|President Johnson (LBJ) was the first US President to warn us of the danger we were facing 50 years ago:
Air pollution is no longer confined to isolated places. This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.Daily Climate marks the anniversary:
The speech mainly focused on all-too-visible pollution of land and waterways, including roadside auto graveyards, strip mine sites, and soot pollution that had marred even the White House.
Within the year, Johnson would sign six new environmental laws during a period better remembered for the strife that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the escalation of the Vietnam War. Johnson also that year established a dozen new national monuments, historic sites, and recreation areas; and submitted a draft nuclear non-proliferation treaty to the United Nations.
Carbon risk, of course, still stymies policymakers. But it was not ignored entirely in the wake of Johnson's "Special Message to Congress on Conservation and Restoration of Natural Beauty." In fact, the warnings and predictions given to Johnson from his science team proved remarkably prescient.