1912: news article warned of global warming. When are we going to learn?
NEWS AND COMMENT: When is humankind going to learn to behave sensibly and in a way which protects the lump of rock on which it lives? Is humankind so reckless and idiotic as to destroy the planet which sustains it? And how long does it take for humankind to digest what has been known for 110 years, namely that when you burn coal in large quantities the atmosphere heats up.
The Conversation website has very effectively reproduced a news media article from 1912. It comes from the Braidwood Dispatch and Mining Journal from the National Library of Australia. This is highly ironic because Australia is still digging up and selling coal to China when they want it. And the Australian authorities complain bitterly about losing their native species to predation by invasive species and yet at the same time they are destroying their country through global warming and they are contributing to it.
“In 2019–20 Australia was the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical coal and the second largest exporter of thermal coal.” – Australia government
And they’ve known about this for a 110 years! Talk about a slow response! What does it take for people to respond? The problem with humans is that unless they can see it, taste it and are directly affected by a problem in a very tangible and direct way they ignore it. They think that it doesn’t exist.
If all the pollution from road traffic was coloured pink the human race would recognise it and take action. But because it’s invisible they think it doesn’t exist.
And if all the pollution from factories and power stations was coloured bright green and it stayed that way in the sky people would do something about it. But the pollution disappears into the vastness of the earth’s atmosphere and people forget about it.
The short article reproduced on this page is shocking to be honest. Here we have clear evidence that humankind knew about global warming a 110 years ago. Apparently, the article is now famous and it is shared across the Internet. However, it is the first time that I have seen it.
Apparently, it is one of the first pieces on climate change in the news media. It was in fact a reprint of an earlier piece published a month before in a New South Wales mining Journal.
The Conversation tells us that the basic science about climate change has been known for a very long time. In fact, an American scientist who was also a woman’s rights campaigner, Eunice Foote, is credited with first demonstrating the greenhouse effect in 1856. This was followed several years later in the UK by researcher John Tyndall who published similar results about climate change.
Apparently, in 1988 a NASA scientist, James Hansen, addressed the US Congress telling them that global warming had commenced but the cogs of change grind incredibly slowly, don’t they? They say that momentum was growing but why does it take so long for people to see the dangers of climate change. Is humankind so ignorant and blinded by self-interest?
It is self-interest and greed which causes climate change. If there was more of an altruistic attitude in which everyone did their best to improve the planet, we wouldn’t have this disastrous situation. Humankind is hellbent of self-destruction. And now Putin has made things much worse as his invasion of Ukraine is a massive distraction and his blackmail-induced termination of gas supplies to Europe has resulted in restarting coal-fired power stations. We are going backwards.