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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carbon Dioxide: Part 14, Olympic Torch Emissions

True to form, the global warming activists are aghast over the enormous amount of CO2 that is produced by the Olympic torch and the plane that transports it around the world. ABC news reports:

"So when the torch isn't being marched through city streets and/or extinguished by protesters, how is it getting around? You guessed it, by plane -- an Air China A330 custom painted with the Olympic logo and color scheme. The A330 burns 5.4 gallons of fuel per mile. That translates into 462,400 gallons for the entire trip. With Earthlab estimating that every gallon of jet fuel burned produces 23.88 pounds of CO2, the Olympic Torch Relay is adding about 11 million pounds of carbon to the atmosphere. That's 5,500 tons."
Oh those are big numbers! The headline of the article "Olympic Torch Emits 5,500 Tons of CO2" leads one to believe this amount is emitted by the torch. But that is not the case. The article never quantifies the carbon dioxide emission of the torch, but just of the jet that transports it around the world.

The headline is misleading, but the author clarifies in the body of the article that ". . . the Olympic Torch Relay is adding about 11 million pounds of carbon to the atmosphere."

According to Slate, the amount of propane burned in the torch has not been revealed.

The 11 million pounds of CO2 produced to transport the torch will be very small compared to that created by all the world's athletes, coaches, broadcasters, sports writers and observers who fly to Beijing. The amount of CO2 produced by all those traveling people will be huge. In comparison, the jet flight to transport the Olympic torch is insignificant even though it is a large number.

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