I’m responding to a June 7 letter titled “Climate change.” Science is a continuous process of empirical examination of reality. You can bet that when someone says the debate is over or uses words like consensus or 99 percent, the issue has gone political.

Global warming can involve many variables such as solar activity, minor changes in Earth’s orbit and inclination, effects from the ocean, and changes in the atmosphere. The Earth has been warming and the seas have been rising since the last ice age.

Today’s global warming hype centers on the theory that atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the sole driver of global warming. By itself, CO2 is a trace gas and barely measurable. CO2 is not a pollutant. Without CO2, life on Earth would expire.

Between 1998 and 2015, the world pumped an increasing amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Yet taken as an aggregate of global temperatures for those years, many scientists contend that the average or mean of the data has shown little or no change. This issue is hotly debated and is far from being settled.

World renowned scientists such as Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever, Princeton physicist and former director of science at the U.S. Department of Energy William Happer, award winning meteorologist and Weather Channel founder John Coleman, and Freeman Dyson charge that global warming hype resembles religion, not science. Thousands of scientists have signed petitions supporting that charge. John Coleman calls global warming “the greatest scam in history.”

Why is there so much hype regarding this issue? The answer is simple. The federal government spends untold billions of dollars a year for climate change and green technology research; that’s a lot of job security. Driven by the Democratic Party, it provides government the incentive to raise taxes and grow the power of the federal government.

Whether man-made or not, only affluent nations will have the resources to combat global warming. The challenge will be adjusting to the change without ruining our economy.

Bill Bissette

Short Street

Charleston