[ExI] Richard Lindzen on climate hysteria

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Aug 5 04:35:16 UTC 2009

> ...  
> > > Damien Sullivan wrote:
> > > 
> > > > Raise fossil carbon taxes high enough and the...
> > > 
... -xx- Damien X-)
> Ja, I got that, but as soon as we redefine CO2 emissions as 
> "pollution" then everyone is a polluter... spike

To expand on that thought just a bit, recall that the products of combustion
when burning any hydrocarbon in air are carbon dioxide and water:  

CnH(2n+2) + (sufficient) O2 -> nCO2 + (n+1)H2O

If we define carbon dioxide as a pollutant, then logically so is water, but
that notion isn't quite as far fetched as it sounds.  Certainly flood
victims could see water as a pollutant, but if it turns out that high cirrus
clouds reflect enough sunlight to dominate CO2 greenhouse warming, then a
consequence of hydrocarbon burning would be global cooling, in which case
H2O is the real pollutant, with CO2 making an unsuccessful attempt to save
us from ourselves.

This all reminds me of all the grief that was given to Ronald Reagan for
commenting thus: "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." -- Ronald
Reagan, 1981

Depending on how one defines pollution, he was absolutely right.  Recall
that there was an enormous push to regulate VOCs, Volatile Organic
Compounds.  Their reduction in California resulted in a change in the
chemistry of paint, which took a while for industry to master, which is why
we had cars for a few years in which the paint on our Detroits failed

If we define any VOC as pollution, then notice next time you go to the
forest, that wonderful pine smell.  It is in the air, therefore it is
volatile, and it certainly isn't an element, so it is a compound, and it
came off of a tree, which surely makes it an organic volatile compound.  It
can be easily detected by smell.  Now go to a vast parking lot filled with
Detroits.  Any gasoline smell there?  Not much if at all, not if the cars
were built since about mid to late 70s.  Not all pollution is equal.  If we
define pollution as VOCs, then trees DO pollute more than cars.  

If we define carbon dioxide as a pollutant, then our breathing pollutes,
along with all manner of natural processes, perhaps the worst of which is a
lightning-caused forest fire.  A gentle soul-cleansing spring shower is
pollution falling from the sky.  We bathe daily in pollution, we devour
pollution several times a day.

I counterpropose that we define pollution to specifically exclude pine
emissions, carbon dioxide and water.




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