Tangent, sorry, but animal flatulence is a greater danger
by Ziks511 - 9/26/13 6:38 AM
In Reply to: That stuff we burn by MarkFlax
than anything else. I remember in the early 70s Harper's had a front and back section on yellow coarse paper which contained article squibs and odd facts, and which pointed out that all the sheep in New Zealand gave off XYZ metric tonnes of Methane each year. A much worse Greenhouse gas than CO2.
(It also had a short entry which read. "In 1900 there were ?0 thousand horses in New York city each producing 10+ pounds of manure daily, It has been estimated that in one year, had it been left to accumulate, it would have filled all the city streets to a depth of 12 feet." or something like that.)
The only reason that there is a push on to limit human caused contributions to the situation is that that is the only variable in the equation that can actually be controlled. We can't stop swamps from decomposing and releasing methane, and we can't stop animals, even livestock from farting, or volcanoes from erupting, or other things like that, but we can limit automobile pollution (but not it's CO and CO2 emissions) and the emissions of dirty generating stations by replacing them with cleaner more efficient ones and eliminating coal which is not just CO2 rich but is also filled with other noxious gasses. Britain in the 1950's eliminated coal fires in peoples houses after a killer smog in London left thousands dead in one incident. Natural gas produces more energy per tonne than coal does or than petroleum does, with none of the extraneous pollutants like Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen oxides and other gasses. Just because Coal is considered to be cheap because it is measure only in the cost of recovery from the ground, and not in damage to the environment, doesn't mean that it isn't, in the larger accounting, more expensive.
Truthfully, I think that the rise in CO2 is probably more related to the elimination of large trees world-wide than it is related to actual emissions. Since the 18th Century we have clear cut most of North and South America and that continues to happen in Africa and South East Asia. If you haven't got what are effectively trillions of CO2 fixing towers world wide, you're not going to have the earth's normal natural ability to reduce CO2 as an environmental factor.
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