Climate change may seem like a recent concern, but we’ve known about the influence of human combustion of fossil fuels on the warming earth for at least one hundred years. The March 1912 issue of Popular Mechanics included an article warning of the impact burning coal, saying the warming effect “may be considerable in a few centuries.” That article got the principle right, even if the timing was off. By 1979, scientists at the First World Climate Conference in Geneva, came to a unanimous consensus that it was “urgently necessary” to act to prevent catastrophic climate change due to fossil fuel emissions. Writer at large Nathaniel Rich wrote an in-depth piece in the August 1st New York Times Magazine about how politicians around the globe in the late 1970s and 1980s came tantalizingly close to ratifying carbon reductions, but fell tragically short.
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