Environmentalists Circa 1975 Propose Covering Arctic in Black Soot

Over the years I’ve taken to collecting old books and articles (old being 20-30 years ago), when the low-budget versions of today’s environmental movement predicted global cooling.

Today, on Rush Limbaugh’s website, he has posted a text file and pdf to an article from the April 28, 1975 edition of Newsweek that I didn’t have in my collection.

It’s entitled, “The Cooling World,” by Peter Gwynne. It is a fun read.

Some excerpts (the second one is especially funny):

“The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually…. To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. Meteorologists… 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… A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.”

“Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.”

It is amazing to me how much the language in this piece echoes coverage of “global warming” today. Even some of the expert players quoted — the NAS and NOAA — are the same.

What will environmentalists worry about next?

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