Common Sense

Cavuto: When I first became a global warming 'doubter'

How the climate debate started


I don't know how you feel about this global warming issue.

But I first became a doubter when they re-branded the issue and started calling it climate change.

It was brilliant on environmentalists' part because it covered any contingency. Warming, cooling, raining, misting, everything.

After all, climate's always changing, so try arguing that one.

But let's remember how all this started.

With dire predictions of warmer winters and soon, no winters, and if we didn't do anything about it, no us either.

So forget about whether they were calling it global warming then or climate change now, we, mankind had to do something about it, and fast.

But wait a minute. I think I've heard this dire talk before. Not about the earth warming, about the earth cooling.

Thirty-something years ago it was all the rage. And I should know, thirty-something years ago today I graduated high school. (do you really think I'm going to tell you the exact number) Did any of us look like the world was about to end? I didn't know it. And look at my mom and dad? Do they look like they knew it?

Thank god Leonard Nimoy knew it, and in this super scary TV special back in May 1978, Spock wasn't afraid to say it.

"The next Ice Age is on its way and could come sooner than anyone had expected. At weather stations in the far north temperatures have been dropping for 30 years. According to some climatologists, within a lifetime we might be living in the next Ice Age"

Is it over?

But it wasn't over, and it didn't stop with Spock. I'm telling you this was the whole 1970s. I lived through it!

And all this time you thought all I had to worry about was leisure suits.

Try this not so leisurely warning on May 21,1975, from the New York Times warning about "a major cooling ahead."

Or this time magazine cover from December. 3, 1973 warning about "The Big Freeze."

And in case anyone missed it, this other Time Magazine cover. Different picture. Same warning, January 31, 1977.

And just in case anyone missed those, a cozy Christmas cover, heralding, "The Cooling of America."

Not to be out-done, rival Newsweek on April 28, 1975 detailed ominous signs of "The Cooling World," including this uplifting nugget, "If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic."

So now I'm freezing and starving!

No Yodels. No Ring Dings. No anything!

Food gone. Freeze on.

Everyone reported it. Nobody questioned it. The entire scientific community in lockstep with it. And doubters were idiots if they denied it.

Governments had better get cracking, or humans would be all but frozen in their evolutionary tracks.

Well? Not quite.

So maybe that's why me and my parents didn't look so panicked back then.

Maybe that's why you didn't see one strand of my Lego hair out of place back then.

We weren't oblivious. We were onto this.

But that was then.

We wouldn't be so stupid now.

Or would we?