Mike Huckabee trots out popular myth about previous scientific warnings of an impending ice age


For years now, global-warming deniers have delighted in peddling the myth that the scientific community was in agreement in the 1970s about a coming period of severe global cooling.

These skeptics usually point to cover stories in Time magazine in 1974 and Newsweek magazine in 1975 as evidence. Some don’t even bother with so-called evidence.

Just yesterday, for example, right-wing pundit and erstwhile presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said this on his radio show:

When I was in college, all the literature at that time from the scientific community said that we were going to freeze to death.

The problem with all of this is that it’s just not true. Time and Newsweek had misrepresented the prevailing scientific literature of that period, and Huckabee seems not to have been familiar with “all the literature,” or even much of it.

As environmentalist Peter Sinclair has said, quoting a paper by climatologists Thomas C, Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck:

“There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer reviewed literature even then.”

Sinclair goes into greater detail in this video from four years ago:




  1. Chuck Sweeny

    Two very well known biology team-teaching professors, Drs. Murray and Bond, taught us, circa 1970-71 at the University of Illinois/Chicago, that the earth was entering a new Ice Age, brought on in part, they said, by accumulating jet vapor blocking the sun, and by natural earth climate cycles. I believe I still have the workbooks from that class. I remember worrying about it.
    I don’t know what scientific consensus is — but at that time, the most common view was that the earth was getting colder and we’d better take steps to deal with it.
    I’m not making this up — I was there.

  2. Steverino

    So Huckabee actually had access to scientific literature at a conservative Baptist college?

  3. Neftali

    Chuck Sweeny should review the following page:

    In the 1970s, the most comprehensive study on climate change (and the closest thing to a scientific consensus at the time) was the 1975 US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Report. Their basic conclusion was “…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…”

    This is in strong contrast with the current position of the US National Academy of Sciences: “…there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring… It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities… The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action.” This is in a joint statement with the Academies of Science from Brazil, France, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.


  4. Chuck: I don’t know what you were taught at UIC, but it’s simply not true that the “the most common view” among climate scientists in the ’70s was that “the earth was getting colder.”

    As Peter Sinclair notes in the video above, concern about cooling was “never more than a minor aspect” of scientific literature at that time.

    Out of 71 peer-reviewed scientific studies published between 1965 and 1979, only seven predicted global cooling, 20 were neutral and 44 predicted global warming.

  5. Brian Opsahl

    How can anyone ignore what they said more than 20 years ago concerning global warming.
    Extream weather patterns like 2…100 year storms in just 3 years.
    More forest fires than ever…like is happening now..!!
    Droughts where there used to be flooding…
    These are pretty much the smartest people on earth…and they said this 20 years ago…why are we NOT heading those warnings…?

    Chuck in the last 25 years of my snowmobiling where i used to go at Christmas in St,Germain Wis, with more than plenty of snow and iced over lakes…now we wait till late January and have to go to the very top of Michigan to even find any snow now…take your head out of the sand..it’s happening right in front of you…Now..!!

    And they told us what to expect….remember…?

  6. Brian,

    Snowmobiling is killing the planet. Stop it.

  7. Brian Opsahl

    No doc….but over the last 25 years I don’t need a expert to tell me what I am witnesing for myself…don’t look behind the fox curtain doc…don’t look…!!!

  8. No, seriously. Your snowmobiling serves no legitimate purpose. It burns fossil fuels, emits unnecessary planet killing greenhouse gases and disturbs nature.

    If you don’t stop it you are a hypocrite.

  9. doc: For once, you’re right. Snowmobiling is bad. It’s not killing the planet, but it does nobody any good.

  10. Brian Opsahl

    No more than your SUV doc,
    besides I get to see a part of the country most don’t.
    I fuel the economy of small towns with spending every dime I have while I enjoy nature in it’s pure state….while it lasts…doc.

  11. Brian Opsahl

    Funny how those who don’t care for my sport would be the first to call one for help if we had the winter we had back in 78,79 blizzards….when we delivered food, medicine, and we’re asked to rescue stranded motorist…like we did….never asking for a dime in return.

    Did you guy’s forget about that kind of thing…?

  12. You are officially a hypocrite.

  13. Brian Opsahl

    I will buy an electric sled when they make one…my 4 stroke engine burns a hell of a lot less fuel than any car….?

    Without the snowmobiles going north several towns in the Wisconsin Northwoods would be gone or broke Doc.

    They depend on all that money comming from us fibs that pays there salarys in the worst part of season…so your for wipeing out your Northwoods neighbors…?

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