May 24th, 2024

Article’s CO2 analogies don’t fit climate discussion

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.

Leslie Lavers


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My “sense” is that Hehr and Harris are experienced experts in the Climate field voicing their factual, data-based logical insights. In contrast, this writer appears to think that restating the prevailing media armwaving selective propaganda on the subject will suffice to refute that expertise. Anything for a moment of glory! Slow day at the Herald?


the real question. how come we had climate change many times before we had homo sapians on earth. it seems that we are giving our selves more credit in the power we have then we really have.


One way that humans can change the environment is by releasing 36 million tonnes of co2 annually into the atmosphere. The changes include atmospheric warming concentrated in the northern regions; ocean warming killing the coral; sea level rise; acidifying oceans; changing weather patterns and climate; melting the glaciers billions rely on for water the year around; and many other splendid civilization breakers.

Humans can also create a nuclear winter. And being so clever we can even dump so many toxins into the environment that it challenges the opportunities for existence of most species. Massive deforestation has further changed how weather works.

So, ya, humans shouldn’t be so modest about their abilities to create environmental mayhem.

John P Nightingale

Simple reply, because no one denies that the earth has cycled in and out of warming / cooling periods for millions of years. What is relevant now, is the rise in levels of CO2 since the the mid 18th century ie the Industrial revolution, which correlates with the most recent warming trend. You cannot rule out man-made emissions as being part of the equation, along with our part in destroying the natural carbon “sinks” such as continuing , uncontrolled forest degradation. .


the cavalier and carefree days of out of control human population growth embracing unlimited wants must cease. underwriting this madness is our economic approach, which is no longer sustainable. as too much of our energy use goes into producing for our wants, we can do much to clean up our act by focusing most on needs. this will require a new economic paradigm, and an acknowledgement that humans are only as important as the overall health of the living planet.
we require diversity of all species, wetlands, grasslands, forests, clean water at source (not just the heavily chemically treated tap water stuff), well managed habitats for all. needs focused living will put an end to the raping and pillaging of not only land and water, flora and fauna, but also peoples and cultures.
new paradigms do not come easily or without resistance, as social conditioning is a force to be reckoned with. in fact, there are the many that will still react negatively to this entry, despite the very obvious reality that we have too long been following a destructive and wholly unsustainable model of living. the rot and devastation is everywhere to be seen, save for the human-caused extinctions