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  •  This was discussed as far back as the sixties (18+ / 0-)

    Hansen and McKibben follow in the footsteps of Rachel Carlson and Paul Erlich.

    In his 1968 book The Population Bomb, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote, "the greenhouse effect is being enhanced now by the greatly increased level of carbon dioxide... [this] is being countered by low-level clouds generated by contrails, dust, and other contaminants... At the moment we cannot predict what the overall climatic results will be of our using the atmosphere as a garbage dump
    Back then "Futurists" knew the climate was changing but had no idea how fast the changes were going to occur.

    Thirty years ago the first evidence of rapid change began to be documented.

    In 1982, Greenland ice cores drilled by Hans Oeschger, Willi Dansgaard, and collaborators revealed dramatic temperature oscillations in the space of a century in the distant past. The most prominent of the changes in their record corresponded to the violent Younger Dryas climate oscillation seen in shifts in types of pollen in lake beds all over Europe. Evidently drastic climate changes were possible within a human lifetime.
    In1985 around the time  Hansen was beginning to make his first recommendations that climate mediation be begun immediately to lower human pollution 20% below 1988 levels,  the IPCC was born out of a global conference on the changing atmosphere.
    In June 1988, James E. Hansen made one of the first assessments that human-caused warming had already measurably affected global climate.[45] Shortly after, a "World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere: Implications for Global Security" gathered hundreds of scientists and others in Toronto. They concluded that the changes in the atmosphere due to human pollution "represent a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the globe," and declared that by 2005 the world should push its emissions some 20% below the 1988 level
    The problem is that in order to build consensus that climate change was caused by humans the IPCC watered down its conclusions enough that the entire spectrum of scientific opinion could get aboard.
    Both the UNEP and WMO had followed up on the 1985 Conference with additional meetings. In 1988 the WMO established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with the support of the UNEP. The IPCC continues its work through the present day, and issues a series of Assessment Reports and supplemental reports that describe the state of scientific understanding at the time each report is prepared. Scientific developments during this period are discussed in the articles for each Assessment Report.
    I live in Maine where we used to talk about winter and the fourth of July. Now where we used to get blizzards dropping a couple of feet of snow day after day, we get dustings of snow or even rain. Its mid January and I have used the snow blower once. I can still see the grass in my fields. I expect there will be less mud time in the spring.

    Sure there are still a few cold days but it may be because the weather has gotten to where unusual warming is the norm year after year and three large fingers of warm winds have penetrated to the north pole where they are literally squeezing the cold out of the arctic.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:27:27 AM PST

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    •  I just re-read The Population Bomb, it's all there (10+ / 0-)

      I was curious to see how Paul Ehrlich's analysis held up so I recently re-read The Population Bomb. He wrote it fifty years ago, and got it mostly right, including climate issues.

      The only big thing he missed was the petroleum-fueled increase in food production at the end of the 20th century, which did buy us a little time. But even there, the cost of that increased food production has been a many-fold increase in the use of petroleum based fertilizer, fuel, and mechanization (especially in non-Western countries), all of which have contributed greatly to global warming. So in the end the increase in food production only postpones the inevitable. Bottom line, Ehrlich was slightly off on the timeline but completely right about the predicted effects.

      So really we as a culture have no excuse. We knew all about this fifty years ago or more, and we as a culture let this happen.

    •  1958 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      My Name Isnt Earl, GreenMother

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:13:45 AM PST

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      •  You have to wonder why no movie... (0+ / 0-)

        The fifties were full of sci-fi horror films about mutations caused by nuclear accidents, viral epidemics, nature striking back with plagues of frogs, ants, spiders, living dead or zombies; and the decades that followed considered "Waterworld" and "The Day After Tomorrow", but the horror of the slow realization that we messed up and its too late to fix it captured by "On the Beach", "Tooth and Nail", and "The Road"  somehow never really addressed the horrors of a warming climate because for most people Richard Carlson's response "and that's a bad thing?" was typical.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:15:52 AM PST

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