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Friday Excuse to Go Home Early and Drink: New EPA Boss Wants States to Decide on Auto Emissions

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  • #31
    Re: Friday Excuse to Go Home Early and Drink: New EPA Boss Wants States to Decide on Auto Emissions

    The carbon thing works like this (corrections from Randal welcome): Long ago, plants and animals lived and died, and some of them ended up buried, so the carbon in them was trapped underground, and eventually turned into coal/oil/natural gas. As this process went on over past billions of years, most of the carbon dioxide was taken out of the atmosphere.

    There is still some carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but it's a pretty small amount, less than one percent of air is carbon dioxide. We breathe carbon dioxide out, but that carbon dioxide was formed from the carbon in the food we ate, which got it from plants, which took it out of the air. So, our breathing is not affecting the "above ground" level of carbon.

    When we dig and drill fossil fuels, we take buried carbon out of the ground, and burn it, so it goes back into the atmosphere. We burn a LOT of fossil fuels each year. The percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased about 35% in the past hundred years or so.

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    • #32
      Re: Friday Excuse to Go Home Early and Drink: New EPA Boss Wants States to Decide on Auto Emissions

      Pretty Good Squirrel, I'll just clarify a bit ;) I'd change billions of years to around 400 million for actual storage of hydrocarbons (plants to oil and coal), but CO2 started being removed from the atmosphere and replaced with O2 around 2 billion years ago and peaking around 250 million years ago, at which point O2 has been steadily decreasing, and CO2 fluxuating with the global temperature.

      CO2 makes up .03% of a percent of our atmosphere. Increase a small number by any percent that isn't in the hundreds and it's still a small number. .03*35%=.04, up one hundredth of a percent, but it's scarier to hear 35%! Another thing about statistics, practically any change to a small number makes a large percent difference, imagine that.

      We are definately pumping CO2 in to the atmosphere at nearly unprecedented rates, is it harmful I think is yet to be determined, especially since as Spidey pointed out it's natural respiration for us, and to go further it IS the air that plants need to breath. We live on O2 levels as low as 18% (give or take a bit), but plants are living on CO2 levels at .03%. Early I said "nearly" unprecedented rates because some of the ice core data is showing that the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere has increased at not only a faster rate but to a much higher level (like to a tenth of a percent!). Reason's why are never given, still need more research and gut feelings on it are never given, don't want to make it sounds too much like a natural process to the public. But the rise always comes with a warmer climate. MY gut feeling on it is that from some climate forcing (which we don't have a handle on, could be solar radiation, volcano's, random change in ocean currents, etc) cause the temps to rise a bit and a bunch of dissolved CO2 in the atmosphere was degassed from the ocean. Standard chemstry and partial pressure CO2 calculations, this has been tested in a lab! Damn you Squirrel, I'm going to stop myself ranting here.
      Escaped on a technicality.

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      • #33
        Re: Friday Excuse to Go Home Early and Drink: New EPA Boss Wants States to Decide on Auto Emissions

        Originally posted by TheSilverBuick
        is it harmful I think is yet to be determined,
        That's the important thing. The politicians who say "the sky is falling", and the politicians who say "it's all BS" are both wrong....there's probably something happening, but it's probably not gonna be a big deal. The overal variation in climate in any one area, let alone the whole globe, is huge compared to even the most pessimistic predicted average change in climate from CO2 caused "climate change".
        My fabulous web page

        "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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        • #34
          Re: Friday Excuse to Go Home Early and Drink: New EPA Boss Wants States to Decid

          While the choice for EPA boss looks bad for us, the president elect's choice for Dept of Transportation has the green lobby all kinds of pissed off-

          http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/009299.html

          These people that want to force us to stop driving at all, and force us all to move from the suburbs to the "urban core" are a lot scarier to me.

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