John Holdren

What is clear from the record going back over nearly four decades is that White House science czar John Holdren is a climate alarmist, even if he can’t make up his mind whether the crisis is the Earth warming up or cooling down.

But long before Holdren was the global warming Cassandra he is today, he was a global cooling alarmist predicting a new ice age.

The only consistency seems to be that Holdren has always utilized climate hysteria to argue that government must mandate public policy measures to prevent imminent and otherwise unavoidable climate catastrophes.

In the 1970s, Holdren’s theme was that government-mandated population control was essential to prevent “eco-disasters” such as the foreseen coming new ice age; today Holdren urges immediate passage of the Obama administration’s proposed cap-and-trade legislation to control carbon emissions before it is too late to save the planet from global warming.

The new ice age Holdren predicted in the 1970s failed to materialize, just as WND has reported an increasing number of scientists are discounting claims mankind has significant influence on global climate.

Still, Holdren remains a climate alarmist, now with an important government policy position as science czar in the Obama White House.

WND has obtained a copy of a college textbook Holdren co-edited with Malthusian population alarmist Paul R. Ehrlich in 1971, entitled “Global Ecology,” now a rare out-of-print book that cost WND over $100 to buy on Amazon.

Warning the world was headed for a new ice age unless the government mandated urgent measures to control population, including the possibility of involuntary birth control measures such as forced sterilizations, Holdren predicted “ecocide” or the “destruction of all life on this planet” were a possible consequence of inaction.

In an essay contained in the textbook entitled “Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide,” Holdren and Ehrlich predicted on pages 76-77 a “world cooling trend” they estimated at measuring “about 2 degrees Celsius in the world mean surface temperature over the past century.”

Holdren and Ehrlich attributed the cause of global cooling to “a reduced transparency of the atmosphere to incoming light as a result of urban air pollutions (smoke, aerosols), agriculture air pollution (dust), and volcanic oil.” (Parenthesis in original text.)

The authors worried “a mere 1 percent increase in low cloud cover would decrease the surface temperature by .8°C” and that “a decrease of 4°C would probably be sufficient to cause another ice age.”

Holdren and Ehrlich warned, “The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large populations scarcely need elaboration here.”

They continued: “Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.”

The authors then predicted global cooling could “give way to global warming,” writing: “If man survives the comparatively short-term threat of making the planet too cold, there is every indication he is quite capable of making it too warm not long thereafter.”

Why? Because overpopulation would lead to increased energy consumption and energy consumption would produce more heat, the authors argued.

Holdren and Ehrlich explained, “The present rate of increase in energy use, if continued, will bring us in about a century to the point where our heat input could have drastic global consequences. Again, the exact form such consequences might take is unknown; the melting of the icecaps with a concomitant 150 foot increase in sea level might be one of them.”

Interestingly, Holdren predicted the “short-term” nature of a coming new ice age was not caused by increased population putting increased carbon dioxide greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, but simply because of the heat output of energy use itself.

As Zomblog commented, when first reporting on Holdren’s ice age prediction: “In other words, it’s not the greenhouse effect that will get us in the long run, but merely energy generation itself as a concept; even nuclear energy, which produces no greenhouse gases, is bad because it produces energy which inevitably becomes heat.”

Holdren and Ehrlich conclude their essay predictably, by calling for population control: “Simple arithmetic makes it plain that indefinite population growth in the finite space allotted to us is impossible.”

As the title of the essay suggests, among the possible costs of not controlling climate disaster caused by overpopulation is “ecocide,” or “the destruction of all life on this planet.”

In the first essay in the reader, entitled “Population and Panaceas,” Holdren and Ehrlich wrote on page 21 of the textbook: “But it cannot be emphasized enough that if the population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”

And, again, on the same page: “We should ask, for example, how many vasectomies could be performed by a program funded with the $1.8 billion required to build a single agro-industrial complex, and what the relative impact on the problem would be in both the short and long terms.”

Later, on page 210 in the reader, reacting to a paper published in the textbook that considered involuntary fertility control including the use of a “fertility control agent” placed in the water supply by the government to limit births and compulsory sterilization of men with three or more living children, Holdren and Ehrlich say the political acceptability of such techniques is a relative moral judgment that might be justified if the alternatives involved “famine, war, epidemic, or the loss of habitability of this planet.”

But in recent years, Holdren has dropped his concern about a new ice age in deference to his alarmism over global warming.

Holdren, testifying to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology July 30, warned of the following: “The air and the oceans are warming, mountain glaciers are disappearing, sea ice is shrinking, permafrost is thawing, the great land ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica are showing signs of instability, and sea level is rising.”

His testimony continued to enumerate dire human consequences he foresaw if new public policy measures such as cap-and-trade were not enacted immediately.

“And the consequences for human well-being are already being felt: more heat waves, floods, droughts, and wildfires; tropical diseases reaching into the temperate zones; vast areas of forest destroyed by pest outbreaks linked to warming; alterations in patterns of rainfall on which agriculture depends; and coastal property increasingly at risk from the surging seas.”

Holdren believes human-produced carbon dioxide is the No. 1 culprit: “We know the primary cause of these perils beyond any reasonable doubt. It is the emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping pollutants from our factories, our vehicles, and our power plants, and from use of our land in ways that move carbon from soils and vegetation into the atmosphere in the form of CO2.”

He warned of the failure to act now.

“Devastating increases in the power of the strongest hurricanes, sharp drops in the productivity of farms and ocean fisheries, a dramatic acceleration of species extinctions, and inundation of low-lying areas by rising sea level are among the possible outcomes.”

Holdren’s current concerns about global warming led him to contribute data for charts used in Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Gore’s movie does not entertain the possibility that instead of global warming, the Earth might instead experience a new ice age.

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