The year was 1979. Rafe Pomerance, trained as a historian, was the deputy legislative director of Friends of the Earth, and this moment marked the beginning of a political and scientific effort that tragically, almost, saved the world.
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Pomerance paused, startled, over the orphaned paragraph. It seemed to have come out of nowhere. He reread it. It made no sense to him.
He proceeded as a historian might: cautiously, scrutinizing the source material, reading between the lines. When that failed, he made phone calls, often to the authors of the reports, who tended to be surprised to hear from him. Scientists, he had found, were not in the habit of fielding questions from political lobbyists. They were not in the habit of thinking about politics.