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Global Cooling? Global Warming?

The media have warned about looming climate catastrophe four times in the last 100 years. But they can't decide whether runaway global warming or global cooling will do us in.

Man-made climate controversy hasn't strengthened scientific debate, but made it next to impossible to have a debate at all. Journalists, far from being impartial brokers of information, have become advocates. More often than not, they ignore climate change skeptics. Reporters in the media even compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers.

Worse than that, environmentalist groups formally urge news media to reject the notion of "balance" in their story coverage — reporters, when writing their stories, are encouraged not to include responsible voices that speak against the theory of man-made climate change. In doing so, environmentalists ignore their own history of flip-flops and hype over the earth's climate — from cooling to warming, back to cooling and back to warming once again.

Many publications now claiming the world stands on the brink of a global warming catastrophe said the same thing about a coming ice age – just 30 years ago. The New York Times, Time magazine, and Newsweek, all have reported breathlessly on repeated climate shift doomsdays — since 1895.

"Global Cooling": Several publications warned in the 1970s that global cooling was a dire threat to our food supply. Now, amazingly, exactly the same thing is said of global warming. 

The Glaciers Are Growing/No, Wait, They're Shrinking: The media remains fixated on glaciers as proof of climate change. Growing glaciers were a sign of our icy, impending doom thirty years ago. But today, shrinking glaciers portend our fiery demise. The one constant — the one thing that hasn't changed in the intervening thirty years — is the media's chicken-little catastrophizing.

History Ignored: The media treat global warming as if it were a new and original idea. In fact, the first scientist to sound the global warming alarm was an amateur meteorologist in Great Britain — G. S. Callendar. He claimed that mankind was heating up the planet with its carbon dioxide emissions — in 1938. That was decades before scientists and journalists sounded a wholly different alarm — about the perils of a new ice age.

If longtime readers of the New York Times cared to search their memory, they could easily remember when the Paper of Record warned that "A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable," was in the offing. Those warnings were followed, starting in the 1990s, by the Times' strong support of current global warming predictions. Older readers might well recall two other climate shift claims, dating back to the 1800s — one of an ice age and the other of another warming. Since 1895, The New York Times has warned its readers of impending climate doom four separate times.

Newsweek's article about catastrophic global cooling in 1975: