Friday, January 04, 2008

Carbon Footprint

So I was thinking the other day about the whole CO2-fossil-fuel-global-warming thingy, and I was struck by something pretty huge. It took a while for things to line up in my head, so I'll take you through it.

We were looking at heating with our fireplace and I was researching on the internet. One person brought up the point that burning wood is carbon neutral (that means that the carbon released by burning it is the same as the carbon that the tree pulled out of the air through the process of photosynthesis).

Most theories posit that our fossil fuels are the remnants of organic material that died in prehistoric times and were then burried and decomposed, leaving behind their carbon in the form of oil and gas.

In order for the world to support the vegitation necessary to feed the dinosaurs it would, most likely, have to have a climate where most of the world was tropical.

Our current climate is much cooler than the climate of the dinosaurs.

By burning fossil fuels we are merely releasing the CO2 that has been trapped. Any resultant global warming effect is only brining our climate closer to that which supported the dinosaurs.

Is that necessarily a negative thing? The carbon available on Earth hasn't changed significantly in quantity in the history of the planet, it has merely changed in form.

I'm not denying that there will be repercussions for re-releasing the carbon that has been trapped, but how can we know that they will be negative?

What do you think?


Unknown said...

Dude, have you seenJurassic Park??


James T Wood said...

I was thinking about making a Jurassic-type-comment, but I couldn't figure out a good way to work it in.

Mike Lewis said...