The Greedy Lying Bastards’ Favorite ‘Global Cooling’ Story

It turns out that the unwitting hero of the climate change deniers (a/k/a Greedy Lying Bastards) is one Peter Gwynne. Who, you may well ask? Daily Climate via Scientific American tells his story:

Temperatures have plunged to record lows on the East Coast, and once again Peter Gwynne is being heralded as a journalist ahead of his time. By some.

Gwynne was the science editor of Newsweek 39 years ago when he pulled together some interviews from scientists and wrote a nine-paragraph story about how the planet was getting cooler.

newsweek global cooling

Ever since, Gwynne’s “global cooling” story – and a similar Time Magazine piece – have been brandished gleefully by those who say it shows global warming is not happening, or at least that scientists – and often journalists – don’t know what they are talking about.

Fox News loves to cite it. So does Rush Limbaugh. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., has quoted the story on the Senate floor.

Gwynne, now 72, is a bit chagrinned that from a long career of distinguished science and technology reporting, he is most remembered for this one story.

“I have, in fact, won prizes for science writing,” he said, with just a whiff of annoyance, in an interview this week.

His April 28, 1975 piece has been used by Forbes as evidence of what the magazine called “The Fiction of Climate Science.” It has been set to music on a YouTube video. It has popped up in a slew of finger-wagging blogs and websites dedicated to everything from climate denial to one puzzling circuit of logic entitled “Impeach Obama, McCain and Boehner Today.”

From the latest crop:

Lou Dobbs on Fox News: “This cycle of science… if we go back to 1970, the fear then was global cooling. ”

Rush Limbaugh: “I call [global warming] a hoax… A 1975 Newsweek cover was gonna talk about the ice age coming. So they’re really confused how to play it.”

Sean Hannity on Fox News: “If you go back to Time Magazine, they actually were proclaiming the next ice age is coming, now it’s become global warming… How do you believe the same people that were predicting just a couple decades ago that the new ice age is coming?”

Donald J. Trump: “This very expensive global warming bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing.…”

Most of the time, Gwynne, who still writes on technology and science from his home in Cape Cod, Mass., takes it good-naturedly…

[continues at Scientific American]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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19 Comments on "The Greedy Lying Bastards’ Favorite ‘Global Cooling’ Story"

  1. Kathleen M. Keith | Jan 11, 2014 at 8:16 pm |

    Hannity, Limbaugh, Dobbs, Inhoff and of course the biggest idiot of all, Trump—now there’s some empirical evidence of a lack of educationAND awareness…

  2. Karl W. Braun | Jan 11, 2014 at 9:00 pm |

    However, many advocates of “climate change” have also availed of the printing press and the airwaves to claim that the recent cold spell experienced on the East Coast was indeed an indication of “global warming”. Go figure!

  3. gustave courbet | Jan 12, 2014 at 12:55 am |

    When people start defending or denying the science of climate change, I like to point out that whether you believe the scientific literature about anthropogenic climate change or not, our civilization is rapidly destroying global ecosystems via habitat destruction, pollution, and invasive species introduction. Unlike climate science, which is complex and potentially difficult to illustrate, habitat destruction and pollution are all around us. And switching to wind energy will not change the continual growth paradigm, it will just free up more oil for plastic production…

  4. Dialectic/Hack | Jan 12, 2014 at 9:53 am |

    Majestic, I know your the token cynic on DisInfo, but seriously get a clue. People throw a big word (as I used to do) Anthropogenic and call it informed, but the fact is that you obviously are getting all of your “science” from big ngo’s, governments, and fraudsters. Try sourcing citizen, like DisInfo is supposed to be!!

    I challenge you to try and drop one of your dismissals of the facts (of the links that follow) because it doesn’t fit the self loathing view that most wish to lobby on themselves and their fellow man. Yes we have royally fucked things up throughout the whole biosphere, but then to not be able to parse out that people like Al Gore sell a story about CO2 that is farcical, and a logical fallacy is really doing a lot to DIS INFORM. Maybe I missed the mission of this site, I probably have.. I thought you were being tongue in cheek with the title!

    hey Kathleen.. the right left paradigm is a dialectic hack!! Step beyond binary thought processes. There meant to contain you in an either or that is almost in every case neither. If they are selling it on the TV it cannot by definition be anything but public relations, and a slant on truth or more probably downright untrue.

    Most are so hopelessly addicted to “production value” and so un-willing to consider the fact that the whole of the information industrial complex is meant to confuse rather than inform that they will shovel feces into there heads. Liberal feces conservative feces.. its all the same. regain your autonomy of perspective that always lies outside of the realm of solidarity with the larger perspectives that are lobbied on an over worked and under informed public.

  5. lilbear68 | Jan 12, 2014 at 11:36 am |

    just as a ‘what if’ if there was ‘global cooling’ , the opposite of global warming. what evidence would it take to convince al gore and his shills that global cooling was actually happening?

    • I have no idea. It doesn’t seem to me that any amount of evidence would convince the global warming deniers either.

  6. Perhaps.

    • Kevin Leonard | Jan 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

      My only point in the entire debate has really only been that the science, most definitely, is not “in”. Anyone who ever says science is complete is not doing science, they are pushing an agenda. But headlines like “Scientists say weather is complex and we need better models and further study.” aren’t as attention-grabbing as “Cold as Hell: The Chilling Effect of Global Warming.”

      But it makes people feel good to be part of the majority and to label anyone who raises questions as a “Climate Denier” while propping up idiots like Rush Limbaugh so they can huff and puff and blow his strawman ass apart.

      • And some of us are actually scared of what’s being done to the environment we depend on to live.

        • Kevin Leonard | Jan 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm |

          That’s a fallacy of composition. Just because I do not subscribe wholeheartedly to the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming fear mongering, putting the blame on non-Prius driving folks, does not mean that I am not concerned about the environment.

          How much mainstream news coverage did this polar vortex nonsense get as opposed to Fukushima? When was the last time anyone talked about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Overfishing? Pharmaceuticals in the water supply?

          If the White House is making such a big deal, why didn’t they ratified Kyoto?

          They pay lip-service and cut back door deals to make billionaires out of millionaires and make you feel guilty with their propaganda pieces while they sell more ads propping up Big Pharma and corporate food.

          • No, it’s not a fallacy of composition. I was comparing those of us who are scared with your characterization–which I could easily characterize as an appeal to motive–of those who want to be part of a majority. The science I’ve read about convinces me that we are changing the climate for the worse, and that frightens me. You want to tell me I’m morally and intellectually wrong to feel that way?

          • Kevin Leonard | Jan 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm |

            I read your comment as an implication that I do not care about the environment. Was I wrong?

            While I do not tell people they are morally or intellectually wrong for their feelings ( did you really think that I was saying that? Or are you just putting more words into my mouth?) , I typically do not receive the same consideration when I question popular science and counter said science with other science and different interpretations of tbe data. But if you refer to me as a “climate denier” or even a “global warming denier,” yes, you are intellectually wrong.

          • Yes, you misinterpreted my comment. And yes, I really thought you might want to tell me that my feelings are wrong. Others have. There has been a lot of inconsiderateness on both sides of this issue, so our misinterpretations are unfortunately to be expected.

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