This is about why humans may NOT be affecting global climate.
Doesn’t it make sense to look beyond those scary coal-fired industrial plants and those smokey diesels blocking our way on the interstate to see the larger picture? Looking at it in these ways, it may very well be possible to begin to doubt the drumbeat of the climate-change proponents—that the burning of fossil fuels has any significance on the planet. Forget about how the alarmists will tell you how many tons of CO2 an automobile produces in one year, or how many millions of tons of CO2 a power plant cranks out in one year—those are essentially red herrings that only serve to confuse the issue. The only way to know the truth is to look at fossil fuel consumption as worldwide consumption at the well head or directly from the entrance of the coal mine—not how it’s dispersed throughout the infrastructure of the planet. To do that, it’s necessary to compare humans and human activity to the size of the planet and it’s atmosphere. (in future articles)
You’ve no doubt heard of “global warming”…. Thirty years ago the same people who today are warning of “global warming” were—back then, warning of another ice age upon us. So now the new term is “climate change” It seems now, the term “climate change” (cleverly) won’t pin the fear-mongers down to one or the other. Climate change in itself doesn’t seem the issue to those people. They believe, or at least claim they believe, humans are affecting global climate through the use of fossil fuels—that is; the burning of carbon based fuels which release CO2 into the atmosphere. You probably know the theory of the “greenhouse effect” whereby CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere (making it possible for humans and other life to live) They believe, or fear, or are just saying to scare you for their own nefarious purposes (take your pick) that the release of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil etc.) by humans is causing a “runaway” greenhouse effect warming the earth’s atmosphere to the point the polar ice caps will melt, flooding the earth and causing all kinds of atmospheric havoc such as all those hurricanes they’ve predicted that haven’t as yet materialized. They would have you believe humans are having all sorts of detrimental effects on the planet….
Although Obama may be “gone”, others like him remain. Global warming caused by human activity “is the biggest threat to national security”…So proclaimed the timid little voice of Barack Hussein Obama and the booming ego of Al Gore, imagining humans could have any effect on the climate. Imagine ants in their colony can look at their world (if they could) and flex their muscles thinking how omnipotent they are to change the 100 square yards of their world, never imagining what lies beyond. Obama is gone but there’s no reason to think others whom we’ll call “Warmists” will not continue the drum beat, trumpeting “climate change”, wanting to herd the sheep into Taxageddon in the form of a “carbon tax” while destroying the energy infrastructure—all the while getting rich (Gore) (and his ilk) and / or expanding their power base (others of Obama’s ilk) by exploiting people’s fears.
Since there are certain individuals claiming we are “polluting” our ENTIRE planet with CO2, by burning coal and oil and other fuels, again it’s only logical to consider and compare the entire planet and the CO2 generated by burning said fossil fuels, and the vessel into which the “offending” CO2 is poured—that vessel being our atmosphere, comprised of 12,397,549,722 (12.4 billion cubic miles) (Volume of atmosphere up to 62 mi.) and weighing 5.8 quadrillion tons (or in geek speak : 5.8 million billion tons) The Warmists try to scare you with “millions” of tons of CO2. The next time Warmists try to scare you with “millions”, let’s see what “millions” means to to size of the planet :If you were to count a million dollars at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take you 11 days….. If you were to count a Quadrilliondollars at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take you 32 MILLION YEARS! (all without bathroom breaks!) A Quadrillion is a billion times a million. The atmosphere of our planet comes in at QUADRILLIONS of tons. But more on that in another article. Today we’ll just talk about how much of the planet humans occupy as it relates to what we put into the atmosphere.
AREA OF EARTH HUMANS ACTUALLY OCCUPY :
It’s easy to see how people can be led to believe humans are affecting the planet by burning fossil fuels resulting in all that CO2 “polluting” the atmosphere. When you go to the end of your street and have to wait for God knows how long for all the traffic to pass. When you drive down the interstate and see the never-ending ribbon of traffic ahead of you, then look in your rear-view to see the traffic stretch back to the ends of the earth. If you see all that traffic, factories everywhere, tall buildings, trucks belching black diesel, construction going on everywhere, and people going about their business like ants. When you walk down the street of a big city and see humans EVERYWHERE, how could you not think we humans are having a profound influence on the climate of the earth in the guise of CO2? That is : How could one not believe in “man-caused global warming”?
When you’ve looked around and seen humans everywhere you go, and that has led you to take the view that humans are affecting global climate, perhaps you’ve failed to consider you live among humans and therefore it’s only natural to see humans everywhere you go. If one sees traffic, factories etc. and people everywhere, are constantly pummeled with a stream of catastrophes on TV, have watched too many Disney movies (Al and Barack) and nature shows touting “human’s destructiveness” and listened to politicians and “environmentalists” trumpeting “global warming” : “We must” : “save the planet” “save the polar bears” “save the trees” “save the snail darter” “save the….” etc, …(a true GOD complex)…due to human activity, it would be only natural to imagine the havoc humans must be creating on a planetary scale.
If that’s so, perhaps you didn’t realize humans only occupy a mere 0.289% or less (roughly three tenths of one percent) of our planets surface;and likely less. If that’s so, then perhaps you’ve failed to consider the other 99 plus percent of the earth—where humans don’t live and where fossil fuels are not burned and where CO2 is not only not emitted into our atmosphere but where CO2 is absorbed OUT of the atmosphere….Perhaps, if you’ve bought into the “man-caused” global warming myth, you might be saying : “It just ain’t so!” (that humans only occupy a mere one percent or less of the land area of our planet and less than one percent of the entire surface of our planet.) Even the 0.289% is misleading though, because CO2 is not generated in every part of that area but within that area, as you will see.
If you believe humans are all over the planet and “polluting” everywhere, please consider that about 71% of our planet is covered with water, which obviously means 29% of the earth is land. There are no humans that live in the 71% of the earth covered by water to speak of and no CO2 being generated by humans there to speak of. Oceans actually absorb CO2 out of the atmosphere…. Please note CO2 is 1 ½ times heavier than air. A very convenient fact, since the flora of our planet rely on CO2 for growth and if CO2 floated off into space, plants wouldn’t be very happy and we’d all die. You should also be aware CO2 is soluble in water. That’s important as it relates to ways CO2 finds it’s way out of the atmosphere through absorption into the ocean and rainfall, besides it’s consumption by the flora of the planet…..
Please consider also that of the 29% of the earth’s surface which is comprised of land, Antarctica covers about 9% of earth’s land area. There are no humans that live in Antarctica and no CO2 being generated there.
For the purposes of this article, it would be difficult to sort out all the various definitions (below) of “forests” or “deserts” etc. since it would not make for great reading by breaking it down in minutia, as there seems to be overlap in the various definitions. For example, “agriculture” by some counts also includes “grasslands” for grazing cattle which is counted as something else by various criteria, or “Antarctica” counted as “desert” by some counts, so adding up those areas given by the different agencies and entities actually comes to more than 100%. Just know “forests”, “deserts” and “agriculture” are devoid of humans to the degree that there is no CO2 to speak of being generated in those areas and that those areas are actually eating CO2.
Roughly 36% of the land area is rain forests but could be as much as 40%, which probably includes wild lands such as swamps and grasslands etc. Oh you know, the vast rain forests of Central and South America, the Congo rain forest of Africa which is larger than the state of Alaska e. g. and the great forests of the north etc. Other than an odd human here or there, there are no humans to speak of in the vast forests and wild lands of this planet generating CO2. Forest and all plant life on the planet actually absorb CO2 out of the atmosphere to use it for growth..
So you don’t have to do your own math : Of the 29% land, deduct 9% for Antarctica and 36%. for forest equals 45% of the land area of our planet. (Only the LAND area—not the entire planet)
Another about 24% of land area are deserts and semi-arid lands (Sahara, Gobi, Sonoran, Namib—to name a few) where few humans live and generate no CO2 to speak of. Now, 45% plus 28% for deserts equals 73% of the land area of our planet where no CO2 is generated and CO2 is absorbed by natural processes.
Roughly 26 % of the 29% land area is given over to agriculture (up to 40% which probably includes grassland for grazing various domestic animals). Agricultural crops do not generate CO2—they actually absorb CO2 also, to use it for growth, so there is no CO2 generated there to speak of. Thus : 73% plus 26% for agriculture equals 99% of land area where natural processes absorb CO2 and where humans are few and far between. Virtually all of the over 99% of the entire surface of the earth listed above absorb CO2 out of the atmosphere.
That leaves only ONE percent of the available land that humans actually occupy. Please remember that is one percent of the LAND area (29%) of earth and not one percent of the entire SURFACE of our planet.
Granted, humans are spread out over the entire 20% of land area and fossil fuels are burned in millions of places spread out over some portion (?) of that….. .But regardless of how human’s 1% is spread out over the land, CO2 is still only generated (within) 1% of the available land area, or 0.289% of the whole planet. Most probably even less depending on how “forests” “grasslands” and “agriculture” are counted, as well as infrastructure such as housing and roadways.
There are many sources where one can visit those numbers and some of the percentages vary depending on who you read, but roughly three quarters of our planet is covered with water with the other one quarter being land. One can’t much argue with that.
So again, after deducting Antarctica’s 9% one is left with 20% of the surface of the earth to quibble over whether forests cover 30% of land and how much desert and agricultural land there might be in the remaining 20%. But any way you slice it, humans end up with a very tiny portion of the earth’s surface that we actually occupy.
If you don’t like numbers or they don’t like you, skip over them and just see the end result, but there are some who’ll want the numbers….(In future articles as well)
There are 197 million square miles of surface area on planet earth. 29% (land area) of 197 million square miles is 57,130,000 square miles of land area. One percent of that is 571,000 square miles, which is the area humans occupy. Carry that a bit further and 571,000 square miles (the area humans occupy) is 0.289 % of the entire earth’s surface. If you disagree with that estimate and think it must be much more than 0.289% then, what might it be? Twice that amount? (0.578%—or 1,142,000 square miles) ? Three times that? (0.867%—or 1,713,000 square miles) ? STILL less than 1 % of the earths surface….
If you’re not convinced humans occupy such a small portion of the earth, think of this—and this is wholly unscientific : If every person on earth (6.5 billion people for the purpose of this article) lived in a house with three other people (4 people per house) and that house measured 30′ X 30′ (900 sq. ft.) the combined area of those houses would be a mere 52,460 sq. mi.( a square of 229 miles on all sides) That’s a vast difference from the 571,000 sq. mi. cited above …. “Yeah but” you might say “what about all those factories, stores, parking lots and roadways?” Considering there are very many less of those, it would be hard to think their area would add up to the remaining 519, 000 sq. mi. : But even if all the roadways, shopping centers, parking lots and power plants did add up to the remaining 519,000 square miles, the area they occupy is not producing CO2 or any other “pollutant” Not all of the areas occupied by humans emit CO2. The area a power plant sits on for example, is a benign space and only the smoke stack can be considered to be producing CO2 etc. Same with roadways. They are just laying there not making CO2. The auto—and more specifically the auto tailpipes are emitting “CO2” (see below) Ditto for the area all those houses sit on. You can’t count that entire area as producing CO2—only the exhaust opening of the furnace or fireplace of the dwelling. No, you can’t count the lawns around all those houses—they’d be counted as grasslands eating CO2, as would all the millions of small garden plots people keep, as well as all the trees of all the tree-lined streets and back yards, and all the parks in all of those cities and towns. It’s questionable those people counting “forest”, “grasslands” or “agriculture” counted lawns, and trees and parks in residential areas, or that all of the millions of family garden plots throughout the planet were counted as agriculture. Then too, most people in large cities don’t live spread out horizontally in single family dwellings, but live in tall buildings housing perhaps hundreds of people, requiring less single family houses and thus less area. They live in a “house” with many floors which would require an area of the earth many times smaller than if they all lived in single family homes. Then too, many third world peoples would probably be overjoyed to have 900 sq. ft. of living space. And can you really believe there are only four people per household worldwide? It’s possible (probable?) there are more people per household worldwide than the 4 people per household cited, reducing the number of houses required even further…..You’re probably living fairly comfortably if you’re reading this—you have access to the internet on some device or other and the devise must be of some worth, so you’re probably not “poor”—how much living space do you have, or what are the outside dimensions of your home? You might be fortunate to live in a home larger than 40′ X 40′ (1,600 sq. ft. at ground level) but likely your single family home comes in at between 900 sq. ft. up to about 1,600 sq ft. on the ground floor. If you live in an apartment, your space may be even smaller. If you live in one of those new bedroom communities of a larger city, your home may be larger—but that’s not a global reality.
If you remain unconvinced humans only occupy 0.289% (or less) of the planet look at a map of your state. (or country) Pick a road. Now pick the next road. See the space between those thin little pencil lines? Humans live next to the road. Where there are no roads—there are no humans..
No houses. No factories. No power plants. No shopping centers. Just forests or deserts or farmer’s fields. Humans don’t live between the roads.
Take a drive down a rural road. If you live in places where there are hills and mountains, when you crest a hill, look out over the landscape. You’ll probably see tree covered hills or open fields, even in relatively populated areas. Would you suppose those areas close to your home were counted as “forests”? In suburban areas you’ll see the trees and not the houses nestled among them—there are a lot of trees in suburban neighborhoods (If you live in suburbia, look out your window at the trees hovering over your house). If you live in an agricultural area, you’ll see miles and miles of corn fields or vineyards etc. but very few if any houses. Even driving down the interstate, take a look on either side and see the vast stretches of open land, punctuated only here or there by the farmer’s houses or barns.. Take a look at the map of Australia. You’ll see vast stretches of open land they like to call the “outback” Africa and the other continents ditto. In our state and most likely in yours, if you drive down some rural roads, there may not be a house for miles. Driving through upstate New York or Pennsylvania, you’d never know there is a New York City or Philadelphia. Agriculture is the leading industry in the crowded state of California. People living there, if they’ve ever been out of the cities they’re crowded into will attest to the never ending landscape of fields and orchards growing food crops for the rest of humanity. Even the most populous countries such as China and India have vast wild-land forests (The pandas of China and tigers of India e. g.) and agricultural areas. All of those areas are eating CO2.
SMOKESTACKS AND TAILPIPES
Recall from above the 0.289% human occupation of the surface of the planet. CO2 is not generated over the whole of that area. It’s generated WITHIN that area as cited above. Imagine, instead of people being spread out, that we are all in one place on that tiny portion of earth. Imagine what area of that would be occupied by the smoke stacks and tailpipes from the fossil fuels we burn, which is the source of what humans put into the atmosphere. That obviously would be even a smaller portion of the surface than the 0.289%. (By now you may have recognized that even 0.289% may be too generous.)
The area of all the smokestacks and tailpipes put together as one smokestack would be in the neighborhood of 0.00000139% or just over one MILLIONTH of the earth’s surface. The smokestack would measure 2.74 square miles, or a square measuring 1.66 miles in a side. Or a circle with a 2 mile diameter—a smokestack 2 miles across. That comes from adding the annual world production of coal and oil, (in future articles) finding the cubic volume of both, then finding how much area those volumes would occupy on the surface of the earth and making the exhaust opening the size of that area…Don’t fret, if the exhaust from other sources such as natural gas were added, the imaginary smokestack wouldn’t be significantly larger—but you’re invited to do your own calculations. It may well be even smaller, since the numbers used for that calculation were very, very liberal. The annual global production of oil that’s burned for example, if put in one place would be at most 0.97 cubic mile and occupy an area on the surface of about 0.98 of a square mile e. g., thus the smokestack just for oil would be that size. (In other articles we imagine the world’s annual production of coal and oil all in one place and burned that way.) As a comparison to the 2 mile diameter smokestack, Mt. St. Helens’ cone was 4 miles across before the eruption at the pre-eruption tree line —twice the size of the imagined 2 miles across smokestack or 4 times as large in area.. Whatever it might be, surely you couldn’t believe THAT tiny smokestack could impact the atmosphere in any way? That’s human’s entire annual output of fossil fuel consumption that’s burned and that’s where you throw away all the razzle-dazzle of how much CO2 one auto or power plant produces, etc.
If you consider just the imagined 2 mile diameter smokestack : It’s been estimated there are 1.2 billion cars on the planet…There’s no way of knowing if that’s a fact, but several sources seem to agree. It’s not known what the agenda(s) of the various sources where, but that comes out to 5.2 people per auto on the planet. That doesn’t sound right to my ears. There are very many families on the planet that don’t own an auto and some have never even been in a car. Think about the populations in India hanging out of those trains because there’s not enough room inside, or the vast Chinese, African or South American poor. Or even think about the vast urban areas of the U. S. where people are stacked like cord wood in tall buildings with large families and use subways to get around.. Nevertheless let’s go with 1.2 billion autos as being on the planet. If you added up the area of all those tailpipes (2” diameter tailpipe) it comes to about 0.94 square mi….a square 0.97 miles per side (or about 5,122 feet per side) or a circle 1.09 miles in diameter—basically a “tailpipe” one mile across. BUT—considering most autos don’t get used 24 hrs. a day, and since I’ve no idea how much the average auto in the world gets used, I’ll take an arbitrary guess and say the average auto in the world is used 2 hrs. a day or less. That would mean our imagined smokestack of auto tailpipes would only “puff” 2 hrs. a day or less. Or if you desired to see that smokestack puff around the clock, you’d have to reduce the area of the smokestack by 12 times. Reduce it even further if you don’t buy 1.2 billion autos as being on the planet. That would seem to give credence to the imagined 2 mile diameter smokestack that may be even smaller than what is sited here,“puffing” the burned remnants of annual worldwide oil and coal usage. (Recall it would be “puffing” that “nasty” CO2 into 12.4 billion cubic miles of atmosphere)
All the people on earth, all 6.5 billion of us, would fit in a cube of one tenth of a cubic mile (0.1 cubic mile) That’s a cube of a little less than one half of a mile per side (0.47 lineal miles) (about 2,500 feet on all sides) which would fill about 154 Empire State buildings. All the people in the world would fill the cargo holds of 878 super tankers. That’s only for the cargo space they hold. If you stripped those tankers down to just a hull, fewer oil tankers would be required of course. Each of the 6.5 billion humans was taken to be 150 lbs. and taken to be 2.4 cubic ft. in volume. Babies and small children were not factored. Somewhere, that 150 pound estimate could be broken down further to get a smaller, more realistic figure—but not here. …..(The human body is not quite neutrally buoyant but nearly so [we sink when we expel air from our lungs] but basically a 150 pound person displaces 150 pounds of fresh water….One gallon of fresh water weighs 8.35 pounds so a 150 pound human divided by 8.35 pounds equals 17.96 gallons of water displaced, multiplied by the cubic volume of one gallon of water [0.133681 cu. ft. in one gallon] equals 2.4 cubic feet for a 150 pound human)
The point is of course : Fossil fuels are not burned and CO2 is not generated by humans everywhere on our planet but only on a tiny, little, minute, teensy-weensy, (really small) portion of our planet. Over ninety-nine percent (actually 99.99999861%) (the imagined 2 mile diameter smokestack) of the earth does not suffer CO2 “pollution” by humans…..Really now, imagine that wee smokestack compared to the earth’s 197,000,000 square miles and 12.4 billion cubic miles of atmosphere…
You can skip over this last section if you don’t like numbers—this is only for those who want to see how the numbers cited came to be….But be warned, it’s written with someone in mind who’s numbers skills are lacking and can’t add “their way out of a paper bag” 🙂 If you’re interested enough to read this in the first place you probably don’t need these spelled out, so please be patient or skip it.
AREA OF HOUSES FOR WORLD POPULATION :
There are 6.5 billion people on the planet.
If each house on the planet houses 4 people then divide the number of people on the planet by 4 to get the number of houses required to house them. 6,500,000,000/4 =
1,625,000,000 (1.6 billion houses needed). Each house measures 30′ x 30′ = 900 square feet. Multiply 900 sq. ft. by the number of houses (1,625,000,000 houses) That comes to 1,462,500,000,000 square feet (1.46 trillion square feet ) and that is the area all the houses occupy in square feet. There are 27,878,400 sq. ft. in one square mile. So divide 1.46 trillion square feet of all the houses by the number of feet in a square mile. That will give the number of square miles required to hold all the houses. (1.6 trillion sq. ft.) divided by (27. 9 million sq. ft. in one square mile) = 52,460 square miles ( a square of 229 miles on all sides) for the area of all houses. There are 519, 000 sq. mi. left over from the 571,000 square miles cited as being the 0.289% of the planet humans occupy. For a 40′ x 40′ home the area would be about 93,262 square miles measuring about 307 miles on all sides … Someone who’s very curious and diligent may want to go further and fill that 519,000 square mile gap with all the other stuff such as factories, stores, and roadways etc.—but is the point made?
AREA OF 1.2 BILLION AUTO TAILPIPES
A = πr2
(A = area) (π = pi as 3.14) (r = radius) ( 2 = radius times two)
The diameter of each tailpipe is 2” (two inches) so the radius (r) is half that at 1” (one inch)
So, A = 3.14 (π) x 1 x 1 (radius squared)
A = 3.14 square inches for one tailpipe.
1.2 billion auto tailpipes x 3.14 square inches of one tailpipe equals 3,768,000,00 (3.768 billion) square inches for 1.2 billion auto tailpipes
3.768 billion square inches divided by the number of square inches in one square mile ….
5,280′ (feet in a mile) x 5,280′ = 27,878,400 square feet in one square mile
One square foot is equal to 144 square inches (12” x 12” = 144 square inches)
Multiply 27,878,400 square feet in one square mile times 144 square inches in one square foot = 4,014,489,600 sq inches in one square mile
3.768 billion sq. inches of auto tailpipes divided by 4,014,489,600 square inches in one square mile = 0.9386 of a square mile
A square of 0.94 square mi….or a square 0.97 lineal miles per side (0.97 lineal mi. x 0.97 lineal mi. = 0.94 sq. mi.) or about 5,122 feet per side (0.97 lineal mi. x 5,280 feet = 5,122 feet for all sides) or a circle 1.09 miles in diameter.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING :
At it’s base it occupies 79,288 square feet or about 282 feet x 282 feet and is about 1,270 feet to the 103 floor.
282′ x 282′ x 1,270′ = 100,995,480 cubic feet. Divide that into the number of cubic feet of all humans : (2.4 cubic feet for one human X 6.5 billion humans) = 15,625,000,000 cu. ft. for all humans divided by 100,995,480 cubic feet of building = 154 buildings to fit all humans on earth.
At another time, oil, coal and CO2, and some other stuff too, like how CO2 may (NOT) be affecting the oceans, and how we may have been led down the garden path about CFC’s etc will be compared to the size of the planet . You may find those give you something to think about as it’s hoped this first article on “AREA” does as well,..