Earth Day: Then and now
In case you've lost track, today is the 49th Earth Day. And, unless you've just awoke from a long, long hibernation, you know that the imminent demise of the planet by "carbon pollution" is a top, top dread by leftist environmentalists.
One fact you may not know is that the imminent carbonaceous demise of the planet is a definite reality — a political reality. It is definitely not an objective reality.
Politicians, largely of the leftist persuasion, are on a power trip to persuade or force those of lesser virtue to succumb to fear that the Earth is soon to become the Late, Great Planet Earth. This cataclysmic event can be avoided if citizens freed by reliable, inexpensive fossil fuel sources simply give up just a bit of their freedom to fuel the engines of socialist control with unreliable, expensive energy sources.
Of course, we old-timers have heard this all before. From the first Earth Day events in 1970, which I attended on the lawn at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., to present-day extravaganzas, the Earth's destruction at the hands of abusive man has always been front and center.
Creepy Earth Day poster via Pixabay
This year, and for the past few decades, the terra-tragedy du jour remains global warming; yesteryear, it was global cooling.
Many American Thinker readers by now are familiar with the multitudinous examples of the coming-of-the-next-ice-age hysteria that abounded in the 1970s. I have offered my own viewpoint and personal experience several times (one such American Thinker commentary can be found here; other examples are available at the Washington Times website). Today, I offer yet another solid example to forestall the naysayers who insist that such history never happened.
In early 1989, I sent a pertinent, timely letter to the editor of the prestigious Nature magazine about the book Our Changing Weather: Forecast of Disaster? by Claude Rose (Kensington Pub. Corp., 1977). The back cover of the book observes that "Northern hemisphere temperatures have been falling steadily since the 1940s. Glaciers are advancing once again. Scientists no longer debate the coming of a new ice age: the question now is when?" Shortly after sending the letter to Nature, I received the following rejection, dated 3 April 1989, by the then-editor John Maddox:
Many thanks for your letter but I am afraid we cannot publish it. The difficulty is that it is well-known in the scientific community that as recently as 15 years ago climatologists were more worried about the prospect of the ice age returning than by the greenhouse effect[.]
(Of course, the "greenhouse effect" was the popular name in the 1980s for what is termed "global warming," or more safely "climate change" today.)
This is another confirmation of the thoughts and attitudes of a previous generation on expected disastrous climate conditions. In the 1960s and 1970s, the preponderance of particulate matter in the atmosphere shielding the surface from incoming solar radiation, nuclear testing, or natural climate cycles were proposed for the atmospheric angst.
So the next time a modern-day denier of the history-of-belief-in-the-coming-ice-age tells you nobody took a coming of the next ice age seriously a few short decades ago, remind him for the umpteenth time that "facts are stubborn things."
And laugh it off. Wish him a Happy Earth Day anyway. It may make him feel good, since apparently feelings, not necessarily facts, are really important to saviors of the planet.
Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and author of In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail (Stairway Press, 2016).