Man's contribution to greenhouse gasses
Name: Brandon L Oglesby
Why all the flak over man's contribution to the greenhouse effect when at any
given moment millions of tons of cubic packets of carbon dioxide are expelled
into the atmosphere by methane gas via the ocean floor, volcanoes and swamps
(to name a few). How could man's mere contribution of carbon dioxide ever
equal that of mother nature?
Is it really that bad?
Methane is a greenhouse gas and so is carbon-dioxide, but methane and carbon-
dioxide are not exactly the same. I think you have a good point here,
especially since we are still suffering the climatic effects of the gigantic
Pinatubo eruption a few years back. The counter argument is that human
contributions are added on top of natural background events and are therefore
something like the straw that broke the camel's back. The question about how
bad it really is cannot yet be answered, and I am not convinced that it is bad
In the limited research that I have done on this question, it would
seem that food production would be adequate to feed the global human
population (provided that it is equitably distributed) even if the climate
warms much more than anyone is predicting, and irrigation water runs out
faster than anyone is predicting, and the oil supply runs out faster than
anyone is predicting. I do not think we really have anything to worry about
for the next fifty years, but of course, if I am wrong it will be too late to
do anything about it fifty years from now. It is better to err on the side of
caution and cut back on air pollution as much as possible as soon as possible.
Air pollution in cities is a clear and present danger to human health.
Click here to return to the Environmental Science
Update: June 2012