I challenge Mr. Turk to determine for himself the authenticity of the actual process by which the “percent of scientists” number was extracted and embellished upwards to 97 percent of all scientists. Yes, Mr. Turk, that number is challenged and the topic is still an active debate.
Go back to the ’90s (how old was Mr. Turk?) when an overall value of average Watts per square meter (W/m2) per degree Celsius was proclaimed for global-temperature rise. Individual forcing functions (a very proper term) of W/m2 were estimated for a set of known possible parameters. Anything that was unknown was left unknown, and the difference between the proclaimed overall value and the sum of estimates was attributed to CO2 increases. This was the best that could be done, since direct modeling was poor, but a further official prediction of plus 1.0C per plus 100 ppm of CO2 set off the “calamitology” scare in the media. There was apparently a host of scientists, not part of the inner group of selected scientists, who knew that the linearity claim was nonsense. (While working full time elsewhere — not in climatology – I used a simple Occam’s razor approach to show that the dependence was logarithmic, not linear.) The logarithmic dependence was indeed recognized by the official scientists but the official projections of temperature rise per doubling of CO2 were still ominous, with a huge fan spread of possible calamities. Surprisingly (?), the fan of predictions did not even accurately project backward into the years with lower atmospheric CO2. This failure of authenticity has not been acknowledged. And the constantly revised fan projections are still excessive.
Let’s move farther through the letter. CO2 is certainly a boon, not a pollutant; there would be no plant life (and no animal life) without CO2. And if CO2 were not an infrared absorber the Earth would be about 7 degrees Celsius colder, but now, correctly or not, we complain. The genuine pollutants are the carbon particulates. If CO2 is a pollutant, then oxygen could also be said to be a pollutant because it causes fires and is used in all explosives. The oceans have been rising by one foot a century for centuries, and so it is senseless to set alarms about that.
Present Earth temperatures are increasing by about 0.01C per year (1.0C per temperature). Increased CO2 directly accounts for about 25 percent of the so-called “greenhouse-gases” blanket, H2O atmospheric absorption is less than 25 percent, “other” absorber molecules account for less than 10 percent, and convection from the tropics corresponds to about 50 percent. Without the convection (which is not a greenhouse gas), the temperatures in the temperate zones would be about 7C colder; we would truly be complaining. I wonder if that was mentioned in class. We should recognize a good thing when we have it and not just be making calamity-cum-belief proclamations. And we may be reducing future increases because of coincidental declines within the composite cycles of solar and Earth cycles, and eventually may have a reversal of temperature increases because of a return to another Ice Age.
The last paragraph in the letter reads “we can reverse global warming if we act” quickly but, if a reversal implies, as it must, a removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, then that is likely another incorrect classroom stuffing of the brain. Reducing CO2 to its C and O2 constituents requires a large amount of energy, more energy than the heat energy released when burning C. As long as any of the energy used to serve human needs employs the burning of carbon, then any energy expended to reduce CO2 – whether from alternative fuels or C burning — will increase the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. It’s a false hope to reduce any CO2 in the atmosphere until all energy needs can be provided by alternative fuel. And if at any time we have the capability to convert all human carbon-based energy to alternative energies, then the (conservative) cost of just the storage batteries alone (for today’s power requirements) will exceed $4,000 trillion.
Finally, I believe Mr. Turk should make an abject apology to Professor Happer.