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The Battle Begins

Earth: The Climate Wars Episode 1 of 3

In the 1970s the world seemed to be falling apart. From acid rain to overpopulation, ecological concerns were at the fore. And it was at this time that climate change first became a hot political issue. But it wasn't global warming that frightened scientists, it was the complete opposite; a new ice age.

Dr Iain Stewart traces the history of climate change from its very beginning and examines just how the scientific community managed to get it so very wrong back in the Seventies. Along the way he uncovers some of the great unsung heroes of climate change science, and introduces us to a secret organisation of American government scientists, known as Jason, who wrote the first official report on global warming as far back as 1979.

He shows how - by the late 1980s - global warming had already become a serious political issue. It looked as if the world was uniting to take action. But it turned out to be a false dawn. Because in the 1990s global warming would be transformed into one of the biggest scientific controversies of our age.

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 15 Dec 2009 23:50
BBC Two Northern Ireland, Scotland only

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Role Contributor
ProducerJonathan Renouf
DirectorJonathan Renouf
Assistant ProducerSarah Jobling