Periodic Table of Chemical Elements Redefined

Attendees of the public meeting “The Applicability of Using Aerobic Technology for the Former Sabiston Landfill Site” held by Town of Markham on March 19, 2012 were quite puzzled to learn that methane was declared “a toxic gas” by expectedly well-educated speaker P.Eng. Bryan Beatty from SPL Beatty Limited.  Before this, every high school student was taught that methane (chemical formula CH4) is “a colorless, nonpoisonous, flammable gas created by anaerobic decomposition of organic compounds. A major component of natural gas used in the home.” Even in Wikipedia, everybody can read that “Methane is not toxic“. Well, Mr Bryan Beatty informed the audience that : “Methane gas is the one of the most toxic gases of all the greenhouse gases… That is what landfills do, they produce methane, methane escapes and that is a toxic greenhouse gas.”

It’s hard to believe that Mr. Beatty, P. Eng does not know the definition of toxicity or does not know the chemical properties of methane. Some other options could explain that glitch: either Mr Beatty has discovered new properties of methane or redefined the whole notion of toxicity or as was well noticed by one of the attendees comment: “Methane is generally considered a greenhouse gas, not a toxic gas and clearly there is no problem with toxicity at the current time. It is a bit of a red herring to suggest that that is the problem we are solving.“

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