To the Editor:
The State Hornet reported in January that Professor Joseph Palermo appeared on Tucker Carson’s Fox News program and that President Nelsen signed an open letter to President Trump. Both supported the Paris Climate Agreement. Combined with Governor Brown’s frequent news conferences on the topic, one might assume the climate change debate is over. There are at least three reasons to believe otherwise: (1) “scientific consensus” on climate change requires some qualification, (2) the global warming hypothesis deserves revisiting and (3) without fossil fuels modern prosperity doesn’t exist.
CO2 is not a pollutant; it’s plant food. Carbon is the basis of life. We fret over our carbon footprint, yet without carbon there would be no footprints. Want to do your part to reduce atmospheric CO2, stop exhaling the stuff.
Do 96 percent of scientists all agree man-caused climate change is real? Yes and no. In 2016, the American Meteorological Society surveyed its members. Among the membership, 96 percent believed climate change is happening, as defined by the AMS. The AMS definition of climate change includes natural external forcing, orbital elements, natural internal processes of the climate system and anthropogenic (man-made) forcing. So how much of the climate change is due to the latter category? The survey found that 29 percent believed climate change is entirely or largely man-made. Another 38 percent believed it is mostly man-made. One-third (33 percent) gave answers of less than “mostly.”
If you were born in 1997, the atmospheric content of CO2 during your lifetime has increased from 364 to 404 ppm (parts per million), yet the trend line for satellite measured global warming over that period remained flat. The climate models failed. The global warming hypothesis was not confirmed. Even climate activist Carl Mears admitted, “there is not much doubt that the rate of warming since the late 1990s is less than that predicted by most of the IPCC AR5 simulations of historical climate.” The fact is that not long ago the earth passed through other warming periods. Wine grapes once grew in Scotland, and Vikings built settlements in Greenland.
But in our day prosperity depends upon abundant, cheap, 24/7, scalable energy; think coal, oil, and natural gas. Like your cell phone? You can keep your cell phone, provided that America remains dotted with electronic data centers, each one consuming 100-200 times more electricity per square foot than does a modern office building. Try accomplishing that with those 300-foot bird slicers on the Altamont Pass.
Want to prove that quality of life and fossil fuels are inexorably linked? Google the growth curves for population (in billions of persons), life expectancy (in years), GDP per person (in thousands of 2009 dollars), and CO2 emissions (in billions of metric tons). Put the past 2,000 years on the x axes. You’ll see four identical graphs. Coincidence? No, when carbon muscle replaced human muscle, life in the western world vastly improved. If the climate nannies will just leave the developing countries alone for a while the feat will be replicated.
I’m just asking that we not close the debate. Professor Palermo, care to join me in the Union for a public debate? I’m not as handsome as Tucker Carlson, but every bit as fun.
Val R. Smith
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