Unearthed Video: Global Warming Alarmist Warned Of Ice Age in 1970's

| 10 Comments

Al Gore Lied.com

I've unearthed from the YouTube dustbin what I believe to be some significant video of man-made global warming alarmist extraordinaire Stephen Schneider's  appearance on a May 1978 episode of the old television series, In Search Of....  For this episode, the show was In Search Of...The Coming Ice Age.

I used to watch In Search Of... when I was a kid. I loved it. It was
mystery documentary series, and one of the things that made it cool
was that it was hosted by Leonard Nimoy, i.e. Spock. In Search Of... did
shows on such topics as Bigfoot, The Bermuda Triangle, UFO captives,
and The Ogopogo Monster.  As a skeptic looking back on the show today,
I find it hilarious that the show included climate alarmism alongside
those campy topics.

The episode in question, titled, The Coming Ice Age, has much that
is worthy of discussion, and features several scientists warning of a
coming ice age, including Dr. Gifford Miller, Chester Langway, and  Dr.
James Hays.  But for the purposes of this post I'll focus on Stephen
Schneider who is featured in Part Three.  Schneider may not cast as
large of a shadow in the man-made global warming alarmist crowd as such
luminaries as Al Gore and James Hansen, but Schneider has earned a
special place in the hearts of man-made global warming skeptics
everywhere when he told Discover Magazine in October, 1989:


On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to
the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but -- which means that we must include all the
doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are
not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we'd
like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates
into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic
change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture
the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of
media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.
This 'double ethical bind' we frequently find ourselves in cannot be
solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being
both.


Schneider's been trying unsuccessfully to put that genie back in the bottle for years, and his words will live forever in the alarmist Hall of Shame.  TheSchneider segment is in Part Three, and his role in the show is to share his opinion on whether or not it would be wise to take measures
to stop the predicted coming ice age, or more specifically, using nuclear power to loosen polar icecaps, and helping sea ice melt by covering it with black soot.

On the TV show In Search Of...The Coming Ice Age, Steven Schneider wonders whether mankind should intervene in staving off a coming ice age.

Schneider:

Can we do these things? Yes. But will they make things better? I'm not sure.  We can't predict with any certainty what's happening to our own climatic future.  How can we come along and intervene then in that ignorance?  You could melt the icecaps.  What would that do to the coastal cities? The cure could be worse than the disease. Would that better or worse than the risk of an ice age?

...

It's the interaction between people and climate that worries me the
most, because with everyone jammed into countries, locked into national
boundaries, a change in climate means a redistribution of where the
rain is, where the growing seasons are. My worst fear is that the
climate could induce a change in some country that could be devastating
to their local survivability, and that would lead them to desperate
acts that can drag everybody else down."


10 Comments

Look. This isn't nothing as bad as compared with the global warming craze of today.

Even Schneider in this episode pretty much pleads ignorance.

This is good stuff. I'd bet there is another ice age before global warming ever gets a chance to kick in.

I lived through the winter of 1977. No school for almost two weeks I think. Had to put buckets over our heads to walk in the snow to protect from the wind. Imagined if that happened in Buffalo today and Bush was still in office. It might be worse than Katrina. Fortunately Bush is out of office so you wouldn't hear much about it.

Really buckets on your head?
Did you cut out eye holes?

We uses ski masks...

Ski masks weren't thick enough back then. Today's technology is probably better.

I was in NW Ohio at the time. Probably was much worse here in Minnesota. Maybe you had less snow. I don't know.

10ft snow drifts were quite memorable as an 8-year old.

You couldn't see anything anyway because snow was blowing so hard. You just put buckets over your head and looked down at your feet to see where you were walking.

I am old enough to remember the coming ice age non-sense. Funny how, global cooling, global warming, doesn't matter--funny how we have the same ominous and guilt inducing music and narration.

I was in college in 1977 and spent my summers in the far north of Canada working in glaciated terrain.

It was pretty clear to those geologist I was working with back then that the ice was still retreating from the maximums of the little ice age. They saw the cold 70's as a small respite from the overall warming the north had experienced since the late 19th century.

I remember seeing glaciers in the Yukon and Northwest Territories that had receded by as much 200 feet on the valley walls and my 1/2 mile or more in length.

In short it was not at all obvious where I was that an ice age was imminent.

That said it is still interesting to see Stephen Schneider in his bell bottoms waving his arms about the end of the world. Some things change and other things stay the same.

Thanks for the wonderful piece of historical scholarship. It is very important as it demonstrates for all to see the extraordinary folly of the IPCC et al scare that has engulfed our impressionable politicians in so many countries. The comparison between now and then is precise.

At that time in the late 1960s early 1970s the world was cooling. This has been well established. At that time there were sound geophysical explanations in the scientific literature. But the anthropomorphic tendency amongst our colleagues was too strong. They did not exercise the scientific mindset that will invariably lead to the truth as I will explain. Stephen Scheidner and Holdren now with President Obama are two perfect examples of this.

We now know that the cooling of the 1970s and the warming of the 1980s to 1990s and the cooling we are now experiencing, whilst multivariable in origin (as with most complex phenomena) all have been induced in part because of the variability in the Earth’s decadal rotation.

(NB. I included a graph and a table in this post, but the graph did not get included and the format of the table has been lost. I've included some weblinks that lead the the Lambeck and Cazenave paper, the measurements of LoD and the predictions of LoD over the next decades. I hope readers can access these).

There is considerable evidence that decadal length variations in the rate of the Earth’s rotation result in periods of global cooling or warming.

Lambeck and Cazenave (1976), “Long Term Variations in the Length of Day and Climatic Change” published in 1976 in the Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society Vol 26 Issue No 3 pps 555 to 573, reported that there is an established relationship between the Earth’s decadal variable rotation and climate dynamics.

As LoD shortens, (i.e. the Earth rotates faster) the planet warms; in contrast, as LoD lengthens, the planet cools. There is a time lag of most likely six years between the change in the Earth’s rotation and global temperature changes.

Their paper is available here: http://rses.anu.edu.au/people/lambeck_k/pdf/37.pdf

Their paper warrants careful study.
Lambeck and Cazenave (1976) found that:
“The long-period (greater than about 10 yr) variations in the length-of-day (LoD) observed since 1820 show a marked similarity with variations observed in various climatic indices; periods of acceleration of the Earth corresponding to years of increasing intensity of the zonal circulation and to global-surface warming: periods of deceleration corresponding to years of decreasing zonal-circulation intensity and to a global decrease in surface temperatures. The long-period atmospheric excitation functions for near-surface geostrophic winds, for changes in the atmospheric mass distribution and for eustatic variations in sea level have been evaluated and correlate well with the observed changes in the LoD.“

Lambeck and Cazenave (1976) argued that the cooling of that the planet experienced in the 1960s arose from a slowing of the Earth’s rotation.

They wrote:
“if the hypothesis [that decadal rotation decrease (increase) results in planetary cooling (warming)] is accepted then the continuing deceleration of[the rotating Earth] for the last 10 yr suggests that the present period of decreasing average global temperature will continue for at least another 5-10 yr.”

Lambeck and Cazenave (1976) predicted that the cooling would come to an end by the mid 1970s and be followed by a period of global warming because they had discovered that the planet’s rate of rotation had begun to accelerate from 1972.

They wrote:
“Perhaps a slight comfort in this gloomy trend is that in 1972 the LoD showed a sharp positive acceleration that has persisted until the present, although it is impossible to say if this trend will continue as it did at the turn of the century or whether it is only a small perturbation in the more general decelerating trend.”

How this comes about is a matter of continuing debate and research. It does seem reasonably well established that the proximal causes are changes in the behaviour of the Earth’s inner cores and the way these cores are coupled dynamically and electromagnetically to the rest of the Earth.

However, there is growing evidence that coupling between various forms of solar activity and the inner cores is one of the determinants of the variable behaviour of the cores. Regardless of this, the relationship established by Lambeck and Cazenave has been corroborated by others and disconfirmed by no one. Keep in mind that Lambeck and Cazenave found the correlation between LoD and average global temperature is a statistically significant 0.91 using time series some 150 years long with good quality data.
It could be, as Kurt Lambeck argues in his book, The Earth’s Variable Rotation: Geophysical causes and consequences, Cambridge University Press 1980, pps 279 – 282, that both arise from a third cause (about which he did not speculate). It could be that the same solar activity contributes to the global climate variations in addition to the ways in which rotational change over a decade brings about climate change.

Richard Gross of the JPL at the California Institute of Technology produces a report each year that presents the most recent data about the rotation of the Earth. The title of the report is Combinations of Earth Orientation Measurements: SPACE2007, COMB2007, and POLE2007. See here http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/41279/1/09-18.pdf

Fig 4 (d) which is the graph of Length of Day from 1960 to 2007 below with the smaller variations smoothed out.

The graph shows that LoD has been shortening (rotation speeding up) since 1970, except that the planet’s rotation slowed just a little between 1988 and 1994. It then began to speed up, de-accelerating again just a little in 2006. There is just a hint of speeding up again in 2007.

The key factor to concentrate on is the decadal rotational changes.


The table below summarises LoD variations over the last fifty years, the predicted climate consequence and the period in which that consequence would occur, given a lag time of five years, other things being equal. As the determinants of climate dynamics are multivariate, non-linear and non-stationary and include elements of randomness, it is not realistic to say that the predicted climate consequence necessarily follows.

Time period of rotation LoD Rotation Climate temperature Climate period (5yr lag)
Pre 1960 - 1972 lengthen slower cooling 1960 - 1977
1972 - 1987 shorten faster warming 1977 -1992
1987 - 1994 lengthen slower cooling 1992 - 1999
1994 - 2002 shorten faster warming 1999 - 2007
2002 - present lengthen slower cooling 2007 - ?

Lambeck & Cazenave noted that the significance in the “lag suggests that the LOD observations can be used as an indicator of future climatic trends, in particular of the surface warmings.”

Prediction of the LoD time series is an area of specialized research conducted by a relatively small number of scientists.

Gambis and Bizouard (2003) see slide 18 of http://www.ien.it/luc/cesio/itu/gambis.pdf predict that LoD will lengthen during 2000 and 2010 resulting in global cooling from around 2006 to 2016 according to the relationship established by Lambeck and Cazenave.

Watching this episode is pretty funny, although living through a winter like that is no joke.

I remember the winters of the 60s and 70s as mostly pretty cold. The last winter in that series was 1982, a series that began around 1940. That was the coldest period of the last 150 years. It followed the warmest period, the 1920s and 30s. The 1978-1998 warming and 2002-? cooling have been milder.

What's really distubring is that Schneider is fairly sensible here. The GW nonsense of the last 20 years is far worse -- less evidence, flimsy theories and dubious computer models that can't even predict the weather, willful ignoring of climate history and present measurements. Unless an asteroid hits us, another Ice Age is in our future, probably not soon. GW is in no one's future.

I remeber this too. I used to watch In Search Of to see what crazy stuff Nemoy would talk about.
The winters of 1976-1977 and 1977-78 were brutal
I was living in Erie PA at the time. We had almost 12 feet of snow, 1n 76, and Lake Erie froze over for the first time since the late 1930's.
If you were dumb enough to try, you could have walked to Canada.
We would have appreciated a little Global Warming while we were trying to shovel out our cars and thawing frozen locks.

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This page contains a single entry by Elmer published on September 22, 2009 4:27 PM.

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