Editorial comment ///

We humans haven’t cared about how natural anything in our lives was - at least not until “food” vendors started telling us that their manufactured, processed-caloric fodder was “natural” on the package. Yet, as a remarkably stupid political backlash for and against global warming, the naturalness of the phenomenon is of utmost importance. It’s as if another ice age or an inland sea was perfectly OK with folks. A friend and I were talking about the billionaire Richard Branson’s offer of $25 million to anyone who can figure out a viable way to remove at least a billion tons of carbon dioxide a year from the Earth’s atmosphere. I wondered if CO2 escaping from a volcano would qualify as being part of the atmosphere. “Would some sort of loose-fitting dome over the richest CO2-belching volcano, followed by deep-sea sequestration, work?” “No, it wouldn’t,” he answered, “because that’s natural CO2.” “How would that matter?” I asked.

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