(Note: Updates below).
[The following two pieces illustrate how CO2 is omitted in some very important issues. They both concern the same thing, algae. Sorry for the reptition. I should combine them into one. Also, they were inspired by some difficulties at local lakes and the Hood Canal and may be too inclusive. (I ask you to be lenient and do some editing on your own). While ignoring CO2, the authorities try to blame local septic systems, so they can control us. Notice how they always mention nitrogen and phosphorus as being responsible. The truth is carbon is necessary for growth. Claiming that nitrogen and phosphorus feeds the algae is akin to claiming that vitamin and mineral supplements feed us].
Have you ever observed a lake in bloom? Bloom is a plant that takes in carbon dioxide, CO2, and gives off oxygen during photosynthesis. Remember how we were told CO2 would be good for the trees and create a "lush environment?" It must be good for the bloom too.
What about the bloom? Does it take CO2 out of the air or out of the water? Where does the oxygen go?
We are told that when the bloom dies, it drops to the bottom where it then decomposes and takes oxygen out of the water. The water is then lower in oxygen, killing the fish, etc.
Well, the water is then lower in oxygen. That's the half-truth. And, a half-truth is as good as a lie, probably better. But, that's not what kills.
CO2 is the product of decomposition. The oxygen level is not the issue. Once the CO2 level reaches 2.5 to 4.0 percent (this is for respiration in air not water - - - in water the measure is milligrams per liter, so a conversion is needed), the fish will suffocate. They will not be able to use the oxygen there even though it would be enough to sustain them.
The decomposition process requires much more time than the growth takes. If the CO2 for growth comes from the water, the net after decomposition is zero - - - as much came from as goes back (and the same is true for oxygen). In any case, there is no good reason CO2 is never discussed in those bloomin' pieces we see all the time in the media. (There is almost a media blackout on any discussion of CO2 other than up there, in the atmosphere).
Have you ever seen any measurement of local CO2 levels? No? Why not? Let me assert that the local CO2 level is at least 800 parts per million. Remember, you are dealing with a gas that is one and one half times heavier than air, displaces air, and does not readily disperse. You've seen dry ice, frozen CO2, used to make fog. Have you noted how it initially goes down? What do you suppose the CO2 level is that last micron above the surface of the water?
With a greater concentration above, not as much CO2 can leave the water, and less oxygen would be able to enter.
Do you have a theory why global CO2 dominates the discourse or why certain interests need "global warming?"
There are two sides to the carbon dioxide, CO2, coin. It is difficult to reconcile the over attention to the global level with the virtual media blackout on the local level (in our homes, schools, offices, and communities).
A glaring example is the reporting of alga blooms in local lakes. You may have read or heard how the algae die, fall to the bottom, and decompose, thus reducing the amount of oxygen available to fish, etc. This is one of those "half-truth lies."
We're never informed that CO2 is created during decomposition. Even though there could be enough oxygen to sustain life, once the CO2 reaches a certain point, the fish will suffocate. Also, have you learned if there is no oxygen, there can be no further decomposition?
Or, have you heard that, before they die, the algae make oxygen for the lake (daytime)? They can also remove it all at night while making lots of CO2! Why would this be ignored while the decomposition on the bottom is promoted? Decomposition is a slow process and might not always be total.
The algae die without sufficient CO2, which is more important to their rapid growth than temperature. (Optimum temperature for growth is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so don't buy the argument that "global warming" is responsible). Do you recall when we were told CO2 would be good for us because it was good for the trees and would lead to a "lush environment?" If the algae are creating a problem, it is probably because extra CO2 is good for them too.
CO2 is one and one half times the weight of air, displaces air, and does not readily disperse. You have seen dry ice, frozen CO2, fog. Have you noted how it initially goes down? Does the local level where we make CO2 have to be much higher than the atmospheric level? What might it be the last millimeter above the water? Could it mean less oxygen entering the water and more CO2?
If you consider just the photosynthesis where the algae fix carbon, there must be a surplus of oxygen until the last is decomposed. Adding more material to the bottom can't increase decomposition once there is not enough oxygen. Did it occur to you that low oxygen on the bottom is normal? Why do you think many artifacts survive so long on the bottom in near pristine condition?
The "low oxygen" problem seems to be excess live algae respiring (when not enough light for photosynthesis) caused by an abundance of their favorite food, CO2, forced on us by certain lower than pond scum types.
Any ideas why they need "global warming?"
[Update, July 11, 2008. The two offending sentences were absent in today's report here on algae. I am giving myself a small pat on the back because it happened after I went public with this. It will take more than my small efforts to get the whole truth out, so please help. We can do this together].
Update, July 5, 2008.
For some time now, we have been informed by our local paper about high levels of algae in several lakes near Port Townsend, Washington (particularly, Anderson Lake). The frequency of these reports and the content makes me suspicious. In each one, the following statements can always be found, always - - -
"Algae blooms, which occur naturally, are fed by an overload of nutrients such as nitrogen or phosphorus.
Possible sources of such nutrients include fertilizer or human or animal waste."
Elsewhere in these webpages (www.cybrator.com), I have pointed out that algae are carbon-based life forms. Their food is carbon dioxide, CO2, and not nitrogen or phosphorus. It still concerns me that CO2 is never mentioned in the stories, but that is not what I want to illustrate here.
Lately, we have had to endure at least two of these articles per week. Should we conclude we are enduring a propaganda barrage? I believe so, but let's save that for another time. There are other things to examine.
When there is a problem, the American way is to solve it - - - to get to the bottom, find the cause and fix it. Despite the same tired explanation of "possible causes," we are never treated to an explanation of what steps are being taken to pinpoint the source. It seems as if someone wants the problem to continue, so they can repeatedly beat us about the head and shoulders with it. That implies an agenda.
Even without determining the source, there are ways to go about eliminating the algae. Yet, these are never discussed, and I assume no one ever tries them. Why? Some of the methods would involve agents toxic to some critter or another, so there are obviously those who would oppose them, but should they not be discussed? Also, what about considering changing the outflow from the lake, if possible, to remove water from the bottom instead of fresher water from the surface. Some success has been had by introducing crayfish because they constantly stir the water. Why not discuss the current thinking on removal methods and what has been done historically with and without success? Recently, there was a story about the Chinese wanting to deal with an algae problem. They want to clean up a river for their upcoming Olympic Games. Be advised that they won't just wring their hands and repeat the same incantation (see above) over and over as if that would help the problem go away.
Let me offer another example to illustrate our malaise. A while back we were told the lakes in the Olympic Mountains had high levels of mercury in the fish. If the purpose is to depress us and remove hope, it is succeeding. (I believe there is another agenda also). Why sit on our thumbs when something can be done? How about special fishing derbies for kids? The week after, turn the adults loose. The week after, drag the lakes with special nets and remove most of what is left. Restock the lakes. Set up fish cleaning stations to remove the heads and viscera and send to General Electric, so they can make more light bulbs. (I can't help believe their bulbs are already obsolete when I think of what LEDs do). The thing is, we don't have to be victims. We are a "can do" people. Someone doesn't want us to be that anymore.
Because the algae problem seems only to affect the Port Townsend area, some critical thinking should lead to some cause other than nitrogen and phosphorus from feces. Are the people and animals in this area any different than elsewhere? Are they using the wrong brand of toilet paper? Port Townsend is at the northern end of Hood Canal, which has recently been reported as having problems with algae (www.cybrator.com/hoodcanal_uw_newton.html). Should the problem with the canal be linked to the ones with the lakes? A connection with the high algae levels in Hood Canal has never been postulated in these reports. Do other waterways with just as many septic systems and animals nearby suffer to the same degree?
This gets me right back to CO2 again. Even if the paper and our worthless Health Director won't mention it, we can. (What value is such a Health Director if CO2 will help spread MRSA and other bacteria, but it is politically incorrect for him to say so? What will he do in an epidemic?). Port Townsend has a paper mill. It is a 'Kraft' type mill. With pollution controls, the average such type mill produces about one million tons of CO2 per year. Could this be the connecting factor? The handling of the algae issue tells me that our Health Director, newspaper, and others know that it is. It also tells me that they want you to have to endure the high CO2.
Try this - - - remove the pollution controls. Letting one mill go back to the old emissions of 40 years ago is not going to harm anything. (People only became intolerant of the mill after emissions were changed to what we have now). See what happens if we reverse course.
I know we'll find that changing emissions to favor CO2 was ill-conceived, and we were stampeded into doing it (just like we are being stampeded today over "global warming"). We turned away from our destiny back in the 1970s, chose CO2, and stuck our heads in a closet. We are paying for our arrogance now, but it doesn't have to last. Do you really believe God or, if you prefer, Mother Nature didn't know what they were doing when combustion products were designed?
Update, May 29, 2009 --- Same old sameold, sorta
Copyright © 2008, 2009 Donald L. Beeman. All rights reserved.