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Reader's View: Climate deniers are being hoodwinked

A letter on Feb. 25 asked whether climate is changing. "Yes," it answered. "Recall the ice ages?" Numbers don't lie, so when there are disagreements we turn to the numbers. Is what we are experiencing now like the past ice age? Or the one before ...

A letter on Feb. 25 asked whether climate is changing.

"Yes," it answered. "Recall the ice ages?"

Numbers don't lie, so when there are disagreements we turn to the numbers. Is what we are experiencing now like the past ice age? Or the one before that? Or before that?

As Local View writer David Gerhart reminded us in a column in the News Tribune on Jan. 7, 2016, "The average atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, has surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in a very long time. In fact, based on direct measurements from gas bubbles in ice cores, we know that carbon dioxide levels have not exceeded 300 ppm in about 800,000 years. Incredibly, the last time carbon dioxide reached today's level of 400 ppm may have been 3 million to 5 million years ago during the Pliocene Epoch."

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now is not like any period during human life on this planet. Shouldn't that be cause enough for us to raise our eyebrows and perhaps take out an "insurance policy," in case all these scientific studies turn out to be correct and in case the carbon we are emitting is, indeed, being trapped in our atmosphere? This is what George Shultz, James Baker, and other conservative leaders from the era of President Ronald Reagan have asked President Donald Trump to consider in the form of a fee-and-dividend system that prices carbon and returns revenues to households.

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Maybe deniers are subject to political manipulation and are being hoodwinked. Or maybe soundbite assertions that ride roughshod over solid scientific research are themselves a type of manipulation.

Katya Gordon

Two Harbors

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