The Facts (for practical purposes, without splitting hairs):-
- The basic building blocks of all life are the elements; Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen (C,H,O,N).
- Matter cannot be created nor destroyed (for practical purposes).
- This planet (earth –not coo-coo land) and its atmosphere contains a finite amount of matter including the quantities of C,H,O and N.
- There is a dynamic equilibrium of elements between the earths crust, the atmosphere, the biosphere and the hydrosphere.
- This equilibrium is an oscillator and over time the pendulum has swung from one ‘extreme’ to the other but always self corrects through various mechanisms which cause any shift to be self limiting. This has caused the earth to go through cycles of warming and cooling but it has always survived these ‘extremes’ and the pendulum has always turned and swung back again.
- Now! The notion that burning fossil fuel will somehow shift the planet out of it’s natural equilibrium is to me, simplistic. After all the C and O released, burning fossil fuel, used to be part of the earth’s ancient atmosphere anyway, that’s how the biomass that created these deposits was formed.
- So! If you burn fossil fuel and let’s say the C and O build up causes global warming. What’s going to happen? The increased temperature may cause icecaps to melt and ocean levels to rise and increased precipitation. So what! it is not going to destroy the planet, the planet has been through this before (and survived). It may destroy a few seaside properties, bad luck, you cannot oppose the swing of the pendulum. The rise in sea level if it does occur will be very slow so there will be plenty of time to move away. Sorry about your seaside property you will just have to suck it up. The Doggerlanders faced the same situation 10-12000 years ago. I wonder who they blamed. Picture this scene; 10km East of Dover, 10,000 BC, “Dad why does the sea seem like it is wanting to come in our cave door?” “I recon it has something to do with those fucken bastards (later shortened to ‘Britons’) to the West burning all that smelly peat!”
- Increased C and O and precipitation and temperature are likely to increase the rate at which new biomass is formed (note phytoplankton is a huge part of this). This will consume C and O and slowly bring the pendulum around. By the way it will also increase food supply for those worried about survival of the human race.
- In conclusion one must be clear whether you are arguing for the health of the planet or the welfare of the human race. The planet can take care of itself so don’t concern yourself. The human race is another story, we seem to be bent on destroying each other, climate change is the least of our worries.