I would like to use a statement from a comment made by a member of the stuido audience to an earlier post to make a point against what passes for "capitalism" in America - the practice of engaging in practices that threaten the lives, health, and property of others for profit and of engaging in deceptive campaigns to protect those activities.
It is not a culture that values the property rights of others or that values truth, because such a culture would not allow these practices.
I suggested that the issue of global warming illustrated these practices. Specifically, I mentioned that if we doubled the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, it would take an act of God or some form of magic to prevent that CO2 from absorbing additional energy. This is given what we know about the absorption spectrum of CO2 and the emission spectrum of the Earth.
In response to this, Katecickle wrote:
Except we haven't doubled the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere--again, we only contribute about 3.5% of the CO2 put into the atmosphere annually.
This simply repeats pure propaganda that no person with a respect for logic or truth would allow to go unchallenged.
It does not matter what percent humans contribute to annual CO2 output. What matters is the amount that humans contribute to the increase in concentration
Take a tub of water, and set it up so that water is pouring into the tub at 100 gallons per minute. However, the water is in equilibrium so that the tub also loses 100 gallons per minute through holes in the side.
Now, you open a second faucet into the tub. This faucet puts 3.5 gallons per minute into the tub. The tub is now getting 103.5 gallons per minute, but still only losing 100 gallons per minute.
So, the tub is filling up.
Somebody protests that the tub is filling up and suggests that we should turn off the second faucet.
Yet, the owner of the faucet argues, "It is absurd to say that my faucet is responsible for the tub filling up. After all, I am contributing only 3.5% of the volume of water entering the tub."
It not a difficult matter to understand that the contribution to the total inflow of water is not what matters. What matters is the degree to which the new faucet contributes to the change of volume over time. In this case, the second faucet is 100% responsible for the change in volume over time. The faucet puts 3.5 gallons per minute into the tub, and the volume in the tub is increasing at 3.5 gallons per minute.
This is an extremely simple argument to understand and to explain.
I need only a few minor adjustments to make this more like the case of global warming.
For millions of years, the atmosphere held between 200 parts per million and 280 parts per million of CO2. Lower values are associated with ice ages, while higher values are associated with warmer times.
Each year, billions of tonnes of carbon circulate through the system. Animals breathe CO2, plants take it up, falling leaves decay, then gets absorbed by plant growth the following spring. Oceans absorb CO2 in winter months and lose CO2 to the atmosphere in the spring as well.
This system has been substantially in equilibrium for tens of millions of years.
Along comes humans, who open up a carbon faucet that puts 7 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Half of this "leaks out" by being absorbed into the oceans and into new plant growth.
So, humans are increasing the level of CO2 in the atmospheric tub by 3.5 units per year. We have already increased the volume from 280 ppmv to 385 ppmv and the level keeps rising.
It could reach 1000 ppmv or even higher.
This is not a difficult point to understand. And I have no doubt that many of the people who "market" this particular deception are capable of understanding this argument.
The problem is, they do not care.
The values that these so-called "capitalists" are not respect exhibit are not the values of respect for the rights individuals to life, health, and property and of truth that would mark a practice as being virtuous in capitalist terms. The values they exhibit are those of willingly destroying the lives, health, and property of others and of engaging in whatever campaigns of deception may be useful in defending those practices, as long as it is profitable to do so.