We’re hearing and reading an awful lot about the problem of carbon lately, but are the stories true?
For a start it’s wrong to refer to it as ‘carbon’, a black substance which can be either be solid, (coal), or a powder, (soot). Carbon under extreme pressure and heat turns into something entirely different, a clear, crystalline substance, almost indestructible and often very beautiful, which we call diamonds.
The actual stuff to which all the present hoo-ha refers is carbon dioxide, normally found as a gas. It is one of the most natural and abundant chemicals on earth, is not poisonous and is vital to every living thing, especially plants, which inhale it and use it, through the magic of photosynthesis for their own energy requirements.
They then exhale what is to them a waste product, (called oxygen), which all forms of animal life inhale as their vital means of staying alive. This interaction forms a very neat and natural circle in that we, in our turn, then expel the very carbon dioxide that the plants need, a perfect example of the balance of nature.
Yet carbon dioxide is at the present time being portrayed as the villain of the piece, causing global warming and all sorts of other problems, most of them being produced it would seem, by human beings and their works alone. Yet as Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University said, (to paraphrase), ‘Four days output of ash, rubble and, above all carbon dioxide from one decent sized volcano equals about five years effort on the part of all people throughout the world, to stop or at least control outputting the gas!’ And don’t forget that volcanoes are popping off their lids all the time, somewhere on earth. In other words, the contribution to this so called pollution by man is, to say the least, pretty insignificant!
It appears, from what we are told, that all the carbon dioxide we produce, from the burning of coal and a myriad of other ways, is causing ‘global warming’, which may or may not be happening. I believe that global warming is happening, but for vastly different reasons to those some would have us accept.
The ‘experts’ say we are the cause, and that we are also the cure. If we just stop burning fossil fuel, in fires or our cars, we shall all be alright and the world will get back to normal! I see this as an enormous over simplification. If one reasonable volcano can obliterate the efforts of the whole world for five years in a mere four days, then we are wasting our time.
I believe that we are, at the present time, still coming out the last ice age that the world suffered, many thousands of years ago. Because of this simple fact, the globe is therefore warming up, as it has done many times in the past, between previous ice ages, and it is a process that will continue until the planet reaches its optimal high temperature, maybe thousands of years in the future, after which it will begin cooling again, heading for the next ice age. Whatever man may do, there is no way this phenomenon can be stopped.
What I believe is really needed, rather than a useless “Carbon Tax”, which will do little if anything to halt global warming, is a means of adjusting the way we live in order to accommodate the conditions in which we find ourselves. Governments need to invest their thoughts and our money in devising better and more efficient ways to capture and store water, (other than by making it from sea water), cheaper ways to insulate homes and, above all in finding some viable method of converting the vast, free energy of the sun into something we can use directly.
Nature worked out how to do it millions of years ago, turning the sun’s energy from trees into coal. We must somehow learn to do something similar, and cheaply too!