Sunday, April 30, 2017


Doing the math on CO2

The atmosphere as it is at 400 parts per million contains over 800 metric gigatones of CO2. (800,000,000,000+) The difference attributed to human activity is about 240 metric gigatons. That's how much would have to be removed to get us back to where the planet was about a century ago. No
matter if we manage to get everyone in the entire world to cut back to half the use of fossil fuels that is ongoing now (zero chance of this with China building more coal plants every month, plus India, and assorted others), that would just slow the buildup of CO2 down to a crawl, but the level would not go down overall for the planet.

So... this means that if in fact CO2 is the main factor causing warming, THERE IS NOTHING WHATSOEVER WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. And warming will continue, and the smartest thing we can do is start preparing and adapting now. There is no way for us to start sucking a billion tons at a time of CO2 from the atmosphere. (Any program to try would take....
lots of energy! And what will you do with a billion tons of CO2?) CO2 "capture" at energy plants is a nice idea, but basically like shoveling against the tide with a soup spoon.

Screaming about use of fossil fuels and making energy more expensive for everyone is, as the Borg would say, "futile" and just takes away focus from whatever productive things can really be done to make energy use and generation more efficient. Most of which is worthwhile, although I do wonder about the cost in dead birds and bats from wind turbine farms.

Fortunately, all the evidence is that this is not a human caused situation, and clearly the rate of warming is a fraction of what was predicted so confidently, so it's sure not all going to go to hell at some fast pace. --Del

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