So the economy is in the crapper, gas prices are super-high, the space program is being shut down for half a decade, and we've got an unpopular one-term democratic president who ran a brilliant campaign, but is a total writeoff in office. Sound familiar? (Cough-Cough: Jimmy Carter).
As if you needed any more proof that the present is essentially a dance remix of 1978, scientists are now beginning to conclude that Global Warming is a paper tiger, and what we really need to worry about is...
That's right. Though generally forgotten now, the 1970s were at the tail end of a cooling trend (Which acually bottomed out around 1978, coincidentally) which started in the 1940s. Frantic environmentalists - sadly, not a new phenomenon - were going on about how we were going into another ice age, and there were even some movies made with that in mind (Altman's Quintent probably being the most high-profile. Remeber that? With Paul Newman?). Of course it never reached the level of full-blown mania that Global Warming has enjoyed over the last 15 years or so. The mass media was less massive in those days, and I think a lot of it had to do with the public's conception that glaciers are slow, and hence not an immediate danger (Well, yeah, modern glaciers are slow, but that's like comparing an alligator with a dinosaur: ancient glaciers were much more vigorous).
That imagined crisis petered out in the '80s, and then our present dealiewhacker obsession set in. Well, now it's seeming that's played out and scientists are gradually looping back to Global Cooling as the new trendy eco-disaster of the week.
In fact, facetiousness aside, the article states that global warming and cooling trends are a more-or-less stable feature of the world's environment, and they tend to run in thirty-to-forty year cycles. Ergo, we really haven't been having much, if any, effect whatsoever, it's just the normal wax-and-wane of an interglacial period like ours.
Personally, I prefer Global Cooling to Global Warming as an evironmental disaster. Both make for good bookcovers, but I think Cooling is a little less overexposed, and vastly, vastly, vastly more dangerous (Cooling = death, Warming = inconvenience), which is why I use an Ice Age as a backdrop in several of my Redneck Universe stories.
Which do you think would be more devestating? A hot earth or a cold one? Sound off below!
(ANd thanks to Neorandomizer for bringing this article to my attention)