Back in the spring of 2007, I went with my little brother to the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum and was surprised to see this outdated panel pushing concern about global cooling based on some highly speculative 1970s-era science:
In the 70s the study of earth’s climate was in its infancy. There was some data, that now turns out to be a very short-term trend, that pointed toward cooling. Other data pointing toward a warming trend. More research was done, and we now understand that there’s been a long-term warming trend throughout the industrial era, caused largely by growing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and that the trend has been intensifying as emissions levels continue to rise.
Over two years ago, this display was flagged with a small sign warning that the exhibit in question was being updated to reflect current science. But I went back to the museum yesterday, and it’s still there! A number of other displays in the museum do reflect an accurate understanding of the climate change situation, so it’s not as if the people running the museum don’t know what’s going on. So I don’t understand why they can’t change this.
Incidentally, here’s the classic RealClimate post on the “global cooling” business and the misuse to which it’s been put by the modern-day right.