[Vision2020] 11-20-18 Article: 'Time is Running Out, ' American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965 Speech on Climate Change

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sun Nov 25 22:18:40 PST 2018

Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
***** Original material contained herein is Copyright 2000 through life
plus 70 years, Ted Moffett.  Do not copy, forward, excerpt, or reproduce
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Indeed, the scientific basis indicating anthropogenic global warming was a
likely outcome from continuing atmospheric emissions of CO2 etc. is not
scientific discovery from the past three or four decades.  In fact, the
science dates from at least 1896:
On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the
Svante Arrhenius
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science
Series 5, Volume 41, April 1896, pages 237-276.
Article referenced in subject heading copied below:


'Time is Running Out,' American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965
Speech on Climate Change

By Sharon Kelly <https://www.desmogblog.com/user/sharon-kelly> • Tuesday,
November 20, 2018

The warning is clear and dire — and the source unexpected. “This report
unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for
action,” the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API)
<https://www.desmogblog.com/american-petroleum-institute> told an oil
industry conference, as he described research into climate change caused by
fossil fuels.

“The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the
world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is
running out.”

The speaker wasn’t Mike Sommers, who was named to helm API this past May
Nor was it Jack Gerard <https://www.desmogblog.com/jack-n-gerard>, who
served as API’s president for roughly a decade
starting in 2008.

The API president speaking those words was named Frank Ikard — and the year
was 1965, over a half-century ago.

It was the same year that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a civil rights
march <https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/al4.htm> from Selma to
Montgomery, Muhammad Ali felled
Sonny Liston in the first round, and Malcom X was fatally shot
in New York. The first American ground combat troops arrived in Vietnam
and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the law establishing
<https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=99> Medicaid
and Medicare.

It would be another four years before American astronaut Neil Armstrong
first set foot on the moon — and another decade before the phrase “global
warming” would appear for the first time
in a peer-reviewed study.

And 1965, according to a letter by Stanford historian Benjamin Franta
published this week <https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0349-9> in
the peer-reviewed journal Nature, was the year that President Johnson’s
Science Advisory Committee published a report titled “Restoring the Quality
of Our Environment
whose findings Ikard described at that year’s annual API meeting.

“One of the most important predictions of the report is that carbon dioxide
is being added to the Earth's atmosphere by the burning of coal, oil, and
natural gas at such a rate that by the year 2000 the heat balance will be
so modified as possibly to cause marked changes in climate beyond local or
even national efforts,” Ikard presciently added, according to excerpts from
his speech published in Nature.

[image: Text of a speech by American Petroleum Institute leadership on
climate change]
*Exerpt of API President Frank Ikard's 1965 speech on climate change and
fossil fuels.*
API Funded Early Research Linking CO2 and Fossil Fuels

That prediction was based in part on information that was known to the oil
industry trade group for over a decade — including research that was
directly funded by the API, according to Nature.

In 1954, a California Institute of Technology geochemist sent the API a
research proposal in which they reported that fossil fuels had already
caused carbon dioxide (CO2) levels to rise roughly five percent since 1854
— a finding that Nature notes has since proved to be accurate.

API accepted the proposal and funded that Caltech research, giving the
program the name Project 53. Project 53 collected thousands of CO2
measurements — but the results were never published.

Meanwhile, other researchers were reaching similar conclusions. Nuclear
physicist Edward Teller became known in 1951 as the “father of the hydrogen
bomb” for designing a thermonuclear bomb that was even more powerful than
the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Teller warned
the oil and gas industry in 1959 about global warming and sea level rise in
a talk titled “Energy Patterns of the Future.”

“Carbon dioxide has a strange property,” Teller said in excerpts published
earlier this year by The Guardian. “It transmits visible light but it
absorbs the infrared radiation which is emitted from the earth. Its
presence in the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect.”

A researcher at Humble Oil Co. (now known as ExxonMobil) checked results
from a study of carbon isotopes in tree rings against the unpublished
Caltech results, and found
that the two separate methods essentially agreed.

[image: Keeling Curve of monthly average carbon dioxide concentration
measurements from Mauna Loa Observatory]
*This figure
shows the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as directly
measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii since 1958. This curve is known as
the Keeling curve, and is an essential piece of evidence of the man-made
increases in greenhouse gases that are believed to be the cause of global
warming. Credit: Delorme <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Delorme>,
data from Dr. Pieter Tans, NOAA, and Dr. Ralph Keeling, Scripps, CC
BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en>*

And in 1960, Charles Keeling first published the measurements that became
the famous “Keeling curve”
— establishing one of the bedrock findings connecting climate change to
fossil fuels. The CO2 measurements taken by Keeling back in the late 1950s
showed levels of roughly 315 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa
Observatory in Hawaii and rising.

Those CO2 levels have since climbed upwards
to 410.13 (ppm) on the day that the Nature letter was published — CO2
levels that scientists knew both then and now would be dangerously high, as
carbon levels in the Earth’s atmosphere have not been over 410 ppm in
millions of years
What the Oil Industry Knew, Then and Now

In his 1965 talk, the API’s Ikard described the role of oil and gasoline
specifically in causing climate change. “The report further states, and I
quote: ‘… the pollution from internal combustion engines is so serious, and
is growing so fast,'” he told the API conference, “‘that an alternative
nonpolluting means of powering automobiles, buses, and trucks is likely to
become a national necessity.’”

Three decades later, the API urged
<https://www.desmogblog.com/american-petroleum-institute> a different
approach to climate science. “It’s not known for sure whether (a) climate
change actually is occurring, or (b) if it is, whether humans really have
any influence on it,” the API wrote
in a 1998 draft memo titled “Global Climate Science Communications Plan,”
which was subsequently leaked.

As of publication time, an API spokesperson had not replied to questions
sent by DeSmog.

It’s worth noting that since 1965, the science connecting climate change to
fossil fuels has grown stronger and more robust. A scientific consensus
around the hazards of climate change and the role that fossil fuels play in
causing it has formed.

“Rigorous analysis of all data and lines of evidence shows that most of the
observed global warming over the past 50 years or so cannot be explained by
natural causes and instead requires a significant role for the influence of
human activities,” the Royal Society explains

Today, the API continues to call for further research on climate change —
and expanding
the use of fossil fuels in the meantime.

“It is clear that climate change is a serious issue that requires research
for solutions and effective policies that allow us to meet our energy needs
while protecting the environment: that's why oil and gas companies are
working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the API’s webpage on
climate change
<https://www.api.org/oil-and-natural-gas/environment/climate-change> states.

“Yet archival documents show that even before Keeling published his
measurements,” Franta's letter published by Nature says, “oil industry
leaders were aware that their products were causing CO2 pollution to
accumulate in the planet’s atmosphere, in a potentially dangerous fashion.”
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