Representatives Ocasio-Cortez and Pingree and Climate Change Debate

On January 25, 2019, U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote a letter to the CEOs of Microsoft, Facebook and Google chastising them for supporting the recent LibertyCon conference in Washington.

Their objection was that the LibertyCon organizers, Students for Liberty, permitted the CO2 Coalition and other skeptical organizations to co-sponsor the conference and that the Coalition’s Executive Director, Dr. Caleb Rossiter, gave a talk  titled “Let’s Talk About Not Talking: Should there be ‘No Debate’ that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?”

Representative Pingree and Ocasio-Cortez’ letter is linked below, and Dr. Rossiter’s response, which was sent to the Representatives.  We hope to generate a media debate with them.


January 29, 2019

The Honorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. House of Representatives
229 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Ms. Ocasio-Cortez,

I am writing in reference to your letter of January 25, 2019 to the CEOs of Microsoft, Facebook, and Google.  Your letter objected to their sponsorship of an event, LibertyCon, because I spoke there on behalf of the CO2 Coalition, a non-governmental science education organization composed of 45 physicists, geologists, climatologists, and economists.  Our members have concluded that projections of fossil-fueled catastrophe are exaggerated and not supported by the data to date, and that the economic growth and carbon dioxide generated by fossil fueled electricity and power promote both wealth and health.

As a long-time Hill staffer, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to come up and talk with you or your staff about the issues you raised in the letter. I also would like to invite you or your staff to participate in a panel discussion of these issues at the CPAC conference in Washington during our panel on “The State of Climate Science and Energy Economics” on March 1.

Far from denying well-established scientific facts about the effect of carbon dioxide and other industrial warming gasses on the planet, in my talk I cited such facts, drawn from the research studies summarized in the reports of the United Nations’ government-appointed panel of scientists and economists and U.S. government agencies.

For example, the UN body has often affirmed the well-known fertilizing effect of carbon dioxide on plant life.  As this NASA link on the CO2 “greening” effect shows, the fossil-fueled increase in CO2 from .027 percent of one percent of the atmosphere in 1880 to .04 percent of one percent today shows, the effect is substantial: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth.  Our scientists at the Coalition summarize the various estimates at about a 15 percent increase in productivity in our White Paper on the topic, linked here: https://co2coalition.org/2015/10/19/carbon-dioxide-benefits-the-world-see-for-yourself/

Similarly, the UN body acknowledges that the warming in the first half of the 20th century, which was as large as the warming in the second half, was due to natural cycles and fluctuations, because the level of industrial emissions was quite low compared to the latter period.

Finally, I urge you not to confuse the UN body’s model speculations about dangerous increases in the number of hurricanes and droughts and in the rate of the rise of sea level, with their data to date, which show little or no change in these variables.

The policy debate about restricting fossil fuels is not academic. For many its outcome will be a matter of life and death. Only a quarter of homes in Africa have electricity, and businesses there suffer form black-outs and brown-outs. Hence the homes are heated with wood and cow dung fires, and the businesses are powered by diesel generators, all of which reduces life expectancy. I hope you will agree with me to support African governments in their quest for reliable energy, from whatever source is most feasible, fossil fuel or renewables, while we continue our debate here at home.

Sincerely,

Caleb S. Rossiter
Executive Director
CO2 Coalition

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