Re “A White House Role” (On the Campus, Oct. 24): I believe parts of this article were misleading — specifically, the paragraph that stated “most” climate scientists endorse the theory of anthropogenic climate change and mentioned William Happer *64’s positive outlook on increased CO2 levels.
“Most” could mean 51 percent, from which someone might conclude there is still an active debate in the scientific community. This is the very tactic used by people who want to spread doubt about climate change. In reality there is no debate; 97 percent of climate scientists are in consensus about its cause and catastrophic impacts.
Lending credence to the view that rising CO2 levels will promote plant growth is akin to highlighting optimal swimming conditions after a monsoon. The negative consequences of climate change are in an entirely different stratosphere: sea level rise between 1 and 4 feet, increased severity of extreme weather events, and slashing the U.S. economy 10 percent by 2100. If those sound alarmist, good: The alarms should be going off.
Let’s be clear: Happer is not a climate scientist. His authority on climate change is roughly equivalent to Michael Jordan’s on hockey.
We can reverse global warming if we act fast, but that first requires a universal acceptance of the problem. Happer has sought to undermine that aim, and he now has our president’s ear. He is a dangerous presence in the White House, a fact I had hoped the article would emphasize.