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Old 12-30-2010, 12:20 PM   #316 (permalink)
NeilBlanchard
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Plants have been "packing" carbon into the Earth's crust for lo these billions of years. So, sure, carbon dioxide has been reduced.

And what is the oil, do you think?

Here's the big picture: for the 12,000 years that humans have done agriculture, the climate and the carbon dioxide have been pretty darn stable. Now, in the last 150-200 years, starting with coal, then natural gas and oil, we have released 100's of millions of years worth of carbon dioxide back into the air.

Yes, the whole situation has been in flux. Hell, there used to be just one continent and one ocean. There used to be NO oxygen in the air; only carbon dioxide and water vapor -- it was a furnace in every sense of the word. The lifeforms ate chemicals and used the heat as energy.

Cyanobacteria came along and used the sunlight instead, and they produced oxygen as waste. All the oxygen in the atmosphere came from plants consuming water during photosynthesis. And they are pulling carbon dioxide from the air, and some of that ends up in the Earth.

Early life forms made the Earth what it is. Along with all life forms, we came into being and evolved based on being part of this cycle. Every single life form on Earth depends on the fine balance that has come about. For hundreds of millions of years this is how it has worked. Slow changes are fine, in the big scheme of things.

We humans have existed for a mere 200,000 years. We have had agriculture for only 12,000 years. We worked our way into a relatively comfortable place within the cycle of life.

Then we discovered this amazing store of carbon fuel. Each gallon of oil = something like 92 tons of biological material -- the amount of stored energy in oil is staggering. And we have burned through about half of it -- say 200 million years worth, in less than 200 years.

An average of 1 million years worth of carbon stored away by every single plant and cyanobacteria that lived during that million years -- is released into the atmosphere each year that we have been burning oil and coal and gas.

So, on average the carbon that was stored away over a million year period -- which is 5X longer that humans have existed -- is released each year for the past 200 years.


How could that *not* affect the entire Earth, and every life form on it?!


So, whether or not you individually decide to keep being blind and greedy, the reality -- the situation we are all in, is real. You are being affected, and the sooner we all realize this, the better.

My brother Nathan had a tee shirt ~35 years ago, that had a motto:

"If you are not part of the solution, then you are the precipitate."
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Sincerely, Neil

http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 12-30-2010 at 12:40 PM..