A comic about life, love, death, and eloquence, in about three colors.
All right kids, let'ssettle in for a longone... CO2's prominence in our atmosphere has increased an estimated 0.01%over the past 150 years to 0.038%. It is important to note the temperatureeffect of CO2 is logarithmic, that is, there is a diminishing response as itsprominence increases. In other words, fretting over increased carbonemissions is just plain silly. If, for example, one wanted to double the heatingeffects of atmospheric CO2 experienced prior to the Industrial Revolution,CO2 would need to account for 9% of the atmospheric composition (~236xwhat it is today). Even if that was something we were aiming to achieve, theconcentration would become toxic to us at about 6%. God save the penguins. On climatology.

The Substitute 5

2009-04-15

Which is not to say excess carbon dioxide is totally fine.  We can’t breathe it, and that same logarithmic scaling will work against us if we try to reverse the process (we’ll have to remove a shitton before we see a positive change).  But it isn’t the only player.  Policies meant to retard or reverse global warming would do well to remember methane, for instance.  There are some cool things we can do to curb methane emissions:

  • The fumes off decaying garbage can be sucked up and used to generate power.
  • Technological improvements can not only reduce fossil fuel consumption, but also prevent innumerable traffic accidents caused by people making u-turns at busy intersections to save 2¢ a gallon on gas.
  • Pigs and cattle can be replaced by sentient tofu, making drives through the heartland a lot less stinky.

 

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