I received an e-mail from a family member recently that contained what appeared to be some rather disturbing facts about Volcanic eruptions on our planet and the impact on global Carbon Emissions; stating that Carbon emissions from Volcanic eruptions dwarf our own emissions – which as I suspected turns out is NOT true.
Like most sensational sounding e-mails that are seemingly written by talented authors (that could put their talents to much better use and earn lots of money in the real world), this one seems designed (like most chain-letters) to be spread from person to person, motivating people through fear and ignorance.
The Hoax E-mail
Here is a copy of the e-mail text I received; and see below at the end for some scientific facts regarding Volcanic Eruptions and their effects on Climate change.
Professor Ian Plimer could not have said it better! If you’ve read his book you will agree, this is a good summary.
Are you sitting down?
Okay, here’s the bombshell. The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO_2 emissions on our planet, all of you.
Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress, that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans, and all animal life.
I know, it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cents light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs…well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.
The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just four days – yes – FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time – EVERY DAY.
I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year, think about it.
Of course I shouldn’t spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.
And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.
Just remember that your (Australian) government just promised you by the middle of 2011 a whopping carbon tax on the basis of the bogus ”human-caused” climate change scenario.
Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention ”Global Warming” any more, but just ”Climate Change” – you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.
And just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme (that whopping new tax) imposed on you, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.
But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!
PS: I wonder if Iceland is buying carbon offsets?
/PS. Does this Co 2 Tax include the B/S coming out of Canberra ? ? ? !
The first place I usually check e-mail scams is the Snopes Website, but on this occasion I wasn’t able to find any reference, however I was able to quickly find thousands of references on Google to things like “Ian Plimer busted” and “Plimer exposed as a fraud” – so this gives us some immediate clues about the credibility of the quoted source of the information.
What is the truth about Volcanic Eruptions and Carbon Emissions?
Well it seems that while many Volcanoes do emit largish amounts of Carbon Dioxide, they also emit large amounts of Sulphur dioxide which instead of contributing to warming the climate can actually cool the climate. In fact, in 1991 when the stated eruption at Mt. Pinatubo occurred this actually was thought by scientists to have cooled the Earth’s surface by as much as 1.3 degrees over a three year period!
In terms of the ratio of CO2 emitted as a result of Human activity (35 gigatons in 2010) versus Volcanic eruptions (0.44 gigatons in 2010 which is the largest estimate), this hoax e-mail is blown completely out of the water; that’s 1.25% CO2 from Volcanic Eruptions, contrary to the “facts” in the e-mail.
The above is just my own summary from what I have read and seen from the following two sites – so, please, don’t believe me, see for yourself:
- Volcanic Gases & Climate Change Overview, by US Geological Survey – http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php
- ABC Media Watch transcript from 2010 – http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2889174.htm
Take care out there, and be careful what email you forward on.