There is an interesting post over at RealClimate. It is short so I have reposted it here.
Five Thousand Gulf Oil Spills
That’s the rate that people are releasing carbon to the atmosphere from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation today. I know, it’s apples and oranges; carbon in the form of oil is more immediately toxic to the environment than it is as CO2 (although CO2 may be more damaging on geologic time scales). But think 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!
We see and experience the effects of the gushing oil. You can watch it burst forth from the ground here from multiple angles. We all have seen the pictures of dead animals, fish, and birds, and the soiled wetlands and beaches.
Carbon dioxide is a little more insidious. It is colorless and odorless, and we are releasing it at an equivalent rate of 5000 Deepwater Horizon spills.
Last night Obama said,
"The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now."
Truer words were never spoken.