Naomi Oreskes, a science history professor at University of California, San Diego, delved into Friday’s long-awaited global warming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Writing in The Washington Post, Oreskes examines the history of the scientific research that has led to our understanding of climate change. She writes:

It was these concerns (of climate change) that led to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and, in 1992, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which called for immediate action to reverse the trend of mounting greenhouse gas emissions. One early signatory was President George H.W. Bush, who called on world leaders to translate the written document into “concrete action to protect the planet.” Three months later, the treaty was unanimously ratified by the Senate.

Since then, scientists around the world have worked assiduously to flesh out the details of this broadly affirmed picture. Many details have been adjusted, but the basic parameters have not changed. Well, one thing has. In 1965, the concern that greenhouse gases would lead to global warming was a prediction. Today, it is an established scientific fact.


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