Friedman asks if we should "pay a little more per gallon of gas and make the country stronger, safer and healthier." To put this call for human sacrifice in context, allow me to pose a multiple choice question.
Roughly what percentage of the earth's atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide?
If you answered D, 9%, you're…wrong. In fact if you answered any of the above, you're not just wrong, but wrong by two or three orders of magnitude. The answer is that the earth's atmosphere is less than 390 parts per million, or less than 0.04%, CO2. Yes, this is up from about 320 parts per million, or .032% CO2 fifty years ago, but it is an astonishingly low number to most whose only contact with "climate science" is through what they read in the papers.
Have you ever heard that fact discussed in the "mainstream" media, or even on the nominally conservative Fox News? You hear that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased, but you never hear that it's gone from a minuscule number to a very slightly larger minuscule number.
In fact, our atmosphere is approximately 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 99% of the atmosphere. Of the 1% that remains, more than 90% is Argon. Less than 4% of that 1% is carbon dioxide. (Those measures are of the "dry atmosphere," excluding water vapor, because the water vapor percentage is highly variable. At the surface, water vapor is usually somewhere between 1% and 4% of the atmosphere, reducing the other numbers proportionately.)
If this doesn't already have you asking, "What's all the carbon dioxide fuss about?" here's a little more:
• The "greenhouse effect" of increasing carbon dioxide is logarithmic, meaning that each additional increase has less impact on temperatures than the prior (same sized) increase.
• It is estimated (such as here and here) that 96%-97% of carbon dioxide comes from natural sources, such as animals, plant decay, and volcanoes. Climate alarmists claim that the single-digit percentage human contribution to atmospheric CO2, a small percentage of a tiny percentage, is nevertheless destroying the world.
• Although estimates vary widely, water vapor, which is essentially 100% naturally occurring, is responsible for the majority, somewhere between 50% and 90%, of the "greenhouse effect." So, man-made carbon dioxide is responsible for a small percentage of a tiny percentage of less than half of the greenhouse effect… but is destroying the world.
The point of this is not to offer you a science lesson, but to put in context the fear mongering as anti-capitalists posing as environmentalists become ever more desperate. As Solyndra pounds one of the last nails into the "green jobs" and solar-as-savior coffin, alarmists are making one last stand urging you to reduce your standard of living on the altar of the cult of man-made global warming. It is an altar bloodied with human sacrifice, made to a false god.
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