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John Topping, 77, Dies; Early Advocate for Climate Action

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore.

John Carruthers Topping Jr. was born on April 18, 1943, in Wilkinsburg, Pa., to John and Barbara Anne (Murray) Topping. His father was within the Air Force, and he had a peripatetic childhood that took the household to Scotland, Colorado, Germany, Maine, Japan and Massachusetts.

He graduated from Dartmouth in 1964 with a bachelor’s diploma in worldwide relations and earned a legislation diploma from Yale University in 1967.

After serving within the Air Force as a authorized officer within the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, he entered the federal authorities, working to advertise minority-owned companies on the Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise and the Office of Minority Business Enterprise, a part of the Department of Commerce, in the course of the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

Mr. Topping would later be part of the Reagan administration, first on the presidential personnel office after which on the Environmental Protection Agency, the place he served from 1982 till 1986, together with two years as workers director of the Office of Air and Radiation. During his time on the company, he threw himself into such efforts as eradicating lead from gasoline and establishing requirements for particulate air air pollution, in addition to finding out the dangers of secondhand smoke.

He married Linda Thompson in 1974. They divorced in 2000. In addition to his daughter Elizabeth, he’s survived by a brother, Dr. Trexler Topping; a son, John C. Topping III; one other daughter, Alexandra Van Beek; and 6 grandchildren.

“He saw solutions where other people just saw a problem,” his ex-wife, Linda Thompson Gonzalez, who final year was a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, mentioned in an interview. She recalled that via the years, Mr. Topping was “distraught” over the dearth of progress on local weather change “when the solutions are out there, right in front of you, and you fail to do the right thing.” But when he did face these frustrations, he would “take out his yellow pad,” she mentioned. “He expressed his frustration by trying to come up with a solution and a compelling response.”