I genuinely like Thorpe Watson, who wrote to you earlier this week disputing the science of climate change (Real science disputes climate claims Trail Times May 1).
But I like him in the same way I like some of the missionaries that come to my door; I admire that they are acting on their principles and beliefs—something that not enough people do. I just happen to disagree with their arguments.
Here are some of the arguments Thorpe advanced with which I disagree:
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, but rather is a vital plant food. Yes, plants need CO2. No, that doesn’t mean that too much CO2 can’t actually be a bad thing for plants, or for the planet.
There is not enough CO2 in the atmosphere, and even burning all the world’s coal, gas and oil will not restore the CO2 that’s been taken out of the atmosphere by things like limestone formation. Yes, there is more CO2 stored in limestone and other formations than there is in the atmosphere. No, that doesn’t mean that pumping lots more CO2 into the atmosphere is harmless.
Arctic sea ice disappearance is an alarmist myth; it’s all natural variability (the link he gave to support this argument doesn’t work). According to NASA, last September’s Arctic ice cover was the lowest on record, and nine out of the ten smallest winter maximums on record occurred in the last ten years. The extent of sea ice in Antarctica is actually increasing. Here’s a link from NASA that does work: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html.
They explain that the Antarctic sea ice extent is increasing because the ice from the mainland is flowing out to sea much faster, and that the continent has been losing 24 cubic miles of ice per year since 2002.
The “alarmist narrative” violates the second law of thermodynamics. Last I checked the earth was not an isolated system, which is what this law applies to. Among the important influences from outside the system is solar energy.
The alarmists are now referring to “global warming” as “climate change”. I’m not sure what this would prove if it were true, but note that the UN Framework Convention on Climate change was concluded sixteen years ago, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change was created over thirty years ago. Climate scientists have never called it global warming, because that’s such a poor description of what’s really happening.