Out of the entire atmospheric makeup, only one to two percent is made up of greenhouse gases with the majority being nitrogen (about 78 percent) and oxygen (about 21 percent). Of that two percent, “planet-killing” carbon dioxide comprises only 3.62 percent while water vapor encompasses 95 percent. And of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, humans cause only 3.4 percent of annual CO2 emissions. What does this all boil down to? As shown by the accompanying graph, not very much.

Indeed, anthropogenic effects are real but carbon is such a small portion of the natural cycle, and let’s not forget both the sun and carbon are needed for natural cycles that are good for the earth such as photosynthesis—the process by which plants turn sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. (For more, check out this Global Warming Primer published by the National Center for Policy Analysis.)

Man's Contribution to Global Warming

Perhaps the most alarming part is the price tag associated with attempting to reduce such a small part of the atmosphere and something we really cannot control. Our analysis shows the cumulative GDP losses for 2010 to 2029 approach $7 trillion. Single-year losses exceed $600 billion in 2029, more than $5,000 per house¬hold. Job losses are expected to exceed 800,000 in some years, and exceed at least 500,000 from 2015 through 2026. It is important to note that these are net job losses, after any jobs created by compliance with the regulations–so-called green jobs–are taken into account. In total, the “climate revenue” (read: energy tax) could approach two trillion over eight years. Keep in mind, this is all for negligible environmental benefits.

The science behind global warming is anything but conclusive. Many leading climatologists conclude that climate models aren’t incredibly accurate and even have different opinions (for instance whether it is the sun or oceanic changes) as to what the dominant causes are of global warming and cooling.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to pretend the science on global warming is conclusive when environmentalist extremists suppress dissenting opinions. Economist Walter Williams provides a few examples and draws an interesting parallel:

There’s a much more important issue that poses an even greater danger to mankind. That’s the effort by environmentalists to suppress disagreement with their view. According to a March 11 article in London’s Sunday Telegraph, Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five death threats since he started questioning whether man was affecting climate change. Richard Lindzen, professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, said, “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labeled as industry stooges.” Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said, “Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system.”

Suppressing dissent is nothing new. Italian cosmologist Giordano Bruno taught that stars were at different distances from each other surrounded by limitless territory. He was imprisoned in 1592, and eight years later he was tried as a heretic and burned at the stake. Because he disagreed that the Earth was the center of the universe, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. Under the threat of torture, he recanted and was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.”

That was 1592. After 400 and some odd years, one would think it’d be a little different.