Picking Lesser of Two Climate Evils

The methane is like a hangover that you can get over if you stop drinking,” said Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, a climate scientist at the University of Chicago and the author of a textbook on planetary atmospheres. “CO2 is more like lead poisoning — it sticks around, you don’t get rid of it, and it causes irreversible harm.”

Climate scientists long ago settled among themselves the question of whether human emissions of greenhouse gases are a problem, concluding that we are running some grave risks. But the field still features vigorous debate about how bad global warming will get, how quickly, and how to combat it.

  • Published OnJul 7, 2014
  • PublicationThe New York Times
  • AuthorJustin Gillis
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