Letter on climate hange influenced by disinformation

17 Feb 2020 | 02:17

    Clearly Mr. Markarian’s letter to the editor on Feb 13-19 is influenced by the fossil fuel disinformation campaign. U.S. Courts have rejected their specious arguments.

    First, the phrase “Global Warming” did not morph into “Climate Change”. A 2002 confidential memo authored by Frank Luntz to President Bush advised the phrase "global warming" should be abandoned in favor of "climate change". This was suggested to ensure the public would continue to believe uncertainty exists in the climate science debate.

    Second, it is myth that 1970s climate debate focused on “global cooling”. Very few climatologists at the time supported the idea of a global cooling, and Ronald Regan's National Science Academy rejected the notion. Dr. Steven Schneider, a major proponent of the “global cooling” hypothesis, later explained the predicted ice age never materialized. The models did not foresee the significant reduction of sulfur and smoke emissions and underestimated the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Third, Al Gore and Gretta Thunberg merely relayed the IPCC predictions using models that were later validated by Koch-funded study conducted by University of Berkeley. The “Al Gore” prediction of dire consequences appears to be true as evident by rising seas and glacial thawing worldwide particularly in Greenland and the Artic. Indeed, New York and Miami streets were covered with sea water. It is too early to tell if “Gretta Thunberg” prediction is valid but 2018 National Climate Assessment Report seems to substantiate the IPCC conclusions. Even though natural forces affecting climate are still in play, the massive release of greenhouse gases account for over 90 percent of the warming experienced since the industrial revolution began.

    Forth, the discussion of food production shows a general misunderstanding of the basic premises of Capitalism and the profit motive. Global warming induced droughts and floods severely damaged crops. Changing seasonal patterns have also diminished harvests. With over 10 percent of the world’s population as undernourished or malnourished, entrepreneurs will produce more food. A combination of better harvesting techniques and increase use of fertilizers play a significant part in agriculture.

    Fifth, in regards to Electric Vehicles, renewable electric generation is competitive with fossil fuel generation even in the US. As the grid becomes cleaner, powering EVs will become less polluting. In the meantime, EVs are becoming more competitive and less costly to operate than Internal Combustion Engine vehicles. Auto manufactures recognize this and have invested heavily in EV production facilities-another win for Capitalism.

    The climate denier arguments benefit those who hold the fossil fuel reserves- Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and state-controlled companies. In the United States, the climate denier arguments justify the billions of dollars of fossil fuel subsidies. In either case, the climate denier arguments are not based on science.

    Greg Gorman

    Hamburg