June 18, 2007 4:50pm CST
Hi Kiddies, Did some reading lately and learned that the human contribution to the Greenhouse Effect is rather small. Man-made carbon dioxide is apparently about 5% of the global total, but where it's NEW carbon (ie, sucked out of the earth and released into the atmosphere) it becomes a potential problem, because the Carbon Cycle has nowhere else to put the excess besides in the atmosphere - so the Greenhouse Effect gets amplified. There are four interesting things which I reckon are being overlooked in all the discussions on "Global Warming" - 1. IF fossil fuels really DID come from fossils (I have my doubts - there must have been an awful lot of mammoths drowning in an awful lot of bogs and getting inexplicably sucked down into the earth to make all that oil) then the release of ALL the carbon in ALL the oil reserves around the world will simply be restoring the previous levels of carbon to the Carbon Cycle - when the world was perhaps a warmer, more tropical place... 2. Believe it or not, Methane is 65 times more potent as a Greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and Methane is making almost as much contribution to the Greenhouse Effect as carbon dioxide. The man-made Methane is about one third of the global production of this gas, so there's a much greater impact on the Greenhouse Effect if we stopped producing Methane. Trouble is, that would require sticking corks in billions of cow-butts, because that's where most of it comes from. 3. Seems to me everyone is forgetting the key ingredient in all of this, which happens to be the SUN. Yes, there does appear to be Global Warming happening, but if it's the SUN that's getting hotter, than there's really not a great deal anyone can do to stop it. And there's a lot of evidence coming out wichh suggests that might actually be the case. 4. Continuing from Item 3, it's actually very constructive in many ways to be talking about reforesting the planet and using renewable energy sources, but is anyone putting serious thought and effort into how the human race will deal with the fact of climate change if it DOES turn out to be beyond our control (or if no-one has sufficient motivation to do anything about it anyway)? The most significant thing about climate change isn't the disasters, it's the CHANGE which brings about the disasters. How are we going to adapt to accommodate climate change so that it ISN'T a rolling 1,000 year series of human and ecological disasters?
• United States
18 Jun 07
I first wish to thank you for writing this, we all need to be warned because the world is changing and every day a disaster is happenening.. and now one seems to care enough for that.. I personally have taken many steps to make people aware of the disasters coming to help reduce their carbon footprint.
18 Jun 07
Hi saierchok, I agree the problem is the weather and ecological problems which seem to be getting more severe. It seems to me that the issue of carbon emissions isn't black and white - carbon emissions aren't actually a problem if the biosphere has the capacity to recycle them. But chopping down forests without replanting them, and polluting the oceans with all sorts of junk, and dredging all the fish out of the ocean, doesn't help at all. The carbon emissions which DO seem to be a problem are the ones whcih are dug out of deep underground - so it's completely new to the bisophere and just gets dumped into the atmosphere as additional carbon dioxide. Wood-fired stoves are fine by me, so long as the forests are being sustainably harvested to provide the wood. And fuels like ethanol or hemp oil are fine too - they don't actually introduce any new carbon to the Carbon Cycle. From what I can understand, it's the stuff from deep underground that's a problem. Having said all of that, it still appears to me that the impact of the Sun and purely geological events on long-term climate changes is being swept under the carpet. The Earth has had many climate change events before - and they didn't need committees of politicians, or an industrial revolution, for them to happen. So it may not matter WHAT the human race does, climate change may be unavoidable. In any case, I'd be happier if the governments of the world put more effort into planning on how to adapt to change and benefit from it, rather than just trying to keep the world in a state that suits our civilization just now.