BY HAROLD SAIVE / JULY 21, 2019
Mayor Lauren Poe’s grandiose trip to the US Conference of Mayors meeting in Honolulu required him to virtually leave the country by flying to a Pacific island outside the Continental United States.
The global warming impact for the 9,200 mile round-trip by commercial airline calculates to about 2.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide according to online calculations at carbonfootprint.
More significantly, a recent study from scientists at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) in Germany concludes that aircraft engines leave behind a trail of exhaust vapors and soot particulates that warm the climate far more than CO2. These dirty emissions are found to create artificial Cirrus clouds that warm the atmosphere by trapping heat.
A quote from the AAAS Eureka bulletin from June, 2019: “…contrail cirrus have contributed more to warming the atmosphere than all CO2 emitted by aircraft since the start of aviation.”
Fourteen years ago (2005), air traffic made up about 5% of all anthropogenic radiative forcing, with contrail cirrus being the largest contributor to aviation’s climate impact. Models recently developed by IAP scientists predict the warming effect from both contrail cirrus and CO2 emissions from burning jet fuel could triple by 2050.
Anyone serious about reducing global warming to save the planet should consider immediate abandonment of unnecessary air travel. Climate-conscious mayors and officials should be happy to secure our sustainable future by holding teleconferences where interactive attendance is accomplished through reliable and safe internet connectivity while the mayors remain accessible to pothole and bankruptcy issues in their own municipalities.
Mayor Poe’s addiction to greenhouse gases has deranged his thinking, causing him to dream that ratepayers should be happy to pay higher electric bills even when biomass is known to release more CO2 per kilowatt than coal. Add to that the skyrocketing rate of global deforestation, on target to increase CO2 levels by making it impossible for enough new trees to grow back in order to replace those already incinerated.
In 2011 the European Environment Agency described a “serious error” in greenhouse gas accounting for biomass incineration when they found, “substitution of wood for coal in electrical power plants is actually increasing carbon dioxide emissions.”
So as ratepayers pay more for less protection against climate change, Mayor Poe should consider entering a detox program where he can regain enough sanity to stop burning other peoples’ money.
Photo credit: Image by Bruce Emmerling from Pixabay