I picked up an old book a few months ago, entitled:
Landscapes of Alaska
Their Geographic Evolution Prepared by members of the United States Geological Survey
Published in Co-operation with the National Park Service,
United States Department of the Interior
Edited by Howell Williams
Berkeley and Los Angeles
University of California Press
This book was published by our government as volume one, part four, of the Nat'l. Park Service's Recreation Survey of Alaska, making it about as official as any document can ever be expected to be.
This book makes numerous references to the fact that the Alaskan glaciers are retreating.
To quote from page 10 (for example): "a short drive by good highway from Juneau leads to the terminus of the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier, which once extended to the sea but now has retreated far enough to permit the Juneau airport to be built on its outwash plain."
Then, in the section containing the photographic plates, the description of Plate #4 states: "During the early part of this century there was a dramatic recession of the glacier [Mt. Crillon at Johns Hopkins Bay]."
Even more telling, Plate #5 gives a "before and after" shot of the glacier at Nunatak Fiord in Yakutat Bay. The "before" shot shows the bay in 1909, the "after" shot, from 1938, shows how, during the ensuing 29 years, the ice had receded "more than three miles below its present limit.
So you see, the government knew that certain glaciers were disappearing at a rate of a bit over 500 feet per year! Their response? A shrug of the shoulders along with an Alfred E. Newman "What . . me worry?"
So, you see that our government scientists knew that we had a global warming issue as early as 1938! They also knew that the glacial recession began "during the early part of this century", in a time frame simultaneous to our "Industrial Revolution".
Thus, I can make the assertion that we've known about this situation for 69 years at least, but the "Inconvenient Truth" that America has never wanted to face is the fact that this problem can be traced directly back to the fact that that hoary old political philosophy of capatalism, so beloved by the anti-socal bully, is the direct cause of Mother Earth's problems. Fixing the planet would require getting rid of the religious ideal of "subdue the earth and multiply" that drives us to over-produce useless crap. Will we accomplish this? The recent acceptance by many countries of the American way of economics doesn't bode well.
I have come to believe that humankind is bored enough to require the drama inherent in ecological disaster. Like naughty children looking for attention, we holy idiots are challenging the god-head to give us a good spanking. Note the titillating way that the news of environmental disaster is presented in the media. This "show" is designed to let you know that, A) "The realization of your darkest fantasies may be just around the corner, and, B) Doom appears inevitable, so don't fret too much.
We create the reality that we require for our souls (and by association, the god-head's) edification. Thus, the only way that we are ever going to stop the inevitable decline is to awaken from our hypnotic stupor and decide that we truly want to bring "heaven" down to this plane.
Unfortunately though, we've advanced our technology beyond the power of our spiritual maturity. We're children with hand grenades too busy blowing stuff up to realize that we have the power to create a heaven on earth right here, right now. But then, heaven sounds way too boring to children.
So, now the Earth Spirit is being forced into defending its integrity, and just as our bodies react to danger by killing off invading germs through fever, so is the Great Mother about to raise the heat until enough of we harmful parasites are killed off.
(Thanks to Linton on Hugg for finding the video.)