Editor, Daily Nexus,
Rest easy tonight, stoners, your favorite pastime may actually help fight global warming.
In his column (“Smoking Weed Warms Mother Earth,” Daily Nexus, April 23), Zach Phillips states that every time I burn the sticky icky, I’m releasing carbon into the atmosphere where it combines with oxygen, forming carbon dioxide, the largest anthropogenic green house gas (by volume).
All this is true. The burning of weed does in fact produce CO2, though perhaps not in the quantities suggested. The logic that my bad habits are contributing to global warming, however, is inherently flawed.
Ironically, I stumbled across Phillips’ column while reading the Nexus in “Geology 130: Global Warming” and reminiscing on a week of hazy memories. My first instinct was to panic that I was living a lie. Under harsher scrutiny and a bit of economic magic, my fears were assuaged.
By supporting the green market, with my hard earned money – Ok… Mom and Dad are really footing it… I love you guys! – I’m creating a demand for a product. The production and cultivation of this product requires the growth of biomass, which converts CO2 into its constituents, carbon and oxygen. Without this thriving economic demand, these plants would have never been grown and that carbon would have never been sequestered.
Every time I light up, I’m returning that carbon to the atmosphere where it recombines with oxygen and reforms CO2. The net effect of this on carbon is neither a loss nor gain, however, for the period until it’s introduced to my bong, carbon is removed from the atmosphere, decreasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and, by some measure, global climate change.
Perhaps my hobby – or habit if you ask my roommate – is not the most efficient way to curb global warming, but it is certainly not incompatible with a green lifestyle.