Economist Thomas Sowell Is Retiring — His First Column Exposed 1970s ‘Ice Age’ Alarmism

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Famed free market economist Thomas Sowell announced he was retiring from writing his weekly column after nearly four decades, but not before reminding readers his first piece called out environmental hysteria.

Sowell’s first column ever, titled “The Profits of Doom,” was written decades before the global warming hysteria among today’s environmentalists. During the 1970s, scientists were warning of a coming ice age.

“The first column I ever wrote, 39 years ago, was titled ‘The Profits of Doom,’” Sowell wrote in his final column, according to The National Review.

“This was long before Al Gore made millions of dollars promoting global-warming hysteria,” Sowell wrote. “Back in 1970, the prevailing hysteria was the threat of a new ice age — promoted by some of the same environmentalists who are promoting global-warming hysteria today.”

In 1970, ecologist Kenneth Watt told college students around the time of the first Earth Day demonstrations the world would be “eleven degrees colder in the year 2000.” That didn’t happen.

A CIA report from 1974 warned the Earth’s “climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era… an era of drought, famine, and political unrest in the western world.” The CIA blamed famines in the Soviet Union, drought in Latin America and flooding in the U.S. on global cooling.

SciFi actor Leonard Nimoy said scientists were attributing the harsh winter of 1977 to global cooling in an episode of “In Search Of” from 1978.

“Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way,” Nimoy said. “According to recent evidence, it could come sooner than anyone had expected. At weather stations in the far north, temperatures have been dropping for 30 years. Sea coasts, long free of summer ice, are now blocked year-round.”

Now, most scientists believe the Earth is warming, largely due to human activities. Though some scientists are still saying the world could experience some cooling in the future.

A prominent Russian astrophysicist claimed the “new Little Ice Age” started at the end of 2015 due to low solar activity, and predicted decades of “deep cooling” in the latter half of the 21st Century.

“As a result, the Earth has, and will continue to have, a negative average annual energy balance and a long-term adverse thermal condition,” wrote Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, who is the head of space research for the Pulkovo Observatory at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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