- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A quick trip to the National Museum of Natural History, or even a trip to Calvert Cliffs, would inform the most casual observer that climate change is a natural phenomenon. So, the fact that the earth’s temperature rises and falls over the ages is hardly a surprise. I’m sure another Ice Age is in our future. However, I’m not going to worry about it or rising oceans based on someone’s computer model. When weathermen start predicting next week’s weather report with 100 percent accuracy, I might be concerned.
So, to claim with absolute certainty that the rise in earth’s temperature is due to man’s use of carbon-based fuels is truly a leap of faith not based on proven facts. Why? Consider the following:
The earth’s dry atmosphere is composed of mostly nitrogen at 78 percent and oxygen at 21 percent. The remaining 1 percent is composed of 14 other gases, of which three contain carbon. Based on the latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as of March of this year, the contribution of carbon dioxide is .03944 percent. The contribution of methane is .000179 percent and carbon monoxide is .00001 percent.
To put this in perspective, let’s say you own a silo 100 feet tall. Here’s how your silo would be filled: 78 feet of nitrogen, 21 feet of oxygen, 11 inches of argon, .4733 inches of carbon dioxide, .0002 inches of methane and .0001 inches of carbon monoxide.
The average contribution of water vapor throughout the atmosphere is approximately .4 percent, or an additional 4.8 inches added to the top of our 100-foot silo. Therefore, water vapor, not carbon dioxide, seems to be the most significant greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. In fact, in terms of greenhouse effect, water vapor is 10 times more significant than carbon dioxide.
Should we pass a law that no one should be allowed to sweat? Or should we just pass a “sweat tax” on every human being and animal in the country and have it regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency? What do you think?
Phil Zalesak, Tall Timbers