TABLE 1.2 Selected Activities during the 1970s and Early 1980s Highlighting the Concern that Humans Are Influencing Global Climate and Environment by Increasing CO2 Emissions

Year

Activities

1965

U.S. President’s Science Advisory Committee (PSAC) points to sound basis for link between human activities and increasing CO2 emissions (PSAC 1965).

1970

Study of Critical Environmental Problems (SCEP) highlights man’s impact on the global environment (SCEP 1970).

1971

Study of Man’s Impact on Climate (SMIC) points out the inadvertent climate modification due to human activity (SMIC 1971).

1977

National Resource Council (NRC) report Energy and Climate points to potential negative impact of heavy coal use on climate (NRC 1977).

1979

NRC report Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment concludes that climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is 1.5 to 4.5°C (NRC 1979).

1979

American Association for the Advancement of Science workshop in Annapolis on climate impacts, sponsored by DOE, led to congressional hearings in 1981 with a call for the Administration to fund research on impacts.

1983

NRC report Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Second Assessment confirms the first report’s finding regarding climate sensitivity and predicts the doubling to occur during the last quarter of the century. It calls for research into energy sources other than fossil fuel and suggests that if addressed now, climate change from greenhouse gases would be manageable (NRC 1983).

1985

During an international meteorologist conference jointly sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and International Council of Scientific Unions in Villach, Austria, a consensus is announced that, in the first half of the twenty-first century, a rise in global mean temperature could occur that is greater than any in man’s history (WMO 1986b).

and nationally and was followed by several congressional hearings on this issue. The Reagan White House responded to these hearings by forming a White House Domestic Policy Council working group on climate change. Although the House of Representatives held hearings throughout the 1980s on the topic of rising CO2, the Senate did not turn to this issue until after the Villach report (WMO 1986b). After numerous hearings, Congress enacted the Global Climate Protection Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-204), which authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department to



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