Commentator 1: Hello, and welcome to a special Good Friday edition of INTELLECTUAL CAGE MATCH. Today we have a great match up for you. The topic is Global Warming and it’s the collective wisdom of Tim Blair’s commenters against Ryan Gwin, who is six.
Commentator 2: Ooh, that’s not fair.
Commentator 1: I know, but we couldn’t find any four year olds who wanted to take them on. But Team Blair has been training hard so we may have a contest here. Here’s hollingshead on their training program:
Hence why I stock up on Tim Ball videos.
C2: Ooh, they might sue Ryan if they lose. I remember back in ’04, when …
C1: You’ll have to tell us later because the match is starting. Ryan goes first:
Ryan Gwin is oblivious to everybody around him, hunched over the coffee table in the lounge room. He is toiling away with a pencil and paper, putting the finishing touches to an essay about climate change.
He is six years old.
“I wanted to make a book so we wouldn’t use cars so much,” he says, deadpan.
“Because cars use fuel and that goes up into the atmosphere and causes global warming.”
Ryan’s book, titled, How To Save Our World: To Stop Globl Waming, contains sketches of cars and planes, crossed through with red pen. It is both disturbing and inspiring.
On the last page, a blue and white State Transit bus chugs its way through the suburbs. In small letters, Ryan has written: “powrd by nachrl gas”.
The bus has become something of a theme — when his father, Rhys, returns from work, Ryan usually asks anxiously if his bus was a gas-powered model.
C1: Solid start by Ryan, the kid sure knows his chemistry.
C2: Yes, because natural gas is CH4, it has a higher hydrogen/carbon ratio than petroleum or coal and produces more energy per unit mass than those fuels.
C1: That’s right — coal produces almost twice as much CO2 as natural gas for the same amount of energy. Now let’s see if Team Blair brought their best game:
I admit I have only 2 years of university chemistry, but don’t you get just as much CO2 when you burn “nachrl gas” as when you burn anything else? Less smokey crap maybe, but just as much CO2. — surly
C1: Not a good start, surly forgot to allow for the different amounts of energy produced. Let’s see if they can recover:
Why is natural gas supposed to be better than petroleum? — Steven Den Beste
C1: Good move, now some Blairoid can explain H/C ratios and they’ll be back in this match.
C2: Hey! That was Steve Den Beste! Remember this?
C1: Whatever, let’s see what they do with this opening …
Because I own stock in a NG company. — rbj1
Because it’s natural, not processed, doncha know? Says so, right on the label. Just like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. — The Real JeffS
C1: Ooh, not looking good. They really need someone to get them back on track…
I know you’re joking, but I bet there really are people who think like that. That’s one of those accidents of language, I suppose – in German, it’s Erdgas and ErdÃ¶l, and consequently I’m quite sure every half-sane person here realizes they’re pretty similar overall. — PW
I was being sarcastic more than I was joking, PW. I’ve met people who do believe that. — The Real JeffS
C1: Completely off track, they’re just chasing this “natural” thing.
C2: This has always been a problem for Team Blair, they are easily distracted, especially by shiny things.
Thanks to the SMH’s fawning review, the kid will be disadvantaged for life, having never been told that he actually sucks. — Dan Lewis
C1: The ref called that a foul.
C2: Looks like Team Blair is living up to its reputation for dirty play.
The French (naturally) part of the Netherlands is charging something like 20 euros if you use your barbie. They monitor barbie action from helicopters in the air. Why don’t we just legislate (or judicate) the value of pi at 3.014? DUMB DUMB DUMB — rabidfox
C1: Where the hell did that come from?
C2: An April’s Fools joke. Team Blair is flailing desperately.
Ever wondered why there seems to be so much so-called bullying at school these days? Well I reckon its because of the plague levels of little arsehole apprentice hippies like Ryan and Jake. I bet half the reason they are worried about water and garbage is because they spend most of their lunchtimes with their heads shoved down toilets or garbage bins. — hazza
C1: The ref is showing him a yellow card for that.
What’s the betting Ryan and Jake still wet the bed, and drink their own bathwater? — Habib
C1: And now a red card. They’re losing all discipline.
C2: This is turning into a blowout as bad as that match when Team Blair lost to a door which only opened if you pulled on it instead of pushing.
Coal and Natural Gas (Methane) have almost the same energy content per mole. They both have one carbon per mole. So their CO2 output/energy ratio should be almost identical. Therefore from a CO2 output point of view, they are basically equivalent. — Nicholas
C2: For the love of god! Stop the contest! Stop the contest!
Natural gas may burn cleaner than other fossil fuels (those unnatural fuels!) but there are indeed plenty of carbon atoms them thar molecules. — Hazy Dave
C1: Finally the ref steps in and stops it.
C2: Team Blair’s losing streak now extends to 43 matches.
C1: This has been … INTELLECTUAL CAGE MATCH.