If ever I want a quick easy find for a denier comment of the day, I can go to Geoffrey Brown, official blogger for the Climate Sceptics Party. Today, the ever shortsighted Geoffrey is taking a swipe at chemistry nomenclature. Yes, you read that right,but in case you think you were mistaken I’ll type it again. Geoffrey Brown is taking a swipe at chemistry nomenclature. The comment I’m about to show you is so stupid, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Apparently, if you take Geoffrey’s idea, when you breathe in, your body will extract the oxygen (O2) in the air (all good so far) but when you breathe out you will breathe out oxygen (O2C). I know, I know. Rather than explain it, here is Geoffrey’s comment…..first, sit on your hands. Ok, here it is.
“The reason for the use of the word “carbon” is to somehow suggest something, dirty, grimy.”
Yes, you’re absolutely right Geoffrey, let’s name it for what it is and we’ll name the “junior partner” second. Let’s call it a Dioxygen carbide tax. Yes yes, that sounds much better. Of course the Dioxygen carbide isn’t the only greenhouse gas being taxed, there is also methane and nitrous oxide and a few others, so in a funny way I do actually agree that the carbon tax is incorrectly named. I honestly think it should be called the “Fossil fuel industry pollution tax“. No chance of being misled there. But back to Geoffrey’s logic (It’s ok readers, I’m scared too) and this “junior partner” bullshit. Most people learn in about year 8 at school (that might explain it) that there is a convention for chemical nomenclature. It’s not difficult. For the sake of keeping it even simpler I won’t mention the conventions when there is a charge involved. For binary metal/non-metal compounds, the metal goes first and the non-metal has ‘ide’ added e.g Chlorine + sodium becomes Sodium Chloride (NaCl). In the case of binary non-metal/non-metal compounds, whichever element is the furthest left on the periodic table goes first and the second has ‘ide’ added. e.g. Sulfur + Hydrogen becomes Hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The thing is, Geoffrey, we have these conventions for a reason. It’s so everyone (except you perhaps) can understand them. If you are basing this “junior partner” nonsense on the element with the least numbers of atoms, I’d like to know what you would call maitotoxin which is C164H256Na2O68S2? Sodium or sulfur? There’s two of each. Perhaps Sodium as it has the lighter molecular weight?
So there you have it, a beauty from Geoffrey. Anyway, I’m not sure I want to visit Geoffrey’s blog too often. Every time I do, I get a tune stuck in my head.