His climate predictions assumed that the dust thrown into the atmosphere by those eruptions reflects sunlight, which results in climatic cooling. Browning believed that climatic changes, especially cooling, are associated with increased troubles in human society, including famine, revolutions, and war.
Browning described his climatic theories and findings in Climate and the Affairs of Men (1975), which he co-authored with Nels Winkless III. At that time, he believed that Earth had been through a long warm period and was moving into a dangerous cooling phase. He also declared that he had not detected any effect of human activity on the climate.
It hasn’t been ‘normal’ like that since the year 1200, and my definition of ‘normal’ is not something that happens 50 years out of every 800,” he says. “To me, ‘normal’ is climate that is just terrible. And what’s happening now is that we’re going back to that kind of normal.”
Contending that the impact of such trends is immense, he explains:
“During stable times, planners tend to inherit the earth. They can count on predictable weather and good crops year after year, allowing them to plan for welfare programs, wars or whatever. Unstable times are hard times. You see them throughout history. The rules change. People with food tend to keep it for themselves. The others become very hard to compromise with when their babies are starving. We have now entered one of those rough, tough periods.”