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Letters to the Editor


Funny Numbers

Dear LubesnGreases,

Im the site lubrication engineer at the U.S. Department of Energys Savannah River Plant and an avid reader of LubesnGreases. I usually read and enjoy Tom Glenns pieces, but I have to say that his January 2007 column was one of his best. When I got to the part about the Group VIII+ I couldnt stop laughing. In my opinion, 99 percent of the population in the USA would not have a clue what it meant if they saw a label with Group VIII+ on a container of oil, but theyd buy it and think there were doing good! Just goes to show that spin apparently does work.

Also, just for what its worth, in my opinion only the Group V esters, glycols, silicones, etc., should be called synthetics. Anything made directly from a mineral oil should not be called a synthetic. (Otherwise, why dont we call 93 octane gasoline synthetic gasoline?)

Keep up the good work, Tom. Everyone in the industry benefits from the labors of folks like yourself.

Shannon Moses

Aiken, S.C.

Simply Superb

Dear LubesnGreases,

I am sorry to read that David McFall will no longer be doing his monthly column. I consider him to be a simply superb journalist and have gotten so much from reading his articles.

Best of luck to David in his (retirement?) endeavors, and I am still looking forward to special features from him.

John Rosenbaum

Chevron Global Base Oils

Richmond, Calif.

Editors note: David McFalls next feature is slated for our May issue. Enjoy!

South Carolina

Dear LubesnGreases,

Okay, I give up: What state is The Iodine State (November cover, Shell 1932 road map, left panel)?

Fred Litt Lubricant

Consulting Corp.

Sagamore Hill, Ohio

Hot Enough for You?

Dear LubesnGreases,

Regarding Jack Goodhues column A Simple Solution to Global Warming (January issue, page 54), here are some thoughts for Dear Charlie to consider:

1. Nature is supreme. If there is a proliferation of humans and pets, nature will take care to balance the planets temperature, be it through disasters, disease or weather.

2. The real issue is the heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) generated from man-made incinerations: weapons, industry, automotive, refineries and the like. How about cutting down on weapons for a start? Good old hand-to-hand fighting was always enough to protect the territorial boundaries. We certainly do not want Nuclear Winters!

3. Believe me, with their sedate lifestyles the Chinese and Indians breathe at a much lower rate than those of the so-called developed countries, where everybody is on the run all the time. Why not a WTO-type treaty, with carbon credit in the form of perks for those who breathe slowly?

4. With scientists exploring space, how about determining ways to shift the earths orbit a few degrees away from the sun? Was it Newton who said, Give me a pole long enough and strong enough and a place to keep it and I will move the Earth.

5. Do not play with nature.

J.R. Nanda

AVI-OIL India (P) Ltd.

New Delhi, India

I always enjoy reading Jack Goodhues articles. I follow his reasoning and agree that we have gone overboard in the global warming discussions. Where did he get the numbers on 3 percent man-made versus 97 percent natural causes on CO2?

Brian T. Gilbert

E.W. Kaufmann Co.

Southampton, Pa.

Enjoy Jack Goodhues columns very much, however, this one is the first which prompts me to contact you. I am concerned about the sky is falling mentality about global warming and the seemingly senseless ideas about controlling the atmosphere. The column sounded at first like it was purely satirical. However, Jack added some numbers which sounded like they could be real. Are they documentable or did he just make them up?

C.E. Glomski

Elk Grove Village, IL

Jack Goodhue replies:

This particular column has generated more positive response than any single column which I have written over the past 12 years. I even got one e-mail from Turkey-Lurkey.

The 6 billion world population and the 2 billion population of China are a matter of record. I just guessed at the worlds 15 billion dogs and cats; even the Internet didnt have that one.

The 3 percent CO2 generated by humans versus 97 percent from natural causes comes from the following sources:

The first, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, said that 150 billion metric tons of carbon go into the atmosphere from natural processes every year, a number which is almost 30 times the amount of carbon humans emit. That works out to about 3.3 percent for human activity.

Another source was Common Questions about Climate Change, published in 1997 by the U.N. Environment Programme, World Meteorological Organization. It said, in part, that human activities add CO2 to the atmosphere at a rate of about 3 percent of natural emissions. A more complete quote:

Carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere by a variety of sources, and over 95 percent of these emissions would occur even if human beings were not present on Earth. For example, the natural decay of organic material in forests and grasslands, such as dead trees, results in the release of about 220 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year. But these natural sources are nearly balanced by physical and bio-logical processes, called natural sinks, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For example, some carbon dioxide dissolves in sea water, and some is removed by plants as they grow. As a result of this natural balance, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would have changed little if human activities had not added an amount every year. This addition, presently about 3 percent of annual natural emissions…

Other sources put the human contribution as high as 4.1 percent and as low as 2 percent.

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