Tag Archives: William Kellogg

April 16, 2008 – Clean Coal to the rescue?

On this day 9 years ago t he Australian Coal Association, the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, the Climate Institute and World Wildlife Fund called on the Federal Government to establish a National Carbon Capture and Storage Taskforce to combat climate change… [to] be charged with developing and implementing a nationally coordinated plan to oversee rapid demonstration and commercialisation of 10,000 GWh of carbon capture and storage (CCS) electricity per year by 2020.”



Also on this day- 

1980 The Age ‘Ecology is endangered’ article quoting William Kellogg

2007 In an interview with the ABC’s Four Corners in April 200[7], the Industry Minister, Senator Ian Macfarlane described State incentive schemes such as VRET as ‘Mickey Mouse schemes.’ (Prest, 2007: 254)


Jan 31, 2010: Ed Miliband lays into the #climate “sceptics”

On 31 January 2010, probably still bruised by Copenhagen, Ed Miliband (then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, now Leader of HM Opposition) laid into the “sceptics”


Ah, the post-Copenhagen blues. There were those who tried to warn – to dampen expectations and to think BEYOND December 2009.  Anyway, what’s done is done – until it’s done again in Paris…

Here’s a clip of what he said (reported in the Guardian)-

“But in the government’s first high-level recognition of the growing pressure on public opinion, Miliband declared a “battle” against the “siren voices” who denied global warming was real or caused by humans, or that there was a need to cut carbon emissions to tackle it.”

“It’s right that there’s rigour applied to all the reports about climate change, but I think it would be wrong that when a mistake is made it’s somehow used to undermine the overwhelming picture that’s there,” he said.

“We know there’s a physical effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leading to higher temperatures, that’s a question of physics; we know CO2 concentrations are at their highest for 6,000 years; we know there are observed increases in temperatures; and we know there are observed effects that point to the existence of human-made climate change. That’s what the vast majority of scientists tell us.”

FWIW, it’s not the outright deniers (few in number) who are to blame. It’s those who allow business as usual to proceed in a business-as-usual fashion. Yes, yes, it’s counter-productive to assign blame, all of us are complicit, some of us are guilty blah blah blah…

Other things that happened on this day:

1989 Publication of “The Atmosphere: Endangered and Endangering” by M. Mead (Author), William W. Kellogg (Author) (Based on the Fogarty Conference of 1975)

2003 the Baliunas/Soon paper is published.

2001 In scenes later immortalised in the opening section of the Oscar-winning (*) classic “The Day After Tomorrow” the Larsen B iceshelf started to disintegrate.

The Larsen B sector collapsed and broke up, 3,250 km² of ice 220m thick, covering an area comparable to the US state of Rhode Island, disintegrated and collapsed in one season.[6] Larsen B was stable for up to 12,000 years, essentially the entire Holocene period since the last glacial period, according to Queen’s University researchers

You can watch it here.

And if you open up another browser window at t’same time, you can have British Sea Power accompaniment… Song Oh Larsen B British Sea Power Open Season

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

* Actual facts may vary. Always read the label.

Jan 1, 1981: “Climate Change and Society” published

On Jan 1st 1981 a book called “Climate Change and Society” was published, authored by a natural scientist (William Kellogg) and a sociologist (Robert Schware).

Context: A year after the first World Climate Conference in Geneva, and after the Charney Report concluded that there was no reason to doubt that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would spell trouble, Reagan had beaten Carter to the White House. The Cold War was going to heat up again. Climate change was barely a glimmer in the eye of the public.

Even more context: This seems to be the first effort by people across the social and natural sciences divide to write a book about climate change. It begins thus –

If the consensus of international climatological community is correct and if world fossil fuel use continues to increase atmospheric carbon dioxide, mankind will likely cause a significant average warming of the Earth’s surface within the next 50 years.

“However, for planning and management purposes it is not very useful just to know that a climatic change is in store. The political, economic, social, and ethical implications of a global environmental change must be considered. In this report, we address these issues and suggest some potential strategies to deal with the carbon dioxide problem.”

(Kellogg and Schware, 1981:1)

The framing of the climate change as the “carbon dioxide problem” was common back then. Although the existence of other greenhouse gases was well understood, the fact that they were just as important, taken together, as C02, awaited a 1985 paper, which nicely put the rocket up everyone attending the Villach conference. But that’s for another day…

Kellogg, who died in 2007 had “served on the National Academy of Science’s Space Science Board (teaming with Carl Sagan to review our knowledge of the atmospheres of Mars and Venus), the Atmospheric Science Committee, and the Polar Research Board. He also served on the President’s Science Advisory Committee, the USAF Scientific Advisory Committee, and the NASA Space Program Advisory Council.” [wikipedia]

jan01kellogschwareThe following year Kellogg and Schware condensed their book for an article in “Foreign Affairs”, the house journal of the US Foreign Policy elite; “Society, Science and Climate Change.”

In 1987 Kellogg published an excellent summary of the means by which global warming came to be understood. See “Mankind’s Impact on Climate: The Evolution of an Awareness” in Climatic Change April 1987, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 113-136.

What does all this mean? That before climate change could become an overnight sensation in June 1988, there were many, many attempts to get it onto the agenda. A small number of those will be honoured on this blog.

Kellogg, W. and Schware, S. (1981). Climate Change and Society: Consequences of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. Colorado: Westview Press.

See also: John Urry’s rather good 2011 effort of the same name, published by Polity.

Other things that happened on this day:

1917 Jule Charney born
1989 Ben Elton’s novel Stark published
2003 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Scheme (GGAS) launched in New South Wales, the world’s first mandatory emissions trading scheme.
2005 Uncertainty in Analyzing Climate Change: Policy Implications, Congressional Budget Office
2011 Australian Renewables target changed

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