The Nixon Administration Sought Out Hugh Heffner for Global Warming Expertise
The letter that will follow below is a fascinating historical snapshot of the Nixon White House, and of early global warming hysteria. It is written by John Erlichman and provides Nixon with an overview of this new potential problem. I am not being critical of Nixon (on the global warming matter that will follow); the idea was new at the time. But still, for Erlichman to suggest going to Hugh Heffner for advice shows that the man was not thinking clearly.
The letter is from the Nixon library. My friend Kevan Khanamirian found it in a link contained in the following story, 1969 Climate Predictions Miss by a Mile .
The primary purpose of this post is just to provide this little fun historical item. Secondarily, however, we will take this opportunity to point out that global warming climate change forecasts have been proven wrong consistently, and yet the projections don’t change much. The 1969 projection that follows was for a 7 degree temperature climb and 10′ rise in ocean levels by 2000. By the mid-80s the forecast was similar, but the date had been pushed out 2020, and by 2000 the crisis had moved out another 50 to 100 years. It is true that carbon emissions keep increasing, but it should be obvious to everyone by now that carbon emissions do not impact climate as the global warming advocates promise.
THE WHITE HOUSE
September 17, 1969
FOR JOHN EHRLICHMAN
As with so many of the more interesting environmental questions, we really don’t have very satisfactory measurements of the carbon dioxide problem. On the other hand, this very clearly is a problem, and, perhaps most particularly, is one that can seize the imagination of persons normally indifferent to projects of apocalyptic change.
The process is a simple one. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has the effect of a pane of glass in a greenhouse. The C02 content is normally in a stable cycle, but recently man has begun to introduce instability through the burning of fossil fuels. At the turn of the century several persons raised the question whether this would change the temperature of the atmosphere. Over the years the hypothesis has been refined, and more evidence has come along to support it. It is now pretty clearly agreed that the C02 content will rise 25% by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth‘ s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter. We have no data on Seattle.
It is entirely possible that there will be countervailing effects. For example, an increase of dust in the atmosphere would tend to lower temperatures, and might offset the C02 effect. Similarly, it is possible to conceive fairly mammoth man-made efforts to countervail the C02 rise. (E. g., stop burning fossil fuels. )
In any event, I would think this is a subject that the Administration ought to get involved with. It is a natural for NATO. Perhaps the first order of business is to begin a worldwide monitoring system. At present, I believe only the United States is doing any serious monitoring, and we have only one or two stations.
Hugh Heffner knows a great deal about this, as does also the estimable Bob White, head of the U.S. Weather Bureau. (Teddy White’s brother.)
In addition to the Hugh Heffner reference, I loved the line, “we have no data on Seattle”, as if the survial of Seattle in a doomsday scenario is of some significance.