In the early 70s — when the media rarely addressed the far-out notion of climate change (or if they did, they put quotes around phrases like “the greenhouse effect”) — scientists at Boulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research were beginning to realize that people (insignificant though they generally seemed) might be able to impact the global climate.
A 1972 article in the Daily Camera “NCAR, Others Will Study Man’s Effects on Shaky Equilibrium of Earth Climate” appears to be one of the first in the Boulder newspaper to tackle the idea that humans might be able to drive the world to some sort of climatic tipping point.
NCAR scientist William Kellogg said this in the article:
There are obviously stabilizing factors that are strong enough to keep our global climate within reasonably narrow bounds, permitting ice ages to come and go, but damping out any large fluctuations.
But, now, man has entered the scene, and we must ask whether he can reach any of the lever points on this gigantic environmental mechanism and influence it. If there are any lever points that he can reach, history has shown that he will probably be tempted to tamper with them.
The article didn’t talk much about greenhouse gases, other than to mention a growing “carbon dioxide blanket” that had the potential to warm the Earth. Read more