CBC Digital Archives

Greenhouse effect? Not so sure

Hollywood stars speak out about it, politicians argue about it and books on the subject are bestsellers: global warming is a hot topic today. But just a few decades ago, some scientists were predicting another ice age. CBC Digital Archives looks at four decades of CBC's climate change coverage, beginning with murmurs of a northern warming trend in the 1960s and ending with the Kyoto Conference of the late 90s.

media clip
There's no need to start taking "drastic and draconian measures" to fight the greenhouse effect. That's the message of a new report from the U.S.-based Marshall Institute, which says we simply don't know enough about global warming yet. In this 1990 clip, CBC Radio's Morningside interviews one of the report's authors, then speaks with two Canadian climate scientists who disagree with the report's recommendations. 
• Since 1990, global warming has become an increasingly contentious political issue. One of the main points of conflict is whether or not man-made pollution is the real cause of rising temperatures. Many greenhouse-effect sceptics worry that by taking unnecessarily drastic measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, we'll be changing our way of life, wasting government money and harming industries for no good reason.

• Scientific evidence of the greenhouse effect has grown progressively stronger over the years, but the science community has yet to say it's 100 per cent certain that the causes of global warming are man-made. In February 2007, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report — backed by 2,000 scientists from 113 countries — saying man-made pollution was "very likely" (more than 90 per cent certain) to be the cause of the Earth's warming. It was the strongest language the organization had used to date.

• The Marshall Institute is named after U.S. Army general (and later defence secretary) George C. Marshall. According to its website, its mission is "to improve the use of science in making public policy about important issues for which science and technology are major considerations." Its focuses are national security and the environment. The institute's reports remain skeptical about the level of scientific knowledge about climate change, as well as public policies aimed at reducing human impact.
Medium: Radio
Program: Morningside
Broadcast Date: Feb. 20, 1990
Guest(s): Wayne Evans, Danny Harvey, William Nierenberg
Host: Stuart McLean
Duration: 19:14
Note: A short musical interlude between interviews has been edited out of this clip.

Last updated: January 24, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Turning Up the Heat: Four Decades of Climate ...

Hollywood stars speak out about it, politicians argue about it and books on the subject are be...

Breaking the Ice: Canada and the Northwest Pa...

It's been called "the Arctic Grail." For centuries, European explorers were obsessed with the ...

1975: Scientist predicts global warming

In the 70s, many scientists are predicting another ice age. But one climate specialist thinks ...

Bob Hunter hasn't given up hope for the plane...

Bob Hunter is interviewed about receiving a citation for his work for the environment.

Global meltdown may clear the Passage

Thanks to global warming, the Northwest Passage is increasingly ice-free. How will this affect...

Taking Greenpeace's message to the skies

Greenpeace scales Toronto's CN Tower in protest over the Kyoto Protocol.