Climatologist Dr. John Christy: We Have a ‘Moral Imperative’ to Burn Fossil Fuels – ‘The global climate is not very sensitive to CO2’
(CNSNews.com) – We have a “moral imperative” to burn carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels because the energy they provide is a “liberator” of humanity, says Dr. John Christy, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. “We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,” Christy wrote in a recent oped. "On the contrary, we are good people for doing so."
The pope’s encyclical “displays a lack of understanding of how the real world works,” Christy told CNSNews.com. According to microwave data from satellites going back to 1978, which are precise to within .08 of a degree, “very little warming is taking place,” he pointed out.
Carbon-based energy, which is “the most affordable and reliable source of energy in demand today, liberates people from poverty,” Christy explained to CNSNews.com. “Without energy, life is brutal and short.”
“The conclusion we have reached is that the world, the global climate, is not very sensitive to carbon dioxide. And that can occur if the climate responds in its many facets to release heat – when you add the heat from carbon dioxide. So carbon dioxide does allow more heat to be retained in the climate system, but the climate system also has many ways to allow an increased release of heat into space.
”So we think that’s what’s going on, that there are feedbacks that are allowing that heat to escape and not accumulate the way models have indicated it should.”
And drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed under its Clean Power Plan, will have a “miniscule” effect on global temperatures, Christy added.
“The science is fairly simple in terms of numbers. The amount of carbon dioxide emissions avoided by this plan is miniscule compared to the world emissions. Therefore, its impact on the global temperature will be miniscule.
“It will be so tiny we can’t even measure it. It’s going to be less than .02 of a degree for the next several decades,” Christy said