Our Carbon Pollution Rate = 5,000 Deepwater Spills

David Archer, a Chicago ocean chemist,  tells us that the rate humans pump carbon into the atmosphere is equivalent to that spewed out by 5,000 Deepwater Horizon oil spills.

That’s the rate that people are releasing carbon to the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation today. … [T]hink of it — five thousand spills like in the Gulf of Mexico, all going at once, each releasing 40,000 barrels a day, every day for decades and centuries on end. We are burning a lot of carbon!

In last night’s speech, President Obama wasn’t really trying to pivot to a detailed, serious solution to this problem. But if he had wanted to, this 5,000 oil spills fact is a good rhetorical candidate.

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