Editor: David J. Standcumbe’s letter to the editor, headlined “Climate Extremism” (The Times, Nov. 24) claims that climate change cannot be stopped.This is untrue.
First, who does he refer to as these “climate change extremists?” Are these professional scientists who study climate change? Without proper knowledge of whom he talks about, it is unfair to decide against them.
Standcumbe says that “they” say climate change would not cease even if fossil fuel emissions stopped. Who are “they?” Without knowing the area of expertise of the people he is referring too, it is impossible to embrace his argument.
What is Standcumbe’s reasoning and evidence behind his statement? If fossil fuels stopped being burned, there would be less CO2 in the atmosphere, which would result in a lower greenhouse effect, and a cooler climate.
Standcumbe talks about the contribution of CO2 from volcanoes. Volcanoes produce enough CO2 to create an appropriate greenhouse effect to keep the earth warm enough to be habitable.
A more appropriate way to look at volcanoes is that they create the perfect greenhouse effect, and that we as people are burning fossil fuels which are resulting in a substantially larger then wanted greenhouse effect.
He claims forest fires also contribute to climate change. This is a complicated issue since forest fires may burn trees and release CO2 into the atmosphere, but forest fires allow for new growth, which results in quicker utilization of CO2.
He claims that carbon taxes and carbon trading would make some individuals feel better about their pollution, but that is all. It is unclear why this method would not work. They both encourage citizens to save money by reducing their carbon dioxide emissions. Why is it an ineffective idea?
Standcumbe cannot claim “there is nothing we can do about climate change,” because he presents too little valuable evidence.