|56 million BCE||Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).|
|c 270 BCE||Aristarchus of Samos (310~230 BCE) proposes the heliocentric hypothesis.|
|1543||Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) publishes his heliocentric model based on circular orbits.|
|1609-19||Johannes Kepler (1571–1630)) publishes his laws of planetary motion using the observations of Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) based on elliptical orbits.|
|1610||Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) in publishes his observations of the Jovian moons.|
|1687||Kepler's laws are subsumed within Isaac Newton's (1642-1726) laws of motion and universal gravitation.|
|1807||Slave trade abolished in the British Empire.|
|1827||Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830)) calculates that without the greenhouse effect the temperature of the earth's surface would average -15°C.|
|1833||Factory Act in England forbids employment of children under nine in factories.|
Slavery abolished in the British colonies.
|1834||'Tolpuddle Martyrs': 6 Dorset labourers transported to Australia for conspiracy to form a trade union.|
|1887||Victoria, Queen of Britain (to 1901).|
|1839||Britain and Afghanistran at war.|
|1846||Potato famine peaks in Ireland — around a million die by 1851.|
Corn Laws repealed in Britain.
|1859||Charles Darwin (1809–1882) publishes the On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.|
|1860||John Tyndall (1820–1893) measures the absorption of infrared radiation by carbon dioxide and speculates that a decrease in the greenhouse effect might cause the Ice Ages.|
|1863||The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is founded in Geneva by Jean Henry Dunant (1828–1910).|
|1896||Svante Arrhenius (1859–1927) estimates that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 by the burning of fossil fuels would result in a 5 to 6 degree C increase in global temperatures (Arrhenius, 1896).|
|1916||Newton's laws are subsumed within Albert Einstein's (1879–1955) theory of general relativity.|
|1919||Treaty of Versailles sets events in motion which lead to the Second World War.|
|1940||Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964) calculates the warming due to the increasing carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.|
|1943||The Institute of Public Affairs is established by a group of Melbourne businessmen led by G J Coles.|
It is closely linked with Australian conservative political parties principally the Liberal Party of Australia.
|1948||The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is adopted in Paris.|
|1949||The Geneva Convention is ratified fully or with reservations by 194 countries.|
|1950||Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.|
|1954||American intervention at the Geneva peace conference following the defeat of the French in Indochina prolongs the Vietnamese conflict for a further 21 years and leads to the destabilization of Laos and the Cambodian genocide.|
|Menzies government signs the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Singer and Gregg, 2004, p 40).|
|1957||Roger Revelle and Hans Suess (Scripps Institute of Oceanography, California) point out that humans are carrying out a large-scale geophysical experiment with the build-up of atmospheric carbon dioxide.|
|1958||Charles Keeling (1928–2005) begins making routine measurements of carbon dioxide levels at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii.|
|1961||Amnesty International founded in London by Peter Benenson (1921–2005).|
|1965||Lyndon Johnson (1908–1973):
This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.(Oreskes, 2011).
Doubt is our product … since it is the best means of competing with the body of fact that exists in the minds of the general public.(Tobacco industry memo, 1969)
|1970's||Richard Nixon (1913–1994) enacts the Clean Air Act Extension, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act and establishes the Environment Protection Agency (Oreskes, 2011).|
|1971||Greenpeace founded in Vancouver.|
|Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) founded.|
|1977||The Cato Institute established by Edward H Crane and Charles Koch.|
The institute has been active in opposing action on climate change.
|Amnesty International is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its "campaign against torture"|
|1978||Human Rights Watch is founded in New York.|
|1979||Frederick Seitz (1911–2008) joins the R J Reynolds Tobacco company as a consultant and disperses $45 million to scientists whose research disputes the adverse effects of smoking (Oreskes, 2011).|
|1981||"Ploughshares Fund founded by San Francisco philanthropist, artist and activist Sally Lilienthal."|
|1983||The High Court rules in favor of the Commonwealth in Commonwealth vs Tasmania thus preventing the damming of the Franklin river.|
|1984||The George C Marshall Institute is established by physicists Robert Jastrow, William Nierenberg (1919–2000) and Fred Seitz to support the Strategic Defence Initiative and subsequently to undermine environmental science.|
|1985||"Rainbow Warrior … sunk whilst in harbour in New Zealand by operatives of the French intelligence service (DGSE) … killing one of the
|1987||Hansen and Lebedeff publish the first ‘unequivocal’ evidence of a climate signal indicating that anthropogenic warming is predominating over cooling (Hansen and Lebedeff, 1987).|
|1988||The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPCC) is established by the World Meteorological Association and the United Nations Environment Fund.|
Current membership is 194 countries (IPCC, 2011).
|1990||The Discovery Institute is founded:
[B]est known for its advocacy of intelligent design.
|IPCC First Assessment Report (FAR) forms the basis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).|
|1992||George H W Bush signs the UNFCCC at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and calls for:|
concrete action to protect the planet(Oreskes, 2011).
|UNFCCC comes into force after being signed by 192 countries.|
|1996||IPCC Second Assessment Report (SAR).|
|1997||Byrd-Hagel resolution passed by the US Senate by a vote of 97-0 blocks ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.|
|Kyoto Protocol adopted.|
Six committees investigated the allegations and published reports [found] no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.
|1999||Final provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act repealed.|
|2001||Al Qaeda attacks in New York and Virginia.|
|IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).|
|2002||Australia declines to ratify the Optional Protocol on the Convention against Torture (Singer and Gregg, 2004, p 40).|
|2003||Iraq is invaded by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland on the pretext of non-existent weapons of mass destruction.|
|2005||Kyoto Protocol came into effect.|
|The Australian Environment Foundation, a front organization for the IPA is established.|
(World Environment Day, 5 June)
|2006||Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth featuring Al Gore is released.|
Would you like to know more
|2007||Jeremy Rifkin's concept for a Third Industrial Revolution is endorsed by the European Parliament (EP, 2007).|
|Al Gore and the IPCC awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.|
|Howard government adopts recommendation to introduce an emission trading scheme ahead of any global agreement (Turnbull, 2010).|
|Wikileaks launched by The Sunshine Press.|
|IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).|
|2008||New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme is legislated.|
|2009||COP15/CMP5 at Copenhagen.|
|The United States, Brazil, South Africa, India and China sign the Copenhagen Accord.|
|2010||Inside Job awarded Oscar for Best Documentary Feature (2011)|
|COP16/CMP6 at Cancun.|
(29 November to 10 December)
|2011||The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) begins regulating greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act.|
|UK Sustainable Development Commission closed by the Cameron government.|
|Greenpeace activists break into a CSIRO research farm near Canberra and destroy a field trial of genetically modified wheat (Preston, 2011).|
|Australian House of Representatives passes carbon tax legislation.|
|Australian Senate passes carbon tax legislation.|
|COP17/CMP7 at Durban.|
(28 November — 11 December)
|Canada withdraws from Kyoto Treaty (Ljunggren and Palmer, 2011).|
|2013||The Australian Climate Commission is closed by the Abbott government the day after assuming office.|
|2014||Australia becomes the first nation on Earth to abolish a carbon price|
|IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).|
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?
- Arrhenius, Svante, 1896. On the influence of carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature of the ground, Philosophical Magazine, 41:237-276.
- European Parliament (EP), 2007. European Parliament Written Declaration on establishing a green hydrogen economy and a third industrial revolution in Europe through a partnership with committed regions and cities, SMEs and civil society organisations, 12 February.
- Hansen, James (NASA Goddard SpaceFlight Center, lnstitute for Space Studies); Lebedeff, Sephan J (Sigma Data Services, Corporation), 1987. Global Trends of Measured Surface Air Temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 92, No D11, pp 13,345-13,372, 20 November.
- Ljunggren, David; Palmer, Randall; 2011. Canada to quit Kyoto climate change treaty, Reuters, 13 December.
- Oreskes, Naomi, 2011. Merchants of Doubt, Public address at the University of NSW, 8 January.
- Preston, Christopher, 2011. Greenpeace attack destroys more than GM field trial, Science Show, ABC Radio National, 13 August.
- Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), 2011. Toxic 100 Air Polluters, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, March.
- Singer, Peter and Gregg, Tom, 2004. How Ethical Is Australia?, The Australian Collaboration, Black Inc.
- Turnbull, Malcolm, 2010. Why I support the ETS proposal, The Australian, 9 February.