The Spinoff: The truth about that climate change news story from 1912

A 1912 report in the Rodney & Otamatea Times is being shared everywhere. Is it real, where did it come from, and why is it proving so popular?

“COAL CONSUMPTION AFFECTING CLIMATE,” was the headline. “The furnaces of the world are now burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of coal a year,” it began. “When this is burned, uniting with oxygen, it adds about 7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere yearly. This tends to make the air a more effective blanket for the earth and to raise its temperature. The effect may be considerable in a few centuries.”

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