Alan McKenna (The Courier, August 3) disputes the claim of myself and John Petheram in our article "Revealing carbon tax hypocrisy (The Courier, July 27) that burning 450 million tonnes of coal would produce 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide).
The reaction of carbon (the main component of coal) and oxygen to produce CO2 is basic chemistry.
It tells us that 12 units of carbon combine with 32 units of oxygen to produce 44 units of CO2. So burning 1 tonne of carbon produces 3.7 tonnes of CO2.
This has a volume of 1900 cubic metres. Our figures are correct.
Alan's suggestion that "burning this one tonne of coal would possibly produce several cubic metres of carbon dioxide which weighs about 1 to 1.5kg per cubic metre", is uninformed nonsense.
With the blessing of the Federal government, Australia's fossil fuel export industry is out of control.
Any environmental benefits gained from the carbon tax will be overwhelmed by damage done by exported CO2.
Exposing the risk posed by exported CO2 is not scaremongering as Alan says, it is alerting the community to the inevitable damage that will be done to our economy, coastal infrastructure, food and water security, and lifestyle. We should be very scared. The Journal of The National Academy of Science, USA, reported last year that these conclusions are supported by 97 per cent of the world's most published climate scientists.
Would you fly on an airliner that 97 per cent of the world's most expert aeronautical engineers thought might crash?