Carbon dioxide

The Follies of ‘Net Zero’ Carbon Risk Consigning Millions to Energy Poverty

There follows a guest post by Ian Hore-Lacy, Senior Adviser to the World Nuclear Association, who is based in Melbourne, Australia, and is concerned about the direction of travel in his home country as it begins to take seriously cutting CO₂ emissions following COP26. Ian was recently interviewed on the Titans of Nuclear podcast (also available on iTunes and Spotify).

In Australia, media reporting of COP26 in Glasgow has been doubling down on reporting every anomalous weather event or sea-level concern as due to climate change, despite some fairly clear scientific findings in the AR6 science report showing such attribution as nonsense. Having spent the best part of two days looking at the AR6 science it is quite clear that we can live with the likely scenarios. The report itself notes that the very high emission and warming scenario SSP5-8.5 “has been debated in light of recent developments in the energy sector” and discounted but cannot be entirely ruled out. It projects a very great increase in coal use and has been carried forward from earlier modelling without real modification. Including this highly improbable, obsolete and extreme scenario, however, has fed a lot of extreme rhetoric by people who should know better, including the head of IPCC, António Guterres.

The language of crisis and catastrophe is used uncritically and without justification. It’s becoming evident that no panic measures will emerge from the Glasgow theatrics, but perhaps a steady focus on improvement, to minimise human contribution to CO₂ levels. In Europe the media focus has been on the current energy crisis, especially in the U.K. Australian PM Scott Morrison did well in Glasgow; he now needs to flesh out the ’technology’ that will save us. He needs to avoid a fight with the opposition Labor party, but somehow prevail in his fight with the renewables rent-seekers who are adding $7 billion per year to Australia’s electricity bills for little effect.

Face Masks Cause Children to Inhale Dangerous Levels of Carbon Dioxide at SIX TIMES the Safe Limit, Study Finds

New research published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) has found that wearing a face mask causes children to inhale dangerous levels of carbon dioxide that becomes trapped behind the mask.

The peer-reviewed research letter from Dr Harald Walach and colleagues found that the air masked children inhaled contained more than six times the legal safe limit for closed rooms as set down by the German Federal Environmental Office. The safe limit is 0.2%, whereas the air the masked children inhaled contained over 1.3% carbon dioxide.

The effect was worse for younger children, with one seven year-old child inhaling air with 2.5% carbon dioxide, over 12 times the safe limit.

The study looked at two types of mask, FFP2 masks and surgical masks, and found no significant difference between the two.

The authors explained that this alarming result likely explains the complaints from children who wear face masks for long periods.

Most of the complaints reported by children can be understood as consequences of elevated carbon dioxide levels in inhaled air. This is because of the dead-space volume of the masks, which collects exhaled carbon dioxide quickly after a short time. This carbon dioxide mixes with fresh air and elevates the carbon dioxide content of inhaled air under the mask, and this was more pronounced in this study for younger children.

This leads in turn to impairments attributable to hypercapnia. A recent review concluded that there was ample evidence for adverse effects of wearing such masks. We suggest that decision-makers weigh the hard evidence produced by these experimental measurements accordingly, which suggest that children should not be forced to wear face masks.

With face masks shown to have little to no impact in reducing infection or transmission, this suggests the policy is all pain and no gain and should be abandoned without delay.

Read the study in full here.