11 December 2019
By Rowan Hooper
“Serious attention is now being paid to the possibility that man’s activities may be affecting, or about to affect, the Earth’s climate.”
So began a piece in the 6 December 1979 issue of New Scientist. Yes, we have been sounding the alarm about climate change for decades. Prophets that we were, we went on to introduce the “so-called ‘carbon dioxide greenhouse effect’”. Carbon dioxide threatens long-term “global warming”, we wrote – though we can’t claim credit for that phrase. It was popularised by the late climate scientist /Wallace Broecker in 1975.
Forty years ago, the debate wasn’t so much over …