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John Holdren on Global Cooling (Part I in a Series on Obama's new science advisor, 'Dr. Doom')

Skeptics of climate alarmism have often trotted out the fact that a number of climate scientists sounded the alarm over global cooling before they sounded the alarm over global warming–an argument for humility in the face of complexity, uncertainty, and change.

Global cooling was more than fringe thinking. As Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich wrote in their 1996 book, Betrayal of Science and Reason (p. 34):

“Predictions of future climate trends by Stephen Schneider and other leading climatologists, based on the prevailing knowledge of the atmosphere in the early 1970s, gave more weight to the potential problem of global cooling than it now appears to merit.”

President-elect Obama’s new science advisor, John Holdren, was concerned about global cooling too.  In Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment (1977: p. 686), Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, and Holdren stated:

“Many observers have speculated that the cooling could be the beginning of a long and persistent trend in that direction—that is, an inevitable departure from an abnormally warm period in climatic history.”

The Ehlrichs and Holdren also gave voice to cooling alarmist Reid Bryson, who said this in his essay in their edited book of essays published in 1971, Global Ecology:

“I believe that increasing global air pollution, through its effect on the reflectivity of the earth, is currently dominant and is responsible for the temperature decline of the past decade or so.”

During the 1970s, there was also concern about anthropogenic global warming at some future date. The Ehrlichs and and Holdren covered this base in Ecoscience (p. 686):

“There can be scant consolation in the idea that a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend. Since the different factors producing the two trends do so by influencing different parts of Earth’s complicated climatic machinery, it is most unlikely that the associated effects on circulation patterns would cancel each other.”

This is a very interesting quotation. It is premised on the notion that any human influence on climate cannot be good because it is human. The externalities must be negative, not neutral or positive.

So nature and only nature is optimal? Is that really what the global warming debate is all about? If so, climate alarmism and forced energy transformation is more religion than a sober look at science, economics, and politics from a humanistic perspective.

11 comments

1 Russell { 12.30.08 at 11:16 pm }

These are some of the terms used in the above quotations:

-”Predictions”
-”Many observers have speculated”
-”I believe”
-”might”
-”it is most unlikely”

I’m ok with differences of opinion, but I’m tired of the global warming crowd pretending their arguments are fact-based. As you can see from the language they use, this isn’t about facts, it’s about opinions, beliefs and predictions.

2 mlynch { 12.31.08 at 9:01 am }

Russell, you left out the best of all. “Well, the models show…” As someone who has done energy modeling, it always makes me want to tear my hair out.

3 The President’s Science Advisor? { 07.12.09 at 10:04 am }

[...] so. As with Ehrlich, he has been predicting global catastrophes since the 1970s, beginning with the global cooling scare. Modern critics have noted his role in Paul Ehrlich’s famous wager with Julian Simon: [...]

4 Idiot Savant… » The Dialectical Playa - Laying the smackdown on politics, art, and culture with a strong pimp hand… { 08.15.09 at 10:06 pm }

[...] so. As with Ehrlich, he has been predicting global catastrophes since the 1970s, beginning with the global cooling scare. Modern critics have noted his role in Paul Ehrlich’s famous wager with Julian Simon: [...]

5 LisaM. Dorn { 09.03.09 at 2:38 pm }

Having grown up in the 70′s I can say without reservation that this was a generation of some adults largely bent on trying to scare the bajeebers out of anyone willing to listen. Not all adults mind you, but many, many adults who seemed to be on a collision course with as many catastrophic events as possible. Almost like those who sit around wasting the lives that God gave them predicting the end of the world in the hopes that one day they’ll get it right!(and get the credit for it) I suggest that we prosper , do our best to care for the planet and our environment and tell scientists to do a better job or forget about funding. I doubt that any of us could do as poor a job in our occupations as these people do in their predictions and still remain employed, much less paid. Everybody wants their fifteen minutes of fame- even if it’s their name on an erroneous thesis.

6 Robert Bradley Jr. { 11.17.09 at 10:06 am }

More investigation on Dr. Holdren and global cooling:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=112073

7 Worldgate, IPCCs Utrolige Historie: Løgnens Videnskab Nu Hegelsk Taktik » Euro-med { 02.14.10 at 6:32 pm }

[...] videnskabszar, John Holdren, var bekymret over den globale afkøling i 1970erne. I 1977 blev han opvarmet ved tanken [...]

8 Worldgate, die unglaubliche Geschichte des IPCC: Wissenschaft der Lüge jetzt Hegelsche Taktik « Der Honigmann sagt… { 07.03.10 at 1:03 am }

[...] Wissenschafts-Zar, John Holdren, war wegen der globalen Abkühlung in den 1970er Jahren besorgt. Im Jahr 1977 erwärmte er sich  [...]

9 Halloween Crazy: Thoughts from Obama’s Science Advisor | Institute for Energy Research { 10.31.11 at 12:42 pm }

[...] John Holdren on Global Cooling (Part I in a Series on Obama’s new science advisor, ‘Dr. Doom’) (December 30, 2008) [...]

10 Scary Thoughts From John Holdren, Obama’s Science Policy Advisor | EPA Abuse { 11.01.11 at 10:15 am }

[...] John Holdren on Global Cooling (Part I in a Series on Obama’s new science advisor, ‘Dr. Doom’) (December 30, 2008) [...]

11 John Holdren, Science Czar - The Red Pill Network { 04.05.12 at 6:47 am }

[...] so. As with Ehrlich, he has been predicting global catastrophes since the 1970s, beginning with the global cooling scare. Modern critics have noted his role in Paul Ehrlich’s famous wager with Julian Simon: [...]

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