The Beginnings of the IPCC

As you probably know, the last touches on the fourth international survey of climate change by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are being worked out in Paris. The amount of climate change news this week is simply overwhelming, but science historian Naomi Oreskes points out that scientific commissions have been telling the White House since l965 that we are changing the climate "through the burning of fossil fuels" and as Robert M. White, the first administrator of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said:

We now understand that industrial wastes, such as carbon dioxide released during the burning of fossil fuels, can have consequences for climate that pose a considerable threat to future society.

That’s from l978! The story doesn’t mention in what context White said this. Was it testimony? An official report? A letter to a friend? We do need to know. Nonetheless, it’s shocking how much the experts have known and for how long, and how slow the news has been to reach the rest of us.

The latest report will say it is 90% likely that climate change is caused by human activity, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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