In Frances Koncilja’s OP/ED (“Denver tax hikes lack clarity, accountability,” Oct. 6), she makes very valid points of why there should be a “no” vote on Denver’s Ballot Issue 2A this fall. In addition to her many objections, here is another reason to vote “no” on this issue: It will do absolutely nothing to reduce worldwide carbon dioxide levels. Here’s why:
The atmosphere is a worldwide dynamic system that does not simply hover over Denver. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from all over the world contribute to global CO2 atmospheric concentrations. Currently, CO2 constitutes about 0.04% of the atmosphere, which makes it a trace gas. The most prevalent greenhouse gas is plain old water vapor, which accounts for 95% of all greenhouse gases.
Denver’s 80X50 Climate Action Plan, dated July 2018, uses 2005 greenhouse gas (GHG) levels as a baseline and sets periodic goals to eventually reduce Denver’s GHG’s to 80% of 2005 levels by the year 2050. In 2005 Denver GHG levels were reported to be 13.2 million metric tonnes of CO2e. (The subscript “e” stands for “equivalent”, which includes greenhouse gasses other than CO2.)
13,200,000 metric tonnes sounds like a very large number, but it is a number that most of us are familiar with and can relate to. The atmosphere itself weighs 5.5 quadrillion tonnes, which is a magnitude most of us cannot easily comprehend. Written out numerically, 5.5 quadrillion is 5,500,000,000,000,000. Obviously, this is a very large number.
In all of the multiple discussions about how many tonnes of CO2 are emitted from various sources, the weight of the atmosphere is never mentioned.
So, let’s do a very simple calculation to see just what percentage 13,200,000 tonnes is of an atmosphere weighing 5,500,000,000,000,000 tonnes. Without showing the math, it works out to be 0.00000024%, — which obviously is a very small percentage. Anybody with simple math can check the calculation.
Consider now a 100-yard-long football field. If we take 0.00000024% of 100 yards, the length of the football field would change by 0.000009 (nine millionths) of an inch. A change in the length of the field by nine millionths of an inch would have absolutely no impact on the length of the field or the outcome of a football game.
Recall that the current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is about 0.04%. Reducing it by 0.00000024% would yield a new CO2 concentration of 0.0399997%. Rounding this to two significant digits yields a concentration of 0.040%, which is no different than the current CO2 concentration. In other words, even if Denver were to totally eliminate all CO2 emissions, there would be no significant decrease in global CO2 atmospheric levels. None.
So, why is Denver proposing $36 million dollars a year in new taxes to accomplish literally nothing?
Voters should vote “no” on Denver Ballot Issue 2A.
Terry W. Donze, of Denver, is a geophysicist and author of “Climate Realism, Alarmism Exposed.” Dave Bufalo, of Denver, is a licensed professional engineer who has extensively studied thermodynamics and heat transfer.