In 1971, John Holdren edited and contributed an essay to a book entitled Global Ecology: Readings Toward a Rational Strategy for Man. He wrote (along with colleague Paul Ehrlich) the book’s sixth chapter, called “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide.” (Click here to view a photograph of the table of contents, showing Holdren’s essay on pages 64-78; click on the image to the left to view the cover.) In their chapter, Holdren and Ehrlich speculate about various environmental catastrophes, and on pages 76 and 77 Holdren the climate scientist speaks about the probable likelihood of a “new ice age” caused by human activity (air pollution, dust from farming, jet exhaust, desertification, etc.).

Below is a direct scan from pages 76-77 in the book Global Ecology, with an exact transcription on the right.

(Following this section, scroll down to see the extended passage from which this quote was taken, with more context and more discussion.)

John Holdren is now not only the “Science Czar” for the United States, but he’s also one of the original leaders of the “alarmist” wing of the Global Warming debate — and he now promotes the notion that the current climate data points to a looming planetary overheating catastrophe of unimaginable dimensions. (He helped make the charts and graphs for Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, for example.)

My personal opinion is that Holdren is a “doom peddler” who latches onto the nightmare-scenario-du-jour — overpopulation, nuclear holocaust, global cooling, global warming (all of which he’s trumpeted at various points in his career) — and then wildly exaggerates it in order to scare the public into adopting his politicized “solutions.”

But I’ll let you read the following quote and decide for yourself how you feel about John Holdren’s predictions. (And make sure to read the extended passage below, for more insight.)

It seems, however, that a competing effect has dominated the situation since 1940. This is the reduced transparency of the atmosphere to incoming light as a result of urban air pollution (smoke, aerosols), agricultural air pollution (dust), and volcanic ash. This screening phenomenon is said to be responsible for the present world cooling trend—a total of about .2°C in the world mean surface temperature over the past quarter century. This number seems small until it is realized that a decrease of only 4°C would probably be sufficient to start another ice age. Moreover, other effects besides simple screening by air pollution threaten to move us in the same direction. In particular, a mere one percent increase in low cloud cover would decrease the surface temperature by .8°C. We may be in the process of providing just such a cloud increase, and more, by adding man-made condensation nuclei to the atmosphere in the form of jet exhausts and other suitable pollutants. A final push in the cooling direction comes from man-made changes in the direct reflectivity of the earth’s surface (albedo) through urbanization, deforestation, and the enlargement of deserts.

The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.

It’s interesting to note that as recently as 2009, Holdren proposed combining his two disaster scenarios by suggesting we purposely inject pollutants into the upper atmosphere, using the global cooling effects of pollution to cancel out the global warming effects of pollution. (Though he backpedaled after claiming that the media misconstrued his recommendation.)

To be fair, as the following extended passage shows, Holdren predicted that the ice age was going to be only a “short-term threat,” and that global warming (as opposed to cooling) would eventually doom us all in the end, if the ice age hadn’t already finished us off. But, incredibly, after discussing the by-then well-known “greenhouse effect,” Holdren sets that concept aside and instead predicts that the coming global overheating will be caused not by the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide but instead simply by human-caused excess heat generation. As he puts it, “the remaining major means of interference with the global heat balance is the release of energy from fossil and nuclear fuels. As pointed out previously, all this energy is ultimately degraded to heat. What are today scattered local effects of its disposition will in time, with the continued growth of population and energy consumption, give way to global warming.” In other words, it’s not the greenhouse effect that will get us in the long run, but merely energy generation itself as a concept; even nuclear energy, which produces no greenhouse gases, is bad because it produces energy which inevitably becomes heat.

Read the full passage below and come to your own conclusions about Holdren’s track record for predicting the fate of planet Earth.

Pages 76-77 of Global Ecology

Substantial interference by man with any part of this process can result in changing the average surface temperature and atmospheric circulation pattern.

Such interference currently takes several forms. One is the steady increase of the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, believed to be due primarily to increasing combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. Carbon dioxide is essentially transparent to incoming visible light, so it doesn’t change the input to the heat balance; but being opaque to part of the outbound infrared energy, it does reduce the amount of heat which can escape. This effect, if it were the only one operating, would result in a warming trend. (Glass has similar properties which account for the warmth of a greenhouse—and for the name “greenhouse effect” applied to the CO2 phenomenon.)

It seems, however, that a competing effect has dominated the situation since 1940. This is the reduced transparency of the atmosphere to incoming light as a result of urban air pollution (smoke, aerosols), agricultural air pollution (dust), and volcanic ash. This screening phenomenon is said to be responsible for the present world cooling trend—a total of about .2°C in the world mean surface temperature over the past quarter century. This number seems small until it is realized that a decrease of only 4°C would probably be sufficient to start another ice age. Moreover, other effects besides simple screening by air pollution threaten to move us in the same direction. In particular, a mere one percent increase in low cloud cover would decrease the surface temperature by .8°C. We may be in the process of providing just such a cloud increase, and more, by adding man-made condensation nuclei to the atmosphere in the form of jet exhausts and other suitable pollutants. A final push in the cooling direction comes from man-made changes in the direct reflectivity of the earth’s surface (albedo) through urbanization, deforestation, and the enlargement of deserts.

The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.

If man survives the comparatively short-term threat of making the planet too cold, there is every indication he is quite capable of making it too warm not long thereafter. For the remaining major means of interference with the global heat balance is the release of energy from fossil and nuclear fuels. As pointed out previously, all this energy is ultimately degraded to heat. What are today scattered local effects of its disposition will in time, with the continued growth of population and energy consumption, give way to global warming. The present rate of increase in energy use, if continued, will bring us in about a century to the point where our heat input could have drastic global consequences. Again, the exact form such consequences might take is unknown; the melting of the icecaps with a concomitant 150 foot increase in seas level might be one of them.

101 Responses to “John Holdren in 1971: “New ice age” likely”

  1. 1Anonymous on Sep 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm:

    Hey, Just here to post the first comment…

    My comment is that this is one silly person. I’d wish he’d just go away.

    Nick nacks and patti wacks.

    That’s all I gotta say…

  2. 2from_Liberalia on Sep 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm:

    I wonder if he knows that part of the Antarctic ice is melting because of lava flowing from underneath it.
    No one on the left wants to trumpte that little fact, even though the Univ of Illinois is the outfit that first posted about it, followed by an article in, I think, Scientific American, a few months ago that mentioned it in passing.

    But this guy really covers all the bases like a true politician. He throws everything at the wall, hoping some will stick. How can someone NOT find a bone to chew on here? In effect, it’s meaningliness nonsense and gives something to everyone.

  3. 3CattusMagnus on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm:

    I bet that the next article of Holdren’s that you dig up will be warning us about ManBearPig.

  4. 4Ringo the Gringo on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm:

    Hey zombie, I just received the latest print edition of National Review and your website is mentioned in an article called All Wee-Weed Up, by Jay Nordlinger. It’s a two page article…here’s the passage where he mentions you:

    “The anonymous photographer-blogger who maintains zombietime.com has done something remarkable: assembled a large collection of photos from anti-Bush and anti-Republican rallies-including Obama rallies. This makes for sickening viewing: all the signs calling for Bush’s death, all the severed heads, the burnibg effigies, and so on.”

    It goes on for a few more sentences. Unfortunately the link address is not to zomblog but to zombietime.com.

    Thought you’d like to know.

  5. 5Ringo the Gringo on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm:

    burnibg effigies = burning effigies

    ugh.

  6. 6jeff on Sep 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm:

    The inmates are running the asylum.

  7. 7Ringo the Gringo on Sep 16, 2009 at 5:37 pm:

    Here’s Nordlinger’s article: All Wee Weed Up

    Link – http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_17_61/ai_n35649643/?tag=content;col1

  8. 8zombie on Sep 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm:

    4 Ringo the Gringo
    Hey zombie, I just received the latest print edition of National Review and your website is mentioned in an article called All Wee-Weed Up, by Jay Nordlinger. It’s a two page article…here’s the passage where he mentions you:

    7 Ringo the Gringo
    Here’s Nordlinger’s article: All Wee Weed Up
    Link – http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_17_61/ai_n35649643/?tag=content;col1

    I saw the online version, but I didn’t realize that it was also in the print version. Woo-hoo! Thanks for giving me the scoop.

  9. 9zombie on Sep 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm:

    #7Ringo the Gringo:

    Actually, your link is a syndicated version of the column on another site. Here’s the article in situ at NRO:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzFiMWUxNjQ5NzI4YzhkM2I3NjY5NTk0YmNhYjg3YTI=&w=MQ==

    (This is page 2, the page that mentions me; click back to page 1 to see how he cites all my examples.)

  10. 10Ringo the Gringo on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:21 pm:

    zombie,

    The version in the print edition of NR is not the same as the article in your link.

    BTW – Check this: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2009/09/16/media-double-standard-only-rights-signs-are-worth-covering#comments

  11. 11Guy Average on Sep 16, 2009 at 7:36 pm:

    Zombie, I bet you even did your homework in grade school.

  12. 12Anonymous on Sep 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm:

    The paperback version of the book is going for over $200. on amazon. Hold on to your copy.

  13. 13stuiec on Sep 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm:

    I suppose you’re familiar with Thank You Mask Man, Lenny Bruce’s riff on The Lone Ranger:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tjWYEMQ70w

    He imagines a time when The Lone Ranger has cleaned up all the crime and evil in the West, and has to go out and make trouble in order to feel useful.

    The same is true of the eco-Leftists who need an existential threat to humankind as a club with which to bludgeon the citizenry into accepting Draconian changes to their lifestyles. You can’t argue that you need to keep your personal automobile and the right to live and work where you want when EVERYONE WILL DIE!!!!! if you don’t obey the new rules for green living, right?

    So if the New Ice Age doesn’t come on schedule, and the Population Bomb doesn’t explode in time, then Global Warming might come to the rescue. All you have to do is create a model that supports your doomsday scenario and the natural political nexus between grant-hungry researchers and power-hungry activists will ensure that your model will be adopted by “consensus” and protected from any real scientific scrutiny thereafter.

  14. 14zombie on Sep 16, 2009 at 10:27 pm:

    10Ringo the Gringo
    BTW – Check this: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2009/09/16/media-double-standard-only-rights-signs-are-worth-covering#comments

    Yes, I saw that yesterday. We’re a team — they referred to us together! Congrats on the exposure — making a difference is its own reward.

  15. 15Anonymous on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:55 am:

    Holdren is exactly as you say ‘a “doom peddler” who latches onto the nightmare-scenario-du-jour —’.
    The fact that he’s the number one guy in American Science (whatever the hell a “Science Czar” actually does) is a crying shame. His politics and his “science”, are exactly the same thing. He is the worst possible type of person for a leadership position in a hypothetically apolitical field.

    (Congratulations on the recognition, Zombie and Ringo.)

  16. 16Starless on Sep 17, 2009 at 8:09 am:

    #15 Anonymous

    The Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (aka “Science Czar”) co-chairs (along with the President) the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) whose members consist of just about every Cabinet member and more. He also co-chairs the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). His primary job is to head the Office of Science and Technology Planning (OSTP). His task is to advise the president on matters concerning science and technology and to coordinate the president’s science and technology policy. Ever since this Holdren business broke I’ve been trying to figure out if the “Science Czar” actually controls the national “science budget” and as far as I can tell, he doesn’t — the various Department and agency heads do that at the direction of the President.

    I’m in no way trying to downplay the idiocy of having Holdren in that position, but there seems to be a general lack of understanding of what the “Science Czar” does. He may advise the president (to use an extreme example) that the federal government should subsidize research into extracting stem cells from live embryos, but the President doesn’t have to follow that advice. So, Holdren may advise Obama to jack CAFE standards up to 100 mpg because he believes that automobiles are the greatest threat ever to Gaia, but if Obama agrees and that becomes policy, the responsibility for that policy falls on Obama IMO. In a real world scenario, Jerome Wiesner advised JFK to not send men to the Moon and I think pretty much everyone knows what JFK did with that advise.

  17. 17pat on Sep 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm:

    Glad to see that my remembrance of the new ice age panic was not my imagination as some blogs intimated. These scenarios also included the reversal of the poles and even significant alteration to the tilt of the Earth. All in spite of the fact that the Earth has undergone such ice ages for the last few million years without such alteration. Holdren is a loon as are his defenders.

  18. 18stuiec on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm:

    Gee, I remember it clearly. With books like this one on sale.

    The Cooling: Has the Next Ice Age Already Begun? (1976)

    http://www.amazon.com/Cooling-Has-Next-Already-Begun/dp/013172312X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253235007&sr=1-1

  19. 19stuiec on Sep 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm:

    O/T: Does anybody remember that much of the artwork commissioned by the Federal Arts Project of the Work Progress Administration during the Great Depression was in fact done by card-carrying Communists?

    bit.ly/tQcmR

    [Diego] Rivera, and the Mexican Muralist Movement, provided the first inspiration for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program in depicting scenes of American life on public buildings.

    The Federal Arts Program was first suggested to Roosevelt by George Biddle, who studied with Rivera. In a letter to Roosevelt, Biddle suggested that a group of muralists work on the new Justice Department Building in Washington, D.C. Biddle’s suggestion helped to develop the Public Works of Art Project.

    On May 6, 1935, the WPA was created to help provide economic relief to the people of the United States who were suffering through the Great Depression. The Federal Art Project (FAP) was one of the divisions of the WPA created under Federal Project One. President Roosevelt had made several attempts prior to the FAP to provide employment for artists on relief. However, it was the FAP which provided the widest reach, creating over 5,000 jobs for artists and producing over 225,000 works of art for the American people.

    Of the hundreds of American artists who would find work through the WPA, many continued on to address political concerns that had first been publicly presented by Rivera.

    Artists were paid between twenty-three to thirty-five dollars a week for their work. Many of the artists such as Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning, and Jackson Pollack went on to achieve world-wide recognition.

  20. 20Anacreon on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:00 pm:

    Dear Zombietime,

    Why don’t you ever visit Tea Party events and the 9/12 Project and document the goings-on there? Aren’t they as worthy of coverage and attention as the Iraq War protests?

    Thanks,
    Anacreon

  21. 21Guy Average on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm:

    #20

    I’d like to see coverage of an SF Bay Area TEA Party.

  22. 22zombie on Sep 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm:

    20Anacreon

    Dear Zombietime,

    Why don’t you ever visit Tea Party events and the 9/12 Project and document the goings-on there? Aren’t they as worthy of coverage and attention as the Iraq War protests?

    As I’ve said a a hundred times already — there aren’t any conservative protests in my area. See this comment:

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=868#comment-62710

  23. 23stuiec on Sep 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm:

    Gee, one wonders why people so very interested in seeing TEA Party protestors can’t be bothered themselves to go find a TEA Party and take some photos. Apparently they’re only interested in seeing TEA Party protestors if their photos are posted on zombietime… weird. Almost like they had some sort of political agenda they wanted to impose on zombie.

  24. 24Starless on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:27 am:

    #17 pat

    In the ’70s in particular, there was a lot of confusion between real and junk science. Purist gradualism was on its last legs and there was a mad rush back toward catastrophism. There was (and still is) indeed evidence that we’re due for another ice age and that the magnetic poles are likely set to flip. Interplanetary science was showing that some crazy stuff can happen to planets. They can get knocked on their sides and wild stuff happens due to their atmospheric composition. The trouble was: who was a layperson to listen to? Velikovsky, who based his conclusions on pseudoscience, or Sagan, who based his conclusions on science? Did you believe, In Search of… or Cosmos? They both sounded scientific-y and they both came to some pretty wild conclusions, but one was more likely to be right based on evidence than the other.

    People like Holdren found a squishy middle they could exploit. They use the legitimacy of real science and the emotional appeal (fear and hope) of pseudoscience.

  25. 25CattusMagnus on Sep 18, 2009 at 10:26 am:

    #24 Starless,
    I could be wrong, but I think that Carl Sagan believes in global warming.

  26. 26Anonymous on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:34 am:

    “I could be wrong, but I think that Carl Sagan believes in global warming.”

    I think you mean “believed”. Carl Sagan died in 1996.

  27. 27CattusMagnus on Sep 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm:

    #26 Anonymous,
    Touche. But how do you know he’s not still believing from the great beyond?

  28. 28Dave Surls on Sep 18, 2009 at 2:54 pm:

    “But how do you know he’s not still believing from the great beyond?”

    Good point. He might very well be out there somewhere, believing away.

  29. 29Starless on Sep 19, 2009 at 4:19 am:

    Sagan didn’t “believe” in global warming, he warned of the possibility of a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth based on observations of Venus. If you want to disagree with any of his conclusions, have at it, but if you want to impugn his expertise as a scientist you’re going to have a long road to slog. But you’re changing the subject. My point was that in the ’70s you could look in popular culture to two different schools of thought, both of them influenced by catastrophism. One* of them based on pseudoscience and the other based on science. I’m suggesting that Holdren is a child of this environment.

    *Like that of Velikovsky who believed that the catastrophic stories in the Bible actually happened and tried to explain them in a scientific-like manner by claiming that Venus wandered around the solar system in recent geologic history before settling into its current orbit. An utterly ridiculous claim easily refuted by the simplest of scientific evidence but one which was very attractive to people who wanted to believe that the Bible is “true” and yet not look ignorant and backward.

  30. 30Dave Surls on Sep 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm:

    “Like that of Velikovsky who believed that the catastrophic stories in the Bible actually happened and tried to explain them in a scientific-like manner”

    Sounds like an exercise in futility. If you’re willing to posit the existence of an All-Powerful being who can change physical laws at will, then you don’t need science to explain biblical catastrophes (like the great flood).

  31. 31Starless on Sep 19, 2009 at 3:08 pm:

    #30 Dave Surls

    Precisely, but try to tell that to Intelligent Design proponents.

    The funny thing is that there are many catastrophic events in the Bible which look very much like natural events with scientific explanations. John S. Lewis, an astronomer who is an expert in asteroids, comets, and meteors, did an extensive study of mythology and the Bible and found many examples of events whose origins can likely be traced back to comets and meteor falls. But Velikovsky was not a scientist, he was a philosopher, so he just made some shit up.

    Velikovsky, BTW, was a darling of the ’60s counter-culture. His work allowed them to be spiritual yet scientific at the same time. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out Holdren had read his work and found inspiration in it.

  32. 32stuiec on Sep 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm:

    The American Indians in Southern Oregon tell an interesting legend about how Crater Lake was formed:

    Poor Coyote is captivated by a beautiful blue star. In search of his lovely star, he travels to the top of a mountain. There he stretches toward the heavens, begging the radiant blue star to become his wife. Alas, she rejects his love and thrusts him back to earth where he crashes into the mountain top so hard that nothing remains but a gaping hole. Coyote’s heart is broken, his paws are blue, and he cries blue tears. Soon his blue tears fill up the great hole in the mountain top. It is in this way, so the story tells readers, that the clear blue lake which today is called Crater Lake came to be.

    Ella Clark includes in her collection three other Crater Lake myths, attributed to Klamath sources. In “The Origin of Crater Lake” (Clark 1953:53-55) describes a battle between the Chief of the Below World and the Chief of the Above World. The opening to the underworld was found in a vast mountain (“the high mountain that used to be”). In a development recalling the myth of Hades and Persephone, the Chief of the Below World falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a Klamath chief. She spurns him, and in revenge the Chief of the Below World tries to destroy the Klamath with fire. However, the Chief of the Above World pities the humans, and does battle with his underworld counterpart. Amid vast explosions and fire the Chief of the Below World is driven underground, and the mountain collapses upon him, creating Crater Lake.

    At least one myth of Crater Lake from the Upper Umpqua area is extant. “The Mountain with a Hole in the Top” was related by a Cow Creek informant, Ellen Crispen, to W. K. Peery (in Bakken 1973:13-17). Long ago the animal-people and the man-people spoke the same language, and were friends. They lived in the shadow of a great mountain, perpetually covered with snow. An evil chief arose among the man-people, and taught others to kill the animals. Bear, chief of the animal-people, protested to Tamanous, Old Man God. Angered, Tamanous created a great wind, which uprooted trees, and made the mountain explode. All that remained was a crater, which filled with water. The evil man-people were killed, and their souls were sent to dwell in lodges at the bottom of the lake.

    These myths indicate that the people who lived in that area 7,700 years ago witnessed the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Mazama and carried their eyewitness accounts forward in the form of myths. (They probably didn’t witness it from too close up, as the eruption was about 40 times more powerful than the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.)

  33. 33pat on Sep 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm:

    Intersting round-up of former coolist, now warmist, Stephen Schneider panicing about ice age. Most intriguing is him being caught lying about being a Ice Age Nut.
    http://algorelied.com/?p=2839

  34. 34stuiec on Sep 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm:

    pat, an interesting clue is in this snippet:

    “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.”

    That is the hallmark of catastrophist movements: at heart, they all want to create a rationale for a supranational government that has the power to make decisions that are binding on individual nations — whether those nations agree to be bound by those decisions becomes immaterial when it’s a matter of the SURVIVAL OF HUMANKIND!!!!11!

  35. 35Kini on Sep 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm:

    If Al Gore’s attempt at Global (Socialism) Warming doesn’t pan out, then Holdren’s Ice Age will be the next cry for a new Socialist World Order. Environmentalist, formerly known as Communist, will make a case for a new set of controlling doctrines to limit Capitalism and place the blame on an ever natural changing climate as man’s activities.

    Expect this to be the next target to be frozen, personalize, and polarize.
    Rules for Radicals: #12

  36. 36Starless on Sep 21, 2009 at 3:46 am:

    #34 stuiec

    Which gets around to what, IMO, lay people should see as a red flag. That when people start talking about a subject like AGW in those terms, they aren’t talking about science, they’re talking about politics. When they start using phrases like “the science is settled” (from the Left) or making claims that legitimate data is “inconclusive” (from the Right), they’re being dishonest. When CattusMagnus asked if Carl Sagan “believes in global warming”, what I heard/read (in a non-Maureen Dowd sort of way, I hope) at the end of that was, “then everything else he had to say is not legitimate”.

    I utterly despise James Hansen, the way he has politicized his position at NASA, and I think his conclusions are so colored by his politics that I ignore his predictions of doom, but that doesn’t mean that I’m willing to dismiss his climate models as completely worthless. They’re limited, just as measurements of atmospheric CO2 and temperature rise are limited, but that doesn’t mean they can be completely thrown out because we don’t like what we’re hearing. At the same time, the science on AGW is far from “settled” — that is to say, the predictive science is far from settled. Will the human factor in global warming inevitably lead to a doomsday scenario? Anybody who says conclusively that it will is playing politics.

    NEA collision and high-number X-class solar flares have more predictable doomsday outcomes than AGW, yet there are no calls for worldwide panic over the possibility of those disasters. Warnings, yes, but demands that each and every human change their way of life in order to stave off those likely future disasters? No. Why the panic over one but not the other two? Because there’s no big political lobby whose existence depends on them.

  37. 37buzzsawmonkey on Sep 21, 2009 at 7:58 am:

    #19 stuiec: It is true that much of the WPA art was in fact made by card-carrying Communists. This makes it all the more funny, ironic, and sad that many of these murals are now being removed, and in some cases even destroyed, because the PC of the 1930s is insufficiently PC for the leftists of today.

    I know of at least one instance where WPA-era murals were removed from an elementary school, and destroyed, because the murals depicted such terribly oppressive things as Columbus discovering the New World, slaves working on the plantation, and Indians as Indians. These depictions of history were considered far too inflammatory for the young minds of today, and, apparently, could not even be ameliorated by serving as the basis for a “teaching moment” by their ill-trained teachers.

    By the same token Thomas Hart Benton’s mural of the history of Indiana, which still stands–for the moment–at Indiana University, was attacked a few years ago by the Black Students Union for having the temerity to depict a Klan rally. Well, Benton was right on the money there; the Klan practically ran the entire state in the 1920s–so his depiction, not an endorsement, was merely telling it like it was (one of those things that ’60s radicals used to say was a good thing).

    The University, to its credit, did not remove the mural despite the pressure brought to bear–but it had to cover the panels in plexiglas to prevent it from being vandalized by the PC weak sisters who could not stand to see history depicted warts and all.

  38. 38CattusMagnus on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:16 am:

    -When CattusMagnus asked if Carl Sagan “believes in global warming”, what I heard/read (in a non-Maureen Dowd sort of way, I hope) at the end of that was, “then everything else he had to say is not legitimate”.

    No, no, no, no, no. You took my question the wrong way. It wasn’t meant to take down your argument, in fact I like your commentary very much. I just thought that I had heard somewhere that Sagan believed in global warming. And from his interview with Ted Turner that I found on YouTube, it sounds as if he does. This is not to say that Sagan is a quack or meant to impugn his scientific contributions or expertise. My comment was not an attempt to bring Sagan down to Holdren’s level. Comparing the two is like comparing a nice filet mignon to a Quarter Pounder . . . . . a three day old Quarter Pounder . . . . . . left outside . . . . . . in the rain. Anyhoo, I agree with you that Holdren is catastrophist. I would much rather have Carl Sagan as a science czar. Even though he’s dead.

  39. 39Emmie on Sep 21, 2009 at 11:40 am:

    I remember the “global cooling” scares. I wasn’t very old, so I was scared.

  40. 40stuiec on Sep 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm:

    buzzsawmonkey #37: That’s sick and sad. As a Jew, I understand what Holocaust deniers are trying to do: they want to erase from history any evidence that contradicts their propaganda that Jews control the world. It boggles the mind to think that Black university students would want to engage in their own brand of denial vis-a-vis the injustices suffered by their forebears.

  41. 41stuiec on Sep 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm:

    “Why the panic over one but not the other two? Because there’s no big political lobby whose existence depends on them.”

    Also, think of what humankind would need to do to address asteroid strikes and solar flares: we’d have to invest heavily in advanced technologies. The byproduct of that investment and the research and development it would fund might be — horrors! — commercial applications that make life on Earth more comfortable.

    The solution offered for global warming is to make life on Earth — for humans anyway — nastier, more brutish, and shorter. I find it sadly ironic that the world community tells us that diverting funds from aid to fighting climate change will kill millions of African children — and simultaneously tell us that to combat climate change, we must help prevent Africans from being born.

    More than 4.5m children will die if money for aid is diverted to climate change – Oxfam
    Millions of children could die because cash for food aid is diverted to tackle climate change, Oxfam has warned.

    By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
    Published: 7:00AM BST 16 Sep 2009

    As part of a global climate change deal to be agreed in Copenhagen in December, the rich world is being asked to come up with billions of pounds to help developing countries cope with global warming. The money would be spent on helping poor countries adapt to increased risk of flooding and droughts.

    Next week world leaders will meet at a UN Summit in New York to discuss where the money will come from and how much should be put aside.

    Birth Control Could Help Combat Climate Change
    September 18, 2009

    LONDON (AP)– Giving contraceptives to people in developing countries could help fight climate change by slowing population growth, experts said Friday.

    More than 200 million women worldwide want contraceptives, but don’t have access to them, according to an editorial published in the British medical journal, Lancet. That results in 76 million unintended pregnancies every year.

    If those women had access to free condoms or other birth control methods, that could slow rates of population growth, possibly easing the pressure on the environment, the editors say.

    “There is now an emerging debate and interest about the links between population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and climate change,” the commentary says.

  42. 42Dave Surls on Sep 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm:

    “I remember the “global cooling” scares. I wasn’t very old, so I was scared.”

    Not unreasonable, since it’s a pretty good bet that we’re just about to enter another glacial period.

  43. 43nadadhimmi on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:55 am:

    Holdren’s real viewpoint and stance seems to be; “Shut the eff up and do as I say, peon”. As such, he is a perfect apparatchik for Obama’s socialist, authoritarian regime.

  44. 44Starless on Sep 22, 2009 at 5:01 am:

    #38 CattusMagnus

    OIC. My apologies. I’m so accustomed to seeing black v. white statements in this argument that I assume them now. And I totally agree, Zombie Sagan would make an infinitely more appropriate “science czar” than Live Holdren — except maybe the part where he’d have to be fed brains constantly to mollify him.

    #41 stuiec

    Indeed. As an added bonus, hardening electrical grids and diverting NEOs (I kept saying “NEA” earlier when “NEO” is more appropriate) are primarily engineering and technical problems, therefore easier to solve. If they are easier to solve, then there’s less of an opportunity to use them as political weapons. There’s no long-term income for lobbyists and professional protestors in that.

    I find it sadly ironic that the world community tells us that diverting funds from aid to fighting climate change will kill millions of African children — and simultaneously tell us that to combat climate change, we must help prevent Africans from being born.

    Well, see, that’s a win-win for them. As long as they can perpetuate the problem, and manage to look morally superior while doing it, they hold onto power. It’s the person you’re really in love with who keeps telling you how bad your relationship is yet refuses to leave. The purported subject isn’t the issue, the power the relationship brings is. “Europe” (or, the European political class) likes to sit around and whine limp-wristedly about how awful those brutish Americans are and yet they seem unwilling to make a serious geopolitical move without our consent (and money). It’s the power of victimology.

  45. 45zombie on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:41 am:

    OK, folks, I’ve just tried to upgrade my comment-box capabilities with some formatting buttons. Let’s give it a trial run:

    Sometimes bold text is needed to give something emphasis.
    But other times italicized text is more subtle.

    Quoted text looks like this:

    he is a perfect apparatchik for Obama’s socialist, authoritarian regime.

    And a link back to zombietime to top things off:
    zombietime

    OK, let’s see if it works!

  46. 46zombie on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:44 am:

    Woo-hoo! It works.

    Hope the formatting buttons improve things for all you commenters! Format away, my pretties. And apologies for having such a rudimentary formatless comment box up until now.

  47. 47zombie on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:56 am:

    OK, I’ve just made another formatting change — making all links open in a new window. Let’s try it out:

    zombietime

    OK, that works too. Sweet!

  48. 48Desert Dog on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:03 am:

    Nice site, Zombie! Keep up your outstanding work!

  49. 49Starless on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:58 am:

    zombie: Woo-hoo! It works.Hope the formatting buttons improve things for all you commenters! Format away, my pretties. And apologies for having such a rudimentary formatless comment box up until now.

    Most of the time I’ve found that too much formatting allows users to make ugliness, but rudimentary stuff like

    one-click blockquoting

    and linking is good to have.

  50. 50stuiec on Sep 22, 2009 at 9:01 am:

  51. 51Starless on Sep 22, 2009 at 9:49 am:

    #50 stuiec

    But see, I’m confused. Wouldn’t millions fewer carbon emitters be a good first step in saving the planet?

    Ah, but the argument is that poor people don’t emit as much carbon as rich people (which is true), so those who should give their lives for the sake of Gaia are the “rich”. The trouble is that those poor people aren’t interested in staying poor — being poor may seem noble from a nice brownstone in Park Slope but in reality it really sucks. This is why China is giving the finger to the rest of the world over emission quotas.

    This is the problem with the Left in general: it’s an incoherent mass of “well, that sounds like a good idea” strands tangled together in a Gordian knot.

    I think of it as an incoherent mass of, “we have to do something [forcing others to recycle their own waste, giving money with no strings attached to retarded Third World gov'ts, inner city midnight basketball programs, etc -- as long as it doesn't involve foreign wars] about X,” followed by, “it’s a good start but we need to do more“.

  52. 52stuiec on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:19 am:

    Starless #51: okay, but if the argument is that poor people don’t emit much, then why the contraception push? (#41 above)

    Actually, Third World nations do immense damage to the climate balance by denuding tropical forests — burning the wood to release sequestered carbon, and then planting not more trees to act as carbon sinks but instead grasses for feeding animals (which turn the cellulose into a more potent greenhouse gas, methane).

    What the world needs is a ton more rich people to become ecotourists and make it economically feasible for poor people to become wealthy through pimping out their forests and wetlands and savannahs and wildlife.

  53. 53Starless on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm:

    stuiec: Starless #51: okay, but if the argument is that poor people don’t emit much, then why the contraception push? (#41 above)

    Because there are so many of them. But that doesn’t matter because from the Lefty enviro-nazi point of view, you’re picking insignificant nits. Contradiction. schmontradiction.

    Actually, Third World nations do immense damage to the climate balance by denuding tropical forests — burning the wood to release sequestered carbon, and then planting not more trees to act as carbon sinks but instead grasses for feeding animals (which turn the cellulose into a more potent greenhouse gas, methane).

    Hey, now, didn’t you know that McDonald’s is what’s forcing them to denude their forests and raise cattle to be made into hamburgers eaten in the uncaring, rich world?

    An interesting China story I read was about poor people stealing unprocessed soft (bituminous, I think) coal to heat their houses in open stoves. Not only is it a pretty nasty CO2 emitter, but it also has veins of yellow cake uranium running through it, so the people who use it in that way are ending up with radiation sickness. The impulse is to tell those people to stop engaging in such a dangerous practice, but I’d ask, what are they supposed to do instead? Freeze to death?

    What the world needs is a ton more rich people to become ecotourists and make it economically feasible for poor people to become wealthy through pimping out their forests and wetlands and savannahs and wildlife.

    You’re actually very correct. My understanding is that El Salvador has got a nice little business going with ecotourism.

    Back to contraception, though — this is where I’d tangentially agree with people like Holdren. Yes, it is better if places like China and India encourage contraception and smaller family size. It’s better for everyone in many different ways, but forcing those things on people is a fundamental sort of tyranny.

  54. 54stuiec on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm:

    Starless: Back to contraception, though — this is where I’d tangentially agree with people like Holdren. Yes, it is better if places like China and India encourage contraception and smaller family size. It’s better for everyone in many different ways, but forcing those things on people is a fundamental sort of tyranny.

    The irony is that the richer and freer a nation becomes, the lower its birth rate goes.

    So the best answer to reducing family size in the Third World is to help those nations join the First World in terms of economic wealth and political freedom.

    Unfortunately, the people most concerned with reducing family size in the Third World are also the most adamantly opposed to helping those nations achieve robust capitalist economies and liberal democratic societies. Because to those people, the only thing worse than Third World people having too many babies is Third World people becoming decadent Western-style democracies.

  55. 55Starless on Sep 23, 2009 at 5:47 am:

    Unfortunately, the people most concerned with reducing family size in the Third World are also the most adamantly opposed to helping those nations achieve robust capitalist economies and liberal democratic societies. Because to those people, the only thing worse than Third World people having too many babies is Third World people becoming decadent Western-style democracies

    I see it as the progressive one-world government version of paternalistic, post-colonial arrogance. These poor, childlike nations can’t possibly understand the impact of their growing populations so we need to show them the way. As though the residents of Calcutta don’t understand that they have too damn many people crammed together in the same place.

    This is rich. It’s starting to look as though the administration’s new scary-smart strategy is to berate the voting public. A good reporter (I know, I know) would ask Secretary Chu why the Japanese are outspending us by a couple of orders of magnitude on advanced energy technologies like solar power satellites.

  56. 56wolfie on Sep 23, 2009 at 7:32 am:

    Their paternalistic attitude has always been implicit in their policies, including, as you point out, their foreign ones. As I see it, the only thing that is new is that the election-mode mask has slipped. The strategy of berating the voting public seems more scary than smart right now, but we shall see.

    (Testing zombie’s new features!!!)

  57. 57wolfie on Sep 23, 2009 at 7:36 am:

    Oops. My bad.

    There. That’s better. I think.

  58. 58pat on Sep 23, 2009 at 9:11 am:

    That link to a new tab is a serious improvement. Cool.

  59. 59stuiec on Sep 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm:

    I see it as the progressive one-world government version of paternalistic, post-colonial arrogance. These poor, childlike nations can’t possibly understand the impact of their growing populations so we need to show them the way. As though the residents of Calcutta don’t understand that they have too damn many people crammed together in the same place.

    It also is rooted in the popular anthropological notion of cultural equivalence. We can’t impose our ethnocentric Western values in judging other cultures, you see, because we’re not superior, only different. Except of course, Progressives are superior to the rest of the people in their own countries, whose subcultures are in fact inferior and deserving of both scorn and active eradication. You know, the people who hunt and drink non-handcrafted beer and watch motor sports and believe in a paternalistic Sky God.

  60. 60pat on Sep 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm:

    whoa. big time.
    http://climatedepot.com/

  61. 61pat on Sep 23, 2009 at 10:47 pm:

    Average wealth = Birth rate decline is not necessarily causal. In most Western nations the cause could just as well be attributed to tax rates, school costs and governmental interference. In fact there is a bit of evidence that shows that religious predilection, real wealth, or optimism greatly increase fertility. Read the latest The Economist. It is likely that projections on wealth assisting lower population numbers are largely built upon silly, fallacious, liberal philosophy. As is so much of modern day………’science,economic, and political’ theory.

  62. 62Starless on Sep 24, 2009 at 3:59 am:

    wolfie: As I see it, the only thing that is new is that the election-mode mask has slipped.

    By “new strategy” I meant this news cycle’s rhetorical trick. Obama berated those opposed to his healthcare proposal (it isn’t a “national discussion”, it’s “bickering”), now Chu is calling us bad little boys and girls. As though Axelrod decided that it would be a good idea to start acting like the angry old man down the street who yells at anyone who steps on his lawn.

    stuiec:
    It also is rooted in the popular anthropological notion of cultural equivalence. We can’t impose our ethnocentric Western values in judging other cultures, you see, because we’re not superior, only different.

    This is where I see the sort of contradiction you were pointing out before. We’re supposed to “celebrate cultural/racial diversity” and in many nations you could say that large family size is a function of their cultures, yet there’s this implicit moral criticism that those large families are killing Gaia.

    pat: whoa. big time.
    http://climatedepot.com/

    As in, “Whoa, what a giant, confusing mish-mash of stuff that makes your eyes bleed”?

  63. 63Gad Levin on Sep 24, 2009 at 5:51 am:

    Hi,

    This is very interesting, but why don’t you make a link to the original text, or the relevant pages, instead of copying them into your article? it will look much more reliable.

  64. 64zombie on Sep 24, 2009 at 6:57 am:

    Gad Levin: Hi, This is very interesting, but why don’t you make a link to the original text, or the relevant pages, instead of copying them into your article? it will look much more reliable.

    The reason I don’t provide a “link to the original text” is that the original text is not online anywhere. That’s the whole point. There’s nowhere I can link to. The best I can do is to do exactly what I have done, which is provide scans of the actual pages in the book. Can’t get much more reliable than that. (Though if you or anyone else does know of an online version of this book, please post the link here and I’ll add it to the report. I looked, but couldn’t find it — which is exactly why I scanned the book myself and uploaded the scans.)

  65. 65buzzsawmonkey on Sep 24, 2009 at 8:11 am:

    Gad Levin: Hi,This is very interesting, but why don’t you make a link to the original text, or the relevant pages, instead of copying them into your article? it will look much more reliable.

    I see that the naive belief that “if it isn’t online, it doesn’t exist/isn’t real” continues to spread at an alarming rate.

  66. 66Adrenalyn on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:12 am:

    I don’t see how you could get any more reliable than the scanned pages ?

    links to text are essentially hearsay

    scanned images of the actual
    is pretty darn factual

  67. 67Paddy on Sep 24, 2009 at 11:41 am:

    I believe that Holdren was correct in 1970. Fortunately, the Clean Air Act was passed. The obvious result from cleaning most of the aerosols and particulates from the atmosphere has been increased temperatures. Further, it is reasonable to infer that increased CO2 emissions are at best a minor factor in rising the temperatures. Now, notwithstanding clean air and continued increases in CO2 emissions, we are again cooling. This is yet another basis to conclude that natural climate variability controls both regional and global weather and climate.

  68. 68Anonymous on Sep 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm:

    If we have an ice age, does that mean Al Gore will have to give back his shiny new Nobel Prize?

  69. 69stuiec on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm:

    I see that the naive belief that “if it isn’t online, it doesn’t exist/isn’t real” continues to spread at an alarming rate.

    O RLY? Link, please.

  70. 70Starless on Sep 25, 2009 at 3:44 am:

    #67 Paddy

    That’s a theory, but only a theory. CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are major contributors to global warming. Without greenhouse gasses, the largest volume of which is CO2, solar warming and radiation would get us to an average temperature of about -18 degrees C. Have we reached a “tipping point” either way? I don’t think there’s any way to definitively prove that — we don’t have enough observational data. If you go by data collected so far, I think you could only conclude that there is a trend toward rising temperature and rising CO2 and that both have risen more since humans started burning stuff. Is that coincidental? It may be — humans have arisen in a unusually warm period in geological history and what we’re seeing may be an artifact of that — then again, it’s not unreasonable to be suspicious of coincidences.

    OTOH, as we get more observational data, we may find out that our theories don’t hold up. Is it weather or is it climate? Personally, I’m skeptical of anyone who makes a definitive statement either way.

    Anonymous: If we have an ice age, does that mean Al Gore will have to give back his shiny new Nobel Prize?

    You’re assuming that the Nobel Peace Prize is given out for reasons other than an individual whoring the Progressive cause du jour.

    stuiec:
    O RLY?Link, please.

    Here! DARE T0 CLICK ONLY IF YOU WANT TO SEE TEH REAL PRO0F OF TEH INTERNETS!

  71. 71freddy on Sep 25, 2009 at 4:37 am:

    Just a quick comment. Where does Holdren say that a new ice age was “likely”? Surely that implies something more than acknowledging a possibility? If I say that an asteroid impact would have devastating effects on Earth (something clearly true and equivalent to Holdrens statement on a new ice age), how does that get morphed into saying that I think it is likely to happen?

  72. 72David on Sep 25, 2009 at 5:22 am:

    And I thought all this time the sun heated and cooled the earth. So much for my knowledge of science. Maybe the sun is still revolving around the earth also. The earth is 6 thousand years old and we did not evolve from apes. Somebody must be looking at the horizon from the tallest banana tree, which I am NOT in.

  73. 73stuiec on Sep 25, 2009 at 7:32 am:

    Starless #70: I thought water vapor outweighed CO2 in importance as a greenhouse gas. (BTW: what about the main component of the atmosphere, nitrogen? Doesn’t it have any role to play as a heat sink?)

    And thanks for the that link. I may have to bleach my brain, but at least I smiled.

  74. 74Dave Surls on Sep 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm:

    “It may be — humans have arisen in a unusually warm period in geological history…”

    That does not appear to be correct, according to the best available data.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_palaeotemps.png

    As the graph shows, humans evolved (assuming evolutionary theory is correct) during an unusually cool period. Most of the time (going back a half billion years or thereabouts) the earth’s atmosphere has been quite a bit warmer than it has been over the last few million years. As far as we can tell, there were no such things as polar ice caps or glaciers throughout much of the last 500 million years.

    The data is pretty sketchy…but, it’s all we have to go on.

    I think that what you might actually mean is is that human civilization arose during an unusually warm period, because we’re currently in what is called an interglacial period and have been for the last 10,000 years or so. The bad news is is that interglacial periods don’t appear to last more than a few thousand years, so, if the glacial/interglacial pattern holds, we can expect to see much cooler temperatures in the near future (geologically speaking).

    This site has some charts showing short term glacial/interglacial periods.

    http://ecofootprintsolutions.com/2009/05/17/get-the-most-out-of-your-interglacial-sweet-spot/

  75. 75Starless on Sep 26, 2009 at 4:40 am:

    #73 stuiec

    Yes, H2O is number one on the list of greenhouse gases, but if we’re talking about AGW it has no impact. We don’t pump enough water vapor into the atmosphere to make a difference. I think nitrogen may be completely transparent to IR so I don’t think it can act as a heat sink.

    JeffK is a classic and it’s a shame he doesn’t update anymore. He is at his best when verbally abusing his friend Jerry and Jerry’ mom.

    #74 Dave Surls

    Yes, that is what I meant. I know better than to comment while I’m still sleepy, but that’s the way it always seems to work out.

    You point out a bone of contention I’ve had with enviro-hysterics for some time. If they knew anything about Earth’s history, they’d know that the Earth has dealt with greater self-inflicted catastrophes than anything humans can throw at her. The Oxygen Revolution, Iceball Earth, various volcanic Traps, violent swings in surface temp, and so on. They also would not talk about her in a loving, maternal sort of way. Instead they might realize that Gaia has a pretty serious case of Munchausen Syndrome. If she had it her way, she’d smother us in our sleep.

  76. 76stuiec on Sep 26, 2009 at 9:05 am:

    A certain highly evolved LunGFish has now formally adopted the epithet “climate denier” into his vocabulary. That in itself is prima facie evidence that said LunGFish has no understanding of or respect for the scientific method.

    “Settled science” isn’t science at all. Science is the process of looking at the world around us and testing whether our perceptions and our explanations of that world mesh with one another. That is the process by which successive paradigms of reality have fallen to their successors.

    To look at the LunGFish’s favorite template of what is scientific: Lamarck dashed the paradigm of created species by proposing a path for evolution by hypothesizing that individuals necessarily passed on their individual developments and innovations to their offspring. Darwin refined that hypothesis by pointing toward sexual selection and inheritance of favored traits. Mendel also observed and created a hypothesis for genetic inheritance. Watson and Crick cracked the biochemical code by which genetic inheritance takes place. And yet there is still more to be learned and hypothesized and tested in the field of evolution.

    So it certainly is in climate science. Anyone who believes (in the sense of pseudo-religious faith) that existing predictive models for climate are near-perfect and unchallengeable — especially one whose belief is based on consensus – is an anti-science kook. And as one can predict of anti-science kooks, their response to new contrary evidence observed from the real world is to create “angels on the head of a pin” arguments for why that evidence, contrary to all appearances and common sense and scientific evaluation, either is unworthy of consideration or actually helps prove their beliefs to be true.

  77. 77Dave Surls on Sep 26, 2009 at 1:16 pm:

    “Instead they might realize that Gaia has a pretty serious case of Munchausen Syndrome. If she had it her way, she’d smother us in our sleep.”

    Mother Nature is quite the bitch. She’s been trying to kill me since the moment I was created. Not only that, but she’s tricksy about it too. First she’ll wave something beautiful under your nose, like a rose or something…then when you’re all distracted and thinking the universe is a wonderful place…boom! she sends you a case of bubonic plague or cancer.

    Screw Gaia.

  78. 78stuiec on Sep 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm:

    Mother Nature is quite the bitch.

    The thing that most people don’t get is that all of it — the atmosphere, the oceans, the soil and all of the flora and fauna — is to Mother Gaia as that blue powdery Penicillium mold is to an orange, or the thin layer of scum on a river rock.

    And that Mother Gaia is less significant in the cosmic scheme than a single grain of sand is in the scheme of Seven Mile Beach.

    Unless, of course, you’re one of us Sky God people, who harbor the persistent delusion that there is somebody out there to whom Earth and all the flora and fauna on it do matter.

  79. 79stuiec on Sep 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm:

    Dear zombie,

    We are having a nice conversation here.

    Please post something new for us to talk about.

    Thanks,

    stuiec

  80. 80pat on Sep 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm:

    Assuming the next ice age will coincide with the short orbital eccentricity of the Earth, we have 3,000 years to worry about the same. However we may be in for some cold. There is a double play afoot: the present dearth in sunspots, , coincides with the cold phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation. The last time this occurred we had very cold weather indeed. The Little Ice Age,
    http://cses.washington.edu/cig/figures/pdoindex_big.gif

  81. 81Starless on Sep 27, 2009 at 4:20 am:

    #76 stuiec

    See, that’s where punters get confused. The scientific method is about consensus, but it’s a consensus among experts which arises after an often very messy factual debate. It isn’t a consensus that arises among inexpert blog commenters, some of them who are, let’s say, jazz guitarists — just to pick a purely arbitrary and random example. Evolution is probably the best example of this kind of mix up. The fundamentals are pretty much “settled” in that area of biology, and most biologists accept that, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing revolutionary left to find there. What it does mean is that your data better be rock-solid and buttoned up before you start challenging fundamentals which have been proven over and over again for well over a century.

    Conversely, if you are going to go around claiming that the sky is (literally) falling and we have to radically change our society immediately or we will all die, your data had better have a lot of depth with a significant history of confirmed data points before we start taking actions which we know will result in a predictably large amount of human misery. But if what you’ve got to go on is heavily weighted by predictive data you’ve gotten from your Oregon Trail-based computer model, I’m going to have to ask you to show me a little bit more than that before I get on board with your theory.

  82. 82Wayne from Jeremiah Films on Sep 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm:

  83. 83zombie on Sep 30, 2009 at 7:56 am:

    The New York Times just picked up this story:

    New York Times: Holdren’s Ice Age Tidal Wave

    As a long-time student of John P. Holdren’s gloomy visions of the future, like his warnings about global famines and resource shortages, I can’t resist passing along another one that has just been dug up. This one was made in 1971, long before Dr. Holdren came President Obama’s science adviser, in an essay just unearthed by zombietime (a blog that has been republishing excerpts of his past writings). In the 1971 essay, “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.

  84. 84stuiec on Sep 30, 2009 at 5:06 pm:

    And have we also noted Holdren’s recommendation that unwed mothers who refuse abortions be forcibly stripped of their children? Weasel Zippers has it.

    Obama Science Czar Advocated Seizing Babies Born to Unwed Women if They Refuse to Get an Abortion in 1970′s Textbook….

    Obama science czar John Holdren stated in a college textbook that “illegitimate children” born to unwed mothers could be taken by the government and put up for adoption if the mother refused to have an abortion.

    Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, argued that “illegitimate childbearing could be strongly discouraged” as a socioeconomic measure imposed to control population growth.

    ….On page 786, the authors wrote that one way to discourage illegitimate childbearing “might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption – especially those born to minors who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone.”

    Alternatively, the authors suggested unwed mothers might place their babies up for adoption, writing: “If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it.”

  85. 85newrouter on Oct 3, 2009 at 4:43 pm:

    zombietime makes a nyt blog:

    This one was made in 1971, long before Dr. Holdren came President Obama’s science adviser, in an essay just unearthed by zombietime (a blog that has been republishing excerpts of his past writings).

    here

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