Starr: Increased carbon dioxide levels are good for us
My opinion of climate change is the result of a lifetime as a farmer and agricultural educator. For all of my 80-plus years, the Earth's rotation and orbit around the sun has been constant. This results in predictable day and night and seasons of the year. We can depend on the sun showing up in the east each morning.
Has climate changed all that much in thousands of years? The ice age of the past gave way to a time of dramatic warming. The resulting breakup caused the greatest flood the Pacific Northwest has ever seen. The dry falls in east-central Washington state is bigger than Niagara. More recently, there appeared the threat of a "little ice age." In 1947, central Texas experienced freezing rain that deposited 8 inches of solid ice on Interstate 20 between Abilene and Fort Worth.
When the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began to build extravagant computer programs to predict global warming, the alarm was sounded. Environmentalists with an assist from liberal media pitched the sensationalism to excite the public and liberal politicians. Right away, the "settled" science predicted serious warmings, man-caused and dangerous to life on earth. Over the past 30 years, IPCC has issued dire predictions time after time. These have not come to pass, and other reputable scientists question these predictions.
Does man-produced carbon dioxide really contribute to global warming, and if so, to what extent? That is the crux of the issue facing all of humanity. We know that as we breathe, we produce CO2. We know of the benefits of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Higher levels of CO2 increases production of growing crops. In ages past, there have been variations in CO2 levels without wide swings in global temperatures. Present levels of CO2 contributes to increased food production and a greening of the earth.
The proposed taxing of CO2 will burden the source of cheap energy, consequently raising the cost of all production. The burden will of necessity be borne by every citizen. If we reduced man-caused CO2 by 50 percent, the effect on climate would hardly register. On the other hand, we need all the CO2 we can get to feed a growing population. Don't tax CO2!
The eighth chapter, verse 22 of Genesis says it best: "As long as the earth endures; seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
Charles Starr is a former Republican member of the Oregon Legislature, serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1993 to 1999 and the Oregon Senate from 1999 to 2007. He lives in Hillsboro.
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