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Donald Trump Just Called Himself ‘A Very Stable Genius’

President Donald Trump hit back at critics who have questioned his mental stability by branding himself a “very stable genius” on Saturday morning.

In a series of tweets, Trump said that throughout his life his “two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.” He also bragged about going from “VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star… to President of the United States (on my first try).”

Trump’s comment about his mental stability appeared to reference reporters questioning the president’s “mental fitness” during a White House press briefing this week.

Democratic lawmakers have also previously called for Trump to undergo a psychological evaluation, and Michael Wolff alleges in his new book, Fire and Fury, that White House aides openly question the president’s mental health.

Trump is set to undergo a medical examination with White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson next Friday, although it will likely focus more on his physical health. 

Walter Shaub, who quit as head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in July, said the tweets themselves “might be enough to lead the board of any corporation to call an emergency meeting on its CEO’s mental status.” 

Other Twitter users seemed like they couldn’t quite believe the posts:

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Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

In this extract from his new book, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach

In the 1970s, a truth was accidentally discovered about depression one that was quickly swept aside, because its implications were too inconvenient, and too explosive. American psychiatrists had produced a book that would lay out, in detail, all the symptoms of different mental illnesses, so they could be identified and treated in the same way across the United States. It was called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. In the latest edition, they laid out nine symptoms that a patient has to show to be diagnosed with depression like, for example, decreased interest in pleasure or persistent low mood. For a doctor to conclude you were depressed, you had to show five of these symptoms over several weeks.

The manual was sent out to doctors across the US and they began to use it to diagnose people. However, after a while they came back to the authors and pointed out something that was bothering them. If they followed this guide, they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed and start giving them medical treatment. If you lose someone, it turns out that these symptoms will come to you automatically. So, the doctors wanted to know, are we supposed to start drugging all the bereaved people in America?

The authors conferred, and they decided that there would be a special clause added to the list of symptoms of depression. None of this applies, they said, if you have lost somebody you love in the past year. In that situation, all these symptoms are natural, and not a disorder. It was called the grief exception, and it seemed to resolve the problem.

Then, as the years and decades passed, doctors on the frontline started to come back with another question. All over the world, they were being encouraged to tell patients that depression is, in fact, just the result of a spontaneous chemical imbalance in your brain it is produced by low serotonin, or a natural lack of some other chemical. Its not caused by your life its caused by your broken brain. Some of the doctors began to ask how this fitted with the grief exception. If you agree that the symptoms of depression are a logical and understandable response to one set of life circumstances losing a loved one might they not be an understandable response to other situations? What about if you lose your job? What if you are stuck in a job that you hate for the next 40 years? What about if you are alone and friendless?

The grief exception seemed to have blasted a hole in the claim that the causes of depression are sealed away in your skull. It suggested that there are causes out here, in the world, and they needed to be investigated and solved there. This was a debate that mainstream psychiatry (with some exceptions) did not want to have. So, they responded in a simple way by whittling away the grief exception. With each new edition of the manual they reduced the period of grief that you were allowed before being labelled mentally ill down to a few months and then, finally, to nothing at all. Now, if your baby dies at 10am, your doctor can diagnose you with a mental illness at 10.01am and start drugging you straight away.

Dr Joanne Cacciatore, of Arizona State University, became a leading expert on the grief exception after her own baby, Cheyenne, died during childbirth. She had seen many grieving people being told that they were mentally ill for showing distress. She told me this debate reveals a key problem with how we talk about depression, anxiety and other forms of suffering: we dont, she said, consider context. We act like human distress can be assessed solely on a checklist that can be separated out from our lives, and labelled as brain diseases. If we started to take peoples actual lives into account when we treat depression and anxiety, Joanne explained, it would require an entire system overhaul. She told me that when you have a person with extreme human distress, [we need to] stop treating the symptoms. The symptoms are a messenger of a deeper problem. Lets get to the deeper problem.


I was a teenager when I swallowed my first antidepressant. I was standing in the weak English sunshine, outside a pharmacy in a shopping centre in London. The tablet was white and small, and as I swallowed, it felt like a chemical kiss. That morning I had gone to see my doctor and I had told him crouched, embarrassed that pain was leaking out of me uncontrollably, like a bad smell, and I had felt this way for several years. In reply, he told me a story. There is a chemical called serotonin that makes people feel good, he said, and some people are naturally lacking it in their brains. You are clearly one of those people. There are now, thankfully, new drugs that will restore your serotonin level to that of a normal person. Take them, and you will be well. At last, I understood what had been happening to me, and why.

However, a few months into my drugging, something odd happened. The pain started to seep through again. Before long, I felt as bad as I had at the start. I went back to my doctor, and he told me that I was clearly on too low a dose. And so, 20 milligrams became 30 milligrams; the white pill became blue. I felt better for several months. And then the pain came back through once more. My dose kept being jacked up, until I was on 80mg, where it stayed for many years, with only a few short breaks. And still the pain broke back through.

I started to research my book, Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions, because I was puzzled by two mysteries. Why was I still depressed when I was doing everything I had been told to do? I had identified the low serotonin in my brain, and I was boosting my serotonin levels yet I still felt awful. But there was a deeper mystery still. Why were so many other people across the western world feeling like me? Around one in five US adults are taking at least one drug for a psychiatric problem. In Britain, antidepressant prescriptions have doubled in a decade, to the point where now one in 11 of us drug ourselves to deal with these feelings. What has been causing depression and its twin, anxiety, to spiral in this way? I began to ask myself: could it really be that in our separate heads, all of us had brain chemistries that were spontaneously malfunctioning at the same time?

To find the answers, I ended up going on a 40,000-mile journey across the world and back. I talked to the leading social scientists investigating these questions, and to people who have been overcoming depression in unexpected ways from an Amish village in Indiana, to a Brazilian city that banned advertising and a laboratory in Baltimore conducting a startling wave of experiments. From these people, I learned the best scientific evidence about what really causes depression and anxiety. They taught me that it is not what we have been told it is up to now. I found there is evidence that seven specific factors in the way we are living today are causing depression and anxiety to rise alongside two real biological factors (such as your genes) that can combine with these forces to make it worse.

Once I learned this, I was able to see that a very different set of solutions to my depression and to our depression had been waiting for me all along.

To understand this different way of thinking, though, I had to first investigate the old story, the one that had given me so much relief at first. Professor Irving Kirsch at Harvard University is the Sherlock Holmes of chemical antidepressants the man who has scrutinised the evidence about giving drugs to depressed and anxious people most closely in the world. In the 1990s, he prescribed chemical antidepressants to his patients with confidence. He knew the published scientific evidence, and it was clear: it showed that 70% of people who took them got significantly better. He began to investigate this further, and put in a freedom of information request to get the data that the drug companies had been privately gathering into these drugs. He was confident that he would find all sorts of other positive effects but then he bumped into something peculiar.

Illustration by Michael Driver.

We all know that when you take selfies, you take 30 pictures, throw away the 29 where you look bleary-eyed or double-chinned, and pick out the best one to be your Tinder profile picture. It turned out that the drug companies who fund almost all the research into these drugs were taking this approach to studying chemical antidepressants. They would fund huge numbers of studies, throw away all the ones that suggested the drugs had very limited effects, and then only release the ones that showed success. To give one example: in one trial, the drug was given to 245 patients, but the drug company published the results for only 27 of them. Those 27 patients happened to be the ones the drug seemed to work for. Suddenly, Professor Kirsch realised that the 70% figure couldnt be right.

It turns out that between 65 and 80% of people on antidepressants are depressed again within a year. I had thought that I was freakish for remaining depressed while on these drugs. In fact, Kirsch explained to me in Massachusetts, I was totally typical. These drugs are having a positive effect for some people but they clearly cant be the main solution for the majority of us, because were still depressed even when we take them. At the moment, we offer depressed people a menu with only one option on it. I certainly dont want to take anything off the menu but I realised, as I spent time with him, that we would have to expand the menu.

This led Professor Kirsch to ask a more basic question, one he was surprised to be asking. How do we know depression is even caused by low serotonin at all? When he began to dig, it turned out that the evidence was strikingly shaky. Professor Andrew Scull of Princeton, writing in the Lancet, explained that attributing depression to spontaneously low serotonin is deeply misleading and unscientific. Dr David Healy told me: There was never any basis for it, ever. It was just marketing copy.

I didnt want to hear this. Once you settle into a story about your pain, you are extremely reluctant to challenge it. It was like a leash I had put on my distress to keep it under some control. I feared that if I messed with the story I had lived with for so long, the pain would run wild, like an unchained animal. Yet the scientific evidence was showing me something clear, and I couldnt ignore it.


So, what is really going on? When I interviewed social scientists all over the world from So Paulo to Sydney, from Los Angeles to London I started to see an unexpected picture emerge. We all know that every human being has basic physical needs: for food, for water, for shelter, for clean air. It turns out that, in the same way, all humans have certain basic psychological needs. We need to feel we belong. We need to feel valued. We need to feel were good at something. We need to feel we have a secure future. And there is growing evidence that our culture isnt meeting those psychological needs for many perhaps most people. I kept learning that, in very different ways, we have become disconnected from things we really need, and this deep disconnection is driving this epidemic of depression and anxiety all around us.

Lets look at one of those causes, and one of the solutions we can begin to see if we understand it differently. There is strong evidence that human beings need to feel their lives are meaningful that they are doing something with purpose that makes a difference. Its a natural psychological need. But between 2011 and 2012, the polling company Gallup conducted the most detailed study ever carried out of how people feel about the thing we spend most of our waking lives doing our paid work. They found that 13% of people say they are engaged in their work they find it meaningful and look forward to it. Some 63% say they are not engaged, which is defined as sleepwalking through their workday. And 24% are actively disengaged: they hate it.

Antidepressant prescriptions have doubled over the last decade. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA

Most of the depressed and anxious people I know, I realised, are in the 87% who dont like their work. I started to dig around to see if there is any evidence that this might be related to depression. It turned out that a breakthrough had been made in answering this question in the 1970s, by an Australian scientist called Michael Marmot. He wanted to investigate what causes stress in the workplace and believed hed found the perfect lab in which to discover the answer: the British civil service, based in Whitehall. This small army of bureaucrats was divided into 19 different layers, from the permanent secretary at the top, down to the typists. What he wanted to know, at first, was: whos more likely to have a stress-related heart attack the big boss at the top, or somebody below him?

Everybody told him: youre wasting your time. Obviously, the boss is going to be more stressed because hes got more responsibility. But when Marmot published his results, he revealed the truth to be the exact opposite. The lower an employee ranked in the hierarchy, the higher their stress levels and likelihood of having a heart attack. Now he wanted to know: why?

And thats when, after two more years studying civil servants, he discovered the biggest factor. It turns out if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you cant create meaning out of your work.

Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments. There are, I discovered, many causes of depression like this. However, my journey was not simply about finding the reasons why we feel so bad. The core was about finding out how we can feel better how we can find real and lasting antidepressants that work for most of us, beyond only the packs of pills we have been offered as often the sole item on the menu for the depressed and anxious. I kept thinking about what Dr Cacciatore had taught me we have to deal with the deeper problems that are causing all this distress.

I found the beginnings of an answer to the epidemic of meaningless work in Baltimore. Meredith Mitchell used to wake up every morning with her heart racing with anxiety. She dreaded her office job. So she took a bold step one that lots of people thought was crazy. Her husband, Josh, and their friends had worked for years in a bike store, where they were ordered around and constantly felt insecure, Most of them were depressed. One day, they decided to set up their own bike store, but they wanted to run it differently. Instead of having one guy at the top giving orders, they would run it as a democratic co-operative. This meant they would make decisions collectively, they would share out the best and worst jobs and they would all, together, be the boss. It would be like a busy democratic tribe. When I went to their store Baltimore Bicycle Works the staff explained how, in this different environment, their persistent depression and anxiety had largely lifted.

Its not that their individual tasks had changed much. They fixed bikes before; they fix bikes now. But they had dealt with the unmet psychological needs that were making them feel so bad by giving themselves autonomy and control over their work. Josh had seen for himself that depressions are very often, as he put it, rational reactions to the situation, not some kind of biological break. He told me there is no need to run businesses anywhere in the old humiliating, depressing way we could move together, as a culture, to workers controlling their own workplaces.


With each of the nine causes of depression and anxiety I learned about, I kept being taught startling facts and arguments like this that forced me to think differently. Professor John Cacioppo of Chicago University taught me that being acutely lonely is as stressful as being punched in the face by a stranger and massively increases your risk of depression. Dr Vincent Felitti in San Diego showed me that surviving severe childhood trauma makes you 3,100% more likely to attempt suicide as an adult. Professor Michael Chandler in Vancouver explained to me that if a community feels it has no control over the big decisions affecting it, the suicide rate will shoot up.

This new evidence forces us to seek out a very different kind of solution to our despair crisis. One person in particular helped me to unlock how to think about this. In the early days of the 21st century, a South African psychiatrist named Derek Summerfeld went to Cambodia, at a time when antidepressants were first being introduced there. He began to explain the concept to the doctors he met. They listened patiently and then told him they didnt need these new antidepressants, because they already had anti-depressants that work. He assumed they were talking about some kind of herbal remedy.

He asked them to explain, and they told him about a rice farmer they knew whose left leg was blown off by a landmine. He was fitted with a new limb, but he felt constantly anxious about the future, and was filled with despair. The doctors sat with him, and talked through his troubles. They realised that even with his new artificial limb, his old jobworking in the rice paddieswas leaving him constantly stressed and in physical pain, and that was making him want to just stop living. So they had an idea. They believed that if he became a dairy farmer, he could live differently. So they bought him a cow. In the months and years that followed, his life changed. His depressionwhich had been profoundwent away. You see, doctor, they told him, the cow was an antidepressant.

To them, finding an antidepressant didnt mean finding a way to change your brain chemistry. It meant finding a way to solve the problem that was causing the depression in the first place. We can do the same. Some of these solutions are things we can do as individuals, in our private lives. Some require bigger social shifts, which we can only achieve together, as citizens. But all of them require us to change our understanding of what depression and anxiety really are.

This is radical, but it is not, I discovered, a maverick position. In its official statement for World Health Day in 2017, the United Nations reviewed the best evidence and concluded that the dominant biomedical narrative of depression is based on biased and selective use of research outcomes that must be abandoned. We need to move from focusing on chemical imbalances, they said, to focusing more on power imbalances.

After I learned all this, and what it means for us all, I started to long for the power to go back in time and speak to my teenage self on the day he was told a story about his depression that was going to send him off in the wrong direction for so many years. I wanted to tell him: This pain you are feeling is not a pathology. Its not crazy. It is a signal that your natural psychological needs are not being met. It is a form of grief for yourself, and for the culture you live in going so wrong. I know how much it hurts. I know how deeply it cuts you. But you need to listen to this signal. We all need to listen to the people around us sending out this signal. It is telling you what is going wrong. It is telling you that you need to be connected in so many deep and stirring ways that you arent yet but you can be, one day.

If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life.

This is an edited extract from Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari, published by Bloomsbury on 11 January (16.99). To order a copy for 14.44 go to or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of 1.99. It will be available in audio at

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As Bitcoin Sinks, Crypto Bros Party Hard on a Blockchain Cruise

When 600 cryptocurrency lovers set sail from Singapore on Monday night for their 2nd yearly Blockchain Cruise, the cost of Bitcoin was hovering easily above $13,500.

By the time their 1,020-foot-long ship pulled into Thailand on Wednesday, for an afternoon of endless beverages and crypto-focused talks on a sun-soaked personal beach, Bitcoin had actually cratered to $10,000.

The group of primarily boys, a lot of whom ended up being hugely abundant– a minimum of on paper– as Bitcoin and other digital tokens escalated in 2015, had in all probability simply lost millions.

But if anybody was fazed, they #x &didn 2019; t reveal it. The celebration rolled on as the sangria and Red Bull streamed, Bitcoin-themed rap music blasted and drones recorded everything from above.

&#x 201C; Nothing increases in a straight line, &#x 201D; discussed Ronnie Moas, the creator of Miami Beach-based Standpoint Research, who was among the occasion &#x 2019; s speakers on Wednesday. In a best-case situation, he stated, Bitcoin might leap to $300,000 in just 7 years.

For doubters of the crypto trend, it &#x 2019; s hard not to see all this as another indication of runaway liveliness– a repeat of the boosterish Las Vegas securitization conference, celebrated in The Big Short , that preceded the subprime home mortgage crisis of 2007. The unfaltering optimism on display screen at this week &#x 2019; s Blockchain Cruise likewise brings a caution for anybody wagering on a cryptocurrency crash: It &#x 2019; s going to take more than a 50 percent drop in Bitcoin from its Dec. 18 high to drive out the diehards.

&#x 201C; This is something that you either think in or not, &#x 201D; stated Moas, who has actually ended up being a crypto-celebrity after releasing dizzying rate projections for Bitcoin.

The cruise &#x 2019; s diverse list of speakers consisted of Jose Gomez, a previous assistant to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; Kaspar Korjus, the head of Estonia &#x 2019; s e-residency program (which might release its own cryptocurrency); and Jorg Molt, an early digital currency backer whose claim to hold 250,000 Bitcoins (worth $2.8 billion at the present rate) couldn &#x 2019; t be validated.

But maybe the greatest draw was John McAfee, the anti-virus software application leader with a checkered past. In 2012, while residing in Belize, McAfee had altercations with regional cops for supposed unlicensed drug production and weapons ownership, however was launched without charge. At one point, Belize authorities began a search for him as an individual of interest in connection with the murder of his next-door neighbor. Due to the fact that of persecution by corrupt authorities, McAfee stated he was innocent and that he left Belize.

He now assists run MGT Capital Investments Inc. , a small-cap tech business with a Bitcoin mining company. He has actually ended up being a cryptocurrency evangelist on Twitter, promoting the innovation and different tokens to his more than 700,000 fans. Coinsbank, the digital currency exchange and wallet operator that arranged the cruise, made him a heading speaker.

On Wednesday, McAfee blamed the current market depression on unproven worry of federal government intervention. He advised cryptocurrency holders– among whom sported a &#x 201C; Buy The Dip &#x 201D; tee shirt– to stick to their bets.

Read more: Bitcoin Fall Extends to 25% as Fears of Crypto Crackdown Linger

&#x 201C; You can not require a restriction on a dispersed system, &#x 201D; McAfee stated in an interview after his speech. &#x 201C; It &#x 2019; s like how do you prohibit smoking cigarettes weed? You can &#x 2019; t restriction it. Individuals will return. &#x 201D;

Not every discussion on the Blockchain Cruise focused on cryptocurrencies. Participants, unsurprisingly, had plenty to state about blockchain– the dispersed journal innovation that underpins Bitcoin– and its prospective to enhance markets from financing to healthcare.

Charity was likewise a subject raised by speakers consisting of Moas, who prompted the audience to contribute a few of their newly found wealth and help in reducing international inequality.

Many participants have even more than they require.

Rowan Hill, a previous coal miner in Australia, stated he retired by 26 after participating the crypto boom early. After the cruise, he &#x 2019; s going to Japan for a four-week snowboarding journey.

&#x 201C; A great deal of individuals can &#x 2019; t stand the cost swings &#x 201D; in digital currencies, Hill stated, wearing a fedora and sunglasses as he relaxed on the beach. &#x 201C; The typical individual simply offers, and they lose. &#x 201D;

Joe Stone, an Australian who buys digital properties, stated market decreases are simpler to bear in the business of fellow lovers. For numerous on the cruise, the next stop is another cryptocurrency conference in Bangkok.

&#x 201C; There &#x 2019; s no place I &#x 2019;d rather be, &#x 201D; stated Stone, after a late night of socializing at the ship &#x 2019; s stogie bar over bourbons. &#x 201C; Otherwise I &#x 2019;d simply be at my computer system. &#x 201D;

For more on cryptocurrencies, have a look at the &#xA 0; podcast:

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    Is Your Work Affecting Your Health?

    Do you have a good work health balance

    Health is that property that is precious in all respects. a very good health is the signal of a wealthy and rich character. health is that situation at which the version of the body with respect to physical or mental procedures takes the region. The well being of individual’s fitness now not most effective relies upon on environmental conditions, but also on his/her working conditions. consequently, our operating profile has a deep have an effect on our fitness each in a positive or poor direction. The positive consequences of working profile on our fitness are as follows:

    • Social Concord:

    If the working profile includes crew paintings, then it promotes social harmony, unification, and coordination. It presents a higher environment, thereby promoting social contacts for you to provide a prestigious role within the society and this is nice for our intellectual and mental fitness.

    • Health-enhancing items and offerings

    If our paintings profile belongs to high incomes then it offers so many luxuries and intellectual peace. by using the money we can buy health improving items and services. health improving goods and services makes the frame suit and high-quality.

    maintaining good health

    • Know-how and enjoy

    If the process consists of coaching and writing jobs, then it increases so much knowledge and revels in which provides to the personality of the person. It makes the person be the first rate in shape to a developing society. An individual reveals his or her photo to be very prestigious in this high profile international. as a result of it, man preserves a great intellectual and psychological fitness.

    • Reduced Weight

    If our working profile contains to work in a timely manner, then it is right for our bodily health, it reduces our weight and preserves our parent. A maintained parent provides to the beauty of people, especially for girls.

    heep in shape

    • Status

    If an operating profile includes the job of excessive designation, then it presents a fantastic reputation to the character by using which he earns so much status and admire which has superb psychological effects on his or her health.

    The poor consequences of running profile on our fitness are as follows:

    • Stress

    If the occupation includes engineering, software program improvement and different managerial jobs, and many others then it calls for waking up at night, that’s a way toward strain and hence causes depression and coronary heart disorder in conjunction with joint ache.

    • Uneven Ecosystem

    If the activity incorporates to work in smoke generating factories and factories of manufacturing disposal of choppy smell then the character suffer from allergic reactions, respiratory troubles and blood infections and so forth.

    • Insult

    If the working atmosphere includes an impolite boss, then insult is part of the job which man or woman has to tolerate which has harsh outcomes on intellectual and mental health of the man or woman even it loses his or her appetite which has harmful consequences on blood circulation of the body thereby inflicting darkish circles and darkish spots at the face and different parts of the body.

    Subsequently, our health is completely stimulated with the aid of our operating profile.

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    Mark E Smith, founder and lead singer with the Fall, dies aged 60

    Famously fractious singer had been suffering from ill health throughout 2017

    Mark E Smith, founder and lead singer with the Fall, dies aged 60

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    On its 100th birthday in 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming

    Benjamin Franta: Somebody cut the cake brand-new files expose that American oil writ big was alerted of worldwide warming at its 100th birthday celebration.

    It was a common November day in New York City. The year: 1959. Robert Dunlop, 50 years photographed and old later on as clean-shaven, hair thoroughly parted, his earnest face putting on horn-rimmed glasses, passed under the Ionian columns of Columbia University’s renowned Low Library. He was a visitor of honor for a grand celebration: the centennial of the American oil market.

    Over 300 federal government authorities, economic experts, historians, researchers, and market executives existed for the Energy and Man seminar– arranged by the American Petroleum Institute and the Columbia Graduate School of Business– and Dunlop was to attend to the whole parish on the “prime mover” of the last century– energy– and its significant source: oil. As President of the Sun Oil Company, he understood business well, and as a director of the American Petroleum Institute– the market’s biggest and earliest trade association in the land of Uncle Sam– he was accountable for representing the interests of all those lots of oilmen collected around him.

    Four others signed up with Dunlop at the podium that day, among whom had actually made the journey from California– and Hungary prior to that. The nuclear weapons physicist Edward Teller had, by 1959, ended up being ostracized by the clinical neighborhood for betraying his associate J. Robert Oppenheimer, however he kept the welcome of market and federal government. Teller’s job that November 4th was to deal with the crowd on “energy patterns of the future,” and his words brought an unforeseen caution:

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    Ladies and gentlemen, I am to talk with you about energy in the future. I will begin by informing you why I think that the energy resources of the past need to be supplemented. Of all, these energy resources will run short as we utilize more and more of the fossil fuels. I would [ …] want to discuss another reason we most likely need to search for extra fuel products. And this, oddly, is the concern of polluting the environment. […] You produce carbon dioxide Whenever you burn standard fuel. […] The co2 is undetectable, it is transparent, you cannot smell it, it is not harmful to health, so why should one stress over it?

    Carbon dioxide has a weird home. It transfers noticeable light however it soaks up the infrared radiation which is produced from the earth. Its existence in the environment triggers a greenhouse impact […] It has actually been computed that a temperature level increase representing a 10 percent boost in co2 will suffice to immerse and melt the icecap New York. All the seaside cities would be covered, and considering that a substantial portion of the mankind resides in seaside areas, I believe that this chemical contamination is more severe than many people have the tendency to think.

    How, exactly, Mr. Dunlop and the rest of the audience responded is unidentified, however it’s tough to envision this being welcome news. After his talk, Teller was asked to “sum up quickly the risk from increased co2 material in the environment in this century.” The physicist, as if thinking about a mathematical estimate issue, reacted:

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    At present the co2 in the environment has actually increased by 2 percent over regular. By 1970, it will be possibly 4 percent, by 1980, 8 percent, by 1990, 16 percent [about 360 parts per million, by Teller’s accounting ], if we keep with our rapid increase in making use of simply traditional fuels. By that time, there will be a major extra obstacle for the radiation leaving the earth. Our world will get a little warmer. It is tough to state whether it will be 2 degrees Fahrenheit or just one or 5.

    But when the temperature level does increase by a couple of degrees over the entire world, there is a possibility that the icecaps will begin melting and the level of the oceans will start to increase. Well, I have no idea whether they will cover the Empire State Building or not, however anybody can determine it by taking a look at the map and keeping in mind that the icecaps over Greenland and over Antarctica are maybe 5 thousand feet thick.

    And so, at its hundredth birthday celebration, American oil was alerted of its civilization-destroying capacity.

    Talk about a buzzkill.

    How did the petroleum market react? 8 years later on, on a cold, clear day in March, Robert Dunlop strolled the halls of the United States Congress. The 1967 oil embargo was weeks away, and the Senate was examining the capacity of electrical automobiles. Dunlop, affirming now as the Chairman of the Board of the American Petroleum Institute, presented the concern, “tomorrow’s cars and truck: electrical or fuel powered?” His chosen response was the latter:

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    We in the petroleum market are persuaded that by the time an useful electrical vehicle can be mass-produced and marketed, it will not delight in any significant benefit from an air contamination perspective. Emissions from internal-combustion engines will have long given that been managed.

    Dunlop went on to explain development in managing carbon monoxide gas, laughing gas, and hydrocarbon emissions from vehicles. Missing from his list? The toxin he had actually been cautioned of years prior to: co2.

    We may assume that the odor-free gas just passed under Robert Dunlop’s nose undetected. Less than a year later on, the American Petroleum Institute silently got a report on air contamination it had actually commissioned from the Stanford Research Institute, and its caution on carbon dioxide was direct:

    Significant temperature level modifications are practically specific to take place by the year 2000, and these might bring about weather modifications. […] there appears to be no doubt that the prospective damage to our environment might be serious. […] toxins which we typically disregard due to the fact that they have little regional result, CO2 and submicron particles, might be the reason for major global ecological modifications.

    Thus, by 1968, American oil kept in its hands yet another notification of its items’ world-altering adverse effects, one verifying that international warming was not simply trigger for research study and issue, however a truth requiring restorative action: “Past and present research studies of CO2 are detailed,” the Stanford Research Institute encouraged. “What is doing not have, nevertheless, is […] pursue systems where CO2 emissions would be brought under control.”

    This early history brightens the American petroleum market’s long-running awareness of the planetary warming triggered by its items. Teller’s caution, exposed in paperwork I discovered while browsing archives, is another brick in a growing wall of proof.

    In the closing days of those positive 1950s, Robert Dunlop might have been among the very first oilmen to be alerted of the disaster now looming prior to us. By the time he left this world in 1995 , the American Petroleum Institute he as soon as led was rejecting the environment science it had actually been notified of years previously, assaulting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and combating environment policies any place they developed.

    This is a history of options made, courses not taken, and the fall from grace of among the best business– oil, the “prime mover”– ever to tread the earth. Whether it’s likewise a history of redemption, nevertheless partial, stays to be seen.

    American oil’s awareness of international warming– and its conspiracy of silence, blockage, and deceit– goes even more than any one business. It extends beyond (though consists of ) ExxonMobil. The market is linked to its core by the history of its biggest agent, the American Petroleum Institute.

    It is now far too late to stop a good deal of modification to our world’s environment and its worldwide payload of damage, illness, and death. We can battle to stop environment modification as rapidly as possible, and we can discover the history of how we got here. There are lessons to be discovered, and there is justice to be served.

    Benjamin Franta (@BenFranta) is a PhD trainee in history of science at Stanford University who studies the history of environment modification science and politics. He has a PhD in used physics from Harvard University and is a previous research study fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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