Letter: Climate change letter example of rampant denialism – Eagle-Tribune
To the editor:
The recent letter to the editor headlined “reaction to climate change based on extreme predictions” is a textbook example of far-right extremists’ denialism.
The author’s reference to the Heartland Institute as the source of his data is all one needed in order to recognize the denialism inherent in the letter because this “institute” is a front for some of the most extremist anti-science peddlers in the United States.
Funded by big oil and big tobacco, this institute, which in recent years was called out for fraudulently claiming that hundreds of scientists backed their positions, feeds far-right extremist the fraudulent assertion that CO2 emissions do not cause climate change. Additionally, in genuflecting to their big tobacco backers, they assert that smoking tobacco does not cause lung cancer, heart disease and numerous other illnesses linked to tobacco use. Even tobacco company researchers acknowledged the link decades ago, then intentionally hid their findings from the public.
So lets take a close look at how the letter to the editor and this institute blow off climate change in a way most people can appreciate by doing some simple arithmetic that most high school students will be able to do. The 1.5-degree increase in global warming the author calls no big deal means the following, given that the world’s oceans represent one huge energy storage battery that reflects the energy it absorbs back into the world’s climate in various very negative ways. The world’s oceans, in absorbing the additional heat from global warming that causes a 1.5-degree rise in the earth’s average temperature, will have absorbed an increase of 8.7 million trillion joules of energy from the excess heat from global warming that gets trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. Translating that into a number most people can appreciate, 8.7 million trillion joules of extra energy sitting in this huge global energy storage battery called our world’s oceans is as if over a million Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs got detonated on earth.
The anti-science crowd at the Heartland “Institute” wants to suggest this is no big deal as they cater to their far-right donors. But it’s a very big deal. Thousands of species of plant and animal life will completely die out; sea levels will rise significantly due to the melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice, displacing hundreds of millions of people and triggering wars due to immigration crises since most population centers are coastal; and droughts of biblical proportions will turn rich farmlands into dust bowls causing the starvation of tens of millions of people.
So when the climate change deniers say “a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees is no big deal,” think, instead, that what they are saying is that over a million atomic bombs being exploded in the earth’s atmosphere is no big deal. Any readers here think that over a million Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs being exploded in the earth’s atmosphere is no big deal?