Is global warming a hoax and why should we care?

I think Global Warming deniers who claim it’s a hoax are ignorant fools, and here’s a sampling of who loves them: the Koch brothers, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Monsanto in addition to five other corporations — BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta, collectively known as the “Big 6”.

Think Progress.org reports that the oil, gas and coal industries have spent over $2 billion lobbying Congress since 1999, and the Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries as the 14th worst air polluter in the U.S.—more than oil giants like BP, Shell and Chevron and large coal utilities like American Electric Power and Duke Energy.

Koch Industries and the Koch family spend millions of dollars on lobbyists to fight climate and energy legislation, millions more on politicians, and still more millions on organizations denying climate change. Through the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as Koch Industries and the other Koch family foundations, numerous and substantial donations go to organizations that deny, skepticize or belittle the significance of global warming. Compared to ExxonMobil, which has spent over $27.4 million on skeptic groups since 1998, foundations linked to Koch Industries have spent over $70 million in traceable contributions to the same network of organizations, with addition untraceable funding funneled through organizations like Donors Trust.  Polluter Watch.com

But even if we were to remove global warming as an issue, the danger of CO and CO2 to the quality of life still remains.

CO is carbon monoxide and it is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood do not burn fully. Burning charcoal, running cars and the smoke from cigarettes also produce carbon monoxide gas, and did you know that carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. When there’s too much carbon monoxide in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in the hemoglobin of your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This keeps life-sustaining oxygen from reaching your tissues and organs.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death.

What about the cost of CO poisoning? In 2007, alone, the hospital cost for confirmed CO poisoning was more than $26 million. Multiply that number by ten years, and we are talking about more than a quarter of a billion dollars. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

What about CO2, better known as carbon dioxide? EPA.gov says, “The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation. … Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. In 2012, CO2 accounted for about 82% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

LiveStrong.com says, “Cases of CO2 poisoning have been linked to central nervous system damage and permanent deterioration of respiratory functions. Because of these findings, CO2 is considered not just a simple asphyxiant, but a gas with acute systemic effects as well. … If your blood becomes saturated with too much CO2, you develop the condition known as hypercapnia. Increased levels of CO2 also affect the pH level of your blood, turning it more acidic. This condition is called acidemia and, if prolonged, causes acidosis, which is injury to the body’s cells by a rise in acidity that leads to faltering functions of the heart. … You can suffocate on CO2 without any visible abnormality or obstruction of your breathing. If the oxygen content of the air you breathe is insufficient, you slowly suffocate due to selective oxygen depletion until you experience permanent damage or death.

What about the medical costs of excessive CO2 exposure? Poor childhood health caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, cost the United States $76.6 billion in 2008, according to a new study in the May issue of Health Affairs.

In fact, Perry Sheffield and coauthors at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined the little-studied relationship between fine particulates or pollutants in the air and the cost of bronchiolitis, a type of lung infection in children. They discovered that children exposed to such pollutants were more likely to have higher health care costs from treating this respiratory illness. … Such exposure can lead to long-lasting health and academic problems for children, write Paul Mohai, Byong-Suk Kweon, and colleagues at the University of Michigan. They examined the extent of air pollution from industrial sources near public schools, finding that schools located in areas with the highest air pollution had the lowest attendance rates (a marker for poor health) and the highest proportion of students failing to meet state educational standards.

Conclusion: There’s more at stake here than a possible unproven hoax claim that carbon emissions ( CO and/or CO2) are not contributing to or causing global warming. If you have supported the oil and coal industries when they claim that global warming is a hoax to help them defeat environmental bills designed to clean the air, water and soil, you are just as guilty as the Koch brothers, because you are contributing to the suffering of millions of children and adults and billions of dollars in annual medical costs that has nothing to do with global warming being a hoax.

In fact, people who protest because they think global warming is a hoax may also be murderers. The Voice of America reports that “Air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year in the United States according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In ten years, that’s 2-million deaths thanks to billionaire oligarchs like the Koch brothers.

Do you really think they care if global warming is real or not? The Wichita Eagle says, “In a little more than a decade, while a lot of companies were contracting, Koch Industries has doubled its revenue.”

In 2000, revenue at Koch industries was $55 billion. By 2011, it was $110 billion. The Koch brothers thank all of the people they fooled—for believing their claims of a global warming hoax—who supported them in defeating bills in Congress that would have helped clean the air, water and soil and save millions of lives from painful early deaths, and help more than 7-million children under age 18 who suffer from asthma. American Lung Association

Discover the suffering and lost chances caused by the Koch brothers and the oil industry: Poverty with Pollution–Its impact on the education of children

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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2 thoughts on “Is global warming a hoax and why should we care?

  1. Isn’t it funny how every voice that expresses some indignation in the face of scientific knowledge, always leads back to big corporate money? Always, without exception, stupidity and inaction are the best friends of those businesses that see the world as theirs for the taking and exploiting.

    • Sad but true. The 1% and their corporations rely in ignorance and fools to succeed in their quest for more wealth and power.

      However, I rely on Lincoln’s quote and trust that it will be true in the end.

      “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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