By Letter to the Editor on April 2, 2020.
Re: “Earth Hour still about propaganda,” March 19 Herald.
When I first read this article, I was somewhat perplexed. Is this just a couple of climate change deniers in disguise? In fact, they are – but they come at climate change from an unexpected direction in trying to make the case that CO2 has nothing to do with climate change. In fact, they claim that “any global warming caused by fossil-fuel combustion is likely very small.”
Dr. Lehr and Mr. Harris are, purposefully, in my opinion, conflating climate change with pollution (as does Trump). They do this in order to deny that human activities are causing the Earth to warm. Plants in greenhouses thrive, they say, with CO2 levels much higher than atmospheric levels “with no hint of consequent temperature rise.” High CO2 levels in submarines cause “no harmful effects” to the crew so clearly such levels “pose no direct hazard to human health.” Basically their message seems to be that if some CO2 is good, more must be better. Under no circumstances should we eliminate the use of “life-giving fossil fuels and the miracle molecule of life, CO2.” We are in neither a submarine nor a greenhouse – these may be good analogies for other discussions but they are not models.
Like many people, when I think of carbon I think of carbon steel (excellent pots and pans, the best knives) and carbon filters (ditto). And I understand that CO2 contains a carbon atom and that “carbon” is, at least in the modern media, used interchangeably with CO2. My grandmother may have thought of “soot” when she thought of carbon – although I doubt it!
I find myself agreeing with Peter MacKay who says, “We have to be grounded in ways in which we can actually lower our greenhouse gas emissions.” Amazingly, I also agree with the UCP when Jason Kenney says “the United Conservatives accept the scientific consensus around anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.” And even Rachael Harder recognizes that the solution to climate change lies in innovation and technology (Lethbridge News Now). None of these Conservatives claim that CO2 has nothing to do with climate change.
My sense is that both Dr. Lehr and Mr. Harris are good old-fashioned snake-oil salesmen who know exactly what they are selling – propaganda.