Global Cooling Alarmism Doesn’t Disprove Climate Change – Freedom Philosophy


In the 1970s scientists sounded the alarm on global cooling. The warnings made their way into pop culture. They were on magazine covers. They were on nature documentaries featuring Leonard Nimoy, and if Mr. Spock makes a pronouncement on science, disagreement would be illogical. Big government needed to step in to solve the pending ice age.

Fast-forward to today, and a very different message about climate change is on the table. Climate change skeptics are having a field day with it. 

Science works by the process of independent corroboration. If I’m doing a physics experiment in a first-year lab to find the value of gravity, perhaps measuring the acceleration of a ball on a decline at a particular angle, I might make errors, I might have anomalous readings, but over time I find a pattern of -9.8m/s2, and if it’s a consistent enough pattern, I’ll be confident.

Now if I notice Ang, the good-looking girl I’m desperate to talk to, is working with a different experiment, she’s dropping a ball directly and using a ticker to measure the acceleration, and I ask her about the value she arrived at if she also says -9.8m/s2, then my confidence level has shot through the roof. Independent measurements and experiments arrived at the same conclusion. 

Parts of the world are legitimately cooling, and the entire globe can go through short-term cooling. This is why the terminology of global warming has been replaced with climate change, because it’s not the entire globe that’s warming, it’s that it is on aggregate warming. This cooling caused measurements to be taken, then extrapolated, and the world sounded the alarm. 

One could have measured a decline in the 1970s, just as one could have measured a decline in the stock market at various points in the 1970s. But the overall trend of both the markets and temperatures is a sharp rise. 

The beauty of science, the virtue of science, is that it can grow. It doesn’t find conclusions based on popularity. There were scientists who did their experiments, only to find that the world isn’t cooling, it’s warming. They courageously published their data against popular opinion. They questioned the popular narrative. 

It wasn’t just some meteorologists doing this. It was the atmospheric physicists. It was the oceanographers. It was the glacier experts, looking at historical temperatures captured in their ice cores. It was the biologists looking at migration patterns. They were all arriving at the same conclusion: The global cooling alarmists were wrong.

When I hear the deniers in the liberty movement point to global cooling, that shouldn’t be a source of amusement. It should be a horrifying observation. It’s the observation that the cultural programming, the majority bullying the skeptics, the UN panels and big government solutions, the public funding, all once pointed to global cooling. The fact that it took science less than a decade to smash this culture should be alarming.

As it turns out, if the paradigm is wrong, then scientists have the courage to stand up to it and publish contrary data. There were biologists publishing about migration patterns, telling us of warming, not cooling. Glacier experts looking at ice cores responded to the mass hysteria saying there’s no pending ice age. Atmospheric physicists chimed in. Oceanographers gave us their views. They all concluded the planet isn’t cooling, it’s warming.

In under a decade, science squashed a radical environmental movement for being wrong. The fact that they did this, and we know science has the power to do this, and it isn’t doing it now, doesn’t disprove climate change. 

You may have some other argument. You have some special case, observation, or piece of data that the scientific community has omitted, that entails climate change is a hoax. But, you don’t have the argument from global cooling. That doesn’t advance anything beyond telling us science will stand up against falsehoods.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree from the University of New Brunswick and is a current MBA candidate finishing his thesis. He is an AML officer specializing in hedge funds in the Cayman Islands, owns a real estate company in Canada, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada and the president of the Libertarian Party of Canada.

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