I’m really tired of hearing about something that we know, if we are honest with ourselves, that we do not understand. In the course of it’s history, the earth has been a total snowball and a ball of fire. Right now, we’re in a pretty happy medium. The ball of fire was caused by a meteor strike and the snowball was caused most directly by a change in oceanic currents. Now, I don’t know about you, but humans are still far to puny to change the oceanic currents.
Given that our planet is subject to these extremes and has been since long (billions of years) before the rise of man, I find it odd that we automatically assume that global warming is anything we’re doing. Let’s run through a little math here, people.
Car – average mileage for a car per year – 8,000. That’s in the USA – one of the most car friendly and car per capita dense places on the entire planet. A worst case scenario is that the entire planet mimics us so we’ll pretend for a moment that cars and roads and gas stations cover the planet, even though anyone who’s ever been to Africa or South American can tell you otherwise. This is quite likely a complete overestimation.
Best estimates place the number of cars in operation, planet wide at about 51,000,000. That’s 51 million if you don’t deal well with zeros.
51,000,000 x 8000 = 408,000,000,000 miles for all cars per year
408,000,000,000 x 8.51 ounces of CO2 per mile = 3,472,080,000,000 ounce of CO2 per year for all cars
Divide by 16 to get pounds (16 oz per pound) = 217,050,000,000 pounds
Divide by 2000 (2000 pounds per ton) = 108,502,500 tons of CO2 per year from every single car on the planet
Now for the humans
We exhale 2.2 pounds of CO2 per day. That’s pretty average for a person and rest. We know that the entire world is lying about on it’s backside, 24×7. My point here is that the real numbers are probably much higher given the significant portion of the world’s population that’s engaged in manual labor on a daily basis.
2.2 x 365 (days per year) = 912.5 pounds per year per person
912.5 x 6,727,408,462 (best estimate of earth’s population) = 6,138,760,190,550 pounds
Divide by 2000 = 3,069,380,095.275 tons
Now for volcanoes
Volcanic activity has long been know to be a driving factor in the earth’s natural climatic shifts. The best conservative estimate put the amount of CO2 from surface volcanoes (the only ones we can measure) at 12,416,434,600,000 ounces per year.
Divide by 16 = 776,027,162,500 pounds or 388,013,581 tons or nearly quadruple what all the cars on the planet are putting off.
Keep in mind that these are just surface volcanoes and do not include the deep oceanic volcanoes which are the ones that are mainly responsible for stirring up CO2 from the ocean depths and sending it back into the atmosphere.
Coal Fired Power Plants
Now, keep in mind that most of the coal pollution comes from unchecked mine fires that are burning in China and India. These fires are so bad that they’ve created a crop & human killing near permanent pall of smog, acid, and general ickiness that runs from China to Sri Lanka in places. Many of these coal fires, like the Australian “Burning Mountain” are natural occurences. Scientists estimate that “Burning Mountain” has been burning for around 6000 years. One fire in China started in 1874 and wasn’t able to be extingusihed until 2004. Another fire there has been going since the 1600’s and is largely unabated. Since these appear to be largely natural phenonemon, I will not be including them in my calucations for coal fired power plants. We’re far more concerned with man made CO2 here. I’ll cover the naturally occuring coal fires below.
Now, here in the good old USA where we have every electrical convienence known to man – electric can openers, the electric wheel chair (a.k.a. I’m too fat and lazy to walk through Wal-Mart), the electric air freshner, electric litter boxes, the electric stapler…you get the idea. I know that the electric wheel chair isn’t a luxury for some of you, but I have to tell you. Almost every one I’ve ever seen in one would benefit greatly from having the handicapped spaces moved to the back of the lot and doing a bit of walking while they shop. In any even, we use more electricity per capita that anywhere else on earth, so these numbers are quite likely much higher than reality.
According to the PUC (Public Utilities Comission) Texans use enough energy that we’re responsbible for 7.45 pounds of CO2 per person per year for our electricity. Most, but not all of the electricity, in Texas comes from coal.
7.45 x 6,727,408,462 = 50119193042 pounds of CO2 per year or 25,059,597 tons of CO2 per year. This is about 1/4 of what cars put off.
Naturally Occuring Coal Fires
Estimates show that about 200 million metric tons of coal burns annually in naturally occuring fires. Now our first step is to convert this into regualr tons. That works to about 221 regular (short) tons. The ratio of CO2 per pound of coal is 2.84. It comes out higher because of the two oxygen atoms that get added to each carbon during combustion. Given the fact that sattelite photography is now uncovering all sorts of new, previously unknown coal fires in these regions, these numbers are quite likely to be extremely low, perhaps 25% or less of what reality will reflect.
221 million tons x .9 (coal is only about 90% carbon) = 19895000 x 2.84 = 563,988,658 tons of CO2 per year. This is about 5 times what all the cars on the planet put off and about 20 times what the well controlled burn in a coal fired power plant puts off.
Final Score Board (CO2 emissions in Tons Per Year)
All Cars on Planet Earth – 108,502,500
Surface Volcanoes – 388,013,581
Exhaling Humans – 3,069,380,095
Coal Fired Power Plants – 25,059,597
Naturally Occuring Coal Fires – 563,988,658
As you can see from the numbers above, humans exahaling exceeds the CO2 output of every single car on the planet by orders of magnitude. People exhaling puts out nearly 30 times the CO2 of every single car on the planet. Surface volcanoes put out nearly 4 times the CO2 of every single car on the planet yet this isn’t something that humans can effect. We can barely predict when they will erupt much less control them. And CO2 isn’t the only thing that volcanoes put out. They pump millions of tons of ash into the air each year which has tremendous effects on global weather patterns. Even so, CO2 is being touted by the global warming alarmists as the big culprit in climate change. This being the case, the best thing that all you tree hugging global warming yahoos can do to “stop global warming” is to just stop breathing. And when you do that, try to be sure to position your corpse so that you can decompose over some seeds. Turning yourself into the same fertilizer that you spout would be your best bet to help the rest of us out.