Here we have a press release in 1999 (email 3384) from Environmental Media Services (Fenton Communications, operator of RealClimate.org) sent on behalf of the WWF to help bolster the Kyoto Protocol.
I loved this line:
Cities including New York and Tokyo may face flooding; large swathes of Latin America will suffer from drought and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may be destroyed unless more is done to stop global warming, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature warned Tuesday.
There’s that weasel word “may” and of course no timeline is given. Here we are a decade later and this press release sounds like it could have been written yesterday for Durban. The gloom and doom hasn’t changed.
The other fun part is this:
WWF commissioned the Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia to conduct research into various climate change scenarios over the next few decades.
It projected that sea levels would rise between three-quarters of an inch to four inches per decade. This would threaten low-lying U.S. coastal cities such as New York, Boston, Baltimore and Miami with flooding. The Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka among others would also be at risk, it said.
I wonder how that research was accomplished and how much money was involved. “Commissioning” a scientific study usually means a predetermined result. Anyone have any idea what these commissioned studies were?
I’m pretty sure New York, Boston, Baltimore, and Miami are still here. Ditto for Tokyo and Osaka.
Here’s the full email:
date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 16:24:57 -0400
from: Adam Markham Adam.Markham@WWFUS.xxx
subject: Nature Group Issues Climate Warning -Forwarded
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Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 09:38:33 -0400
From: Savitha Pathi firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Nature Group Issues Climate Warning
> Copyright 1999 Associated Press
> AP Online
> October 19, 1999; Tuesday 11:47 Eastern Time
>SECTION: International news
>LENGTH: 441 words
>HEADLINE: Nature Group Issues Climate Warning
> Cities including New York and Tokyo may face flooding; large swathes of
> Latin America will suffer from drought and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
>may be destroyed unless more is done to stop global warming, the World Wildlife
Fund for Nature warned Tuesday.
> The environmental group urged governments meeting in Germany next week to
> honor earlier pledges to cut emissions of carbon dioxide one of the main
> greenhouse gases by implementing tough energy-saving policies.
> ”Evidence for the warming of our planet over the last 200 years is now
> overwhelming,” said a WWF statement. ”With no action to curb
> climate on earth over the next century could become warmer than any the
> species has lived through.”
> It said China’s Giant Panda and the Arctic polar bear were among the
> at risk of extinction from global warming.
> WWF commissioned the Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of
> Anglia to conduct research into various climate change scenarios over the
> few decades.
> It projected that sea levels would rise between three-quarters of an
> four inches per decade. This would threaten low-lying U.S. coastal cities
> as New York, Boston, Baltimore and Miami with flooding. The Japanese
> Tokyo and Osaka among others would also be at risk, it said.
> Large areas of the Amazon would become more susceptible to forest fires.
> Drought would also likely affect Argentina, southern Mexico and Central
> Rising sea temperatures by 2010 threatened the very survival of the
> Great Barrier Reef.
> Scientists generally agree that temperatures are rising with 1998
> warmest year on record. But there is no consensus on how much man is to
> ”Although the precise contribution of human activities to global warming
> cannot yet be stated with confidence, it is clear the planet would not be
> warming as rapidly if humans were not currently emitting about 6.8
> of carbon into the atmosphere each year,” said the WWF report.
> Under a 1997 agreement reached in the Japanese city of Kyoto,
> nations agreed to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by five percent
> 2008 and 2012.
> Representatives from 150 countries meet later this month in Bonn to
> ways of implementing the Kyoto deal prior to a November 2000 meeting in the
> While President Clinton signed the Kyoto agreement, he has not sought its
> ratification because of widespread opposition in the Senate. Critics say it
> cost too much to implement while developing countries will be allowed to
> greenhouse emissions grow.
>LOAD-DATE: October 19, 1999
Environmental Media Services
1320 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 463-6670 / Fax: (202) 463-6671