“Concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere are surpassing 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history”—Scripps Institution of Oceanography

A year ago, I published an article on the then-most-recent warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the rapidly increasing concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in out planet’s atmosphere. Concentrations were nearing 400 parts per million (ppm) said the IPCC, and that is a point of no return. If we hit 400 ppm CO2 in our atmosphere, we cannot hope to keep average global temperatures from increasing beyond 2.4 °C.

Well, as you might have gathered from the headline of this article, we have reached 400 ppm. This from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is part of the University of California at San Diego. Scripps publishes daily atmospheric CO2 measurements—they were 401.8 ppm for May 3—as well as various versions of the Keeling Curve, which plots daily changes in CO2 levels based on samples taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii since 1958.

Meanwhile, fossil-fired power plants in Ontario, my home jurisdiction, have so far today (from midnight to 0903) dumped 5,263 metric tons of CO2 into the global atmosphere. See Table 2; it tallies the total so far today.

The generators that dumped those 5,263 metric tons of CO2 were, as you can see, almost all fired with natural gas, an allegedly clean fossil fuel that is much in favour among those in the self-styled environmental lobby. They prefer, for reasons directly related to the way they make money, gas over nuclear, which as you can also see produces no CO2 at all.

I don’t mind that multinationals like Greenpeace have to raise money to fund their activities and pay their executives, or even that they use simplistic heartstring pleas to get supporters to part with hard-earned money. But I do mind it when the air I breathe gets filled with the garbage of technologies that Greenpeace supports just because it is lucrative to do so.

Now, why would people who profess to care about the global atmosphere, and the amount of CO2 that we humans dump into it as if it is a giant garbage bucket, prefer a fuel that dumps upwards of half a kilogram of CO2 into the air for every kilowatt-hour of power it puts into a grid over one that dumps zero CO2 no matter how much power it puts on?

As I mentioned, it’s all about money. The mainstream environmental groups, most of them multinational corporations, have become freakishly proficient at using advertising and other media devices to promote a fashionably misanthropic and self-righteous meme that elicits penance-giving on the part of their supporters. Every time a guilty and gullible affluent post-modern sees a Greenpeace pitch for funds, his aching for easy penance is easily assuaged by writing a cheque. Greenpeace’s simple-minded good-versus-evil pitches are made to measure for this crowd. And how many guilty affluent post-moderns are there in this world whose wallets are easily prized open with simple-minded moralistic buzzwords? Enough to keep Greenpeace executives rolling in six-figure salaries. (During the depths of the Great Recession, the head of Greenpeace UK pulled in well over $100,000 US. You can check the 2009 Great Britain pound versus the US dollar here.)

I don’t mind that multinationals like Greenpeace have to raise money to fund their activities and pay their executives, or even that they use simplistic heartstring pleas to get supporters to part with hard-earned money. But I do mind it when the air I breathe gets filled with the garbage of technologies that Greenpeace supports just because it is lucrative to do so.

So far today, Ontario power plants, running on fuel that Greenpeace supports, have dumped 5,700 tons of this kind of garbage. You can see the effect of that garbage by visiting the Scripps CO2 measurement site.

That effect, as of two days ago, was 401.8 parts per million of CO2. Ontario gas-fired plants, every hour of every day, add to that concentration.

Ontario needs more nuclear power.

2 comments for ““Concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere are surpassing 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history”—Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  1. Joris van Dorp
    May 9, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Greenpeace has been a force for good in the former century, since they have (in part) contributed to the enaction of various environmental laws which have improved the environment at little economic cost. For that, I think most people should be grateful IMO.

    But today, due to its rabid anti-nuclear agenda, Greenpeace has become the single biggest threat to the environment at this time. They are far more dangerous than the fossil fuel industry itself, which is after all only supplying the fuels that society demands and doing that as well as they can given the constraints dictated by economics and competitiveness.

    Rather than donate to Greenpeace, people who are genuinely concerned about the environment should withdraw their financial support from this organisation and urge others to do likewise. They should write Greenpeace urging them to stop their anti-nuclear propaganda crusade, and explaining why they are removing their financial support. They should also visit Greenpeace events and vocally support nuclear power. If Greenpeace can be changed to support nuclear power, Greenpeace can become a powerful force for good, instead of the terrible force for bad that it is now, IMO.

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