Don Day on Climate Agreement: Decisions Are Made Without Knowledge of How Climate Works

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The climate agreement reached recently by almost 200 nations attending a conference in Scotland will have no effect on Wyoming, according to a Wyoming meteorologist.

Don Day, echoing sentiments expressed by the executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association, said the leaders tasked with addressing climate change are not thinking things through.

“If you take a bird’s eye view of this situation, these policymakers who are tasked with making these big decisions have some things that need to be thought further out,” Day told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. I think a lot of policy decisions are being made…without the proper thinking on how the weather and climate work.”

According to the Associated Press, nations attending the conference accepted a compromise deal designed to fight global warming. However, a change promoted by India saw the agreement revised to have countries “phase down,” rather than “phase out” their use of coal.

Coal has long been identified by those who say the world’s climate is changing as a source of greenhouse gases that trap heat around the globe.

Day pointed out that China is the world’s biggest polluter and uses coal that is of a lesser quality than what is produced and used in coal-fired electrical plants in Wyoming.

“Sure, we can make all of our cars electric by a certain point and switch to renewable energy by another, but nobody asks about what we can expect to happen when we do all of this,” he said. “No one has said exactly what they want to do and what exactly is going to happen with the weather after they do it.”

Officials at the climate conference attempted to uphold the goals set in the 2015 Paris Agreement, keeping global temperature from rising beyond 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit in this century, by drafting an agreement calling for an end to the use of coal.

The change championed by India, however, called for a reduction in the use of coal rather than its elimination as a power source.

If Wyoming were to “phase down” its coal usage, Day does not believe it would have any effect on the weather or climate.

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