An article which appeared in the March 1995 issue of FAEM.
I leaned back and lit an expensive cigar. As the smoke gently integrated with the air about me, I wondered about pollution and global warming. What damage did my mere existence cause? One puff of first-hand cigar smoke would lead to second-hand cigar smoke and probably third-hand cigar smoke. Alas! What cancers I was spreading. Then again, all of that heat from the burning tobacco certainly must be warming the planet. Continuing, my mind also encountered thoughts of carbon dioxide and the "green-house" effect. Gawd! How can the world ever forgive me?
As billions upon billions of molecules of carbon dioxide enter the atmosphere, they form a diffuse, and fluid, blanket which prevents heat from leaving the planet, especially at night. That's what we've been told. The globe gets warmer due to this invisible blanket. The planet gets warmer. The earth gets warmer. The "third rock from the sun" gets warmer. The Sahara gets warmer. Now, that ain't nice since all of this hot air will eventually lead to the melting of the polar icecaps. The oceans rise; the land is flooded; and Noah's Ark floats again. Weez all gets drowndecated. The fishes are happy. The whales are happy and the sponges are happy. The planet is happy. No more ugly human beans to screw things up – we all gassed ourselves to death without fake showers. In a while, give or take an eon, the carbon dioxide takes a gradual hike since plants love to snort the stuff. Some of it even dissolves in the ocean making it an acid-ocean. The blanket gets thinner with time and the earth cools again. The icecaps re-form; land again greets the air; and the fish loose their fins, grow legs, and soon evolve into chickens, rats and human beans. The humans invent cigars and begin to smoke them. Damn! The whole foolish mess starts all over again. It's unavoidable. That's the reason I'll keep right on a puffin'.
The non-polar molecule carbon dioxide is formed whenever carbon, or one of its compounds, becomes oxidized. The most obvious form of this reaction is when we burn things, whether it is a forest, Los Angeles, or batch of witches. Substances we burn for energy production are called fuels and if you believe all of those professional yappers, our collection of Datsuns, Buicks, and lawn-mowers, are the main culprits since they consume tons of liquid fossil fuel. We are reminded of this on a personal basis every time we pull into a Sunoco station. We are also reminded, almost daily, that automobiles must be made to toe the Mother Earth line.
For every gallon of gasoline which is burned, 1200 gallons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. There are about 168 million cars chugging about our country and a slightly greater number in the rest of the world. The average American automobile consumes about 740 gallons of gasoline a year. When all of these numbers are multiplied together, we obtain a gigantic quantity of carbon dioxide being discharged into our breathing space, each year, by machinery invented by Aryans, copied by Asians, and stolen by everyone else.
All of this mental activity gave me cause for concern. I was about to lead my Ford to the auto-graveyard and dust off Grandfather's one-horse open shay, but I would need a horse. My mind drifted back to my childhood where I clearly remembered "Dutch", a brown mare which had the habit of snorting into your face whenever you approached her. "Snort?", I asked myself, "Doesn't every little snort contain carbon dioxide?" Sho'nuff. Whenever any critter breathes, it emits carbon dioxide and water since all animals burn fuel (food) in order to continue living. This is true for whales, humans, and even the tiny yeast cells which leaven our bread. Carbon dioxide is everywhere as is the other invisible "Holocaust."
Out came my pencil, a pad, and the U.S. Rubber Chemistry and Physics Handbook. I proceeded to work out another little chemistry exercise. I soon discovered that the quantity of carbon dioxide that an average person exhales in one year is the equivalent of burning 40 gallons of gasoline. Anyone with only a high school chemistry background can easily verify this.
In the United States, there are about 168 million cars which burn 124 trillion gallons of gasoline per year. In Asia, there are 3.5 billion rice-eaters who, while burning rice and not gasoline, contribute carbon dioxide (from breathing) to the planet equivalent to the burning of 120 trillion gallons of gasoline. Admittedly, an Asian exhales less carbon dioxide per hour than does the average White American. (Is that racist?) I have taken this into account but it really doesn't alter the inescapable conclusion: Carbon dioxide, from ASIAN BREATHING, is of the SAME order of magnitude as that emitted by the total of American automobiles. In a little over two decades, if present trends continue (which they won't!), the number of Asians added to the planet will more than make up for any carbon dioxide pollution which would be diminished if we trashed ALL of our automobiles.
World-wide, this ratio holds. There are fewer people in Western lands but more automobiles. People, just by living, add carbon dioxide to the air which is duplicated, in quantity, by our internal combustion engines. Now, humans are not the only animals on this planet and therefore, we are not the only life-forms contributing to the questionable carbon dioxide build-up. The World Book Encyclopedia mentions that the people, on this planet, harbor about 2 billion cows, both dairy and beef. In one year, a cow exhales carbon dioxide equivalent to the burning of 380 gallons of gasoline. This is nearly 1 trillion gallons of gasoline by comparison. Thus, live beef alone contributes 3 TIMES as much carbon dioxide pollution as does ALL of our American automobiles combined! Then there are chickens, buffalo, mice, Hillary, snakes, horses, dogs, Janet, elephants, weasels, Bill, and all sorts of other breathing critters doing their thing. And yet, no one has mentioned this nor even those gigantic chimneys of Nature – the volcanoes. Does the word "scam" mean anything to you?
When we consider all of the ways carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere, the automobile, even though significant, is not the culprit the back-to-the-caves environmental bunch would have us believe. In fact, and considering the media crap concerning the "green-house effect", I do not feel in jeopardy. Crap is colored brown and I choose to call this bit of poop, the "brown-house effect", or better yet, the "out-house effect."
At this point, I forgot about junking my Ford and decided to keep driving it and burning more and more gasoline. My car is in competition with 18 Asians who insist upon breathing, thus depriving my Ford of the air it needs in order to operate. With this in mind, I'll settle back, light up another cigar, and hope that the communist Winnie "necklace" Mandela gets cancer from the sixth-hand smoke. Hey bud. Can you spare a light?
========== added 9 December 1997
Since this article was written, the spaced-out nincompoops who constitute our government, are at it again. Carbon dioxide might well replace "Nazi" as the epitome of evil. The "greenhouse effect" and "global warming" are the current scare-words designed to entice the American boob into accepting a lower standard of living in order to spread their wealth into the turd-world – Marxist style.
The hint of additional energy costs – on the order of a 40 percent increase in price – is supposed to get one to travel fewer miles in his auto and scrap his air conditioner, I suppose. How this is to be accomplished is not explained but I imagine that it belongs to that realm of fantasy which still floats about in the smudged brains of our 1960's pot-smoking government leaders.
Suppose that natural gas, electricity, and gasoline consumption really were diminished by 30 percent, or so. I can hear the screams of those supplying corporations who then would have substantially reduced profits. If a company has reduced its quantity of a produced product, then what? It could no longer sustain itself on the lowered sales dollar. It would, out of necessity, have to raise the prices but this would only cause a continuation of the downward cycle. Lay off workers? Now that's a great way to go.
Electric cars? Where to you think that electricity will come from? It will have to come from a nuclear, or fossil-fuel burning, central facility since wind, and solar, energy simply won't hack it.
The phoney 1973 energy crisis – natural gas prices tripled and gasoline prices nearly so – did not change American habits one iota. They went on as before and grumbled about the faster emptying of their wallets. The same thing will happen again.
Let's additionally assume that the required object is met. Energy use drops and we Americans have reduced the amount of carbon dioxide which is tossed into the air. But, pollution will be only slowed down temporarily since the earth's expanding population will serve to increase the demand for automobiles, and so on and so forth. We would be back on square one.
As I have shown, in the original article, the mere fact that humans breathe is cause enough for some concern. As people multiply, forests – those great carbon dioxide "sponges" – are diminished and more land is utilized for food (fuel). This expanding human population is creating problems which it will never have the intelligence to solve since the bulk of humanity – even when starving – spends most of its time copulating, or in looking for something to copulate with. Humans, for the most part, are simply screwing themselves into a serious bind. The coming devastation will be a fertile environment for those creatures which will place their checks upon the ruin brought to this planet by those who egotistically believe themselves to be at the "top of the food chain." There is no top, nor no bottom, to the circle of inter-dependent life on this planet. If man will not limit himself, then the bacteria and viruses will do it for him. The planet is simply over-saturated with those "in the image of God" critters. Our collective insanity has placed a high value upon quantity and little upon quality. This is one toboggan we will ride to the end.