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Name: Brandon L Oglesby
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Question:
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?



Replies:
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 at all.

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.

Mortis



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