WHEELER ON HVACR: 0% Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Do We Want Them?
Since writing the article published in the June 2007 issue of Supply House Times (page 200) titled, “0% Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Is it Possible?” I have concluded that not only is such a goal impossible, it’s illogical. Why? Because life on earth would end without carbon emissions, since all life forms either create or rely on carbon emissions for survival. Does this mean that I’m recanting the points that I made in that article? No, for I still strongly agree that we need to greatly reduce our reliance on (and reduce our payments to) energy companies. So we should each do all that we can to make our lives more energy efficient. I just made a considerable investment in energy-efficient light bulbs for my home.
However, I received the following e-mail from a lady whose strong liberal views I might often agree with. It said in part, “The Sierra Club, Brave New Films and MoveOn.org Civic Action launched a campaign to ask Home Depot to pull its advertising from Fox News, which has been relentless in trying to portray global warming as a hoax and a lie. More than 360,000 people have watched the video Fox Attacks: The Environment on YouTube since then, and more than 30,000 have signed our petition to Home Depot.” She was asking me to sign this petition.
Well, despite my moderate leanings, I (like millions of others) am unsure of the veracity of the claims about global warming being created by emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and refrigerant gases. Why? Because carbon dioxide and methane emissions are a most natural part of ecology and life, and refrigerant gas emissions are so minimal and unnecessary that they are negligible. Oh yes, I still believe that CFCs are damaging the earth’s protective ozone layer, but that’s another story and argument.
What I realize about those who are calling for zero carbon emissions is that they themselves are carbon emitters (they put carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere in vast quantities). All life forms, except chlorophyll-based plants, emit carbon dioxide and all emit carbon dioxide and methane as they decay. So those who are calling for zero carbon emissions would apparently like to see the earth become a planet devoid of all life forms. Is that what good ecology is all about?
Back in 1990, when I was writing my (award-winning) series of articles calling for the phaseout of CFCs, one of the statements I made was that increased levels of hard ultraviolet rays reaching the earth would destroy the plankton in the seas, and plankton is one of the earth’s major sources of oxygen production (I was told this by EPA scientists). However, since then they have found that plankton is actually increasing in earth’s seas, so one problem seems to be solving the other. And this is the point that radical environmentalists seem to be missing - that the earth has an amazing ability to provide its own solutions.
I realize that environmentalists are concerned about the growing consumption of fossil fuels, which does create problems in large cities. However, other scientists speak glowingly (no pun intended) of the need to periodically burn off undergrowth vegetation in the world’s forests, which used to happen naturally. In fact, all natural processes of our earth create and emit carbon emissions.
Who, other than energy companies, are major sources of CO2 “pollution”? Soft drink bottlers turn out millions of tons of the stuff annually, as do brewers, distillers and bakeries. In fact, the chief culprit is yeast! So watch out Seagrams, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Fleischmann’s, for you may be next on the environmental hit list.
Although I seldom agree with ultra-right-wing politicians, I found one proposal that was made by U.S. government negotiators at environmental councils extremely wise and workable, if carbon dioxide emissions are truly getting out of hand: Plant more trees! I was told that when this proposal was made it was scoffed at and rejected by European environmental scientists who want to see the United States brought to its knees. But if CO2 is the problem, why not invest in something to clean it up naturally?
The fact is, earth’s supplies of fossil fuels appear to be decreasing rapidly, so the whole argument may seem silly before long. The question will then be: “How will mankind find enough usable energy to sustain itself?” I find it funny that one of the suggested “green solutions” is to purchase automobiles that run on electricity. Where do people think electricity comes from?
My conclusion is that we should each do all that we can to reduce energy consumption, because that’s a great idea! Also, let’s plant more trees - another great idea! But will I sign the petition? No! I’m not for stifling free speech or differing opinions, because I’m probably next on that hit list.