• Cancun Climate Change Conference: Nice junket if you can get it!

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    Above right is the late and unlamented Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Above left is the Right Honourable Chris Huhne, MP, PC, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Notwithstanding the obvious differences (one was a member of the most evil regimes in human history whilst the other is a well intentioned member of our politically correct elite) there is a remarkable similarity as both were/are responsible to espousing their regime’s message. In the case of Mr. Huhne his task is to tell us about the supposed dangers of the trace element CO2.

    Of course Goebbels was famously remembered for his remark that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. What is not generally known is that Goebbels was criticising us the British. In, “Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik” (“Churchill’s Lie Factory”) of 12th January 1941 he wrote: “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.” Of course, Goebbels used this principal himself.

    Whilst we have been enduring weather of arctic proportions, Mr Huhne has been enjoying himself in the sunshine at the Cancun Climate Change Conference where there have been calls for WW2 style rationing in “the rich countries” to reduce CO2 emissions.The greenies have also resurrected that old wives tale about acidification of the oceans. Below is a synopsis by the Rev. Philip Foster that effectively puts the kybosh on these nonsensical claims:

    One of the more recent scares has been Ocean acidification, caused of course by CO2 (what else!) – shock horror all the corals will die and shellfish will dissolve in ‘acid’ oceans etc.

    Well let’s get it quite clear. Current levels of atmospheric CO2 are very low in comparison to the last 600 million years (at the bottom of this article is a graph that showing the levels of CO2 and global temperatures). Yet at no time during much higher concentrations of CO2 has there been any sign of corals being dissolved etc.

    The reason is Limestone. There is quite a lot of it about in the ocean beds and basins! Also huge amounts of Ca(OH)2 – hydrated lime – are generated in undersea volcanoes when limestone is heated up – a soluble strong alkali. CaCO3 + heat = CaO + CO2 CaO + H2O = Ca(OH)2

    Limestone itself is an insoluble rock unless it is attached by an acid. (Marble chips – metamorphosed limestone – in Kipps apparatus generating CO2. CaCO3 + 2HCl = CaCl2 + CO2 + H2O, remember?)

    However in the big wide world the main acid that dissolves limestone is Carbonic Acid (essentially H2CO3 or H2O + CO2).
    Now when Carbonic Acid (in rain, dissolved in oceans etc) attacks limestone the following reaction takes place
    CaCO3 + H2CO3 = Ca(HCO3)2 otherwise known as Calcium bicarbonate or Calcium Hydrogen carbonate.

    Calcium bicarbonate is relatively SOLUBLE and is always an ALKALINE solution, because Ca(OH)2 Calcium Hydroxide is a strong base and Carbonic acid a weak acid. More Calcium ions in water help sea creatures make shells and corals etc.

    Oceans with more CO2 will tend to become more alkaline overall. Unless the ocean basins run out of limestone – which to all intents and purpose cannot happen – the oceans will always remain mildly alkaline.

    Freshwater rivers and lakes will be much more variable. Where there is limestone they will be slightly alkaline, where there is not they tend to be slightly acidic – compare say Yorkshire – where water is likely to be hard and mildly alkaline – with the North & West of Scotland – where the water tends to be soft and mildly acidic. This enables plants to diversify – some preferring acidic soils and peats others alkaline soils. eg the Rhododendron (not a native plant) likes acid soils and flourishes in the West of Scotland.