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writing for godot

Carbon, Our Poison Pill

Written by John Glassco   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 07:51
I don't think that anyone is claiming that humans are the only factor causing global warming. The "claim" by the scientists is simply that the stability of our atmosphere is changing in an alarming new way. The simple "scientific" fact (sorry if you don't like the sound of that word) is that the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere is changing rapidly and radically at this time in our geologic and anthropogenic history.

We have an excellent historic record of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere through the study of air bubbles trapped for hundreds of millennia in ice cores drilled from the depths of ancient glaciers. We have compared these samples of the earth's ancient atmosphere to our current condition. The current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is taken at Hawaii and is now consistently above 400 parts per million!

This is a startling change the most of which has happened in our life-time. There is no natural scientific precedent for this change, except the residual effects of the industrial revolution. Honestly, they have been looking.

Coming from an environmental cleanup specialist - the worst environmental clean-up problems are known as "persistent." Atmospheric carbon dioxide is an extremely persistent pollutant. It will be hanging around in our atmosphere for hundreds of years, even if we stopped right now. The regimental nature of the historic record following or leading the world temperature is a clue if you are feeling a natural resistance to where this little essay is going.

The reason for the persistence of CO2 is because the "fossil fuel" we burn every day was originally made with atmospheric carbon. Once we return our atmosphere to its primitive form, and use up the energy it has held for these hundreds of thousands of years on manufacturing all the important and silly stuff we use every day, all bets are off. The build-up of wildfires around the Northwest summer of 2014 after a few dry days and a lightening storm will offer a prediction of the life many of us may have to face far into the future. your social media marketing partner
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