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Endless Winter, Part 2

I’ve been at Dartmouth for a couple of days; spring has come to northern New England, with leaves budding, grass turning green, and temperatures up to 70 degrees.

So it was a rude awakening to return to Minnesota. It snowed in Minneapolis today, but didn’t stick. Thank goodness. A little west or north of here, people weren’t so lucky. This photo appeared in my home town paper, 200 miles west of here, this morning:


This is what Bemidji looked like, a little north of the Twin Cities:


We’re having an unusually late spring here in the Upper Midwest, but we aren’t alone:

Canada has just experienced the coldest winter and the heaviest snowfalls since 1970-1, which was called a once in a thousand years event. Another 18 centimetres of snow would set an all time record.

A Kingston newspaper had a marvellous cartoon of a tough old Canadian, rugged up against the cold and hacking the ice off the windscreen of his car. The caption read “Global warming my a…”!

In China the Chinese New Year coincided with a fierce cold snap and snow storms which prevented many city workers returning to their villages for the celebrations. Police had to deal with the ensuing riots. London has just experienced snow at Easter.

The world is much bigger than both China and Canada combined, which might be the exceptions to the new rule of man-made global warming, but they are inconvenient facts for the climate change bandwagon.

Indeed. As is the fact that there has been no net warming since 2001. Predictions of environmental doom have been with us for a long time, as the Washington Policy Center reminds us:

•“…civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” biologist George Wald, Harvard University, April 19, 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.

• 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.

• The world will be “…eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age,” Kenneth Watt, speaking at Swarthmore University, April 19, 1970.

• “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” biologist Barry Commoner, University of Washington, writing in the journal Environment, April 1970.

• “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from the intolerable deteriorations and possible extinction,” The New York Times editorial, April 20, 1970.

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

• “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich, interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.

• “…air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone,” Paul Ehrlich, interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.

• Ehrlich also predicted that in 1973, 200,000 Americans would die from air pollution, and that by 1980 the life expectancy of Americans would be 42 years.

• “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes, The Living Wilderness, Spring 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.

Global warming theory has been around for a while; I learned it as a college student in about 1970. But it didn’t get much traction then because the Earth was in a deep freeze. Some years later, environmental hysteria focused on global warming rather than cooling because, coincidentally, the climate started to warm. That warming has stopped, at least for the time being, and many scientists believe that a harsh cooling trend will begin around 2020. If that happens, environmental activists will be urging us to burn all the carbon fuels we can get our hands on in order to stave off the next Ice Age, much as they advocated an international project to paint the polar ice caps black so as to absorb more heat in the 1970s.

It may well be that the long winter of 2007-2008 came just in time to avert the disaster that would ensue if the general public ever took environmental hysteria seriously.

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