The two letters published in Friday’s newspaper regarding the climate need a reply. It seems that carbon dioxide is the big bad villain.
When we burn coal, we are returning to the atmosphere the carbon that was used to grow ancient trees, which were then changed into coal. When we make Portland cement, we are freeing the CO2 that was locked up in the shells of ancient sea creatures, which eventually became limestone.
Nature had been sequestering this carbon and in the process had been lowering the amount present in the atmosphere. Keep in mind that our knowledge of the composition of the atmosphere spans less than 300 years; we didn’t even know that there was such a thing as CO2 when the United States was founded. Some estimates that I have seen placed the amount in the atmosphere at around 280 parts per million at the start of the Industrial Revolution. I have also seen statements that a CO2 level of between 100 ppm and 120 ppm is not enough to maintain the green plants that provide us with the oxygen to which we have become addicted. We just may have preserved life on this planet by adding CO2 to the atmosphere.
Fortunately, the two favorite ways of generating electric energy by the “climate change” people require the addition of a prodigious amount of CO2 that will be added to the atmosphere. The millions of windmills that will be required are all mounted to a gigantic ball of concrete. The solar cells all require vast mining operations (more CO2).
Back in the Dark Ages (early 1990s) I had an opportunity to read a report that examined an assortment of ways to generate power for the electric grid. The “name of the game” was to determine which was most benign to the environment. Methods considered included thermal power plants powered by nuclear, coal or natural gas, hydro-electric, wind mills, tidal dams and other methods, i.e., harnessing the energy of the ocean by using the temperature difference between the warm surface water and the cold water of the ocean deeps. In the end, the winner was a thermal power plant using natural gas.
I have seen many statements that “scientists say that CO2 causes global warming.” I have also seen reports that claim to show that effect with many equations, usually “CO2 is bad.” One report that I saw denied the “CO2 is bad” claim. It also had many equations. I have also seen explanations of “relativity” and “quantum theory” in words that were understandable. Why can’t we have a similar examination of the CO2 contribution to weather?
John C. Vaughan