Video: Barrasso, Inhofe tag-team Boxer on 1970s “New Ice Age” exposure of Holdren

posted at 9:30 am on March 3, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I’m old enough to remember when scientists issued alarms over a coming Ice Age that would wipe out life on Earth on a massive scale. Senator John Barrasso’s memory holds up pretty well, too, and he reminded everyone of the consensus in the 1970s that the climate had begun to cool so significantly that, er, the world needed massive government interventions in energy production and consumption to survive it. Barrasso quotes from Newsweek and Time articles of the period. Senator Tom Udall attempts to ride to EPW Chair Barbara Boxer’s rescue by introducing an article that claims the global-cooling consensus of the 1970s was a “myth,” and Boxer urges Udall to add it to the record. But that’s just the set-up Jim Inhofe needed to complete this two-man demolition of “consensus” and to expose the main White House adviser on climate change as a chronic crank, as the Daily Caller reports:

The exchange started with Barrasso addressing the committee’s witness, Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Jackson.

“Forty years ago, the same scientists that are predicting the end of the world now from global warming were predicting the end of the world from global cooling,” said Barrasso. “So if we had committed the same amount of taxpayer resources and government manpower that the administration now wants us to commit to prevent global warming — if we’d done that prevent global cooling, we wouldn’t be the most prosperous nation on earth.” …

Still later, Inhofe got into the science debate by citing a 1971 study by Dr. John Holdren, who just so happens to be President Obama’s advisor on science technology. In that study Holdren wrote, “The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here.” Holdren went on to write that the effects could “generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.”

A visibly satisfied Inhofe then turned to Boxer, and stated, “So even the president’s people are agreed with me, Madam Chairwoman!”

The passage scanned at Zombietime is even more explicit about Holdren’s hysteria over hypothermia, emphases Zombie’s:

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.

Remember — Holdren is one of the leading voice in the US on global warming now.  He’s also Obama’s climate-change czar.

I haven’t seen that kind of a setup and payoff since Bob Hope and Bing Crosby made movies with Dorothy Lamour. That was during the period when American industry and economic expansion held the national consensus rather than Chicken Little hypotheses with chronically faulty models and contradictory results. Man, I guess I am getting old.

Update: Sen. Inhofe’s office wrote to correct the identification of Mark Udall in the video, which I got from the DC.  It’s actually Tom Udall, his brother.


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