Suzuki Math Indicates 4 x 0.4 = 2 : No Wonder EnviroNazis Are Wrong

Today’s Ottawa Sun has a Q and A session with David Suzuki about his carbon spewing bus tour across Canada and this is one of the questions.

Q: What role should Canada play on the international scene?

A: Canada produces 2% of C02 emissions, but represents just 0.4% of the world’s population.

So we produce four times more pollution per capita than the global average, and because of that, we have an obligation.

My 10 year old does better math, Mr. Suzuki.

But this is besides the point when we really think about it. Yes, Canadians may create five times the man made emissions of CO2 compared to our percentage of the population. But let’s look at some comparative information to assess the “obligation” part of his comment.

Canada has 10% of the world’s forests (StatsCan numbers) and as we know the 402 million hectares of woodlands we have eat up a massive amount of the earth’s carbon dioxide to produce the wood that becomes the tree trunk.

Newly planted trees can eat up to 15 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year, so for my calculations I am going to say 10 tonnes to be conservative (which we all know I am).

This means that Canadian forests alone are pulling 4 GigaTonnes of CO2 out of the air each year. Yet our CO2 emissions are only about 60 MegaTonnes/year. Or let’s be less specific and say that Canadians are only producing 640 Megatonnes of GHGs/year (as per Greg Weston’s column that I blogged about here.)

This means that our nation is sinking approximately 66 times the CO2 that we produce and sinking about 6 times the GHG’s that we produce by CO2 equivalency.

I can hear the environmentalistas screaming now…..”But wait, you are only considering man made green house gases (and CO2)!!”

Ah yes. Man made. And this brings us back to the crux of the debate that keeps getting overlooked by these ecoterrorists. Where ARE all these other Green House Gases coming from??

And thus, we find ourselves back to water vapour. That elusive substance escaping from the earth’s oceans in massive amounts. That substance that makes up 95% to 97% of the GHGs on the planet.

If only we had enough Saran Wrap to cover the Pacific…


15 thoughts on “Suzuki Math Indicates 4 x 0.4 = 2 : No Wonder EnviroNazis Are Wrong

  • February 11, 2007 at 11:49 am

    The problem is not the science or the math,it’s that the “sky is falling” environmentalists have done a better PR job. The general public who can’t or won’t follow the science hear apocalyptic problems and of course they say something has to be done. This whole “Global Warming” is going to carbon tax us into oblivion. And how does Kyoto with swapping carbon credits “reduce” greenhouse gases anyway, it’s like swapping money from one pocket to another doesn’t give you more or less money.

  • February 11, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Canada produces more than its per capita share of greenhouse gases because it is an advanced economy that’s why.

    My question to everyone in Canada and around the world is this: why is piling in immigrants going to reduce greenhouse gases in Canada?

    Let me know when somebody figures out that it is in fact increasing them.

    Jackie L, loves immigration but hates greenhouse gases… is he mental?

  • February 11, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    They play the PR game better than we do. They spread their disinformation, repeat silly gloom and doom mantras and play on Western guilt. They know all the buttons to push. The biggest question is, is there a way to unteach those convenient lies?

  • February 11, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Keep in mind though, that when you count the precentage of forest base, you need to separate out the old growth forest, you know, the ones the greenies lie in front of machinery and cover themselves with their own excrement for.. The reason being is that once a forest reaches a certain age its carbon role reverses, and it starts emitting carbon(C02) rather than using it.

    Which reminds me of the current rage over “renewable” fuels, ie. bio-diesel et all. This is all fine and dandy, and I’m all for it, providing you utilize all the materials that currently are just being wasted. But once you scratch the surface of this and do the math, to produce enough bio-fuel to even meet 1/2 the demand would probably mean levelling ALL of the remaining forest base and replace it with chemical-saturated cropland. Hardly a viable alternative, correct?

    I’ve gotten in to this discussion with greenies many times, I’ve worked in forestry all my life and when they tell me “deforestation” is the bane of mankind, I always get a kick out of the confused look in their eyes when I explain to them that forest products companies do not take one iota of land out of the forest base, in fact most are actively trying to increase the forest base with the use of plantations etc.

    Telling them that its agriculture that is decimating the southern hemisphere rainforests, not logging companies, as the logging companies down there subsist mostly on eucalyptus plantations takes the wind right out of their sails.

  • February 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Craig (#1) and Canadianna (#3) I agree whole heartedly. I think a way to slowly turn the tide is to pick three or four points that are strong swaying points, such as the fact that 95% or so of green house gases are water and a good second one is educating people that Kyoto is NOT about clean air…but about carbon dioxide. Points like this if perpetuated enough will win the battle.

    Then again we can always start with the mockeries like my “Global Warming Burnt My Steak” type ads.

    Real Conservative (#2) This is another one of those points that debunks Jackie boy. Similar to the fact that Kyoto would ship a bunch of money to China which would give them more money to build more coal fired plants which are drastically more pollutant than other forms of energy we use in Canada.

    Albertan (#4) your point on old growth slowing and eventually reversing is why I used the 10 tonne number and not the 15 tonne. We plant new forests annually to the tune of over 5 million trees a year. I think the amount of land that can be forested with a degree or two of warming would be insane.

    I honestly think if we took all the money spent on carbon taxes, credits, kyoto and other rip off schemes we could easily pay for the resettlement of the 300 Million people that are supposed to be displaced by global warming.

  • February 11, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Are you guys purposefully disingenuous? It’s obvious these numbers have been rounded to one significant digit for PR purposes. The numbers could have been 1.7%, 3.9% and 0.436%, rounded honestly to 2%, 4% and 0.4%.

    What you’re doing is distorting the truth *just enough* that people who don’t think about it get swept up in the agitprop.

  • February 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    While your numbers put a reasonable case forward, I haven’t seen a comprehensive analysis of Canada’s CO2/forestry cycle. Yes, rotting trees (in old-growth forests) return their CO2 (and relatively short-lived methane) to the cycle. But most agree that old-growth forests are neutral, not negative.

    Still, lumber harvests (capturing trees for decades or centuries) and other uses tend to capture CO2 for a long term, resulting in an anthropogenic (man-caused) reduction of CO2 from the cycle.

    As for Kyoto, BBS reminded me in a recent post that there is evidence that the Kyoto credits awarded for the destruction of HFC-23 (a byproduct of the manufacture of the refrigerant HCFC-22) may have led to an increase in production of GHGs (and reaping of excess profits rather than investment in cleaner technologies).

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  • February 11, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    anon (#6) what number was Suzuki rounding? If it was the 0.4 then the largest amount to round down would have bee 0.44. And then using the 2% number we would take 2, divide it by 0.44 and get 4.54 which rounds to, ahem, 5.

    If he is going to round numbers as low as 0.4 and 2 then he is doing everyone an injustice as rounding 1.6 to 2 would mean a 20% error right from the get go. It is not the same as rounding 96 to 100 which is only a 4% error.

    In either case, the science (and math) are again, ignored by the ecoterrorist.

    Paul (#7), I have a serious problem when businesses in North America consider it profitable to pull in 15 or 20% revenue after all expenses and the left screams at corporate profits and then I read the quote below in the article you link to:

    That means the Western investors will pay the Chinese companies roughly $8 a CO2-equivalent ton for destroying the HFC-23. That is a bargain for the Western investors, who would have to pay far more to reduce emissions back home. It also is a boon for the Chinese companies, for whom the actual cost of destroying the gas is less than $1 a CO2-equivalent ton of emissions, the metric used in the carbon market.

    i.e. In North America it is considered a fair return on investment to make 10% per year for an investment and when big corps make 20% or 30% they are shunned by everyone and the left calls them gougers. Yet under plans like the HFC-23 destruction, a Chinese company can make 700% return on destroying a GHG. Nice. Where can I buy HFC-23 in bulk? I am willing to sign up and run a company like that.

  • February 12, 2007 at 1:06 am

    “The reason being is that once a forest reaches a certain age its carbon role reverses, and it starts emitting carbon(C02) rather than using it. ”

    Do you have a source for this? The only thing even close that I could find was a study that showed the CO2 emissions from soil microbes increased about 20% when phosphorous or nitrogen was added to the soil – but ONLY in tropical rain forests. ( This has nothing to do with the forest SYSTEM (and surely not the trees themselves) suddenly deciding to perform some sort of reverse photosynthesis when they get ‘big’ enough.

  • February 12, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Sorry, don’t crucify him for the math. He did state that it was 4 times MORE than the global average. We are above the global average by 2.0-0.4=1.6. And 1.6/0.4 is 4 GREATER than the average. So he is correct.

    Crucify him for everthing else, though. He’s still an environutbar.

  • February 13, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    Mulder: Suzuki could have rounded all of them, and it takes much less rounding to get 1.7 to 2, 3.9 to 4, and 0.436 to 0.4 than it does to get your 4.54 to 5.0. When scientific or technical numbers are quoted, they are often quoted to one significant digit (if decimal), or the nearest integer. Sometimes, they are stated to the nearest 0.5, when it is necessary; c.f. the 95 referendum results.

    Besides, attacking Suzuki is a red herring. Attack Dr. Oppenheimer if you honestly want to discredit the science. When you attack Suzuki it appears that you’re only trying to score cheap political points, especially given that the *author* of the IPCC study seems like a better target. The problem is, he’s also MUCH harder to hit. Good luck with all that.

  • February 15, 2007 at 12:37 am

    ” Q: What role should Canada play on the international scene?

    A: Canada produces 2% of C02 emissions, but represents just 0.4% of the world’s population.

    So we produce four times more pollution per capita than the global
    average, and because of that, we have an obligation. “”

    Mr Suzuki is confused or is misleading the public. CO2 is not pollution, Kyoto has nothing to do with pollution or air quality. Emissions with reference to Kyoto are CO2 emissions which is not pollution. I think if the public was more aware or better informed of just what Kyoto is and what the costs of meeting the targets are, they would tell the likes of Suzuki to piss off.

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