To the editor:
A recent letter from William Klessens bashes anyone who questions the media narrative of a coming man-made climate crisis.
But his letter is full of errors that need correcting.
First, he tells us that climate deniers don’t read accredited scientific journals, citing Discover and Scientific American as examples. Those are not scholarly journals but popular science magazines which tend to sensationalize and exaggerate stories.
He says that we should listen experts like Michael Mann. But Mann’s credibility was severely damaged by the Climate Gate scandal, and when his temperature hockey stick graph was shown to be the product of an illegitimate merging of two data sets by Steve McIntyre.
Next he talks about the plight of the polar bears. But Canadian zoologist Susan Crockford has shown that the polar bear population is thriving and is at its highest level in at least 50 years.
How about his claim that the Great Barrier Reef is dying? Wrong again. Australia’s environment minister, Sussan Ley, after inspecting the reef, declared that the Great Barrier Reef is not dead, is not dying and is not even on life support.
While there was significant bleaching due to the warm 2016-17 El Nino years, many of those areas that were bleached were recovering two years later.
Then he claims that “much of Greenland’s ice has melted.” Less than 0.1% of Greenland’s ice melts in the summer, and it is replenished by snow in the winter. While the summer of 2019 did see the seventh largest summer ice melt since 1979, prompting a media frenzy of disaster stories, those stories neglected to tell readers that 2017 and 2018 were the lowest ice melt years of this millennium.
Then Klessens really goes off the rails.
He tries to blame climate change skeptics for plastic pollution in the oceans. He also longs to go back to the “good old days” prior to the industrial revolution, when he says that the air was cleaner because no fossil fuels were used. But, in those days, everyone was burning coal or wood in their homes, so how can he say for sure that the air was cleaner then?
Our air is very clean today because our clean air laws require that pollutants be removed from the exhaust of automobiles and power plants.
Climate science has become controversial because of the dogmatism of anthropogenic global warming advocates. But there are thousands of scientists who dispute either the amount of warming or its causes.
Furthermore, since half of the alleged warming since the late 1800s occurred before CO2 could be a factor, we simply don’t have enough understanding to differentiate between warming caused by increases in CO2, solar variances or other natural factors.
But politicians, radical environmentalists and some institutional climate scientists have attempted to shut down the debate and claim that the science is settled. They also try to scare the public with unfounded claims tying virtually every societal problem and weather event to man-made climate change.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from history, it’s that claims of consensus science and scare tactics are the last refuges of scoundrels.
Meanwhile, the best evidence that we do have is that CO2 is responsible for the increased greening of the planet since we started monitoring the Earth from space, it has helped improve agricultural yields, and cheap fossil fuel energy has helped bring hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
Therefore we need an honest and open debate on the extent, causes and effects of global warming, as well as the most cost effective and least disruptive ways of reducing CO2 emissions, if necessary.