Skip to main content

Thirty Years of Warnings: Union of Concerned Scientists 1988

Thirty years of warnings and very little has changed. Except for a few numbers, this letter from the Union of Concerned Scientists could be dated 2018 instead of 1988. “Hottest Ever” or “________ of the last _______ years have occurred in the last decade” or “glaciers are shrinking” or “deserts are advancing” or “drought is devastating” or “seas are steadily advancing”: Was this all written yesterday or 30 years ago?

“Scientists cannot yet be positive that these phenomena are the result of steadily increasing temperatures, but
they are certainly consistent with the disastrous climatic changes projected from a phenomenon, called the greenhouse effect.” Today or 30 years ago?

Before you read this amazing letter, one thing caught my eye. The projection of future warming of 30 F by Mintzer on page two; this is based on a quintupling of fossil fuel use by 2075. We are a third of the way to 2075 and have increased fossil fuel use by 70 percent since then putting us on track for a doubling of fossil fuel use by 2075 if previous trend continues. So view the future temperature prediction with this in mind and remember two things:

  1. The vast majority of climate projections and warming are accurate base on actual fossil fuel emissions, and
  2. Impacts are far ahead of schedule. examples; Arctic sea ice melt is 70 years ahead of projections, and Antarctic ice discharge is 100 years ahead of projections.

Union of Concerned Scientists – Hottest Year in Recorded History – 1988