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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Globalist quiz

Bad chemistry

“The Globalist” [“Quiz CO2 emissions: the magic number,” News, Jan. 26] got it very badly wrong on Monday with respect to its comments on the atmospheric chemistry of global warming: 440 parts per million is neither “a generally-accepted goal” for the average CO2 content of the atmosphere, nor is it “safe.”

Such statements are profoundly wrongheaded. Perhaps they should be viewed as indicative of just how bad the consequences of the “mile wide and an inch deep” quality of science education really are [“Streamlined science-ed standards debated,” Local News, Jan. 10].

The consequences of the current 385 parts per million (ppm) level are hardly “safe.” And while the Keeling Curve is perhaps the only truly meaningful “threat level” scale commonly used today, perhaps the more dangerous condition is not so much the condition of the atmosphere. Rather, perhaps it’s the public’s lack of preparedness to see it as such, and thus to be adequately alarmed by its implications.

— Craig Dupler, Seattle

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