The authors of the commentary quoted below are Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer. Schmitt has at various times been a U.S. Senator, an Apollo 17 astronaut, and an adjunct professor of engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Happer is a professor of physics at Princeton University, and previously served as the Director at the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Research.
(p. A19) Of all of the world’s chemical compounds, none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That’s simply not the case. Contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.
The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA’s and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been–and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As many scientists have pointed out, variations in global temperature correlate much better with solar activity and with complicated cycles of the oceans and atmosphere. There isn’t the slightest evidence that more carbon dioxide has caused more extreme weather.
. . .
We know that carbon dioxide has been a much larger fraction of the earth’s atmosphere than it is today, and the geological record shows that life flourished on land and in the oceans during those times. The incredible list of supposed horrors that increasing carbon dioxide will bring the world is pure belief disguised as science.
For the full commentary, see:
Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer. “OPINION; In Defense of Carbon Dioxide; The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., May 9, 2013): A19.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date May 8, 2013, and has the title “OPINION; Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide; The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.” )
The lack of correlation between carbon dioxide and global temperature is rigorously supported in:
McMillan, David G., and Mark E. Wohar. “The Relationship between Temperature and CO2 Emissions: Evidence from a Short and Very Long Dataset.” Applied Economics 45, no. 26 (2013): 3683-90.