The May 15 letter, “Today’s heat isn’t unusual; CO2 is needed to sustain life,” has several incorrect statements, five of which are quoted below.
“The Paris Accord admitted that if nothing was done, the average global temperature would rise by 1 degree 100 years from now.” Not so. The United Nations Paris Accord website states that the goal of the worldwide agreementt is to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) in the next 80 years.
“The average global temperature has risen about 1.5 degrees F since 1880.” Update: It has risen 1.78 F as of 2016 per NASA but most important, the entire 1.78 F rise has been since 1995. Temperatures fluctuated over and under the average from 1880 to 1995, but eight of the hottest 10 years on record have occurred since 1995.
“It will continue rising about 1 degree per century for another 100 to 200 years. A cooling cycle will follow.” Not so. Global temperature will rise by 4 C (7.2 F) at current rates by the year 2100 without intervention per scientific projections.
“Greenhouse gas, aka CO2, may help increase the temperature, but the current parts per million levels of CO2 are insignificant.” Not so. Per the EPA, atmospheric CO2 is now 407 PPM, 50 percent higher than 275 PPM, which is the highest level found in polar core ice samples that date back 500,000 years. The increase in CO2 correlates directly with the increased use of fossil fuels in the past century.
“From cnsnews.com on Aug. 4, 2006: From June 1-Aug. 31, 1930, there were 21 days of temperature exceeding 100 F in Washington, D.C. That summer has not been approached since then.” The Washington Post said there were 11 100-degree days in 1930.
In life-and-death matters, we typically seek expert advice from people we can trust. How about the National Academy of Sciences, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Navy? They are all reputable and nonpartisan, and they all treat climate change as a fact.
The 99.9 percent of scientists and the 99.5 percent of countries in the world who signed the Paris agreement view global warming as a threat. Green energy is cheaper in the long term and creates higher-paying jobs that can’t be exported to Asia. It is a conservative principle to be proactive if there is an identifiable risk.
A viable solution is offered by the Citizens Climate Lobby (citizensclimatelobby.org). We can face facts and take action now for the good of our children and grandchildren.