The National Research Council, which writes fat, independent reports on complicated topics for policymakers, has at last weighed in on the utility— and possible consequences—of re-engineering the planet to ease global warming's worst impacts. Geoengineering has provided a shock of fresh air to climate debates in recent years because it's complicated, and that means it has initially resisted being deformed into either political party's talking points. It's a question fraught with moral, political, and scientific uncertainties. Fifty years ago this week, the White House first weighed in on global warming. President Lyndon Johnson wrote in a special message to Congress that "air pollution is no longer confined to isolated places. Several months later, Johnson's scientific advisers issued a report, Restoring the Quality of Our Environment (PDF), which was dug up last week by the news website Daily Climate. The team included Roger Revelle of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who had overseen the beginning of carbon dioxide monitoring and, three years later, would inspire a young Al Gore to pursue an interest in global warming.