by John Krehbiel on 18 June 2011
… but not for the obvious reason.
The Bad Astronomer, a skeptic author who started out refuting ridiculous claims about the Apollo Moon landing, has an extremely popular blog over at Discover Magazine. He recently blogged about the predicted decrease in magnetic activity in the Sun, and an associated sunspot minimum, which he had previously described here.
While this is fascinating from a scientific perspective, the even more interesting developments will be in the never-took-a-science-class popular press. The article at the Daily Mail, for instance, sounds reasonable, but the headline is right out of The Onion as far as its connection to reality is concerned.
So why will this be interesting? Because of the use to which denialists will put these goofy headlines in 10 years or so when we don’t have an ice age. We have already heard about how “scientists” predicted an ice age in the 70s which didn’t happen. Except, last time I checked, Newsweek and Time are not scientific journals. The actual scientific literature contained a few articles that predicted cooling, but not as many as predicted warming.
So my prediction is this: the fossil fuel companies and their minions at the Media Corporation will make a big deal about this, making sure there are plenty of hysterical reports in the completely inept popular press. Then, when it doesn’t happen, it will be another hallucination in their arsenal that “scientists” predicted another ice age in this decade.
-- 2011-06-18 » John Krehbiel