The Nixon Presidential Library has just released some fascinating correspondence on climate change. Within the White House, Patrick Moynihan wrote to John Ehrlichman on 17 September 1969:
“this [carbon dioxide] very clearly is a problem, and, perhaps most particularly, is one that can seize the imagination of persons normally indifferent tp projects of apocalyptic change”.
“It is now pretty clearly agreed that the CO² content will rise 25% by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter. We have no data on Seattle“.
“It is entirely possible that there will be countervailing effects…it is possible to conceive fairly mammoth man-made efforts to countervail the CO² rise. (E.g., stop burning fossil fuels.)”
“In any event, I would think this is a subject that the Administratiion ought to get involved with. It is a natural for NATO. Perhaps the first order of business is to begin a worldwide monitoring system. At present, I believe only the United States is doing any serious monitoring, and we have only one or two stations.”
This note was written 41 years, 10 months ago. What has happened since?Author : Stanley Crossick