I thank Tom Harris for his response ("Wrong Questions" in the June 10 Dispatch). In his letter Mr. Harris says that I am wrong to assert that 97 percent of scientists doing the research agree the globe is warming, and that it is due to the massive quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.
He goes on to say that no one knowledgeable in the field says there has been any global warming in the 21st century and that statements like these are garnered by polling the wrong people. These are shocking statements from the executive director of the apparently ineptly named International Climate Science Coalition.
He makes many claims, few holding up under scrutiny. He doesnt seem to be aware the 97 percent consensus of scientists in agreement is based on several peer-reviewed-studies showing this and that these are the scientists who are most doing the research on climate science. These are the scientists publishing their findings in peer-reviewed journals, the top experts in their field.
He claims that these are the wrong people and seems to want to ask someone else. I wonder who he would like to ask. Auto mechanics? Carpenters? Dental hygienists?
As for the no-warming claim, both NASA and NOAA agree that 2010 was tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record globally. I guess according to Mr. Harris, the scientists at NASA and NOAA are not knowledgeable in the field.
Mr. Harris goes on to make another startling claim -- that we need to protect our children's health and futures by increasing our use of hydrocarbon fuels, especially coal. I'm not sure how pushing one of the dirtiest fuel sources available is protecting our children's health, as the negative effects of pollution from burning coal are widely known. Adverse health effects such as chronic bronchitis and asthma from particulate pollution, to loss of IQ from mercury poisoning are just a few.
He finishes off by claiming that it would be suicide for us to attempt to make the transition to a clean energy economy.
In fact, Germany is well on its way to making the transition to a renewable energy economy. Christian Democratic Party Minister Peter Altmaier claimed in an interview recently that Germany is on schedule to considerably exceed its 2010 renewable energy targets (for example 30 percent of primary energy and 50 percent of electricity from renewables by 2030). All of this while simultaneously scrapping their nuclear program after the Fukushima disaster and remaining Europe's economic powerhouse.
This hardly sounds like suicide.
Mr. Harris seems to want to keep us doing business as usual, something climate scientists say we cannot do without our children paying some serious consequences for our shortsightedness.
Spring Garden Twp.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Citizens Climate Lobby