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37 Ecology L. Currents 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/ecolwcur37 and id is 1 raw text is: Avoiding Carbon Myopia:
Three Considerations for Policy Makers
Concerning Manmade Carbon Dioxide
Willie Soon* and David R. Legates
In December 2009, lawmakers and representatives from around the world,
along with scientists, numerous journalists, and various celebrities flew to
Copenhagen, Denmark. For the most part, their goal was to promote a
regulatory scheme aimed at controlling human carbon emissions by declaring
the element a tradable commodity and establishing laws and regulations to
govern the trade.
The proposed regulations were premised on the flawed notion, articulated
by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),I
that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations will change
climate dramatically and thereby cause major ecological and economic damage.
While many scientists, including us, have observed some changes in
climate, the hypothesized dangerous consequences of rising atmospheric CO2
are too speculative for responsible regulatory policy. In analyzing climate
policy, decision makers should be cognizant of three key considerations
regarding the impact of projected rises in atmospheric CO2: (1) policy choices
likely will have no measurable effect on the occurrence of severe weather; (2)
positive effects on ecosystems and biodiversity are likely and should be
weighed against the negatives; and (3) carbon trading schemes (such as the one
touted in Copenhagen) are unlikely to lead to a reduction in atmospheric CO2.
. Dr. Soon is an astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Dr. Soon has written and lectured extensively on issues
related to the sun and other stars and climate. The views expressed by Willie Soon are strictly his and do
not necessarily reflect those of Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, or the Harvard-
Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
** Dr. Legates is an Associate Professor at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment,
University of Delaware and his views are given as a university faculty member under academic freedom
rights. He also serves as the Delaware State Climatologist.
1. See, e.g., Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: The Physical
Science Basis (Susan Solomon et al., eds. 2007).


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