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Sci Tech    H2'ed 12/27/15

Our Energy Policy: Blow It Out Your Gas Pipe, asap.

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A redneck friend of mine (yes, I have a few) was driving his large pickup truck to another state the other day, as he often does, and got me on the phone for a short conversation. We got yakking about ski conditions and I noted that with global warming things are not looking too great. E.g., I had a season's pass to a local ski area last year and never got to use it (yes, I'm fussy; there were two powder days and I happened to be busy and couldn't make it).

He promptly went off on how HAARP is screwing up the weather and how the government is "out to get us." I don't disagree about the latter, and I certainly have doubts about the motives of HAARP. I long ago spent many hours checking that out the extent I could and didn't come to see it as doing a tiny fraction of the damage that someone like Alex Jones seems to think (Tesla was brilliant, but, like Hawking, he's never truly been God). Hey, I could be wrong, but the basic physics just isn't there. You'd need far more energy input than is possible to have a fraction of the outcome that a number of non-scientists seem to like to holler and scream about.

But realizing my RNF was blowing out vast plumes of CO2 from his 5" tailpipe as he spoke, I crunched some numbers that came from what appeared to be reliable sites, taking all with a good dose of internet salt, of course. Still, the figures are of considerable interest and seem to coincide at least roughly with what I can recall from other reading (taking into account that I am not Noam Chomsky in the memory department). Anyway, here's what I came up with:

Annual global use of petroleum is about 92.4 million barrels per day; there are 31.5 gallons of petro per barrel; one gallon of gas puts out ~18#s of CO2 (due to combination with CO2 from the air).

Hence: 92,400,000 barrels x 31.5 gallons/barrel = 296,100,000 gallons per day globally. Times that by 18 pounds and you get 5,329,800,000 pounds of CO2 that we humans add to the atmosphere every day. Divide by 2,000 pounds per ton and you get 2,664,900 tons per day. Times by 365 days per year, and the number of tons looks like this: 972,688,500 tons of CO2 per year, or close to a trillion tons per year (as I have read elsewhere).

As Barry Commoner long ago noted--and as any halfway intelligent fourth grader can tell you--everything goes somewhere. The burden of proof is on the global warming "deniers" to explain to us where they think this stuff is going.

Note: My math skills are not what they once were, and "correct corrections" are most welcomed. It'd still be a large burden for the "deniers" to account for.

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)

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