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LETTER: Maybe now's the time to get a little hysterical


Ed McDonald plays strange games with facts and logic. Yes, we are aware of previous climate changes, none of them having anything to do with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. And we all know that we are mortal – just another species living within a given environmental time frame that will end someday, like everything else.

But there was a good chance, barring a cataclysmic meteorologically-related event or volcanic eruption or similar catastrophe, that we could go on living on this planet for many thousands of years.

There are a number of information centres that deny the role CO2 plays in global warming. McDonald and his camp don’t even believe the planet has warmed.

Whatever the source of their data, NASA believes it and ‘claims’: that 19 of 20 warmest years on record in modern history have all occurred since 1996, the warmest, 2016, the exception 1998. Some of the results are shrinking glaciers, loss of sea ice, sea level rise, more extreme  weather phenomena. Temperatures in the ant-arctic are unprecedented in modern history. These figures are consistent with those of the Climate Research Unit and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But McDonald perhaps has too much faith in other areas of science. As a matter of fact we do build things that crash down, engineer bad airplane designs that end in tragedy, and develop, sell and use harmful drugs. The thing with Earth though, is, we only have one, so double-blind experiments are out.

His “credibility problem” has a credibility problem. These days even economic forums like that in Davos recently, are forced to face realities others refuse to do: everything, including economics in all its manifestations, will have to take in the fact of climate change and global warming.

What has small amounts of anything, got to do with anything, per se? One drop of certain toxins will kill a human being. The tiniest amount of fluorine in drinking water is efficacious in strengthening dental enamel (but may have deleterious effects for some, as well). There are endless examples.

There is no doubt CO2 concentrations have increased since pre-industrial times. Their effect in the greenhouse phenomenon has been known and predicted for well over 100 years.

But it is difficult to see the logic in the willingness to take the mere chance, heavily researched and documented opinion not-withstanding, that CO2 will make the planet unliveable in a very short time.

Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert