[ RadSafe ] Edward Teller on Climate change

Johansen, Kjell Kjell.Johansen at nexteraenergy.com
Tue Mar 5 13:43:00 CST 2013

Victor Anderson wrote:

One inconvenient fact; 70 million years ago carbon dioxide levels were about 6,000 ppm.  The earth did not change into a "hot house" planet like Venus.
Life is still very sustainable.  So what if the global temperature is rising.  Go look at number for human generated carbon dioxide emissions and divide it my the mass of the atmosphere. You come out with a number in the range of 20 ppm.

This is not a good argument.  It does not address the effects of increased CO2 and climate change.  It merely says no big deal.
1)       70 million years ago there were no humans ( as we now understand humans) or humans living in the types of societies we now have.  Our society today requires that we have enough food to feed people.  What types of plants grew under an atmosphere with a CO2 concentration of 6000 ppm?  There are two photosynthetic pathways, one of which favors high CO2 concentrations.  Today's food crops use the low CO2 pathway and are more nutricious than the high CO2 pathway plants based on what I have read.  Also, if climate changes move the earth's food growing areas away from the US, what are we going to do?  Are we going to invade those countries where there is food and take it?  Not a good solution for what we consider a society based on Judeo-Christian principles.
2)       With the loss of the Antarctic and Greenland icecaps, are you prepared to have New Orleans, New York, London and other less know cities and various Pacific Islands flooded?  Where do all of these people go? It does not make sense to let global climate change happen by continuing to pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
3)       With regard to 70 M years ago, where did all of those plants go?  They were buried by plate tectonics and other procesess and turned into coal.  So you take millions of years of carbon and over a short period of several hundred years you release it back into the environnment.  In which way do you think the biogeochemical processes will go?  For one, the oceans become more acidic over a time period in which natural adaptation can not cope.  Without all those phytoplankton, we lose a lot of oxygen.
4)       If climate change were not important, why does the Pentagon and CIA have synarios in which climate change is an important driver in initiating events?

Well there are a lot more items on which I could comment with regard to all of those on this list who dismiss global climate change, or, as the media likes to call it because sells, global warming.  Needless to say, as an oceanographer and a member of one of the world's major religions, I take my stewardship of the earth and its resources very seriously.  That's why I am in nuclear power.

My own comments and not necessarily those of my employer.

Kjell Johansen
Nuclear Chemistry Analyst
kjell.johansen at NextERAEnergy.com

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