Will Happer, professor of physics, emeritus at Princeton University and Rod Nichols, former president of the New York Academy of Sciences, are members of the CO2 Coalition (CO2Coalition.org).
Carbon dioxide, CO2, is emphatically NOT a “pollutant.” All living things are built of carbon that comes from CO2. An increase in essential CO2 in the atmosphere will be a huge benefit to plants and agriculture. Satellite measurements show that the increase of CO2 over the last few decades has already caused a pronounced greening of the planet — especially in arid regions.
For tens of millions of years, plants have been coping with a “CO2 famine.” Current CO2 concentrations of a few hundred parts per million (ppm) are close to starvation levels compared to the several thousand ppm that prevailed over most of history.
We support the cost-effective control of real pollutants associated with the use of fossil fuels — for example, fly ash, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur or smog-forming volatile hydrocarbons. But CO2 isn’t a pollutant, and there’s no reason to control it.
Second, the “warming” from CO2 — and yes, CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” — has been much less than predicted by the climate models Obama bases his policies on. For 20 years, the temperature has been virtually unchanged, in stark contrast to model predictions.
The war on fossil fuels isn’t based on science but on unreliable climate models. Rather than trying to correct the models, Team Obama is trying to “dispute the science” by trying to manufacture scary warming trends.
A recent letter to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology by more than 300 experts on data quality pointed out that the feds’ attempt to erase or ignore evidence of the recent lack of global warming arguably violated the Data Quality Act of 2001, which requires that “highly influential scientific assessments,” bearing the imprimatur of the federal government, be subject to rigorous external peer review.