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Timely warnings about climate change

By Russell Grenning - posted Wednesday, 11 October 2017

In 1975, the US National Academy of Science issued a similar warning.

It warned, "The average surface air temperature in the northern hemisphere increased from the 1880s until about 1940 and has been decreasing hereafter" and this prompted their call for, "... the creation of a new National ClimateResearch Program" because " ... the time has come to initiate a broad and co-ordinated attack on the problem of climate and climatic change."

In November 1978 the BBC reported in its special investigation "The Weather Machine" that we could expect massive global disruption because of cooling and interviewed a leading US expert at the time Professor George Kukla who bluntly stated, "The new ice age is due now anytime."


In 1970, Dr Arnold Reitze, described as a leading expect on the legal aspects of climate change, was reported as asserting, "We will be forced to sacrifice democracy by the laws that will protect us from further pollution." Dr Reitze was an apostle of the new ice age theory.

In 1978, the actor Leonard Nimoy who memorably played Dr Spock in the Star Trek series introduced a hugely popular US TV documentary entitled "The Coming Ice Age" which began, "Climate experts believe that next ice age is on its way. According to recent evidence, it could come sooner than anyone expected."

Now, doesn't that sound eerily familiar?

On 23 October 2006, Newsweek issued a "correction"of its 1975 article saying that it had been "spectacularly wrong about the near-term future"although, to be fair and honest, their 1975 journalists had simply been reporting the overwhelming views of the then acknowledged experts.

Now, of course, we are expected to believe that there is global warming although there has been a subtle shift from that assertion as the evidence piles up that it is simply not happening that it is really "climate change". The convenient thing is that "climate change" could mean anything from a new ice age to sweltering heat and everything in between.

Many scientists managed to smoothly change tack from dire predictions of global cooling in the 1970s to global warming in the 2000s. Typical was Dr Steven Schneider, Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at the prestigious US Stanford University. Professor Schneider, who died in 2010, was a White House consultant to seven US Presidents from Nixon to Obama.


In 1978 he was loudly and confidently predicting a complete global environmental catastrophe due to a the impending new ice age and thirty years later, with equal confidence and stridency, he was predicting a huge environmental disaster because of global warming.

In recent years there has been a little-noticed development designed to obliterate from history the 1970s assertions of a new ice age and create the impression that the new ice age predictions were really very, very few and, in any case, were journalistic embellishments and misrepresentations of cautious and highly qualified scientific papers.

At the turn of the century, software engineer William Connolley with two others founded the blog. The UK's The Telegraph in 2009 published a major investigation of what Connolley had been doing to "cleanse" the internet of embarrassing 1970s ice age predictions.

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About the Author

Russell Grenning is a retired political adviser and journalist who began his career at the ABC in 1968 and subsequently worked for the then Brisbane afternoon daily, The Telegraph and later as a columnist for The Courier Mail and The Australian.

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