22 Nov

Tell Me About Evil Carbon And The Brilliant Al Gore

                                       

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I had an interesting conversation today with a customer, while she was paying me to work on her horses; after delving into religion, philosophy, metaphysics, and eventually the climate, it became obvious that she was hiding her Liberal proclivities to be agreeable. She was convinced we should use natural gas and “quit digging up dinosaurs for our energy needs, there were too many humans and the world would be a better place after a massive die-off.” Her premises were pregnant with opportunities to attack, but in situations like this, it is better to have your opponent wondering about the discussion later on in the evening, while in bed and questioning the simple reasoning she had heard earlier in the day with a sense of emptiness and bewilderment.

Besides, going for the kill too early ruins the sport of the hunt and sometimes drives a customer to anger before they have a chance to put a nice tip in the check. So I led her along the proverbial primrose path and asked her if she knew of the extent of the last great Ice Age and of how much water was locked up in ice.

Like most people, her concept of glacial ice was provincial, derived from seeing glaciers in Montana or Alberta and secure in the knowledge that the Great Lakes were carved by glacier ice. I told her to imagine one third of the landmass of North America and Europe under a block of ice from east to west that was over a mile high, and with so much water frozen in the ice that sea levels were between a hundred and three hundred meters lower than they are today. I told her to imagine the coastal shorelines extended out as far as a hundred miles because of the lower sea levels.

The lowered sea levels made exploration and migration much easier for early man because many islands were exposed in the oceans, and because of the landmass connecting North America and Asia and the nearly continuous landmass between Europe and North America.

She asked if Europeans other than Vikings came to America. Yes, it has been proven by DNA samples and artifacts, Europeans were here long before Vikings sailed to pillage and conquer the coastal regions of the known world.

I told her to imagine a whole new land mass called Beringia connecting Alaska and Siberia. A vast savanna measuring over a thousand miles from north to south, that was able to support great herds of migrating animals and humans following those herds over the millennia.

I let the wild but accurate facts settle in for a minute, and asked if she knew why the ice formed or melted. She, like the scientists who understand infinitely more, didn’t have a clue.

After an appropriate dramatic pause, it was time to ask if she thought carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere might have been an influencing factor. Of course it is difficult for anyone to make that assertion while looking you in the eye.

After another moment of silence, she asked if I considered the Ice Age a justification for putting so much carbon in the atmosphere: I asked if she knew about the fundamentals of life and carbon.

I know, it is an ambiguous and rhetorical question, but like getting on a horse with a smooth predictable buck in front of gullible people, it’s an opportunity to make a point.

Remember, my subject is an intelligent lib with a predictable reading list of nonscientific journals written by men of questionable motives and with a readily discernible objective, primarily that anthropogenic global warming is more of a political issue than a scientific debate; again, like climbing on a horse with a smooth predictable buck, it is easier to impress gullible people.

My informal lecture zeroed in on carbon, an element my subject knew only by ashes from campfires and noxious fumes from the inefficient diesel engines of old style buses and semis.

“You realize, without this element we call carbon, life would not exist. Carbon is the basic building block for all tissues in plants and animals. Plant and animal tissue is composed of elements built from chains using carbon as the connecting agent, only carbon has this unique versatile ability. Carbon provides the fuels or hydrocarbons we depend on: oil, the natural gas you champion, coal, coke, gasoline and diesel. Proteins that form hair, muscles or meat, and silk are formed of carbon and elements like nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorous. Hydrogen and oxygen chained with carbon compose sugar, starch, and paper.

We know of six and a half million carbon compounds, far more than any other element or all the elements put together; yet, we continue to synthesize new compounds to improve our existence. Diamonds, charcoal, graphite, and fullerene are all common carbon compounds that are commercially important and irreplaceable in modern life.

Carbon is the sixth most common element in the universe and nineteenth in order of mass within the earth’s crust. Compounds like fullerene, graphite, and diamond are fairly insignificant in concentrations within the earth’s crust, it is the carbon of other compounds that are the most common. Carbon is primarily more abundant in compounds like petroleum, natural gas, oil shale, limestone, coral, shellfish remains, and marble. The carbon compounds were deposited in the earth millions of years ago in the form of plant and animal sources, these carbon compounds were then subjected to intense pressures, and transformed through a process deemed the carbon cycle; thus, dynamic changes were formulated and continue to alter the same carbon compounds.

The process of photosynthesis yields plant tissue from carbon dioxide and sunlight in the atmosphere bonding with water from the soil. Thus plant cellulose fibers are created, energy is stored in the form of sugar, and oxygen is released into the atmosphere. Withhold any of the three ingredients and the organism or the life it represents dies.

Normally, animals and humans eat the plants, breathe oxygen to oxidize the carbohydrates or use the carbs as energy for the organism. The by-products: carbon dioxide, water, and waste products are returned to the earth to renew and be available to begin the carbon cycle once again.

Women are often fascinated by diamonds; but when you look at a diamond, you are actually looking at what may be considered a single molecule of carbon atoms, each joined to four other carbons in regular tetrahedrons or triangular prisms. The diamond’s ability to refract light along its crystal faces is a result of having a refractive index of 2.42; a property that yields the fire and brilliance of diamonds.

The second allotrope of carbon, graphite, is a series of carbon atoms joined in patterns of regular hexagons. The connective forces are relatively weak and are responsible for the lubricating properties of graphite.

Amorphous carbon is not usually considered the third allotrope because it is a form of graphite consisting of crystals. Amorphous carbons can be obtained by heating a variety of carbon materials to temperatures of 650 to 850 Celsius, (1,200 to 1,800 F), while confined within an oxygen-starved environment to prevent complete combustion. Thus wood yields charcoal, coal yields coke, and natural gas yields carbon black or lampblack and many other products including carbon electrodes.

Activated charcoal is a term everyone has heard, but few of us actually know the meaning. Discovered in the late eighteenth century, the process used charcoal to remove the brown color from sugars. A process still employed by the sugar beet industry to make their product more appealing to the average American. Foodstuffs still using the process are fats, oils, soap, gelatin, soup stocks, vinegar, and whiskey. It is also used to neutralize the poisonous gases used in war by having the activated charcoal in canisters on gas masks.

Carbon black is primarily used in the production of tires; since it increases the strength of rubber. The remainder is used in the production of printing inks, paints, lacquers, enamel, and carbon papers.

Fullerene is a hollow formation of carbon atoms that resemble the geodesic domes of one of my favorite designers, Buckminster Fuller. Scientists thought it might exist in 1985 and confirmed its existence in 1990, and efforts to synthesize the molecule known as the buckminsterfullerene or the buckyball had 60 atoms arranged in a five or six-sided molecule resembling a soccer ball. It is useful as a lubricant, superconductor, radioactive shield, hard surfacing material, batteries, and ball bearing applications. Experimentation has concluded fullerene to exist in space and in the soot residue from burning certain gases. Fullerene has since been found in natural deposits on earth that are over 600 million years old; however, fullerene is unstable in our atmosphere and natural deposits are limited.

Boron and silicon combined with carbon produce the hardest substances, yet known to man. These compounds are inert and nearly indestructible. Metallic elements like iron, cobalt, and nickel form carbides with carbon and can easily decompose with acids to form methane and hydrogen.

A common carbon atom is composed of six protons and six neutrons to form a nucleus. Thus the atom is known as C-12. C-13 or carbon-13 has six protons and seven neutrons. These inhabit our world in great abundance, approximately 98.89% and 1.11% respectively in natural sources. In the atmosphere the speeding neutrons from cosmic rays keep smacking nitrogen atoms N-14 with seven protons and seven neutrons, driving a proton from the nucleus and replacing it to form an atom of carbon with six protons or 14 particles (six protons and eight neutrons) in the nucleus, it becomes C-14.

This state of carbon decays or deteriorates radioactively and the production and decay of C-12 and C-14 remain in equilibrium or the same ratio for carbon dioxide. Chemically, the two form are the same and plants make no distinction as they consume the two atoms at rhe same rate.

Organic materials from antiquity are not involved with carbon exchanges from the atmosphere. The C-12 levels at death remain constant, but C-14 decays through radioactivity and a ratio can be established to date artifacts through the method commonly known as Carbon-14 dating.”

My overview of Carbon properties had my customer looking lost and bewildered. She considered carbon to be an enemy of mankind, not an integral part of everyday life.

The Left is responsible for this designation of carbon as an enemy to mankind and they have many people scared out of their wits, by claiming that carbon will cause cancer and it is present in cancer formations. We are left with a rhetorical statement, since no organic material can exist without carbon, how can cancer, an irregular organic growth, not have carbon present.

Without the simple carbon cycle, earth becomes a sterile planet devoid of all life. That is not to say breathing tobacco smoke non-stop, working over a poorly ventilated coal forge for years, or breathing the noxious fumes from the old fashioned diesel engines are not harmful, but most chemicals in concentrated form will kill you in time.

It is imperative to become familiar with the properties of carbon, its cycle of life, and its many uses to combat the politicizing of a theory and the parroting of hyperbole by uninformed and often hysterical people.

epilogue: This is a rudimentary overview of organic chemistry, written to help the interested reader become more familiar with carbon. It is a silly waste of time to listen to wild eyed fanatics decrying the evils of carbon when they know nothing of the element or its compounds. Being familiar with carbon will enable you to disarm the Gore sycophants with relative ease. 


About Skook

A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook continues to work with horses. He is in an ongoing educational program, learning life's lessons from one of the world's greatest instructors, the horse. Skook has a personal website skooksjournal.com featuring his personal writings and historical novel type stories.
This entry was posted in Canada, ClimateGate, Culture, Deception and Lies, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Europe, Global Warming, Oil, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 at 12:28 am
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28 Responses to Tell Me About Evil Carbon And The Brilliant Al Gore

  1. jverive says: 1

    C’mon, Skook – ya got too many facts and no feelings! How do you expect to appeal to the liberal heart/mind?

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  2. joetote says: 2

    Man, that is great reading Skook. However, my wife (who like me really loves your stuff) says to tell you she really isn’t fascinated by diamonds. LOL!! Happy Thanksgiving my friend!!!

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  3. Skook says: 3

    I have a Thanksgiving joke, or a joke for Thanksgiving:

    A neutron walked into a bar and for a cold beer on the fourth of July. He drank the beer in silence and asked the barkeep how much for the beer.

    The barkeep said, “For you, no charge.”

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  4. bwax says: 4

    Great post, aand very timely. I visited my son and his family this past week in MO, and as usual I got into a discussion about ‘climate change’ with his wife. She too thinks we are all going to die if we don’t stop putting so much carbon in the atmosphere, and as a true liberal, she said that if I don’t believe in ‘climate change’, I have no concern for her children’s future. (Why do liberals always use scare tactics?)

    I wanted to answer her with facts, but she is set in her ways. Of course I am concerned for her children’s future, so much so that I don’t want their freedoms lost to a vast world wide agency such as the IGPGW. This whole issue is about nothing more than exercising control over mankind.

    Your history of the ice age was precisely the answer I wanted to give her, especially after imagining how much water must have coursed down the Mississippi valley which I traverse on my trip. Something made all that ice melt, and I don’t think it was because mankind was burning too much fuel to keep warm!

    Thanks again.

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  5. Skook says: 5

    @joetote: I wondered whether that comment might be considered sexist or racist after I wrote it, but the image of all the Liberal women wearing carbon on their ring finger is too powerful to ignore.

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  6. Skook says: 6

    Bwax, I enjoy reading about the Ice Age of 20,000 years ago. Here is some extra info: So much water was frozen in the ice that the rest of the world had very little precipitation. The ice created so much pressure or weight upon the earth that most of the fresh water sources were from artesian springs created by the weight of the ice. Not only did man thrive on the border of the ice, but most animals had to depend on the ice for survival. In the summers, great rivers were formed by glacial melt and life teemed near the rivers. People tend to think of the ice as a hindrance, but it sustained life during the era.

    The savanna called Beringia formed because of all the water locked up in ice lowering the sea levels and exposing great tracts of former seafloor. The limited precipitation created the great grassland plains that allowed wooly mammoths, camels, horses, rhinos, giant bears, many other animals to migrate along this grassland. Early man followed the food sources and fished the coastal regions.

    The Ice Age is considered a hard existence for man, but I think it was as close to the Garden of Eden that early man could possibly have lived. Life teemed and congregated at the edge of the ice. Man’s greatest danger after the saber toothed tigers, giant bears and wolves, and giant sharks for casual boaters and swimmers was other men who wanted new food sources. Like a republic, after you acquire a food source, you must then be able to keep it.

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  7. Skook says: 7

    @jverive: That is a tough one! I often have readers report becoming emotional over my dramatic material, but carbon for all it’s organic traits is pretty straight forward. I will need to think on that one.

    Al Gore flunked out of divinity school, but he managed to grasp the dramatic oral inflection of the quintessential Southern Baptist preacher. An ability that can be a real asset when you are promoting scientific theory as gospel.

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  8. joetote says: 8

    @Skook:
    Agreed for sure. funny though. I was lucky enough to get a woman who truly has no use for jewelry. Strange but true. I just asked her and she said she considers your statement to be a truism.

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  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says: 9

    I would love to run in to someone who thinks the world would be better off if humanity experienced a great die off. I would give her or him a head sized zip lock bag and ask them to get started. That, or put a gun to their head and ask if they were talking about themselves or is that experience left for others. If liberals truly believe we need fewer people they should lead the way. The world would be much better off without liberals.

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  10. dee says: 10

    Interesting scientific details. Only an arrogant populace would think they can control something only God can do.
    Man can’t even control himself, much less the “weather”. Even more funny , well really sad, are the fools that “buy” as in purchase those credits “that allow” you to burn or emit. What a farse. And Al Gore, it’s making him rich, but he’s still a fool, in capital letters.
    Good article Skook

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  11. Skook says: 11

    @Zelsdorf Ragshaft III: The die-off theory is more prevalent than you might realize, but the people in favor of the idea are not talking about being part of the die-off, they want to be among the ones who inherit everything. It is a type of Wealth Redistribution.

    @dee: Thanks for the reply. Nearly all of the AGW people I have engaged know nothing about organic chemistry; like Al Gore, they rely on emotion to state their case. They hate all hate carbon without knowing the basic carbon products they depend on daily. Reason and logic has been denied in this debate and it is time to start reversing the tide of opinion with facts and logic.

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  12. Dc says: 12

    That’s the first thing I ask people when they bring up global warming….. Do they believe that C02 is a “pollutant”.

    Beyond the fact that CO2 is absolutely essential to life itself….a fact that no scientist in their right might would ever dispute…man’s contribution to the global levels of CO2 are miniscule in comparison to the other 99% of the natural causes of our global CO2 levels at any point in time (such as release from ocean floor, or volcanoes).

    There are years of science to push aside. It started in the 70s. Global cooling. When it didn’t cool. It returned as global “warming”/greenhouse effect. When that became “inconvenient” because the warming was not “global” it became…”climate change”. And people who don’t agree with their predictions (which is what they are…models) are “climate deniers”.

    Truly, the only people I know who are denying that we have “climate” and that it “changes” are the people pushing model theories about continual warming and catastrophic events despite being “wrong” in most of what they predict! Perhaps they missed the irony of past UN Climate summits on Global Warming being snowed out?
    Now, their new, adjusted science of GWT includes everything…warming causes cooling, etc.

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  13. westie says: 13

    Thanks Snook, great factoids regarding Carbon. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a terrific 2013 to you!

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  14. johngalt says: 14

    Great read, Skooks, as always.

    As Dc was alluding to, the AGW crowd has continually moved the goalposts of their predictions, in efforts to remain on top of the “settled science” debate about the climate. James Hansen, a well-known climate “scientist”, for example, first suggested back in the late 90’s that the average global temperature would increase by 1 deg Celsius over the course of a decade. That prediction has been moved to 15, and now 20 years, from his original statement, with the temps never approaching his stated prediction. In five years, I imagine his prediction will have moved another 10 years in the future, and will continue to move outward as his prediction never comes close to being accurate.

    None of this AGW crowd uses actual scientific process in making their claims. Sure they use scientific terms, but only in support of their theories, and their full theories never get proven except by some gamed computer modeling program.

    Their method of information dissemination isn’t much different than the Democrat’s TV ad showing grandma being pushed off of a cliff by some ‘evil’ republican. The cherry pick some scientific terms and “data” and suggest that if we don’t behave as they want us to, that some great calamity will soon strike the earth.

    As for the Carbon angle on the whole debate, my guess is that most of the people who support the AGW theories did great in the abstract classes, such as English courses, in high school and college, but struggled mightily to understand the logic courses like physics, chemistry, and math. How else can you explain their apparent lack of understanding of one of life’s most important aspects. That carbon is necessary for the life they, themselves, hold so dear.

    PS – That pic of the global warming zealot holding up the sign, “Zero Carbon Now”, had me nearly falling off of my chair in laughter at the stupidity on display.

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  15. Skookum says: 15

    We went out for dinner last night with a close family friend, a Liberal who despite being an educated man within the health care industry, believes George Bush is cross eyed and stupid. I have tried to explain that fighter pilots may seem dense at times, but they have no eye problems and the math calculations they must compute are beyond the abilities of most people who are considered to be “smart”. Needless to say, despite their self-designation as open-minded people, he, like most Liberals, refuses to concede even this minor obvious fact.

    To liven up the conversation, I asked him if he was confident in his organic chemistry; he looked at me as if I was about to lead him into a trap, and he said, “yes” slowly and with trepidation.

    After a good healthy chuckle, I told him that it was reassuring to know he was confident in his organic chemistry.

    Now, to me, this was considerably funnier than the joke. I started telling the joke above with a grin and when I came to the part about the neutron walking into a bar and ordering a cold beer, he interrupted me and asked if this was a joke.

    I burst out laughing once again, and said if it was a joke he would know by the time the punchline came around; but deep inside I was thinking of those dense fighter pilots and wondering if doctors can be just as dense.

    It was Harriet Tunman, the famous escaped slave who helped hundreds of slaves escape on the Underground Railroad, who said, “I helped a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if they only knew they were slaves.”

    This describes the Liberal obsession with refusing to face up to the obvious.

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  16. Skookum says: 16

    @johngalt: The empty headed person holding the sign seems to be unaware that all the components of the sign are carbon based compounds. I am glad you caught the irony.

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  17. Skook, I’m glad I dropped in for a read – outstanding as always.

    Knowledge is always more powerful than ideologically burdened talking points.

    It’s dawned on me that your article combined with this letter “Dear Mr. President: Thanks Again For Cap And Trade” might make a colourful package for immediate delivery to the White House.

    Now I’m off to do my part for the environment, . . . off to have some algae and sushi.

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  18. Wm T Sherman says: 18

    Geothermal energy must play a significant part in our carbon-less energy future. Just a few miles down, the temperature of the earth’s mantle is millions of degrees. Millions of degrees.

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  19. Skookum says: 19

    @Wm T Sherman: Geothermal seems to be real, but our big shots seem to be interested in tilting windmills. If I regain my footing and build another ranch in Canada, I promise to install some variation of this theory and keep you guys posted with the stats on efficiency and economy. When i give you the facts it ill be honest without the bullshit, Her’s hoping I live long enough and regain my fiscal standing. I want to build a geothermal home and barn in Canada nd let you younger people in on the facts of whether it is practical or not. i don’t believe any of the lies being promoted by our government and the U.N., they are only trying to get our wealth and control of our lives. Windmills are a joke except for isolated ranches, and they are hard on birds; without government subsidies, they would be laughable. The power of the earth is within the tides and theheat that lives just beneath the earth’s crust, but the Liberal gangsters haven’t figured out how to steal money with those energy sources so they are never mentioned.

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  20. Skookum says: 20

    JR, put it together or let me know how to put it together. You are far more versed in this type of situation than a Canadian cowboy who often needs a shave, but I am up for anything at this point.

    I am ready for new directions at this point. We need to beat back these Progressives with intellect and sheer talent. Yes, in the arena of ideas, we can make them look like fools, but our leaders need to be real leaders!

    Keep the faith JR and long live the republic!

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  21. mathman says: 21

    Woe is me, as I am the bearer of bad news. We do NOT know the carbon budget of the Earth. Such little details as the rates at which carbon dioxide enters and leaves the oceans remains relatively unknown, as does the uptake by ocean plants (yes, they take in carbon dioxide as well, and there are a LOT of them).
    Solubility seems to depend on lots of factors, as does the 70% of the surface of the earth serving as a carbon dioxide sink.
    Also, there was a Medieval Warming Period (MWP), despite the UN claims to the contrary. Greenland was once GREEN, and the vikings lived happily for a couple of centuries there, until they froze out. And then it got cold, REALLY cold, when the Sun went quiescent.
    The Sun has gone quiescent again. For that you have to visit spaceweather.com.
    I hope there is a lot more carbon dioxide in the air this time. We need to be cushioned a lot.
    By the way: ice cores from Greenland suggest strongly that carbon dioxide concentration lags behind temperature change by 500 years, rather than the reverse.
    And storm remains from New England suggest colossal storms in the 17th century.
    But you cannot fight what a liberal “hearts” with facts. They believe what they want to believe, just as they did 50 years ago with NUCLEAR WINTER!!!!!

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  22. Skookum says: 22

    Thank you, Mathman, for the facts and humor. The carbon exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere is probably conveniently forgotten because of water occupying 70% of the earth’s surface.

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  23. Skook,
    hi, that was very interesting yes for sure, thank you for its expanded information
    and I must be stupid because I did not get the neutron asking how much for the beer and why would the bar keeper say, for you it’s free?
    bye

    ReplyReply
  24. mathman
    hi,
    maybe the carbon come from volcano underneath the ocean
    just presuming
    bye

    ReplyReply
  25. Marine72 says: 25

    @Skookum: #22:

    Thank you, Mathman, for the facts and humor. The carbon exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere is probably conveniently forgotten because of water occupying 70% of the earth’s surface.

    Skook, is it possible that “it” just doesn’t fit their self-serving narrative ‘kind’ of like flash mobs over-running our Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi?

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  26. Skookum says: 26

    @Marine72: Yes, they tend to make up “facts” as they go along, hockey sticks and dead polar bears make great visual aids as well; but we must stay awake, the UN wants to tax the carbon we produce in the United States to pay for Retirement Accounts, Caribbean vacation homes, and Swedish mistresses. They have big plans and there are millions of Progressives who think it is a wonderful idea; after all, we will save the children and the Polar bears.

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  27. Hugh Harden says: 27

    A good science refresher, and that, and all your writing is a pleasure to read. Sure glad I’ve had the privilege of meeting you. If more people worked with horses–maybe more ‘horse sense’ would be exhibited in society.

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  28. Skook says: 28

    Thanks Hugh, it is good to hear from you. Horse sense or common sense seems to be a rare commodity these days, especially among our leaders. Horse sense seems so elementary, but it is a valuable and rare commodity. A long time ago, someone called common sense ‘horse sense’. Now not all horses are smart, but when you have a clever horse, you better be ready for an adventure, and you better be smarter than your horse.

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