Greenhouse: The 200-Year Story of Global Warming

By Gale E. Christianson | Go to book overview

19

KYOTO

Nature never deceives us: it is always we
who deceive ourselves.

-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile

I am not an Athenian nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

-- Socrates, quoted in Plutarch, Of Banishment

It is ironic that fifty-two years before hosting the 1997 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, the city of Kyoto had barely missed being destroyed. It was one of four cities being considered as primary targets by President Harry Truman's secretary of war, Henry L. Stimson, and General Leslie Groves, head of the successful A-bomb project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. The others were Kokura, Hiroshima, and Niigata.

Designated the site of a new capital by the emperor Kammu in 794, Kyoto was laid out in the manner of Changan, the capital of China's Tang dynasty. It served as the seat of the emperors for more than 1,000 years until the Imperial Household moved to Tokyo in 1868, after the Meiji Restoration. Nevertheless, Japan's rulers were still enthroned in the former imperial palace, and Kyoto remained the center of Japanese culture. Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, which together number more than 2,000, dominate the urban landscape. Inside the walls of these sacred structures are Japan's most important works of art: paintings, carvings, exquisite silks, fine porcelain, cloisonné, and masterful examples of calligraphy. Japanese theater was founded in Kyoto, and the city is surpassed only by Tokyo in the number of its institutions of

-254-

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Greenhouse: The 200-Year Story of Global Warming
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Part One - The Time Travelers 1
  • 1 - The Guillotine and the Bell Jar 3
  • 2 - The Cryptic Moth 13
  • 3 - Endless and as Nothing 24
  • Part Two - The World Eaters 37
  • 4 - Quest for the Black Diamond 39
  • 5 - Cleopatra's Needles 54
  • 6 - Vulcan's Anvil 66
  • 7 - The Phantom of the Open Hearth 75
  • 8 - The Dynamo and the Virgin 92
  • Part Three - The Dwellers in the Crystal Palace 103
  • 9 - Native Son 105
  • 10 - Never a Man 116
  • 11 - Threshold 135
  • 12 - A Tap on the Shoulder 145
  • 13 - Pendulum 158
  • 14 - A Death in the Amazon 172
  • 15 - The Climatic Flywheel 192
  • 16 - Cassandra's Listeners 210
  • 17 - Signs and Portents 222
  • 18 - Scenarios 235
  • 19 - Kyoto 254
  • Coda 269
  • Bibliography 279
  • Acknowledgments 293
  • Index 295
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