Your Opinion: 'Melting lead' not hyperbole

Dear Editor:

I would just like to remind my liberal detractors of the exact wording of my assertion about lead melting on earth. I won’t deny that the statement certainly was provocative and got a rise out of both global warming advocates and deniers. Nevertheless when I said earth’s temperature would be hot enough to melt lead, I was deadly serious.

When I make extremist, hyperbolic statements, most of my readers get it.

I will not pretend that many of the exact details of the global warming, “Venus Syndrome” hypothesis are not controversial within the scientific community. If my assertion was hyperbolic or extremist, I am in concert with some pretty heavy scientific icons:

• “The reason Venus is like a hell seems to be what is called the greenhouse effect ... The greenhouse effect can make an earth-like world into a planetary inferno ... The runaway greenhouse effect on Venus is a valuable reminder that we should take the increasing greenhouse effect on earth seriously.” Carl Sagan

• “We don’t know where global warming will stop but the worst case scenario is that the earth will become like its sister planet Venus. ... The human race could not survive in those conditions.” Stephen Hawking

• “I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.” (Obama is completely onboard with the Keystone XL pipeline project BTW) James Hansen

I am in no position to bet on whether or not we humans will be successful in our death wish to eliminate life on the planet within the next 89 or the next 200 years. I won’t be around to collect my winnings. All I can do is reassert my unrepentant, completely accurate statement: “I don’t think it irrational to believe that we may well expect our planet by the end of the 21st century to have an average daily atmospheric temperature hot enough to melt lead.”

Most earthlings are sleepwalking through their lives in the closing days of our extinction on the planet. I only wish to wake a few of us up so we might at least die conscious of the terrible responsibility we bear for having desecrated what arguably is the most beautiful home of life the gods could have given us.

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