Time Magazine Goes Both Ways On The Polar Vortex

In 1974, Time Magazine blamed the cold polar vortex on global cooling.

Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world.

Another Ice Age? – TIME

Forty years later, Time Magazine blames the cold polar vortex on global warming

But not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles. Usually the fast winds in the vortex—which can top 100 mph (161 k/h)—keep that cold air locked up in the Arctic. But when the winds weaken, the vortex can begin to wobble like a drunk on his fourth martini, and the Arctic air can escape and spill southward, bringing Arctic weather with it. In this case, nearly the entire polar vortex has tumbled southward, leading to record-breaking cold

Polar Vortex: Climate Change Could Be the Cause of Record Cold Weather | TIME.com

At least the 1974 version made sense. Bryan Walsh’s 2014 version makes a complete farce out of science.

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66 Responses to Time Magazine Goes Both Ways On The Polar Vortex

  1. gregole says:

    What’s their point in actually rewriting/rewording the article? Why not just print the original one over, but replace cooling with warming.

    I mean, just about any word-processor out there has a find and replace function. Sheesh. Time needs to get hip to technology. They could save some money on so-called journalists.

    Hey! While we’re waltzing down memory lane, anybody remember any of these great scares?
    The ozone hole. Acid rain. Overpopulation and famine.

    Oh, I was younger then. Now I’m getting all misty and nostalgic!

    • I was at ASU in 1974 during the global cooling scare – that year Phoenix had 18 straight days over 110 degrees.

    • Richard Sharpe says:

      There were no word-processors in 1974, I believe. It was typeset in the old way.

      • In 1966, IBM released the Selectric Composer. This highly modified Selectric produced camera-ready justified copy


        • Philalethes says:

          I remember the Selectric Composer with great fondness, having helped to produce the Whole Earth Catalog/Epilog and CoEvolution Quarterly on it during the ’70s. It had some kind of simple memory function to enable justifying, line-by-line (which required typing each line twice). It certainly wasn’t a word processor, though among its <dozen typefaces was my favorite, Aldine Roman, a simple predecessor to today's computer Palatino.

          Of course, Time magazine was not done on a Selectric Composer; I'm sure it was done on the highest-end photographic typesetting system then available. Still not a word processor, exactly, and I doubt it left any artifact that could be used to extract the text today.

          Funny, I don't remember a Global Cooling panic at the time, but there was a kind of wave of apocalyptic anxiety ran through the Whole Earth and related communities in the early 70s, sparking a lot of talk about how to survive in the country, etc. (One writer's article recommended staying in the cities, reasoning that the government would raid the farms for food for the urban masses to keep them quiet.) I remember asking Stewart Brand one time at the peak of this period (when CoEvolution published an issue entitled "Apocalypse Juggernaut, Hello"), in a tone of mild panic, "What're we going to do???" "Oh, die, I suppose," Stewart replied. Oh, well, yeah. I've always been grateful to Stewart for that.

        • Philalethes says:

          I also remember we had an aerial photograph of the Bay Area pinned on the wall of the old shed on the pier at Gate 5 in Sausalito that was Whole Earth World Headquarters, and one day I realized that it looked like a photomicrograph of diseased tissue… It was about then we were printing the first public articles about the Gaia Hypothesis (which posits that at a macro level the entire biosphere is a single organism, in which we are all “cells”); though I’m not an apostle of the Anthropogenic Global Warming creed (which I consider a hoax and a scam), I can certainly see Homo sap as a kind of cancer in the body of Gaia: one group of cells which is proliferating all out of proportion to its place in the body, and producing toxins which threaten to kill not only other cells but the entire body including itself.

  2. Chewer says:

    One thing is for sure, their neurotic behavior has remained quite consistent 😉
    If these folks aren’t currently medicated, they should be!

  3. Dig up and read a global warming paper from the ’70’s and it reads more or less like a paper written last year. The field has not progressed.

  4. Dave N says:

    Quality journalism

  5. crosspatch says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness of my fund to fight polar vortices. Every dollar you send will be spent fighting polar vortices with very little going to administrative expense. It is of utmost importance that you send me as much money as possible to mollify the guilt you have for this vortex you have caused. Send double if you own a Buick. Thank you.

    • DirkH says:

      Try to sell the globalists on it and you might have a winner! Can I become vortex-neutral by paying enough?

    • gator69 says:

      Does my 1969 Buick GS 400 triple my debt? (Please say yes!)

      • Ken says:

        Absolutely. You must give it to me now as punishment. If its stick all the better and please have the original Gran Sport wheels on it.

        • gator69 says:

          It has the original wheels, but is automatic with bucket seats. The fact that it is a convertible with power windows may make up for the stick. 😉

          As soon as you give up your first born, we can talk.

        • redjefff says:

          Deal! Where do I send her you ol’ rascal!!!! Happy New Year!!!

          PS… She’s 4 1/2 now! I’ve aged 10 years. Space/Time???? If I ever meet Steven Hawking I’m punching him right in the mouth!

        • gator69 says:

          Happy New Year Jeff! Good to hear from you, and about your little tea partier. If you think you’ve aged 10 years now, wait 10. 😉

    • tomnjCOLD! says:

      crosspatch is a true hero. Without more like him(?)/her(?) we are all doomed. Bravo my friend! I’ll get my checkbook.

  6. Clive says:

    Thanks for the comparison Steven.

    Nothing new from me. So many “journalists” have no clues about anything remotely to do with math and science. No clues. Moronic. A few weeks ago, I brought a matter of wording to the attention of the Toronto Star. A free-lance (weenie) writer had said, “Alberta generates 8% of its electricity from wind farms.” Well, er…no. Installed wind has a capacity of 8% of total generation capacity. But as you all know, turbines don’t always work and produce at ~ 32% of capacity here so output from wind supplies only about 3% of our electricity.

    The snotty moronic author and his editor are utterly unable to distinguish between “capacity” and actual “output.” As of today, they are refusing to alter the misleading statement which, IMHO, then makes it a lie. A senior editor told me today, “We have checked further with the writer as neither me nor my associate can claim to understand this matter fully.” Really? I would never have guessed. They are morons. She could not even write the sentence without a MAJOR grammatical mistake. Her “me” should be ”I” Good grief.

    A weenie geography Prof over at the local U claims to be a “climate scientist” although is no more so than anyone here. He wrote an op-ed last November in the local city rag about how we can convert to renewables for an investment $114 annually per person…globally. Really? His article was hypocritical (X10), deceitful, misleading and incompetent. Bah. End of rant.

    From Alberta … where the “polar vortex” is far far to the east.☺ Stay warm all.


  7. Andy Oz says:

    Time magazine may be our best source of science! 😀
    Nobel Prize winner says most science magazines are crap. So much for peer review and published climate papers.
    “Speaking about the situation, Professor Schekman compared it with the practice of bonuses in the banking sector, which, in his words is rational for certain individuals, but harmful to the financial system as a whole.”

  8. Streetcred says:

    Any research into drug use and delusions of CAGW ? The attributes of socialist ‘liberals’ seem to be more inclined to drug use and holding wacky views of CAGW … like hot causes cold, ice melting below 0C, etc.

  9. Wasn’t the Polar Vortex an animated Christmas movie where a bunch of kids caught a train to the North Pole to visit Santa but then got trapped in unexpectedly high levels of sea ice?

  10. BC says:

    It would appear that Alice Algore followed the white rabbit down a polar vortex and found the Mann Hatter. He speaks in gibberish and whatever he says can mean whatever he wants it to mean at any given time— up is down, cold is hot, dry is wet and fire is ice. Anyone who doesn’t agree with the Red Queen’s apocalyptic proclamations is greeted with “Off with his head!”

    Someone should write a story along those lines…

  11. Eric Simpson says:

    Outstanding post. I ran it in full as a comment in hotair.

  12. TimiBoy says:

    I put the ice trays in the oven. The Climate Scientists said it would work.

  13. Wikipedia is talking about the polar vortex as if it were a weather event. You know, like a noreaster or something, rather than the normal feature that’s always there.


    • geran says:

      Yeah, if the dreaded CO2 doesn’t kill us, then the “Polar vortex” will. The climate monsters are everywhere. There’s NO place to hide….

      (Beyond silly, I know–too much coffee this morning.)

    • Daniel says:

      So edit it and put in a dash of truth.

  14. omanuel says:

    Government propaganda artists are working overtime, trying to reverse a battle against truth!

    May I suggest a refresher course in ancient writings ?

    “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”
    Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85
    Numerous scriptures from other religions

  15. Here are the 1.45 million rea$on$ why they publish papers on AGW:


    I would say anything you wanted me to, for $1.45 million

    • D. Self says:

      And the Liberal government looks at this as an investment. They would get a nice return on their investment with new Carbon taxes.

    • Billy Liar says:

      NSF claims 61 papers were produced as a result of that award. There are about 500 authors of those 61 papers so your share would be $2,500 – not looking so good now is it?

      • gator69 says:

        It works out to almost $24,000 per paper. Generally only the first author listed is responsible for producing the paper, those that follow are mostly minor contributors, and often only cited. If you happen to be the author of one of the ‘preferred’ papers, it can lead to $10,000+ speaking engagements, free first class travel around the world, and a high paying career of fiction. So getting paid tens of thousands of dollars for a lottery ticket is a pretty sweet deal.

    • john says:

      I’d do it for $1 million……cos I’m a cheapskate :-))

  16. geran says:

    The articles above take two opposing views. Much like “straddling-the-fence”, if you try to have it both ways, you have a chance of being right once. But, the “journalists” appear to get it wrong TWICE.

    Maybe they need a refresher course in “Propaganda 101”?

  17. Andy DC says:

    If global warming causes the polar vortex, what explains other great coldwaves of the past? The tooth fairy?

  18. Justa Joe says:

    “Journalists” at Time mag go both ways on a lot of things, but they somehow never EVER diverge from hard left.

  19. gator69 says:

    I was a TIME reader from my earliest days, I used to pick up my dad’s subscription copy when he was through with it. I was living in Stuttgart when that global cooling article came out and I remember the buzz. When traveling in the Alps, the villagers were all a twitter over the advancing glaciers that allegedly threatened their homes. It was a widely held belief that the Earth was cooling.

    I cancelled my TIME subscription fifteen years ago, as it had simply become a leftist anti-American rag.

  20. catweazle666 says:

    Anything to do with ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’?

    Or ‘Sharknado’?

  21. NikFromNYC says:

    Another Drudge trophy:

  22. Jeff says:

    Don’t know if this has been talked about, but does anyone else think that using the incorrect term “Polar Vortex” is how the alarmists are trying to tie this in with the leftist movie The Day After Tomorrow? Remember… A massive vortex moved south with off the charts cold air that instantly froze everything below it. Now they can try and tell us this is just the beginning of things to come due to climate change. All the mainstream media outlets are saying “Polar Vortex.” Al Roker who can’t even spell meteorologist has said it at least 200 times in the last 4 days.

    • I noticed that. The polar vortex is really the air returning to the poles in the stratosphere and upper troposphere, westerly winds, which reach the poles where it chills, sinks, and falls to the surface as the “polar high,” which heads along the surface in the lower troposphere away from the poles as easterly winds. The polar easterlies. So what we are experiencing now is a polar high. All my life they called it a polar high. Now these clueless morons are calling it a polar vortex, which is a stratospheric event. They are clueless.

  23. Moisture Farmer says:

    I wonder why Roker doesn’t link to the 1974 article to prove that the “Polar Vortex” isn’t something new “created” by the media. Hmmmm…


  24. Your avatar is appropriate; we seem to be living in Oz, replete with Munchkin brains. Watched an interesting interview with Newt Gingrich on global warming. He had an interesting question: What is the Earth’s temp. supposed to be? (Personally, I feel it should be 72 at all times, and we just need to make that happen by taxing the hell outta everybody!)

  25. Man Bearpig says:

    By making a claim that global warming causes cooling, they must have lost the plot. Everyone was told clearly that global warming would mean warmer summers and warmer but wetter winters. It is clear that they did not know diddly about what they were talking about then so why should anyone believe them now.

    Richard Feynman warned of this type of Pseudo Science : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtMX_0jDsrw

  26. Eliza says:

    This is the kind of posting that really matters. You’ve really nailed them this time. TIME LOL

  27. C'man says:

    “…But when the winds weaken, the vortex can begin to wobble … and the Arctic air can escape and spill southward” What is their point? The earth has a thermostat and when it gets too warm it turns on its air conditioner? Does that not undermine their entire premiss that we need to “fix” “global warming”? (By the way, my “quote fingers” are getting tired dealing with all these suppositions).

  28. Sapper says:

    1974, I was 5 years old. When I was 9 years old in 4th grade my 4th grade teacher referenced the 1974 Time article and proceeded to tell us all about how the earth was cooling due to air pollution and that very soon we would begin a new ice age. She then proceeded to have us get under our desk and told us that this would protect us from a nuclear blast. Now, I actually liked that teacher but even at the age of 9 I knew two things…..one was that the desk would not protect me from a nuclear bomb and two….the idea of air pollution causing an ice age was freaking stupid. Nevertheless my folks bought about two dozen cans of freeze dried potatoes so that we wouldn’t starve if indeed an ice age came about. Of course this was the time in their life that common sense left them and they voted for Jimmy Carter…..a fact they very much lament now and he was the last democrat they ever voted for. Oddly, I am now buying freeze dried foods and other supplies in anticipation of the coming economic collapse which I think is almost inevitable at this point. Much more scary that some stupid global warming or cooling distraction. One only has to look to the Great Depression and/or Germany in the years between WW1 and the rise of Hitler to see what an economic collapse would resemble. Only this time will be exponentially worse because few people could survive those conditions.

  29. If you follow the climate change scam you will realize that any weather that strays from 65-85F is an example of the effects of climate change. Any excess rain, or drought, or uncomfortable cold, or heat, or strong hurricanes, or the absence of hurricanes all is indicative of climate change.

    Ships getting stuck in sea ice during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer period while trying to investigate global warming in Antarctica is also evidence!

    Their argument is so ‘circumferential’…you can never…as every weather event is their proof.

  30. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on CraigM350.

  31. Olds88Delta says:

    I wonder what these ‘climate change morons’ would tell you if you asked them to describe ‘normal’ climate? The more these idiots blab, the less credibility they have. Next they will try to convince us that mankind on earth has somehow F’d up the sun. Another question I would love to pose to the ‘sky is falling bed wetting types’ is to scale the ‘hockey stick’ graph that they like to shove in our faces. How many years is it across the bottom and what is the temperature gradient up the side? Would love to hear that answer on that one.

  32. Congrats Steve, this post of yours was quoted in the Wall St Journal:


    • Here’s what they published in The Best of the Web Today:

      Two Newsmagazines in One!

      “Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds–the so-called circumpolar vortex–that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world.”–Time, June 24, 1974

      “Not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles.”–Time.com, Jan. 6, 2014

      (Hat tip: Steven Goddard.)

  33. I. Lou Minotti says:

    Not only has Rush Limbaugh referenced Goddard’s Real Science, but so has Kurt Schlichter at Townhall.com. Good stuff, Steve Goddard.


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