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mattbrowne's avatar

What do you think about the effect on people comparing man-made global warming with the detonation of 345,600 atomic bombs every day?

Asked by mattbrowne (31463 points ) January 19th, 2014

I believe in powerful pictures. We need them to fight the climate change denial movement, which consists of deranged irresponsible people, but who unfortunately have hired superior marketing professionals fooling Americans successfully.

Suppose human industrialization had not increased the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Let’s go back to the time when the average Earth temperature was about 0.85 degrees Celsius cooler (about 2 Fahrenheit) than today.

How many Hiroshima bombs do you need to detonate to warm up the Earth by this amount?

The stunning answer is 345,600 bombs per day, year after year after year.

And this goes on and on and on, which means today January 19, 2014 humanity put an additional amount of CO2 into the atmosphere with the equivalent effect of the heat produced by 345,600 atomic bombs. Tomorrow

January 20, 2014 another 345,600 atomic bombs detonate
January 21, 2014 another 345,600 atomic bombs detonate
January 22, 2014 another 345,600 atomic bombs detonate
January 23, 2014 another 345,600 atomic bombs detonate

Getting the picture? How does this feel? Feels serious?

I read this in a German magazine. I search the net a bit and found this

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/opinions/20131808-24702.html

Do you think such comparisons are useful? Or will the deniers just ignore them?

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1 Answer

kevbo's avatar

You’ll have to forgive me for being contrarian, but I’m really not feeling this imagery. In addition to likely annihilating everything on at least a part of the planet (which, I suppose, is what we’re aiming to avoid in the first place), wouldn’t that also cause a substantial nuclear winter that would also cool the planet? Setting that aside, assuming nuclear technology is among our most advanced technologies on the planet, it would seem rather daunting to come up with applications that equal the magnitude of change illustrated. Anyway, my reaction is a bit nonplussed.

Yes, there is a size able contingent of business and industry interests who disbelieve global warming, but the debate in general is framed to be split into the two groups we normally think of. What is on the periphery of this debate that IMHO is really what this is all about is the geoengineering that has been underway for some time now (for what purposes one can only imagine, but I will go with disaster capitalism). This is the real derangement and irresponsibility. The rest is just ignorance and repetition of disinformative talking points.

The last I will finish with is that we are already life choosing life. If we forget about this problem, there will still be living things indefinitely. Solving the problem with logic merely adds effort to an equation that doesn’t require it.

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