Renewable Farming

Ready for climate change? We’re talking about global COOLING

Through the 1970s, media alarmists were warning the world that atmospheric pollution would soon propel our globe into a new Ice Age. 

The “news” headlines grew successively more terrifying until about 1979, when a decade of very inconclusive temperature trends wore out the public’s willingness to listen to warnings about the wolf of global cooling. 

The website Popular Technology has an amusing anthology of the headlines at this link. 

I wasn’t immune to the temptation for writing about this trend in LandOwner Newsletter, which I had started in the early 1970s. I interviewed Dr. Iben Browning, author of several books on climate and its impact on civilizations.

I traveled to the University of Wisconsin to interview Dr. Reid Bryson, one of the world’s most respected climatologists. Bryson acknowledged the late 1960s data supported a recent trend toward cooling, but warned that “cycles change.”  He emphasized that climates have always changed, and long epochs of history are one of the few clues we have to what’s happening next.

And he made the point that warmer epochs with lots of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are generally far more benign for agriculture, and thus humanity, than cooler ones. Cooling means drought in our north central latitudes. Poor crops. More intense westerly winds. More violent storms. 

Bryson showed me data revealing that previous decades-long coolings were correlated with low solar activity, expressed as sunspot numbers. One cooling epoch around 1200 AD forced the Plains indian tribes to migrate southward. Life on a latitude north of what is now Omaha, Nebraska, became exceptionally difficult for buffalo and thus for Plains dwellers.

Since then, the new mantra led to the litany of “Global Warming.” Our elites have now rephrased this into “Climate Change” because atmospheric global warming has not behaved like the computer models said it would. No global warming for over a decade. But, Climate Change has become a multi-billion-dollar swindle of the taxpaying public — working very well for governments to impose taxes and controls over energy. Also it’s a massive money trough for virtually every university, where students have become indoctrinated to the myth that climate change is the No. 1 threat to planetary survival.

With that preamble, it’s time for some current data which could foretell a historic global cooling. And nobody we know digs out data like retired farmer and market advisor Bill Fordham of Ohio, Illinois. Bill’s service to farmers, “C&S Grain Market Consulting,” offers much more than massive database analysis of corn and soybean markets.  Bill also analyzes major trends which impact agriculture. Such as climate.

Bill has assembled a correlation chart which overlays an important historic series of solar cycles with the most recent series. The correlation between these histories is over 80%: A trend toward lower peaks in sunspot numbers about every 11 years. Low solar activity — a quiet sun with few electromagnetic eruptions — has historically associated with a cool climate in major growing regions of Planet Earth. The previous look-alike series is the 1790 to 1830 period. This is often labeled the “Dalton Minimum” because global temperatures sank about one degree centigrade. That was highly significant in cropping areas, with an extended series of droughts and poor crops. This was the time of the “Year Without a Summer” in our Midwest latitude. It was an agricultural disaster, wrought by a generally cooler climate intensified by volcanic activity, most notably the eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies.

It was not as terrible as the earlier “Maunder Minimum” of 1650 to 1700. But a prolonged cool, dry climate imposed on a monoculture agriculture such as ours could quickly evaporate carryover and lead to severe distortions in livestock numbers.

In this chart, we have added the peak dates for the earlier solar cycles. The legend at the bottom of the chart relates to the current cycles.

The current sunspot cycle correlates over 80% with the “Dalton Minimum” period of cooler climate.


Accuracy in sunspot data history has gained more importance in recent years because its links with climate are recognized as increasingly important for predictions. Dozens of scientists recently teamed up to refine the historic data. The story of that huge effort is recorded at this link.

The significance of laying out this history here and now is simple: If solar cycles “replay” with any consistency, odds are high that our latitude will soon experience major cooling — starting in the next few seasons and lasting until around 2024 — at least. 

If a cooling decade does occur, survivors will deride the current climate-change, carbon dioxide controlling scandal as a mass deception. They’ll say it was designed to force taxpayers into buying carbon-release indulgences from the “Church of Global Warming.”

The crop growers who will best endure any erratic weather of the upcoming decade or two will emphasize more diversity, more biologically active soil, and less dependence on purchased fertilizer and chemicals.  North Dakota farmer-rancher Gabe Brown comes to mind.

Here’s a link to the ranch website.

 Here’s a link to his story as he tells it on YouTube.

By Jerry Carlson