Monday, August 01, 2011

Mass Destruction

A letter in the Sydney Morning Herald smugly declares:

By this reckoning, Tony's a lightweight

A few nights ago I heard Tony Abbott describe carbon dioxide as an ''invisible, odourless, weightless, tasteless substance''. A letter in the Herald on Saturday confirmed this. According to my chemistry, carbon dioxide is not weightless: 22.4 litres of it has a mass of approximately 44 grams. If Mr Abbott can get such basic chemistry wrong, how can we trust him on climatology - it being an infinitely more complex matter? By the way, no gas on earth is weightless.

Damien McCrudden Toongabbie

If you read The Australian, you'd know:
CO2 in the atmosphere has mass but is as weightless as astronauts in space.

Don Catchpoole, Apple Tree Flat, NSW

There's a whole Wikipedia entry on Mass versus Weight which notes:
In everyday usage, the mass of an object is often referred to as its weight though these are in fact different concepts and quantities
According to my chemistry, Mr McCrudden's chemistry, and the SMH is (ahem) massively wrong.



Anonymous HRT said...

Sounds a bit like our beloved helmswoman - colourless and tasteless. Don'tknow about odourless though.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Chistery said...

Simple test. Drop a balloon filled with 1kg of C02 on your foot followed by 1kg brick of carbon and tell me which one hurts more.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous ar said...

I guess he means 22.4l at sea level... If AGW-sea levels rose by 100m, what would 22.4l of CO2 weigh then, smarty?

12:44 PM  

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