Columnist’s arguments not supported by facts
Charlie Leonard’s column about the U.S. chamber had multiple factual errors (“Aspen’s Chicken Littles are back,” March 7, The Aspen Times). His false statements are below, followed by the correct information.
The Earth isn’t experiencing a “rapid warming trend.”
University of California scientist and climate skeptic Richard Muller recently found, in a study funded by the Koch brothers, that warming is “on the high end” and “speeding up.” (http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/10/30/356783/koch-fueled-study-finds-recent-warming-on-the-high-judith-curry/). He published his results on the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Two degrees warming isn’t “catastrophic.”
George W. Bush-appointed economist and scientist Rajendra Pachauri, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, signed a report in 2007 that warns of catastrophic and unavoidable consequences if the atmosphere warms by more than 2 degrees Celsius.
“A considerable number of scientists are actually split on whether the most recent decade actually demonstrated a cooling trend.” 2010 was the hottest year in recorded history. The past decade was the hottest in the temperature record. These numbers can be fact-checked through NASA, and there is no debate on this by climatologists.
Leonard says that the Earth has warmed in the past. True, the Earth responds to climate “forcings.” A natural cycle requires a forcing, and no known forcing exists that fits the fingerprints of observed warming – except anthropogenic greenhouse gases. When the earth warmed in the past, species extinction occurred.
“I don’t dispute that it’s probably a good idea to start reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and neither does the U.S. chamber.” The U.S. chamber has opposed every single piece of proposed climate legislation and supports weakening the EPA’s ability to regulate CO2.
It’s fine to have a policy conversation in the paper, but we shouldn’t mess with the truth.
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