Naomi Oreskes, the science historian whose landmark article 2004 Science article, finally put the lie as to whether there was a legitimate climate change “debate,” has written a new piece for the TimesOnline, describing on of the best early warnings the U.S. received about global warming, and revealing the efforts of scientist-turned-lobbyist Bill Nierenberg in beginning to sow confusion.
As Oreskes reports, the U.S. government had solid information on the likelihood (and potential severity) of climate change in 1979 – delivered by a panel of some of the most impressive scientists in the land. But In 1980, then-President Ronald Reagan found the truth inconvenient. If the world community started worrying about climate change, Reagan figured everyone would start blaming America (because America was making the biggest contribution). Reagen tapped Nierenberg for an alternative report, and the big lie began.