Book 2: Are We Digging Our Ecological Crypt?
This book briefly examines some of the changes included in the reality of climate change. Climate change is just one of the problems brought on by overpopulation.
INDUSTRIAL SOURCES OF GREENHOUSE GASES
“Let’s look at the major pollution cause, power generation.
“On average, about 1400 pounds of CO2 is created for every million kilowatts of electricity produced. Of course it varies from source to source. The different types of coal, oil, water power, wind, natural gas all have quite different polluting effects. Only about 1 to 2% of electricity in the U.S. and the world is generated by renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and tidal power.
“Water power generates only about 6% of the world and US electrical power. Water power generation is, of course, subject to how much rain a watershed gets—and that can vary from year to year. Throughout the world coal, oil and gas provide most of the power for the generation of electricity. They, of course, are the great polluters. With China building nearly 600 coal burning power stations we can expect things to get worse. Although there have been some proposals for building cleaner power plants they would be quite expensive.
“The quality of coal is determined by its carbon content. High quality anthracite coal is about 95% carbon and yields about 12,000 British thermal units per pound. Lower grade coals generally contain more than 55% carbon and yield about 7,000 BTUs per pound. In the USA about a billion tons of coal are used every year to produce about half of the country’s electricity needs. But of the total power generated, coal is responsible for 80% of the CO2 formed. With every American using over 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each day, that’s 4 ½ million kilowatts a year, so you can see the problems. The average American uses about 2 ½ times the energy that the average European uses and ten times what the average Central or South American uses. The American also uses 20 times what the typical Far Eastern person uses and 40 times what the African uses. No wonder the US produces so much CO2.
“There’s another source. As I mentioned, much carbon is trapped by nature under the permafrost in Russia and Canada. Decayed, but frozen, trees and other vegetation are releasing their stored CO2. Estimates are that 200 to 800 billion tons of carbon would be released to the atmosphere if the permafrost thaws. So we have a doubly negative effect of our fuel burning. Human yearly output of carbon is ‘only’ about 7 billion tons of carbon—and look at the mess that has gotten us into. Our increased carbon dioxide in the air warms it so that frozen life becomes thawed and releases its carbon. This in turn increases the warming even more.”