Coal plant

FILE - In this July 27, 2018, file photo, the Dave Johnson coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the morning sun in Glenrock, Wyo. The Trump administration announced on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, that it has rolled back a landmark Obama-era effort targeting coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution.

To the editor — All science is limited by the accuracy of data provided. However hard we try, “GIGO” (Garbage In, Garbage Out) still holds true.

We have ongoing atmospheric carbon dioxide measurements only since 1956. Anything before that, we’re much less certain. In 1956, atmospheric CO2 was 314 ppm (parts per million); in May, it was 415 ppm. An increase of 111 ppm in 63 years is not a good trend.

The last time we had 415 ppm on Earth was about 4 million years ago (measured in seabed drill cores.) It seems to have been very warm then. The last time we attained 415 ppm rapidly was about 55 million years ago (seabed drill cores again.) Then 20 percent of plant species became extinct and massive animal migrations occurred.

The problem with such ancient history is time resolution: “rapidly” in geologic terms could be one or a thousand years. No way to tell.

So “climate change” means we’re doomed in 12 years? 100 years? Nobody really knows. If they say they “know,” they’re lying. “Educated guess” and I’ll listen.

What we do know is if CO2 continues to rise, then Earth gets a lot warmer. Someday, somebody will pay dearly.

Maybe us.

JEFFREY M. REYNOLDS

Yakima