"There is no climate emergency." Debunk this article

A friend of mine posted a link to a Washington Times article titled, There is no climate emergency - we love CO2 and so should you.

At first I thought it was a satire article. But the author is serious.

I know this article is B.S. I want to post a counterargument on his FB page. What should I say?

I can’t answer the science stuff. But, this does appear to be statements without documentation. One part that has obvious flaws…
extreme weather-related deaths in the U.S. have decreased more than 98% over the last 100 years. Twenty times as many people die from cold as from heat, according to a worldwide review of 74 million temperature-related deaths by Dr. Antonio Gasparrini and a team of physicians.

I don’t think I need to explain the flaws in that.

Who you going to believe, environmental scientists or John Bolton’s mustache?

“If you get your news only from mainstream media, you would likely believe that CO2 levels are dangerously high and unprecedented. You would be wrong. Concentrations of this gas are slightly less than 420 parts-per-million (ppm), or one-sixth the average historic levels of 2,600 ppm for the last 600 million years.”

I mean I’d stop right there. 600 million years ago jellyfish and bilateral symetry were the cool new things on the planet.

As for CO2 levels - whether or not they were high long ago means very little when they are substantial higher now than in the recent geological past. And the rate of change is disturbing.

No reason to be concerned about rising temperatures or CO2 levels. I mean, it’s not like the Earth has ever overheated in the last 600 million years to the point where life near the equator (at least on land) was darn near impossible and a massive global extinction event resulted from it.

Yep, the Earth’s climate has just been all peachy-keen for the last 600 million years. No problems whatsoever.

(Someone might want to point this guy towards the wikipedia articles on mass extinction events)

Another response to the 600 million year argument can be that humans didn’t exist for about 600 million of those years.

Yeah. By that sort of argument, we should be completely unconcerned about the potential dangers of major asteroid impact or nuclear war. At the very most improbable worst, all they could do would be to wipe out most multicellular life forms, and multicellular life forms have only existed for about one-quarter to one-fifth of the earth’s history. So on average the change would be trivial.

To the OP: Saying that high CO2 levels aren’t a problem now because they used to be much higher back in geological time, before mammals even existed, is sort of like saying that when your house is on fire you shouldn’t bother calling the fire department. Because back in prehistoric times there were fires sweeping through your locality every few years or decades, so on average, getting burned to ashes is completely normal.

Well, he’s not wrong. There have been five mass extinctions over the ages. The worst one – the Permian – killed off 96% of all living species yet life bounced back and ushered in the age of the dinosaur.

So, barring a total sterilization event like straying into the path of a gamma ray burst, life on Earth will shrug off anything we puny humans can do to it and keep chuggin’ along.

Humans on the other hand…

Humans will also keep on chuggin along, we’re pretty adaptable, and have a robust population (unlike some 40% of the other identified species we share the planet with). That doesn’t mean that climate change isn’t going to make things pretty darn awful for us.

Washington Times? Does “consider the source” make it into the list of arguments against giving this article credibility?

On average, there has been negligeable amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere for much of the last 4 billion years.

Earth’s only been here for the last 4.5 billion years out of the last 13.7 billion. Why do we even need an Earth?

Gives us somewhere to stand.

The Washington Post is a fine, respectable paper. The Washington Times is a rag owned by the Unification Church (the Moonies)

And the author is a hack.

For some reason, posters have seized on the 600 million year argument and ignored that the author also wrote (emphasis added):

Longer-term data reveal multiple warming periods since the end of the last major ice age 10,000 years ago, each warmer than today. There is a strong correlation between the rise and fall of temperature and the ebb and flow of civilizations. During the last three warm periods dating back 6,000 years to the advent of the first great civilizations, humanity prospered and great empires arose. Intervening cold periods brought crop failure, famine, and mass depopulation. History advises us to welcome warmth and fear cold.

If people have a response to this, then why not whip it out instead of seizing on one specific point that they can more easily rebut?

Well, he is kinda right- “emergency” is not the right term. Long slow disaster is a better term.

True, temps have risen and fallen in the last 10K years. Short term (a few years to a decade)cold periods havent been good for crops etc.

The issue here is that temps are going up… and up… and up. It isnt a short term issue. And temps are going up too fast for adaptation.

This is really all the OP needs to know:

In more detail:

That’s because the 600 million year argument is so stupid that it overrides any other logical thought. That said, I’ll wait until the climate experts weigh in, but in the meantime, check this XKCD and look at how quickly the earth is warming now (all the way at the bottom):