Martin Luther King III’s column about Obama’s Clean Power Plan reprinted from the Washington Post must be challenged and some important facts introduced.
Although he tries to make it a racial issue climate change is part science and part economics. One number that climate change advocates never refer to is how much carbon we are talking about. Amid their claims of huge carbon increases in recent years the percentage of atmospheric gasses is nitrogen-78.09 percent, oxygen-20.95 percent, argon-0.93 percent, and carbon dioxide-0.04 percent. Yep, 0.04 percent, 4/10,000ths of the atmosphere is carbon. Estimates and measurements are that carbon has made up from 180 to 300 parts per million for the last 500,000 years, although one estimate I saw was as high as 6,000 ppm.
The economics of restricting use of fossil fuels is far more straightforward. If through taxation, regulation, or another means we are forced to use less efficient fuels to power our lives resources that could have been used in more efficient ways will be diverted to more expensive power sources.
The racial component: A poll of African Americans concerning the Clean Power Plan will get results based on how the questions are worded, just like any poll. If you ask “Do you support President Obama’s Clean Power Plan?” or “Do you support higher power prices to reduce carbon in the air?” the poll will result in widely differing results. Asking only African Americans about an Obama plan almost guarantees a huge positive response.
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Gary Duff, Swansea