It was a different era in 1962. Not only is the claim to be able to melt glaciers the height of irony in the 21st century (and even to far-sighted scientists in 1962), but phrases such as "Happy Motoring" show an innocence that some of us can remember – and that some people still blindly live in. The phrase "Happy Motoring" has actually become a term of derision in the skilled hands of James Kunstler (see for example this article).
I want to point out that this Humble (later Exxon) advertisement is referring to direct conversion of fossil fuel into heat energy. The mechanism of global warming is more powerful than that: the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels stays in the atmosphere well over 100 years, and continually traps the energy of sunlight, causing more heating than just the burning of the fuel.
Here is the text of the advertisement, for easier reading:
Each day Humble supplies enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glacier!
This giant glacier has remained unmelted for centuries. Yet the petroleum energy Humble provides – if converted into heat – could melt it at the rate of 80 tons each second! To meet the nation's growing needs for energy, Humble has applied science to nature's resources to become America's Leading Energy Company. Working wonders with oil through research, Humble provides energy in many forms – to help heat our homes, power our transportation, and to furnish industry with a great variety of versatile chemicals. Stop at a Humble station for new Enco Extra gasoline, and see why the "Happy Motoring" Sign is the World's First Choice!
Comment by: PT (David Alexander) (Nov-22-2009) Web site
Well, CW. If you want to read more about glaciers, you can type that word into the Search box at the top. You will find quite a few articles. Also, one of them has a video showing the annual shrinking and expanding of the Arctic ice sheets over many years, with a gradual decrease in ice coverage.
Comment by: City Worker (Nov-22-2009)
I believe even as recently as the 1980s, scientists were aware that we were depleting earth’s natural resources, but I don’t believe they knew where to concentrate their attention. I remember there were some books in the 1980s or 1970s (maybe the 1972 book, “The Limits to Growth,” was one of them, or the main one; I don’t remember) which spoke of the depletion of such resources as the metal ores. They did not discuss the depletion of oil and its consequences at all, I believe. I see in that “Humble” advertisement, they say that glaciers haven’t melted in centuries. (I think they might be trying to make one think of the “Hubbard” glacier, whose name sounds like and is spelled somewhat similar to their company name. But maybe it’s just me. When I think of “Humble,” I also think of the “Hubble” telescope. However, the “Hubble” telescope wasn’t around in 1962.) That advertisement brings to mind a question I’ve had for a while now. I know that each year, the glaciers are disappearing. But I was wondering just how. At the moment, in the summer, the glaciers melting extremely rapidly, calving ferociously, with humongous chunks of the glacier crashing into the water hourly. I was wondering if the glaciers are also melting in the winter, or are they holding ground then. Also, did the glaciers melt in the summer, in let’s say 1962, and if so, was it visually obvious?
In 2006 I started building the PlanetThoughts.org Web site to raise awareness of environmental issues, but I have been in the software field since 1978, working primarily on healthcare-related and not-for-profit organizations, but also for some general commercial companies. I have also long been a supporter of environmental causes.
I am an enthusiastic Tai Chi Chuan practitioner and teacher. This helps balance my brain after sitting at a screen for hours at a time, and lends some balance to life.
In early 2006 global warming and other environmental and energy challenges, as well as escalating wars in numerous locations, became central to my understanding of issues that our whole planet faces, and I wanted to do something with my skills to spread awareness and understanding of environment and energy issues, as well as discuss better philosophies of living, for greater satisfaction beyond consumerism.