Thursday, January 10, 2008

Carbon is life

Timmy addresses a fundamental problem with all of this cutting carbon emissions crap.
What I couldn’t understand was that he couldn’t accept that it was also cleaner than coal or gas. For one thing it has no carbon footprint and therefore, if you think that carbon emissions are causing climate change, surely you would think nuclear power is a good thing?

That’s Iain Dale (rightly) slagging off a greenie for refusing to think about nuclear power. However, we do need to be a little careful here. Nuclear does not have no CO2 or carbon footprint. The process of building a nuclear station, or mining and refining the ore, does indeed have emissions.

As, indeed, the process of making a windmill (they actually use more cement, power for power, than nuclear), building a damn or manufacturing solar panels all have such emissions. Camilla Cavendish gives the appropriate numbers for nuclear in today’s Times:
Britain’s clapped-out reactors are still our largest source of low-carbon energy. The electricity they produce creates about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour (after accounting for the carbon costs of reactors), compared with about 350 from gas and 900 from coal.

That number is fractionally above offshore wind (from memory, 13 or 14 tonnes) and hydro (again, 13 or 14 tonnes from memory) and a fraction of solar PV (36 tonnes, again, from memory).

And this is the point: the entirety of life on this planet is carbon-based. This isn't a coincidence, but to do with special properties of carbon atoms (it's mixed up in both the size of the atom and its electron valence bands* (although this, too, is a little simplistic: you'll have to delve into quantum mechanics for more). As such, everything has carbon emissions; yes, even your poo produces carbon emissions.

Which is why the politicians and the eco-loons want to be able to control it, as at least one person of influence has stated.
MIT climate scientist Richard Lindzen correctly summed up these types of efforts in March when he said, ‘Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life.'

And that, my friends, is the most bald statement of why these bastards want to control carbon emissions. Control carbon, and you control life.

* Silicon shares many of these properties, which is why sci-fi authors have speculated on silicon-based life. Barring a very few and posited exceptions, I know of no silicon-based life-forms on this planet and certainly none of any complexity.


Anonymous said...

>Barring a very few and posited exceptions, I know of no silicon-based life-forms on this planet and certainly none of any complexity.

Surely you're not saying me that you think Cyclops Gordon is carbon-based or, y'know, human?

View from the Solent said...

Given Gorgon's level of complexity, it could well be silicon-based. Or even silicone, as in an oversized tit.

fnusnuank said...

As you well point out, life is carbon based, so any tax on carbon is a tax on life.

I'm sure if they could have got away with oxygen they would have (terribly corrosive you know), it would bring a whole new meaning to "Every breath you take".

Maybe that's next.

Budgie said...

"Barring a very few and posited exceptions, I know of no silicon-based life-forms on this planet and certainly none of any complexity."

The slithy silicon life-form lurks inside every pc (well, Mac, in your case) and comes out at night. Soon it will take over your very soul -
- and then boys and girls you will become a politician! And you lot thought they were lizards?

verity said...

I want my carbon footprint, goddammit! It's mine and I am entitled!

Bunch of arseholes trying to steal my carbon footprint from me when they don't even know what my shoe size is. How crazy is that?

Rob said...

The long-predicted demise of ski resorts as a result of global warming is finally starting to happen:

At this rate within 10 years Scotland will have a Mediterranean climate, assuming most of it isn't underwater.

Mark Wadsworth said...

But they're still missing the

CO2 is perfectly natural.

Non-natural (i.e. fossil fuels etc)emissions only amount to 5% of total emissions.

Temperatures are not rising significantly, and if they are it has little to do with CO2.

Water vapour accounts for 95% of all greenhouse gas effects I believe.

So ... the fact that nuclear is good because it emits a lot less C02 is irrelevant to any discussion.