Our post-modern period of climate change angst can probably be traced back to the late-1960s, if not earlier. By 1973, and the ‘global cooling’ scare, it was in full swing, with predictions of the imminent collapse of the world within ten to twenty years, exacerbated by the impacts of a nuclear winter. Environmentalists were warning that, by the year 2000, the population of the US would have fallen to only 22 million [the 2007 population estimate is 302,824,000] and the average intake of the average American would be a mere 2,400 calories (would that it were!).
In 1987, the scare abruptly changed to ‘global warming’, and the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was established (1988), issuing its first assessment report in 1990, which served as the basis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The second assessment report was then issued in 1995, the third in 2001, and, of course, the draft fourth assessment report on Saturday.
In essence, the Earth has been given a 10-year survival warning regularly for the last fifty or so years. We have been serially doomed. So it comes as no surprise to note that the latest IPCC Draft Report’s panel yet again declares that action must be taken within a decade or so if we are to save the world from ‘global warming’.