Top 10 Facts

1.  How sure?  90% that humans caused at least half the warming since 1950.

  • From the UN's report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
2.  How hot?  2000-2009 was hottest decade, about 1º F hotter than in 1970.
3.  CO2 dumping?  About 1000 tons/second into the air—2011 sets the record.
4.  CO2 level?  Highest in 650,000 years. 11% increase till 1950, now 40%.
5.  Sea level?  About 1 inch rise so far, but it could get serious by 2100.
6.  China?  Emits about 40% more CO2 than the US.
7.  Impact?  When Earth was 9ºF cooler, ice over NY City was 2000 feet thick.
  • There is a decent chance the Earth will get 9º F hotter by the 2100.
8.  Cost?  A 20% reduction is cheap: about $0.16 per person per day.
  • Assumes a $30/ton CO2 tax would work after a few years.
  • Assumes the environmentalists do not abscond with the revenues.

9.  The problem?  US and China need to cooperate.

  • If they cooperated, it's almost sure the Europe, Australia, Japan, and India would go along.

10.  Why  failure?  Environmentalists use scare tactics and command & control.

  • The biggest mistake has been for the rich countries to try to cap the poor countries.
  • The US and Europe tried to cap India at the level of emissions (per person) of the US sometime before 1850.
  • Contrary to environmentalists, caps are not the only way. Economists don't even think they are the best form of commitment.

Why Worry?

As the deniers say, the science is unsettled. We don't know for sure. It might not be terrible. But the same goes for your house catching fire, a terrorist attack, or a heart attack. So we take precautions and we buy insurance. Science tells us all we need to know: There's a decent chance we are wrecking the earth. The idea that we should not spend even the 16 cents per person per day that it would take to make a good start on the problem, is not just crazy, it's evil. It's source is the greed of big oil and big coal, although most people are honestly confused. But it's way past time to stop and think.