Remembering a Global Warming Warning from Earth Day 1970

April 22, 2019

25 Responses to “Remembering a Global Warming Warning from Earth Day 1970”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Don’t remember seeing that on Earth Day 1970. Everyone was concerned about dirty air, dirty water, habitat destruction, acid rain, ozone holes, overpopulation, nuclear power plants, and resource depletion (to name just a few “earthy” things).

    AGW was way down the list—-it has now moved to the top, hardly any of the others have fallen off the list, and new ones have been added. Such is the magnificent “ingenuity and inventiveness” of the human species.

    • jimbills Says:

      Overshoot – it’s all related, all has the same source, humans exceeding carrying capacity. We ‘could’ choose lower populations or lower resource use (or preferably both) if we had half a brain, but we don’t seem to have that capacity. Sure, it can and does happen with individuals and small groups, but the mass of humanity grows and grows and grows….

      We can sometimes treat the symptoms – ozone hole, dirty water, and so on – but the problems keep cropping up because the source remains.

      So, you’re a bit older than I am. When I was in high school in the mid to late 80s in Northern Virginia, and I know you’ll freak when you see that, Earth Day had pretty much lost its impact. However, I first learned about global warming then in a sophomore (junior?) physics class. I even wrote a short story at the time about how the American Midwest dries up and Canada takes over as a world superpower. This was a few years before Hanson spoke to Congress.

      • jimbills Says:

        Hansen, apologies.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        If just about exactly 30 years is a “bit older”, I plead guilty. I won’t quite “freak” at your attending HS in NO VA because it IS a small world—-which HS did you attend?

        And yes, Earth Day had pretty much lost impact within a few years—-the 70’s were a time of much craziness in America (and in NO VA) and distracted everyone—high schools in Fairfax County in the early 1980s were actually going back to resembling “quieter” times in the past, and Hansen’s revelations were still in the future. Water and air were cleaner, acid rain and the ozone hole had been worked on, the West had moved into the undeveloped world to rape the environment and find new resources there, the green revolution had taken hold—-so things were somewhat better, which allowed everyone to go to the mall and SHOP instead of worrying about the Earth.

        PS Wore my OUR PLANET IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR t-shirt from the LCV to a train show last weekend—–got a lot of thumbs up from folks, but 90+% of them were women (go figure).

    • redskylite Says:

      I certainly do not remember Global Warming as a topic at all in 1970, although I remember working in the transport industry at the time and a few long distance truck drivers remarking that ‘we’d (mankind) had (F@%*-up) done something to the climate” and swearing that the oil companies were buying up all patents on alternative transport propulsions – dirty city pollution in the air was very obvious at the time. Vietnam was the main topic in those times, with my best friend turning down a job with a famous British chemical company as they supplied “agent orange”, I hope I had the same ideals at the time ,although not so sure, as I wasn’t offered the job. The shoddy treatment of the African slave descendents, with such barbaric practises of bussing and of course apartheid in the Southern Hemisphere were also pressing causes needing drastic action at the time.

      The ozone layer was a concern in the late 80’s, and I was involved in eliminating CFC’s in the oil industry, but maybe working in a remote part of the world again Global Warming passed me by, until 2008. Better late than never, and I see that I am not completely alone, for my sins.
      These grandparents are dropping everything to fight climate change

      An engineer turned financial analyst and investment banker, he never thought the data for climate change was sufficiently convincing. Until finally it became undeniable.

      “I don’t think we in this generation have faced a threat of this magnitude before,” he said.

      He quickly found that utility executives he worked with didn’t want to hear about it.

      “It was a career-ending move for me to begin to advise against our clients who wanted to build fossil fuel power projects. It was very difficult for me to take a firm stance,” he said.

      But he felt he couldn’t do anything else. He’d looked at the computer models and they convinced him that without serious change the world is headed toward a fundamental change in the environment.

      “What we’re seeing right now, these hurricanes and fires and floods, it’s nothing compared to what’s coming. People don’t realize that. Miami might be gone in 15 years,” he said.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Everyone was concerned about dirty air, dirty water, habitat destruction, acid rain, ozone holes, overpopulation, nuclear power plants, and resource depletion (to name just a few “earthy” things).

      There was also the possibility of global thermonuclear war hovering over everything else.

  2. rsmurf Says:

    And we are STILL ignoring the science!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Good piece, well written and informative. I’m going to have to cross whaleburgers off my menu.

      “Over the past several years, however, hunters have reported that the whales’ meat smells medicinal — as if it had been soaked in iodine. Sometimes the odor is so strong hunters can smell it when the animals come to the surface and exhale, a great gush of air tinged with something chemical. Often, however, the contamination is only apparent after whale meat has been cooked. People who eat it become ill, break out in a rash, or, as one person told me, lose feeling in their mouths and tongues”.

      “….honestly, nobody knows exactly why.” And that is something that seems to be all too UN-changing anymore

  3. redskylite Says:

    Meanwhile – some have gotten richer (and some poorer) in those intervening 50 years we’ve ignored the facts, .

    but it won’t last.

    India’s GDP is about 30 percent lower today than it would have been without rising global temperatures. Diffenbaugh tells McKenna that’s on the same order of magnitude as the impacts of the Great Depression in the United States.

    • jimbills Says:

      “but it won’t last”

      Read the article, and the linked Science article here:

      Economists talking about GDP isn’t a thrilling topic for me – it’s highly speculative, for one thing, and more than a little missing the point. People won’t care about a couple percentage points of GDP if they can’t get enough food at the same time. But economists tend to be siloed in that way.

      But, the studies suggest that northern countries, which already tend to be wealthier, are faring better in climate change than countries nearer to the equator. Kind of a ‘no duh’. The Goldilocks effect of economies peaking at an average 13 degrees C makes sense to me, though. As that zone moves further north, however, it won’t suddenly find any currently impoverished countries on the way – just already prosperous countries.

      Okay, maybe North Korea.

      End of the Science article: “One big question: Does warming exacerbate inequality within a country?”

      Also sort of a no duh. Apparently no one has done that study, though.

    • redskylite Says:

      Economists or not – our Ocean dwelling creatures faring the worst -of all:

      “Ocean species are disappearing faster than those on land”

      While previous research has suggested warm-blooded animals are better at adapting to climate change than cold-blooded ones, this study punctuates the special risk for sea creatures. As the oceans continue to absorb heat trapped in the atmosphere from carbon dioxide pollution, bringing waters to their warmest point in decades, undersea denizens don’t have the luxury of ducking into a shady spot or a burrow.

    • redskylite Says:

      In many regions of the world, future extreme temperature events depend on the current and future carbon dioxide emissions reductions adopted by major emitters, according the new research. For example, if the U.S. fails to limit the country’s emissions, it will lead directly to extreme temperatures in places like Central Europe and eastern North America.

  4. redskylite Says:

    Breakthrough in Australia ? The traditionally conservative and skeptical farmers have noticed something (mentioned in 1970), is amiss, could we finally be seeing a leap forward down under in the land of sun and Murdoch ? fingers crossed.

    Australian election: The ‘unlikely’ group calling for climate action

    Australia has just experienced its hottest summer and a succession of extreme weather events – making climate policy a key issue in May’s national election. Now one traditionally improbable group is increasingly calling for action: farmers. Gary Nunn reports from Sydney.

    “Who better than capitalist conservative farmers to push the government on climate change?” asks Verity Morgan-Schmidt, who grew up on a farm and now heads lobby group Farmers for Climate Action.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Good luck to them Here in the US, “capitalist conservative farmers” don’t get listened to enough. They’re hurting because of climate change, but apparently don’t give enough $$$$ to the Republicans.

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