John Kelley, in an op-ed last Sunday, expressed frustration that climate change isn’t taken more seriously. Mr. Kelley attributes climate change solely to CO2 and thinks we can change the climate. While global temperatures have been essentially flat since 1997, greenhouse gases do contribute to global warming. According to the American Chemical Society, water vapor, which comprises 70 percent of the greenhouses gases, contributes over 60 percent of the warming effect. CO2 makes up only 6 percent of the greenhouse gases.
We are now in a naturally occurring 1,500-year warming cycle. This is in addition to the fact that we are in the warming phase of the interglacial period, which NOAA says is thought to be caused by variations in the Earth’s orbit and changes in solar radiation (see ncdcnoaa.gov). Arctic glaciers are melting in the more heavily populated Northern Hemisphere. At the same time, the ice sheet over Antarctica is growing and is now bigger than the continent of Europe. The USGS says the current warming period could last for the next, oh, 10,000 years or so. Maybe Mr. Kelley can do something to change that.
China is building or planning to build more than 700 of the 1,600 new coal-fired power plants planned or under construction in 62 countries. China and India together build an average of one new huge coal-fired power plant every week. I would suggest Mr. Kelley write a letter to the China Peoples Daily.
Sorry, Mr. Kelley, but the world isn’t going to end in 12 years, and ranting about it isn’t going to change that.