Vernon Dixon made an interesting observation in his letter Sept. 9 pointing to what he claimed is a 97 percent consensus among climatologists about “man-made global warming.” His point was “97 percent of climatology experts who accept the science of climate change,” also “believe we must act decisively to combat it.”
The religious language is striking: “accept” and “believe.” Just so, man-made global warming is a religious dogma, not a science. Unfortunately, the myth of a “97 percent consensus” was put to rest in September 2013. Four climatologists showed the actual “consensus” was 0.3 percent and most definitely not 97 percent.
This 97 percent myth has long been known to be false, but gets repeated regularly. As Herman Cain says, the left just “keeps sayin’ it” until some people think it is true. This 97 percent myth is totally wrong. So is the idea that a little more carbon dioxide is a catastrophe.
In June, the co-founder of Greenpeace published a paper he described as “the most important paper I ever wrote,” titled “The Positive Impact of Human CO2 Emissions on the Survival of Life on Earth.” It is readily available on the web and worth your time, especially research on the history of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the past 500 million years while life existed on earth. An important part of his analysis is that at the end of the last ice age 18,000 years ago, carbon dioxide had declined to about 180 ppm. Green plants require at least 150 ppm to survive; they prosper when carbon dioxide levels are 10 times that high. That ice age came close to putting an end to all green plants — grass, trees and plankton.
Today at 400 ppm, carbon dioxide concentration is way below the average of what it had been over the past many millions of years, which was about 2,500 ppm. At this point in earth’s history, a little more carbon dioxide looks like a good idea.
I suggest the 97 percent myth is part of a political agenda to control energy use and distribution among poorer people, not just in the U.S. but in Africa. Since the wealthy will be able to afford as much electricity as they wish, they will not be bothered one way or the other. However, ordinary people would be put into a big pinch. How would you like to be required to choose between the stove and a light versus the refrigerator?
And forget about air conditioning. Two months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry said refrigerants used in air conditioning were as great a threat as carbon dioxide itself, “and the use of hydrofluorocarbons is unfortunately growing.” He was talking about refrigerants like those used in his State Department vehicle, which I suppose has an air conditioner. Also, I suppose he never questions whether the five homes he might visit should be cool when he gets there. After all, he and politicians like him are really important to life on earth, right?
As my mom used to tell me, “Be careful.”
W.T. (Ted) Hinds