The fact that most people in the world today believe that air pollution causes Global Warming drives me absolutely crazy. The fact that these people embrace the Kyoto accord to deal with these problems makes even less sense: Kyoto deals almost exclusively with the reduction of CO2 gas in the atmosphere. CO2 is neither a pollutant, nor the cause of Global Warming. CO2 is a colourless, ordourless gas that is the ‘oxygen’ to all the plants and trees in the world. Remember your grade 9 biology class? Photosynthesis? It is the lifeblood of the tropical rainforests we all tried so hard to save during the late seventies and early eighties.
Let’s play with some numbers shall we?
CO2 (a greenhouse gas) makes up about 3% of the world’s greenhouse gases. About 95% is water vapour, the other 2% a mixture of various gases. Of this 3%, humans are responsible for generating about 6%. Through agriculture, and reforestation, humans are also responsible for REDUCING CO2 by about 3%, making the net human contribution 3%. That makes human source CO2 3% of 3% of all greenhouse gases. Canada is responsible for less than 3% of all human generated CO2, making our share less than 3% of 3% of 3%, or 0.000027%. Kyoto requires us to scale back our emissions by 6%, or 6% of less than 3% of 3% of 3%, or 0.00000167%. We are going to spend billions of dollars to reduce the total concentration of CO2 in the global greenhouse gas concentrations by less than 0.00000167%.
Even if we all stopped driving our cars, stopped heating our houses, and stopped breathing, since exhaling puts CO2 in our atmosphere, and we achieved a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions, we’d only reduce the global CO2 levels in the total greenhouse gases by less than 0.000027%.
Hardly seems worth it, does it?