Doug Heal says a lot of wise and true things about carbon in his letter to the North Star of July 4 (The facts about carbon dioxide).
But he’s dead wrong about climate change.
Science writer Dianne Dumanoski, reporting on ice-core drillings in Antarctica, finds that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are “far higher than any time in the past 800,000 years” and are “climbing faster than ever before” – adding, in just 17 years, an equivalent amount to what was added in the previous thousand years.
Her 2009 book draws attention also to the role of methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon. As enormous peat bogs across the northern world start to thaw, methane is release, “raising the prospect that the 1,600 billion tons of carbon” these peat bogs contain, “will be making its way to the atmosphere.”
If Doug is suggesting that the planet will survive the present warming, of course it will. Not many humans are likely to.
A. Frank Thompson