[Vision2020] PBS Newshour 6-3-22: Astonishing Blunder Re: Atmospheric CO2 Level Increase Since Pre-Industrial

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sat Jun 4 21:48:18 PDT 2022

Good grief!  Atmospheric CO2 levels are now close to 50 percent higher than
pre-industrial levels, not "50 times higher" as last night's PBS Newshour

I suspect I overlooked something in this broadcast, but it appears I did
This error is at the 5:16 min/sec. mark of this YouTube replay of this
PBS NewsHour full episode, June 3, 2022 - YouTube

I could not believe my ears when I heard the news announcer claim that "As
of May, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were more than 50 times
higher than before the industrial Age."  I was so stunned at such an
egregious error that I at once felt terribly sorry for the PBS Newshour.
Of course, before the "Industrial Age" would mean immediately before
industrialization based on fossil fuels started, not millions or
billions of years ago in Earth's history!

The Earth's atmosphere has undergone tremendous change in composition since
the Earth's formation over 4 billion years ago.  For example:

The Origin of Oxygen in Earth's Atmosphere - Scientific American

"What it looks like is that oxygen was first produced somewhere around 2.7
billion to 2.8 billon years ago. It took up residence in atmosphere around
2.45 billion years ago," says geochemist Dick Holland, a visiting scholar
at the University of Pennsylvania. "It looks as if there's a significant
time interval between the appearance of oxygen-producing organisms and the
actual oxygenation of the atmosphere."

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