Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 8:29 AM
Subject: Fw: CO2 – opinion?
I got this from a friend (below). I wondered who could give me an intelligent (and scientific) reaction to the statements below.
My gut reaction was that this was a bit of a cop out from those who oppose doing anything to curtail global warming – in other words the message in a nutshell would read “since volcanoes produce so much CO2 and greenhouse effect, why bother reducing anything ourselves?” in other words an excuse to do nothing.
I also don’t know if the statements below about the earth cooling instead of getting warmer is correct. There are plenty of scientists who publish very opposing views, and being a bit suspicious by nature, I thought of you as a possible source of a more scientific reaction than my personal gut feel.
Professor Ian Plimer (a member of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He is also a joint member of the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering):
Okay, here’s the bombshell. The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet, all of you.
Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress, that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans, and all animal life.
I know, it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cents light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs…well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.
The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just four days – yes – FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time – EVERY DAY.
I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year, think about it.
Of course I shouldn’t spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.
And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.
Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus ”human-caused” climate change scenario.
Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention ”Global Warming” any more, but just ”Climate Change” – you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.
And just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme (that whopping new tax)
imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.
But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!
PS: I wonder if Iceland is buying carbon offsets?
Anthony Marr’s reply:
This piece is illogical and contains a crucial factual error. It appears to be politically and/or financially motivated. At first I was a little puzzled by the incongruence between his credentials and his words, but “mining engineering” gave me a clue.
What he says is false, but even if true, so what? Here is an analogy: He owes the bank $10,000, and had been good in meeting his monthly payments, until suddenly, some hacker raised his debt figure to $20,000, and he says, “Well, the increase wiped out all the payments I’ve made. What’s the point of keeping up with my payments now? I’m going to stop paying, and to hell with whatever bank will do about it.”
He is wrong on another point. I, for one, still use the term “Global Warming” and will continue to do so. “Climate change” was chosen by George W. Bush to avoid having to say “warming”, according to the dictates of his oily overlords. I do not oppose using the term “climate change”, because the climate is changing. What I do oppose is the reason some people choose to use it rather than “global warming”. “Global warming” refers to the global AVERAGE temperature, which has been steadily rising since the Industrial Revolution began. It is a consistent human error to say, “Global warming? What global warming?” whenever there is a local cold spell, while the rest of the world roasts. To then avoid using “global warming” is to succumb to this error. I deliberately use “global warming” and point out, p.s., “It is about the global AVERAGE temperature, and it has steadily been rising, and it has risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880 – the demarkation year of the Industrial Revolution. This is diametrically opposed to his asserting that the Earth has “COOLED” by 0.7 degrees in the past century. EXXON alone has spent millions of dollars to refute global warming as a fact, and this is what EXXON would like you to believe, and sadly many do.
Plus, his logical facility is flawed, or at least compromised by, shall we say, non-scientific factors. Volcanoes have been blowing regularly and periodically since time immemorial, i.e. for billions of years. The 20th Century was no exception. He shoots his own foot by saying that there are 200 volcanoes spewing GHGs into the atmosphere every day, which ironically is true, but it has been true for millions of millennia. Mt. Pinatubo was big, but in the geological scheme of things, is nothing unusual or exceptional, while Mt. St. Helens is downright insignificant. Together, these volcanoes, past and present, do inject a steady stream of CO2 into the atmosphere, year in year out. But, as he also pointed out, plants perform photosynthesis, which absorbs CO2, thus controlling the CO2 concentration from running away, and maintains it steadily around 280ppm, which was the pre-industrial 280ppm atmosphere CO2 concentration we measured back then. In the context of global warming, what we are referring to is the EXTRA amount of CO2 that human activities pump into the atmosphere IN ADDITION TO the background 280ppm contributed by the volcanoes. It is ONLY in the 20th Century that the atmospheric CO2 concentration rose from the background 280ppm by 100ppm, or on average 1ppm per year, to over 380ppm by year 2000, and further to 390ppm by year 2011. Scientists know that this is unprecedented over the last millions of years, and so will be its climatic effect.
But because it is unprecedented, we can only educated-guess at what these effects will be, and so far, we have been UNDERESTIMATING these effects in most if not all of our predictions. Just google “faster than expected”, or something similar, and you will see that it has become one of the most often iterated phrases straight from scientists’ mouths, and it refers to global WARMING, NOT “COOLING”. The big shocker was the 2007 Arctic sea ice melt down, which more than tripled the melt rate depicted in the worst case scenario presented in the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report published in the same year. Further, google “glacier melt” and search for “images”, and you will get more than an eyeful.
As for CO2 being non-poisonous, everyone knows this, as does everyone about CO2’s role in photosynthesis. “Patronizing” comes to mind.
All on all, he is betraying science and truth for whatever he stands to gain. Or else, he can’t even think logically. He may think that he can think straight, but I say he can’t think around the corner. Nor 3-steps-ahead, which making me think that I should have no problem beating him in chess.
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)
http://www.DearHomoSapiens.blogspot.com (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)