Making Climate Change History

Documents from Global Warming's Past

Edited by Joshua P. Howe
Foreword by Paul S. Sutter

  • Published: April 2017
  • Subject Listing: History / Environmental History; Environmental Studies; Science and Technology Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 380 pp., 12 color illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classics
  • Contents

This collection pulls together key documents from the scientific and political history of climate change, including congressional testimony, scientific papers, newspaper editorials, court cases, and international declarations. Far more than just a compendium of source materials, the book uses these documents as a way to think about history, while at the same time using history as a way to approach the politics of climate change from a new perspective.

Making Climate Change History provides the necessary background to give readers the opportunity to pose critical questions and create plausible answers to help them understand climate change in its historical context; it also illustrates the relevance of history to building effective strategies for dealing with the climatic challenges of the future.
Joshua P. Howe is assistant professor of history and environmental studies at Reed College. He is the author of Behind the Curve: Science and the Politics of Global Warming.

"Climate change has a history. Drawing on these documents, Howe shows how scientists came to understand global warming and how it became a contentious political matter. Making Climate Change History helps us better comprehend one of the most vexing and divisive issues of our time."
-Robert M. Wilson, Syracuse University

"To improve critical thinking, nothing serves better than analysis of original source materials. Howe's compilation provides exactly what such work needs: a variety of interesting materials, supported by commentary on the historical context, on an issue crucial for any examination of the relations among science, government, and the public."
-Spencer Weart, author of The Discovery of Global Warming

"Howe has done a huge service in bringing together, in one concise volume, many of the key documents related to the growing understanding of climate change from the nineteenth-century to the present. A must-have for anyone teaching or researching this crucial topic."
-Naomi Oreskes, co-author of Merchants of Doubt and author of The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

Foreword: Climate Change and the Uses of History / Paul S. Sutter
Introduction Making Climate Change History
Part One The Scientific "Prehistory" of Global Warming
1. Joseph Fourier, "General Remarks on the Temperatures of the Globe and the Planetary Spaces" (1824)
2. John Tyndall, "The Bakerian Lecture: On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gases and Vapours, and on the Physical Connexion of Radiation, Absorption, and Conduction" (1861)
3. Svante Arrhenius, "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground" (1896)
4. G. S. Callendar, "The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and Its Influence on Temperature" (1938)
Part Two The Cold War Roots of Global Warming
5. Roger Revelle and Hans E. Suess, "Carbon Dioxide Exchange between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2 during the Past Decades" (1957)
6. Roger Revelle, Testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations, February 8, 1956
7. Roger Revelle, Testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations, May 1, 1957
8. Howard T. Orville, "The Impact of Weather Control on the Cold War" (1958)
9. National Science Foundation, Preliminary Plans for a National Center for Atmospheric Research (1959)
Part Three Making Global Warming Green
10. The Conservation Foundation, Implications of Rising Carbon Dioxide Content of the Atmosphere (1963)
11. President's Science Advisory Committee, Restoring the Quality of Our Environment (1965)
12. Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, J┐rgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III, The Limits to Growth (1972)
13. Study of Man's Impact on Climate, Inadvertent Climate Modification (1971)
14. The Sierra Club, "International Committee Questionnaire-Five Year Plan" (1976)
15. Michael McCloskey, "Criteria for International Campaigns" (1982)
16. National Climate Program Act of 1978
17. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Advisory Group on Climate Meeting, May 26, 1978
18. David Slade, "Action Flow, U.S. Carbon Dioxide Research and Assessment Program" (1979)
19. David Slade, Letter to David Burns (1980)
20. Al Gore, Testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology, July 31, 1981
21. Rafe Pomerance, testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology, February 24, 1984
Part Four Climate Change As Controversy
22. U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, "A Study of Climatological Research as It Pertains to Intelligence Problems" (1974)
23. S. I. Rasool and S. H. Schneider, "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate" (1971)
24. Reid Bryson, "A Perspective on Climate Change" (1974)
25. Stephen H. Schneider, The Genesis Strategy (1976) .
Helmut E. Landsberg, "Review: The Genesis Strategy-Climate and Global Survival" (1976)
Stephen H. Schneider and Helmut E. Landsberg, "Forum" (1977)
26. National Academy of Sciences, "Carbon Dioxide and Climate" (1979)
27. National Academy of Sciences, "Changing Climate" (1983)
28. Environmental Protection Agency, Can We Delay a Greenhouse Warming? (1983)
New York Times, "How to Live in a Greenhouse" (1983)
29. R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack, and Carl Sagan, "Nuclear Winter" (1983)
30. Carl Sagan, "Nuclear War and Climatic Catastrophe" (1983)
31. S. Fred Singer (1985), "On a 'Nuclear Winter'" (1983)
32. Starley L. Thompson and Stephen H. Schneider, "Nuclear Winter Reappraised" (1986)
33. James Hansen, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, June 23, 1988
Part Five Climate Change Governance
34. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, First Assessment Report (1990)
35. World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (The Brundtland Report) (1987)
36. United Nations, Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992)
37. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (1992)
38. C. Boyden Gray and David B. Rivkin Jr., "A 'No Regrets' Environmental Policy" (1991)
39. Al Gore and Mitch McConnell, Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, September 18, 1992
40. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Second Assessment Report (1996)
41. The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1997)
42. The Byrd-Hagel Resolution (1997)
Part Six The Past, the Present, and the Future
43. Bill McKibben, The End of Nature (1989)
44. Paul J. Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer, "The Anthropocene" (2000)
45. Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, "The Death of Environmentalism" (2004)
46. Nicholas Stern, "Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change" (2006)
William D. Nordhaus, "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change" (2007)
47. Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency (2007)
48. Pope Francis, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home (2016)