Climate Change – We Knew Years Ago

We have known about man made climate change for a very long time.  The greenhouse effect was discovered in 1824 by Joseph Fourier.  He surmised that it was the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by atmospheric gases warm a planet’s lower atmosphere and surface. 

Since that time scientists have gone on to discover that human activity in the form of burning fossil fuels has released vast quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which has lead to increased radiative forcing, and therefore heating the surface of our planet Earth.  It is this heating that is causing the climate chaos that we are witnessing all around us today, especially at the poles and in Australia.

Today, I stumbled upon a very old video clip that disturbed me.  Global Warming, or Climate Change as it is now known as, was taught to students in the US back as early as 1958!  Yes, folks.  We have known for a long time, and most have chosen to ignore the consequences of our actions.

This is what the author of this YouTube video posted with the clip;

“For FIFTY YEARS scientists have known about global warming. This excerpt is from the well known educational documentary "Unchained Goddess" produced by Frank Capra for Bell Labs for their television program "The Bell Telephone Hour." It was so well made, that it went on to live a continued life in middle school science classrooms across the nation for decades.
Nearly half a century before Al Gore’s "Inconvenient Truth," this film was made. But what does it reveal? That our scientists have known for over two generations about this danger, but our politicians and citizenry have chosen to ignore the dangerous implications of this fact until it really is too late to avoid the preventable consequences.
Perhaps we deserve our fate. “

I hope you all learned a little from this clip.  I learnt that just because someone presents the facts in an understandable form, it doesn’t mean that we will act upon it until we actually see things changing before our eyes.  It is basic human nature.  What really disturbs me is that we can see the effects of our actions now, but people still refuse to change.  Unfortunately, I believe that change will be forced upon us by the Earth, but by then it will be far too late.

In the mean time, I pledge that I will continue to do everything within my control to influence and educated people about the simple actions they can take to reduce their personal carbon footprint so that we may have some glimmer of hope of averting climate chaos.



  1. Elizah Leigh says

    Once I was able to get past the exaggerated gesticulations of the interviewee and the slightly goofy production spiffs, I have to say that I was more than surprised that there was any inkling of global warming when my mom was growing up. Although she was just 8 years old when this film was made, she apparently never paid attention in school because to this day, she continues to follow such wasteful patterns of behavior (despite me harping over her and reminding her how easy it would be to change things up). I agree with you about human nature, but must admit that I am continually frustrated that people aren’t having an “ah-haaa” moment a lot sooner.

  2. The Tin House says

    Hi Gav, I’m catching up on your news with a backlog of posts to read. Of course we have known. Of course we have. I think the key to the poignance of Gore’s message is the use of the term “inconvenient”. Yes we’ve known but until now it’s been too inconvenient to acknowledge.

    Anyway….we’re doing our bit here particulary for water consumption. The toilet got ripped out of the bathroom last week and we’ve been doing the necessary business in a good old fashioned bush dunny. I’d need to have drunken one glass of wine less than I have to do the maths for you……but it’s sure to have saved a lot of water. The new one won’t be installed until Tuesday at the earliest..then I think you need to wait a day or two for the concrete to set.

    Righto…off to watch Foyles War, which I realise makes me an old fuddy duddy in training, but I love it.

    Lisa x

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