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Onset of the Next Glaciation
Watts Up With That?

September 16,2012

Guest post by David Archibald


Baby boomers like me have enjoyed the most benign period in human history. The superpower nuclear standoff gave us fifty years of relative peace, we had cheap energy from inherent over-supply of oil, grain supply increased faster than population growth and the climate warmed due to the highest solar activity for 8,000 years. All those trends are now reversing. But it will get much worse than that. The next glaciation will wipe out many countries and nothing will stop that from happening. For example, the UK will end up looking like Lapland. As an indication of just how vicious it is going to get, consider that there are rocks on the beaches of Scotland that got blown over from Norway across a frozen North Sea. As scientists, our task is to predict the onset of the next glaciation.

It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952

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