Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, January 16, 2006

UN Study Needed on Flatulence

Greenhouse gases and the prospects of global warming are all the rage right now. And indeed, there would be tremendous negative ramifications with significant melting of the world’s ice caps and rising of the sea level.

Pres. George W. Bush had the temerity to reject the “common wisdom” of much of the world’s collective scientific community and the wishes of a good portion of the planet when he pulled the U.S. out of the Kyoto Protocol. Pres. Bush stated that the Kyoto treaty was not in the interest of the U.S. and that the scientific data did not support the conclusions made concerning greenhouse gases and world warming.

The science on the matter of global warming and the causes thereof is not settled. But, setting that aside for the moment, what else might be driving the agenda.

The base assumption made by the signatories of the Kyoto Protocol is that it is “developed” countries that must carry the responsibility of reducing the total greenhouse emissions. They are required to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels. Presumably that is because it is assumed that it is the process of development, or industrialization, which is responsible for the majority production of greenhouse gases. Undeveloped and developing countries are given a pass. Furthermore, the developed nations are required to pay the financial costs of the developing countries to meet the goals of greenhouse gas reductions.

Here are the countries enumerated in the document; while enumerated, the U.S. did not sign the agreement: Australia, Austria. Belgium. Bulgaria*, Canada. Croatia*. Czech Republic*. Denmark. Estonia*. European Community, Finland. France. Germany. Greece. Hungary*. Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia*, Liechtenstein, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland*, Portugal, Romania*, Russian Federation*, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine*, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. Countries designated with an “*” are designated as undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, and they are afforded more liberal regulations in order to come to compliance.

Notice anything missing from the list? Maybe Asia, Africa, Middle East, and South America. Noticeably absent are India and China, the two most dynamic and rapidly industrially developing countries in the world.

Here’s a list of the greenhouse gases as enumerated in the Kyoto Protocol: Carbon dioxide (CO2); Methane (CH4); Nitrous oxide (N2O); Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Now comes a new study revealing that a vast amount methane gas is produced by living plants, far in excess of dead plants.

German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.

The culprits are plants.
…finding helps to account for observations from space of incredibly large plumes of methane above tropical forests,"…Methane, which is produced by city rubbish dumps, coal mining, flatulent animals, rice cultivation and peat bogs, is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in terms of its ability to trap heat.

Did you catch that? Methane is produced by “flatulent animals.” Well duh; anyone who has spent any time around the rear end of livestock or your cousin Dilbert knows that. Who hasn’t heard of or seen the videos of high school and college age males taking great pleasure competing to see who can ignite the largest methane fueled flame?

To be quite precise, I’ve never seen other animals delighted with their production ability, which is so enjoyed by juvenile males of all ages. The joy is a distinctly human quality, and it is enshrined in our humor, which has resulted in its exploitation by such un-notables as Howard Stern. Stop: I’ve gone adrift here!

Methane gas is being released into the environment from those countries with large amounts of vegetation, “large plumes of methane above tropical forests.” Obviously, some non-developed countries are responsible for large amounts of methane production.

As noted, methane gas is also produced by humans. According to the CIA factbook, in July 2005, it is estimated that the world population was almost 6 ½ billion people. China and India accounted for 1.3 billion and almost 1.1 billion respectively or roughly a little over one-third of the human population. That means that those two countries are responsible for a like percentage of human produced methane gas.

China and India are the two most significant nations undergoing an industrialized evolution, read production of greenhouse gases; and now we see that they are significant human methane polluters as well. Still, they are not held accountable by the Kyoto Protocols.

When the U.N. gets around to seriously studying the greenhouse gas issue, accurately determining the percentage of production by each country, and equitably assesses the percentage of financial responsibility, then we can take their proposals seriously. Until then, Pres. George W. Bush is right.

The signatories are engaging in socialistic absurdity by assuming that the more industrialized countries are either primarily at fault and/or that they should bear the burden for the benefit of the remainder of the world. If global warming is significant, the whole world is at fault and the whole world should pay the bill.