CO2 and EPA’s Voodoo Science
Do yourself a favor and read the article below. This article contains real facts – not the biased, environmental lies which are rammed down our throats by the MSM and their puppet-masters so we can feel guilty and pay to make it go away. Oxygen makes up 20% of the atmosphere and Nitrogen makes up 79%. What about CO2 you say? CO2 – wait for it – makes up……0.04% of the atmosphere! Wow, yes, I can see how CO2 is a huge problem! And, to top it all off and to show how dangerous it really is, we can now reveal that CO2 levels have raised a whole 0.01% in 100 years!! I’m really scared now…..where’s my brown bag? BTW – the White House now wants global warming to be known as “global climate disruption” as they fear the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is. Okey-dokey.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is much maligned these days. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and their political proponents like to ascribe just about anything to climate change which, in turn, is supposedly caused by increased CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere.
Governments around the globe are considering schemes to tax CO2 emissions.
In order to have their people buy into such schemes, a steady barrage of claims has been unleashed upon the public, many of which bear little scientific scrutiny. One of the most misleading statements in this regard has been made by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which recently declared CO2 to be a “dangerous pollutant”. This is a prime example of how science has become politicized and distorted, certainly in regard to CO2.
CO2 level and sources
The atmosphere contains currently a bit less than 0.04% CO2. The rest is mainly oxygen (20%) and nitrogen (79%). Before the industrial age, CO2 in the atmosphere perhaps was more like 0.03%, although in pre-historic times, it was substantially higher. EPA claims that this increase of 0.01% or even just a part of it is causing undesirable “climate change” and may endanger public health and welfare. However, the scientific evidence for any of these consequences is lacking.
Prior to mankind’s exponential growth, say 1,000 years ago, when the world population counted in the millions, compared to about 7 billion at present, essentially all CO2 in the atmosphere came from natural sources, primarily volcanic emission. Nearly every volcanic eruption emits large amounts of gases, magma and ash. Apart from steam (water vapour), the most common constituent of such gases is CO2. Moreover, the earth has many thousands of volcanic vents along some 60,000 km of tectonic rifts, both on land and under the sea, through which CO2-laden gas is being emitted more or less continuously. Even now, most of the CO2 in the atmosphere is from these natural sources.
Life and CO2
Nearly all life on earth depends on the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. Without any CO2, the earth would be a barren place, like the moon, or our neighbouring planets, Venus and Mars. There would be no plant growing on land or in the water, nor any of the many animals in the water, on land or in the air. All these life forms on earth depend on the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere. The entire amount of carbon in all these life forms (including us humans) has been created from atmospheric CO2 via photosynthesis and taken up through the food chain. But this is not end of why we need CO2 in the atmosphere.
Without CO2 and photosynthesis, there would be no oxygen to breathe. The entire world’s supply of free (molecular) oxygen has been created from CO2 via photosynthesis over the last three billion years or so.
Natural CO2 sinks
Contrary to the belief that CO2, once in the atmosphere, stays there for many years (the term used by EPA is “long-lived”), this is not the case. It is constantly being absorbed by water and plants on land. In the water is either becomes precipitated as calcium carbonate (limestone), or is taken up by algae and converted to plant matter. So, there is a dynamic equilibrium between the CO2 in the atmosphere and that in the water. The steady supply of CO2 to the atmosphere (mainly from volcanic emissions) and the consumption by plants keep it in balance. Overall, the result is termed a “steady state”. In a steady state, individual molecules are constantly being added and removed, but the overall balance reamins more or less constant.
A simple calculation of mankind’s production of CO2 from fossil fuels shows that over the last one hundred years, if there were no natural removal processes, CO2 would have increased to approximately 100,000 parts per million, or 10% in the air. As the atmosphere contains only 0.04% CO2, it is obvious that this CO2 is no longer there. In fact, the CO2 level in the atmosphere has barely budged from pre-industrial times. This can only be explained by a strong natural removal process. Given the much larger concurrent CO2 emissions from natural sources, one can see that the oceans and plants on land are soaking up the atmospheric CO2 at a fast rate. Therefore, CO2 in the atmosphere is not long-lived. Furthermore, as the absorption rate of CO2 by the oceans is governed by the concentration gradient between the phases (air and water), a higher CO2 level in air results in a higher gradient and an increased rate of absorption by the water.
There are two main worries about the increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, as pronounced by the “tax CO2 emissions” camp. The first one is the unproven belief that it creates “climate change”. The second is the belief that it causes “ocean acidification”. The latter for sure is total bunk. The photosynthesis process in oceans converts the CO2 to neutral and basic (the opposite of acidic) materials.
In terms of “climate change”, there are dozens of sophisticated computer models (running on super-computers) which claim to estimate the earth’s climate (past and present) from CO2 levels. None of these models can satisfactorily explain the natural temperature variations, ice ages, and other cooling and warming periods prior to man’s arrival or even over the last few hundred years. This is really not surprising, as the most important climate-influencing variable is not even part of these equations, namely the energy-transfer effects of water vapour in and out of the atmosphere.
It ought to be self-evident that CO2 is not only NOT a pollutant, but absolutely vital to life on earth. EPA’s decision to define it as a “dangerous pollutant” is contrary to all evidence and, frankly, mind-boggling. Even if the claimed increase of approximately 0.01% CO2 in our atmosphere over the last 100 years did have any weather and climate related effects – and that view is being challenged by many scientists – a higher CO2 level in the atmosphere fosters higher primary productivity and biomass generation by plants. Higher agricultural crop yields will follow from that and benefit the hungry world.
Naming CO2 a “dangerous pollutant” is voodoo science.