By Paul Quigg, columnist
The graph above from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Agency, a division of the Department of Energy shows the accumulation of atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory in the Hawaiian Islands. This remote location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean gives a very clear and accurate reading of the CO2 accumulation from the late 1950’s to 2021. The graph shows a steady and slowly accelerating rise in CO2.
The continuing rise is very discouraging in light of all of the global efforts to reduce CO2 accumulations. When we consider all of the time and money we have spent over the years we are faced with the reality that the task is far greater than we realize. This reality can not be rationalized away and it can not be explained away. It is a fact which must be incorporated into the solution to this warming problem.
It is quite clear that rising CO2 accumulations in the atmosphere are causing the global temperature to rise, as it is also quite clear that present efforts are inadequate, and in my estimation the global community will not make the needed sacrifice to significantly address the problem. Goals are set, promises are made, and results are far in the future. Past goals have all quietly failed to come close and few have shown any reduced emissions. Presently 1.5 percent of U.S. energy is produced by solar energy, the global percentage is about the same.
Quantifying CO2 emissions is next to impossible as smokestacks, trees, wetlands and other emitters and storers are impossible to monitor. Every jurisdiction sets their own parameters for emissions and truthfulness is seldom given a high priority. Forests, which have been there for hundreds of years, suddenly become great stores of carbon as if they hadn’t been before. Nothing has changed, but suddenly they are storing vast amounts of carbon. Everyone knows it’s a bunch of crap, but they are all in the same game.
The dis-information in the renewable energy sector is beyond belief as opportunists take advantage of huge tax breaks and subsidies while producing vast amounts of CO2 in the guise of being “Green.” Bio-fuels, which are basically our trash, are burned and get credits because it is renewable, even as it is one of the most carbon intensive fuels.
Everyone is guilty and CO2 continues to rise faster and faster.
Mr. Quigg, a University of Virginia graduate and resident of Luray, has practiced architecture in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1962. As a lifelong environmentalist, in the 70’s he was appalled at the polluted air and water and has dedicated much of his time since in studying and commenting on the environment. He has been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.