Sunday, July 16, 2006

Future Planetary Separated At Birth?

The incredibly over-rated scientist, Stephen Hawking, has suggested in a speech in Beijing that the Earth “might end up like Venus, at 250 degrees centigrade and raining sulfuric acid.

Uh, no it won’t. Venus is indeed an extreme example of the greenhouse effect. It has a mean surface temperature of over 450 C – hotter than the surface of Mercury – despite being further from the sun than the Mercury. The primary difference is that Venus’ atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide while the Earth’s is 0.053%.

How much would we have to drive our H2s to get to 96.5%? Let’s do the calculation:

The mean mass of the Earth’s atmosphere is 5.148 x 1018 kg, to get to 96.5%, we would need to add 4.965 x 1018 kg of CO2 (assuming we are replacing the same amount of other gasses).

So how much gasoline would we have to burn to produce that much CO2? The rule of thumb is that one gallon of gasoline produces about 9.1 kgs of CO2, so to reach a Venus-like concentration of greenhouse gasses we must burn 5.5 x1017 gallons.

To burn this much gas, every man, woman and child in the world would have to make more than 1700 round trips to the moon and back in an H2 – assuming that you could build that many H2s, that there were a road to the moon, and that all of the CO2 would go into the Earth’s atmosphere. (other assumptions in the calculation: 10 mpg for an H2, 6.7 billion people on Earth, 238,758 miles between the Earth and Moon)

Unfortunately there is not nearly enough oil on the Earth for this much driving; the largest estimate I can find is 1.19 x 1012 barrels, or roughly 5 x 1013 gallons of gasoline. Thus, we would need to come up with 10,000 times more oil than we have to produce a Venus-like atmosphere. Maybe we can make up the difference with ethanol.

Of course, the previous calculation is largely bullshit, but then so is most of the work by the global warming “experts”. I will leave you with a quote from my favorite physicist, Richard Feynman:

“Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."

2 Comments:

Anonymous MK said...

I know you meant to say that Venus is farther from the sun than Mercury is, not the Earth.

This also neglects the role of plant life in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

Thanks MK, correction made.

You mention only one of the many reasons my calculation is BS.

8:06 PM  

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