The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Remember your high school chemistry class


March 19, 2020

To The Eagle:

For our next foray into the Climate Change Calamity we have to take a page or two from Chemistry 101. Our atmosphere is comprised of nitrogen 78 percent, oxygen 21 percent, and “other gases” 1 percent. The other gases include carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, water vapor, helium, hydrogen, and argon. Since these other gases are rattling around inside that last one percent, their presence is reported in ppm’s or parts per million, which provides larger scarier numbers to produce public panic. Since 1960, the ppm’s of CO2 have increased from 325 to 415. To put that in perspective, if your checking account goes from $325 to $415, how much closer are you to becoming a millionaire?

Next question is how much do these gases contribute to greenhouse effect? Answer is water vapor 95 percent, CO2 a hair over 3 percent, and all the others less than 2 percent. Of that CO2, a hair over 3 percent (once again) is considered anthropogenic (man-made). So political agreements like the Kyoto Protocols and the Paris Accords call for a 30 percent reduction of three percent of three percent of the offending gases. It was estimated by an atmospheric physicist and former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service that if punctiliously observed by all countries the protocols would “affect future temperatures one-twentieth of a degree by 2050.”

On the other hand, the atmosphere of Mars is 95 percent carbon dioxide, but they have trouble ginning up much greenhouse effect unless they have dust storms to play the role of water vapor which is practically nonexistent there, and the planet remains inhospitably frigid. So the obvious solution to problems both here and there would be to have Elon Musk send our CO2 experts, Al Gore, Jay Inslee, and Greta Thunberg to Mars, where their expertise is needed.

Howard Brawn

Puget Island


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