Here’s what happened to me early April at St Leonard’s Station, (which is just north of Sydney for non Aussies). I had an encounter with a young man returning from the carbon protest.
I’m a kiwi, and I was visiting Australia for a few days to attend a training course at Macquarie. The course was due to start on Monday 4th April. I had come over on Saturday 2nd April. I was sitting in the Oporto restaurant at St Leonard’s eating my burger and I watched him walk past. He was carrying a placard. He wasn’t demonstrating – just walking by. I saw the black bold words “STOP CARBON POLLUTION”. I thought to myself; I’d like to have a chat with him.
I let him walk by, and casually finished my burger.
As I left the station via the exit by Coles Supermarket he was leaning on the wall opposite, waiting for his friend to do some shopping. So I said “Hi”, and asked him what demonstration he had been to. He said he’d been to the one to stop carbon pollution, the one in favour of the carbon tax.
So I asked, “What’s the problem with carbon then?”. His answer, “It causes global warming.”
So I said, “Really, how much carbon is in the air, but of course it’s not carbon, it’s really just carbon dioxide you really mean eh.” He said, “About 1% I think.” I said, “No, much less than that. It’s about 1/25th of that, presently around 390 ppm, or 4% of 1%.”
And then I asked, “So is CO2 the only, or main greenhouse gas?”. “No” he said, “water vapour is also a greenhouse gas.”
So I asked, “How much of the greenhouse effect is attributed to water vapour and how much to CO2?” He said, “About half each.” “No”, I said, “About 90 to 95% is due to water vapour. The last 5 to 10% is due to other GHGs. But CO2 is the main one making up that last 5 to 10%.”
We talked about CO2 being essential for photosynthesis. He thought plants had plenty enough CO2 and would manage fine with less. I said plants would do better with more than the measly 0.04%.
At this point he accused me of being a ‘denier’. To be expected I guess, given what was happening.
I admitted that I was sceptical, but I hadn’t denied anything yet in the conversation. So we continued.
I asked, “If Aussie did introduce a carbon tax, how much do you think it might cost the economy?” He had no idea.
I asked, “And if you did actually manage to reduce CO2 production how much do you think global temperatures might drop?” He said, “I don’t know.”
So I had to tell him those answers too, “Well, it’ll cost you billions, and the temperature change would be measured in hundredths of a degree.”
Ignorant and brainwashed!