[FoRK] They Laughed at Me When I Said it

Wulf Losee wulfconsumer at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 17:11:37 PDT 2009


Adam L Beberg wrote:
>We're way way past the tipping point. Unless we TOMORROW stop all fossil
>fuel use and humans do nothing but work 24/7 for the next 100 years
>sequestering carbon back into the ground, this planet is completely dead
>as far as us oxygen<->CO2 cycle lifeforms are concerned. Maybe that
>wouldn't even help.

It may be the end of civilization, but it's won't be the end of the world.
Over most of geologic time, since life started modifying our atmosphere, our
planet was hotter and more humid than we know it to be today -- with more
CO2 in the atmosphere than we  have today -- and higher CO2 levels than most
climate models predict will be spewed out in the next century (And we'll run
out of petroleum and coal in the next 30 years, so I don't think it will go
much farther). The notable climate exception to the hotter/warmer Earth was
300 million years ago during the late Carboniferous Period -- which is the
only period in the geologic history that resembles our current climate.

Rather than running in circles and crying that the sky is falling, we could
start sequestering Carbon by dumping iron oxide into the nutrient dead-zones
of the the oceans to create plankton blooms. I keep hearing arguments that
this won't work. Well, let's get of our collective asses, and see if it
works. Also, some folks at Lawrence Berkeley argue that this won't work,
because some large percentage of the dead plankton doesn't actually reach
the sea-floor. Well, my answer to that, is as long as the Carbon is in dead
plankton, the Carbon isn't in the atmosphere -- so it doesn't matter if it's
on the sea floor. And if you really really need to get a higher percentage
of Carbon sequestered on sea floor, just dump more iron oxide.

Also, you wrote:
>A wild wolf is carbon and energy neutral. So is a aboriginal human
>living in the Amazon.

Well, aboriginal humans are far from Carbon neutral. Amazonian aborigines
practice slash and burn agriculture, which actually releases a whole lot of
CO2. Likewise, hunter gatherers are known to light forest fires to cause
game to flee from cover. Pre-Industrial man may have had less of a Carbon
footprint than we have today, but it was by no means insignificant.

best regards,
--Wulf


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