Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

Alexandra Witze

Sciency journalist misreports climate giant Wallace Broecker on Younger Dryas

The failure to properly report evidence for the Younger Dryas Impact will one day be understood as the worst intellectual crime in the history of science journalism.

I recently came across an illustrative example in the work of Alexandra Witze. In March Alex published a hagiography of Wally Broecker and his lifetime of work on our favorite ancient climate crash.

Nothing Ms. Witze wrote here was untrue. Her professional sin is one of willful omission, not commission.

Reading the article one would think she is familiar with the work of Broecker, and perhaps she is. But the more familiar she is with Wally’s work, the worse it gets for her integrity, for she left out a critical part of his story which is inextricable from the Younger Dryas.

Good luck finding in her review the part where Wally Broecker, not long before he died, stated that he supported a cosmic impact as the cause of the Younger Dryas. (In fact, good luck finding this fact anywhere on the internet, other than on the Tusk.)

I realize that this subject is distasteful to many because of the early false claims. But the new evidence suggests that there was some kind of extraterrestrial impact. Hence it should be given further study.


I remember pleading with Science’s Richard Kerr to do a piece on this discovery. He thought about it and decided that, as he had written a very negative piece about the original idea, he didn’t want to revisit the subject.


Although I don’t for a minute believe that this impact did in the mammoths and the Clovis people, I do think that it triggered the YD.
~WS Broecker

You’d think that closing statement might make it into her story.

My mom used to call people like Alexandra Witze a “phony.” And who would not? She exemplifies the clique driven politicization of her profession. Today’s science journalists share only that information supporting the most popular narrative among their colleagues.

In the case of the Younger Dryas the only acceptable narrative is that the cold period demonstrates that climate can change abruptly (which it can). But — and this is important to them — only because global climate must be an inherently unstable closed-earth-system in order to properly support the agenda.

No comets need apply.

As Wally is famous for saying, mankind is “poking the climate beast.”  The thinking being that our lifestyle may induce a similar horror by melting the ice caps and turning off the Gulf Stream. We must repent, and change our ways. Which we are doing.

But to Alexandra Witze, the true cause of the Younger Dryas must remain a “mystery” in service of a fearful narrative.

Humans surely do affect the climate, and that may prove dangerous. But don’t tell the Tusk that unfortunate circumstance justifies ignoring an accurate and open-minded investigation of earth and human history.

As you can see from the tweets below, Alex is perfectly willing to do just that.

BTW, here is a book on the topic


The Tusk at his heaviest with Wally Broecker in 2009

6 Responses

  1. Thanks for the nudge, E.P. Grondine! My sluggardly scholarship had not in recent memory compelled me to research the mechanisms by which Gamma rays can be produced… I only ever recalled reading that they arise from the decay or disruption of the relatively high-energy bonds in the atomic nucleus, where less energetic radiation arises from changes in the outer shells. As I write those words, I see they’re pretty darned simplistic…

    So, here’s a link to a 2010 article I found that splains with illustrations, the generation of (Cosmic) Gamma Rays resulting from several processes, including kinetic impacts between highly-accelerated particles:

    “Processes that Create Cosmic Gamma Rays”

    A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

    Seems fair to say that while lots of gamma rays may be produced by processes and conditions of Deep Space, they can also be produced by some of those same processes at or near the surface of a planet.

  2. Well, at least it’s in the discussion. The science is good, the reporting not so much. Media likes to promote fear, and when they gain profit from it, it will be daily junk food for our brains too.

  3. Jay, what genra of media are you referring to, that promotes daily fear porn? Brings to mind the Diehold Foundation, and Suspicious Observers’ franchise that expanded on this and gave it a date of 2042 when Earth will sustain a “micronova” event. Don’t worry though, they sell a solution for survival at their CO ranch that’s predicted to survive, starting from 50k to 250k lots for lease, not purchase. Can get daily sun weather forecasts for 5.99, because solar winds dictate our daily weather patterns. Not…

  4. She is a modern day flat earther , next they will argue the dinosaurs were hunted to extinction … because its always mans fault(grant application time)?

  5. I’m not a scientist nor have I spent much of my life studying impact events. Like many my age, 42, learned a lot of the KT boundary and what it meant from an early age in the 90s. Its strange to me to think that just years before I was taught of this impact that ended most of life at the time back 65 million years or so ago, that it was disputed to some degree and that only after all the evidence and finally a crater was tied to the event was it allowed to flourish as scientific truth. It seems to me as stated by George Howard, that the geological time scale being so incomprehensible to the human mind gets so eroded and distorted by agenda that anyone who would use the language that Alexandra Witze does in the article and her public ramblings on twitter should only be given “snorts of derision” by the main stream establishment. She seems to care nothing of science or the method by which it is derived. I live by words I heard spoken by Lawrence M. Krauss (Astrophysics), a true scientist is one who questions and is willing to give up their most closely held beliefs when presented evidence. It seems she is so afraid to allow any slack in her climate narrative that she’s willing to give up on her objectivity with great vigor and verbosity.

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