he commented using his own language. The bulk of his response appears to be a cut and paste from an Internet source.

      I can’t afford to be choosy, however. At least Rick was concerned enough to post a comment, and I receive few enough of those. I will prepare a response to Rick’s response and post that, most likely as a new post rather than as a reply to his reply. Following is a copy of the email I sent to Rick in response to his invitation to correspond by email:

      Rick,

      I have approved your comment, and it should now be visible on my post The Comical Conservative. I am grateful for your meticulous response, and I welcome the opportunity to follow up. Also, thanks for the invitation to contact you by email.

      Before I get started, I am wondering why you headlined your cartoon Actual Climate Change Pronouncements by Scientists, since at least one of the pronouncements does not seem to be by an actual scientist. Regarding the value of the message you are putting forward, it is not critical that all of the comments be by scientists. The headline could have been Actual Climate Change Pronouncements by Important People, or something like that. Did you ever consider that alternative?

      In your comment you mention, “Or, you could have just emailed me. I would have been happy to provide it for you.” I appreciate your offer, and I hope you will be able to assist me. My plan is to follow up on each of the points from your comment, and to address them in a subsequent post. In the meantime I took a look at the first point in your cartoon: “We’ll be in an ice age by 2000.” I did not find a source for that in your comments. Do you know what scientist made that statement? Can you point me to the source?

      I will be completing a review of your comment over the next few days, and I will check back with you by email if I have additional quesitons.

      Again, thanks for your comments. I appreciate people reading the blog, and I especially appreciate those who take the time to challenge in detail.

      Also, thanks for the cartoon. My readers enjoyed it as much as I did.

      Best regards,

      John Blanton

  3. John,
    Thanks for your reply. I’m not sure why the fact that I cut and pasted information readily found on numerous sites is an issue. I take it you created all those graphics in your original post? 🙂 Yes, I could have just posted a link, but I wanted your readers to see a good sampling of the false, alarmist and sometimes contradictory climate predictions of the last 125+ years. I was concerned your readers might just bypass a link. Your blog is titled “Skeptical Analysis” so I think you can see how a reasonable, objective person can look at that massive amount of misinformation and raise an eyebrow in disbelief, like the townspeople hearing the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf one too many times.

    You asked who in 1970 predicted the Ice Age by 2000. That would be Kenneth Watt, ecologist, at the first Earth Day. Somehow that got left off my list. My apologies. You also stated not all of these were predictions by scientists. The one on your blog post that you claim was not by a scientist was that the Arctic will be ice-free by 2013. You go on to state that prediction was made by John Kerry. True, but he was only repeating what actual scientists had already said (more cutting and pasting to follow…brace yourself):

    • “According to these models, there will be no sea ice left in the summer in the Arctic Ocean somewhere between 2010 and 2015”. “And it’s probably going to happen even faster than that,” Professor Louis Fortier – Université Laval, Director ArcticNet – November 16, 2007

    • NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions. – National Geographic Dec. 12, 2007

    • Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years. Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss. “Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007,” the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC. “So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.” Professor Maslowski’s group, which includes co-workers at Nasa and the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), is well known for producing models that are in advance of other teams. – BBC Dec. 12, 2007

    • Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer (2008), report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field. “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker. – National Geographic News June 20, 2008

    I’m not sure how you missed all of that. So, yes, all of my citations were by actual scientists and I have documented them. I hope I’ve answered all your questions. So, I have a question for you: Can you not see how a reasonable person, having been bombarded with all of this contradictory, false and alarmist information for all these years, could be skeptical of anything to do with the topic of climate change, which, in fact, was the point of the cartoon?

    Best wishes,
    Rick

  4. Pingback: The Comical Conservative | Skeptical Analysis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s