Jul. 25, 2017

“The Environment Is Colorless Folks”

“Carbon dioxide is not toxic, but it is the chief heat-absorbing component of the atmosphere,”  such a change in the carbon dioxide level might, therefore, produce major consequences on the climate ― possibly even triggering catastrophic effects such as have occurred from time to time in the past.”


Donald F. Hornig  (1968)

Edison Electric Institute

Senior Science Adviser 

President Lyndon B. Johnson


While the nation was in domestic turmoil in 1968 due to the battle for civil rights for blacks, the ongoing war in Southeast Asia which put millions of Americans at odds with each other on foreign policy engagement internationally and militarily. While college students were burning draft cards and unhooking bras and engaging in free love while spreading a concept of peace. This powerful statement from the Sr. Science White House Advisor, Donald F. Hornig never made the national news. It should have though because it was a warning blow issued about the impact of the continued burning of fossil fuels and how it would impact the global environment.  For almost 1/2 a century the energy providers both oil and electric in this nation have utilized subterfuge and misinformation to hide the effects of global warming. Now as more and more of these so-called classified documents are being released. We now have a clearer picture of how deceitful these major corporations were in gaining profits over protecting future lives.

Maybe it would have changed the whole dynamics of the environment movement of the 70’s and 80’s, had our scientific community given us a clearer understanding of the negative impact of the increased burning of fossil fuels. Of course, it would’ve had because no doubt the immersion of solar and wind power could have been implemented earlier.  Maybe the era of the gas guzzlers would have never transpired. Just maybe the Middle East Oil Embargo wouldn’t have almost shut down our economies across this country. When Mr. Hornig made that statement in 1968. You had best believe that the situation of environmental disruption by the use of fossil fuels had already been played out in strategy rooms across think tanks in this nation. I would probably think that this scientific discovery was well researched in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s as we engaged with the Soviet Union in a Cold War race towards world wide supremacy. So much information has been withheld from the American public during those tumultuous years of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s that once the treasure trove is eventually declassified will be looking at our government in an entirely different light. Although, it’s quite difficult to perceive in any other light than negative based on what we are experiencing now. 

The nation's black communities have never been on the vanguard as it relates to confronting environmental conditions. Most likely the fact is that our living conditions were so atrocious that we knew our environment based solely on the concrete conditions of high-rises we lived in. Nature to many of us was the rats, roaches, sparrows, city cats and dogs that resided with us. Only after the fact did we start the understand the perils of environmental conditions that threatened our existence. The hospitals revealed the dangers of lead paint, the horrid after- effects of asbestos, the terrible health issues of cigarettes and cigars, the systematic poisoning of our city’s water supplies. All of these concerns were not released by the private corporations chasing dollars for profits. They would have gladly continued to disinform us for a few dollars more. So that’s why today I’m taking just a little time away from my delivery of specific black concerns to place an emphasis on a world concern.  I’m not going to disintegrate or call out Trump, it’s too easy with him pulling our nation from the Paris Environmental Accords. I am leaving the Russian collusion for American control for a moment. I am also not the least bit interested in the condition of Ghost or GOT or what the “Girls Are Doing On Their Night Out”. What concerns me this morning is exactly how much more disinformation was fed us to keep us ignorant of our declining environment? When an iceberg the size of Delaware breaks off in the Antarctic something tells me it’s a little more information on that occurrence.  When we are losing entire species of animals every day something else is happening. When super storms are coming with more regularity we had all better pay attention. That means all, it isn’t a black only issue, or a white only issue, or brown or yellow only issue, it’s a humankind issue that affects each and every one of us.