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Nov. 20, 2009

The Ice Age Cometh…NOT!

by Neil Wagner

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Current knowledge of past thoughts on the future.

Remember that time in the 70′s when the scientific community was convinced the world was headed for an ice age? Global warming skeptics sure do. "False ice age hysteria" is a commonly cited reason for doubting man-made global warming.
 
Unfortunately, that period of scientific ice age fever never existed. The mass media covered the story and the general public took notice. After all, it was wild and it was scary. But research conducted by Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center shows that peer-reviewed scientific journals during that era published more articles about global warming than about a coming ice age. In fact the score was 44 to 7.
 
In contrast with the public’s interest in the ice age story, scientists feel the public’s attitude towards global warming demonstrates a very unusual circumstance: scientists are more concerned than the general population.
 
Robert Wilder, CEO of WilderShares, which manages cleantech indices:
"Scientists are by their nature conservative and not prone to wild-eyed hyperbole…It’s almost invariable that the public is more alarmed than the scientists about most problems, but with climate change the scientists are more worried than the public. That is worrisome".
 
Mr. Wilder’s thoughts are echoed by others, such as "Field Notes from a Catastrophe" author Elizabeth Kolbert.
Learn more about the cold, hard facts…
 
About Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner's What on Earth? comic strip uses humor to discuss global warming.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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