Letter: Kellogg column misleading
I must reply to James Kellogg’s misleading column of Aug. 20:
He asserts, “ the demonization of carbon” shows President Obama’s “real goal” is putting “government in control of the U.S. economy and its citizens.” Really? Why isn’t his goal to reverse man-made global warming, as he states?
Kellogg argues that CO2 “comprises less than 0.04 percent of the atmosphere.” True. Also irrelevant.
CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas. It tips the balance of heat in the atmosphere in favor of warming.
A cup of water at room temperature might vary between 65 and 80 degrees in a day. This is analogous to “stable” atmospheric temperature. Add one drop of 120 degree water to the cup each minute. This represents the positive heating effect of greenhouse gases. Truly “critical thinking Americans” realize that just as the average temperature in the cup increases as the drips continue, so will atmospheric warming increase unless we counter the effects of the drivers.
Mr. Kellogg writes,“…science indicates that atmospheric warming causes increased CO2 levels. It’s not the other way around.” On the contrary, experts on climate and the atmosphere have solid, reproducible evidence that CO2 raises atmospheric temperature. We have a situation where CO2 levels rise due to human activity (95 percent confidence level), which raises temperatures, which raises CO2,…… etc. This positive feedback loop is why it is critical to get a handle on the problem. Yesterday was not too soon, and tomorrow is too late.
If one understands the threat of global climate change, one realizes that a global, multi-pronged strategy is necessary. President Obama’s proposals are a starting point. They would not, as Mr. Kellogg states, preclude either prosperity or freedom.
America has the technological know-how, the research capabilities and the entrepreneurial spirit to lead the world’s fight against climate change. What we lack is the political will. Somehow we must overcome the undue influence of entrenched industries focused on short-term profits. To achieve this we must educate enough of the electorate to overcome diehard, know-nothing ideologues.
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