The subheading on your Aug. 29 editorial reads: “New Gore film improves climate literacy.” Alas, no. Climate is a scientific issue, not a religious revival. Some of us disagree about evidence; we are not just “the unconverted.” What are the “objective facts”?
The standard argument that “more than half of climate change is due to human production of greenhouse gases” doesn’t settle the issue. Since preindustrial times, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have doubled, while global temperatures have increased about 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The “more than half” argument suggests that expected future carbon dioxide emissions will increase temperatures by less than 1 degree Celsius.
Yet climate advocates insist that future temperatures will rise by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius or even more. The view that temperature will not only increase but at an accelerated rate is an artifact of computer models, not actual experience. It’s odd to argue that, even though the predicted temperature increases have not yet occurred, their disastrous consequences are already evident. In our universe, effect cannot precede cause. The only documented impact of higher CO2 levels is improved crop yields and drought resistance — just when growth in food supply is critical.
The assertion of a “growing number of billion-dollar weather disasters here and abroad — devastated coastal landscapes, exploding glaciers and wildfires — and Miami streets flooded by blue sky high tides” is misleading.
There has been no increase in the frequency or severity of Atlantic storms. Irma did serious damage, but these storms are fortunately rare. Harvey, which slammed the Gulf Coast, was not a uniquely severe storm, but was pinned to the coast by high-pressure systems. These events were terrible, but unrelated to atmospheric CO2. The only catastrophic hurricanes to hit Cape Cod occurred in 1635 and 1938.
Read the full Op-Ed