Are we demonising Carbon too much?

Is Carbon, especially CO2, being over demonised for the changes to global weather and climate?

Are we demonising Carbon too much?

I read an interesting line in a Sci-Fi novel last night that got me thinking.  

The line was "Heat,' Aubry said sadly. "Do you know how much heat a modern industrial civilization of over 40 billion people generates?"

The book is The Naked God by Peter F Hamilton and is set in the distant future but the quote raises an interesting question;

Just how much heat have the 7 billion people on Earth (at present) put into the atmosphere in the last century?

Late in the 1800's human population was 1 billion, by 1927 it had doubled and today it is estimated to be around 7 billion and rising.  The Industrial Revolution started the growth of human population and the industrial world continues apace today with China, India and other emerging nations all racing to catch the West.

All this industrial growth has got to have put quintillions of kilojoules into the planetary system and most of that is probably still with us.  So how much of the warming we "might" be seeing in the last 50 years is due to industrial heating and how much is really CO2?

After all every breath we take we give out CO2, as does every other living thing on the planet and in the oceans.  As a rough calculation the 7 billion of us, based on 10hrs of rest and 14hrs of light activity a day, exhale a mind blowing 4 Quadrillion litres of CO2 per day or 1 Sextillion litres per year (yes 1 followed by 15 zeros!) Or to put it into tonnes that is 7,984,838tonnes per day or 2.9 billion tonnes per year.  And that's without any physical labour or exhertions.

So has anyone actually looked into the effect our industrial heat has had?  All those Air Conditioner units pumping their heat out into the world while cooling our offices, all our fridges keeping our beers cool?  All those kilojoules must have an impact so perhaps it is better to concentrate our efforts on making people wise up to their energy demands and wastage so that we can control the heat going into the system as well as helping reduce the CO2, H2O and other greenhouse gases so some of the heat can escape.

That and paint all the roofs in the world white to increase the albedo and reflect the incomming solar radiation more.


Topics: Climate change
Tags: | CO2 | population | solar | weather
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