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1972: Cronkite Warns Of ‘New Ice Age

Jack Flash

Excerpted from NewsBusters: The “brutal” winter is on the attack again, bringing sleet and heavy snow to the mid-Atlantic region. Previous storms targeted the deep south including Dallas, Texas, and several hammered New England. By March 4, Boston was just 2 inches away from hitting an all-time record for snow, reported.

It’s a reality more in keeping with media warnings from the 1970s than today’s arguments about global warming.

NBC Nightly News reported Feb. 23, that Dallas was paralyzed “after an entire season’s worth of sleet and freezing rain, up to two inches, fell in a single day” causing massive traffic problems. Similar scenes happened in other southern states as the cold swept across the U.S. Single digit temperatures hit New York City and Newark N.J. saw temperatures as low as 8 degrees on Feb. 23, NOAA said.

Massive pileups mangled cars, Louisianans built snowmen and thousands flocked to Letchworth State Park, near Rochester, N.Y. to see a 53-foot tall ice fountain that keeps growing as record lows abound in the Northeast, CBS reported on Feb. 25. CBS also noted Rochester experienced its coldest month since 1871.

Some winters are “bone-chilling,” like this one has been, others are mild, and some like the 1972-1973 winter started early and harsh, but grew surprising mild. That was the same year Walter Cronkite was “the most trusted man in America” in 1972, according to polls. A 2009 CBS obituary for the journalist said, “Cronkite was the biggest name in television news, the king of the anchormen; in fact, he was the reporter for whom the term ‘anchorman’ was coined.

On Sept. 11, 1972, Cronkite cited scientists’ predictions that there was a “new ice age” coming. He called that prediction from British scientist Hubert Lamb “a bit of bad news.