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25 Years Ago NY Times Got Global Warming Right

  • Al Gore and Global Warming

Tags The EnvironmentInterventionismPhilosophy and Methodology


Economics has its big problems, notably Keynesian economics, Marxism, positivism, etc. But we are not alone. Even in the hard sciences, there is an alarming amount of ideological interference with the scientific process. Our friend Robert Bradley recently took a look back 25 years ago when the New York Times still had some scientific backbone.

By Robert Bradley Jr. — December 16, 2014

The skeptics contend that forecasts of global warming are flawed and overstated and that the future might even hold no significant warming at all. Some say that if the warming is modest, as they believe likely, it could bring benefits like longer growing seasons in temperate zones, more rain in dry areas and an enrichment of crops and plant life.
The expense [of climate policy] is patently obvious,’ said one of the most outspoken skeptics, Patrick Michaels, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a former president of the American Meteorological Society. ‘If the policy is going to be that expensive, the science should be much less murky than it is now,’ he said.

James Hansen’s climate alarm back in 1988 attracted mainstream scientific caution and dissent, believe it or not. Full politicization and polarization would come later. So in 1989, there was still sincere interest in the non-alarmist 'skeptic' climate scientists in the mainstream Left press, including the New York Times.

Consider this late 1989 piece by New York Times climate science writer William K. Stevens. The front-page article was titled SPLIT FORECAST: DISSENT ON GLOBAL WARMING – A SPECIAL REPORT


Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is the Peterson-Luddy Chair in Austrian Economics and a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute. He is the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.