Alarmism Not the Answer

Published June 26, 2006

Dear Editor:

In your June 25 article, “Why You Can’t Ignore the Changing Climate,” Eugene Linden suggested global warming is going to end our civilization. “A recurrent pattern of history has been for civilizations to take root while the weather is good, only to fall when the weather suddenly changes.” Linden’s alarmism is irresponsible, unwarranted, and based on dubious assumptions.

Linden writes that 2005 was the hottest year on record, when in fact hi-tech satellite temperature data taken from the upper atmosphere confirm this is not the case. He claims global warming is putting an end to the snows of Kilimanjaro, when in fact some scientists believe the snows are disappearing because of local weather anomalies and land use patterns at the base of the mountain.

Even if all Linden’s claims were true, carbon dioxide makes up only 4 percent of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere–most is water vapor. At the very most, we could cut perhaps one-third of our CO2 usage. That means humans realistically have the capability to reduce greenhouse gases only by 1 percent!

Prudence should guide this debate–not fear.


Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
Ostrander, OH

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. ([email protected]) is science director of The Heartland Institute and editor of several leading scientific reference books.