Former Vice-President Al Gore says there is no argument that the Earth is suffering global warming. Politicians and scientists who are wringing their hands over anthropogenic global warming are telling us that we need to cut back on the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere. But is it really a big deal?

Monte Hieb has done a nice job of calculating how much humanity has contributed to the greenhouse effect. He totaled up the greenhouse gases produced by humanity’s activities, and then multiplies them by how much they contribute to the greenhouse effect. For example, nitrous oxide (N2O) has a 310 times greater effect on our greenhouse than carbon dioxide (CO2), and Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) has a whopping 23,900 times greater effect. So taking the concentrations and their effects into consideration, Hieb posted how much humanity has affected the Earth’s greenhouse effect. Hold on to your hats for this horrible news — humanity has contributed 0.28% to the greenhouse effect of the Earth.

Yes, that’s 28% of 1%. Or if you’d like another way of looking at it, here’s 28% of a penny, out of one dollar:

28 percent of a penny

So the next time someone complains about how mankind is driving global warming, you can toss them a penny and explain that, if a dollar represents all global warming, humanity’s contribution amounts to less than one-third of that penny. Then ask them why they are freaking out over such a trivial amount.

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