It is important to remember the news years ago promising an imminent ice age unless we acted quickly to drastically change our lifestyles, in the burst of news around the same prescriptions for global warming.
Some facts are clear, others aren’t and acting on those that are clear is often prudent, but acting on those that aren’t is often foolish.
Dan Walters: Global warming, whether theory or fact, spawns political heat
By Dan Walters — Bee ColumnistPublished 12:01 am PDT Sunday, July 30, 2006
Thirty-one years ago, Newsweek magazine published an extensive account of what it described as a growing scientific consensus of global climate change.
“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production,” Newsweek said, adding, “The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it” and “to scientists these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather.”
Global warming? Not quite. The Newsweek article about the emerging scientific consensus was about global cooling and the potential onset of a mini-ice age, akin to the one that chilled the Northern Hemisphere between 1600 and 1900.
Now we are told, of course, that there’s a growing scientific consensus about global warming, with hydrocarbon emissions from humankind’s economic activities the chief culprit, although there’s a significant body of contrary opinion.
Whether global warming is a scientific fact or, alternatively, a theory being propagandized for ideological reasons is still an open question. But it clearly is a political fact and in politics, perceptions are always more powerful than reality, whatever it may be.