May 8th – 400ppm, Hansen gagged, a warning from 1980. Rationing abandoned…

On May 8th 2013 the species reached a milestone that should have perhaps had us freaking out.  We hit 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  See here (BBC story), here (National Geographic) and here (Gavin Schmidt quote).

Meanwhile, 24 years earlier –

“More specifically, on 8 May 1989, the Office of Management and Budget confirmed that it had altered the Congressional testimony of NASA’s James Hansen, thereby weakening his conclusion that enough was known about the phenomenon to justify immediate action. The Whitehouse defended this action by claiming that it wanted to avoid the appearance of policy disagreements within the Administration. The political fallout from this episode was considerable, not only within the United States but also internationally.”

Rowlands, I. (1995) The politics of global atmospheric change Manchester: Manchester University Press, page 76 [Hansen had been punished for truth-telling before, in 1981 when the Reagan Department of Energy had pulled promised funding, causing sackings.  There was, of course, more to come.]

Also on this day
1980 Nature news piece on “C02 could increase global tensions” – with Exxon funding piece underneath

may81980

2008 UK plans/thoughts towards personal carbon rationing scrapped.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

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