Institute Chair Dr. William Happer of Princeton University reviews Rupert Darwall’s The Age of Global Warming: A History for Academic Questions.
Darwall has presented the first systematic history of the origins and growth of the global warming movement following the 1987 report by the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development (the Brundtland Commission), which launched the concept of “sustainable development” into the vocabulary of the world’s political leaders and the 1988 emergence of “global warming” as a supposed existential crisis. Zealots like Al Gore and NASA’s Jim Hansen promoted belief in this crisis with the same zeal that Peter the Hermit promoted the First Crusade. The whirl of international conferences that have followed ever since are beyond the patience of most of us to track, but that whirl has become a fearsome tornado, funneling billions of dollars into thin air. Darwall has, in effect, played the role of one of those storm-chasers who get closer to the dangerous mess than most of us would want to be in order to keep us informed.