The Global Warming Crowd Want to Label Carbon Dioxide a “Pollutant”

Posted: October 2, 2010 in global warming fraud
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I was recently having a conversation with someone who should have known better but who maintained that carbon dioxide was a pollutant.  I was shocked at first but it made me realize just how effective the global warming alarmist have been at spewing their propaganda.  If you only listened to them you would think that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant and that our continued emission of this gas into the atmosphere was going to doom us all.  There is not one shred of empirical evidence that human-manufactured CO2 is harming the environment in any way, much less causing the earth to warm up.  On the other hand, there is a mountain of evidence that clearly shows the beneficial side to enhanced CO2 in the atmosphere.  The crazies in the global warming community have latched onto CO2 because it is something they wish to regulate to meet their own nefarious agenda.  Regulating it through ‘Carbon Taxes’, ‘Cap and Trade’ or the EPA will cause energy prices to skyrocket and will fill government coffers with a new and abundant source of revenue.  I am reminded of a story that some say is apocryphal but it doesn’t really matter.  After a demonstration by Alexander Graham Bell of the newly invented telephone to a government official, the government official admitted that it was intriguing but asked, “But of what use is it?”  Bell replied, “Perhaps some day you will find a way to tax it.”


 “CO2 for different people has different attractions. After all, what is it? – it’s not a pollutant, it’s a product of every living creature’s breathing, it’s the product of all plant respiration, it is essential for plant life and photosynthesis, it’s a product of all industrial burning, it’s a product of driving – I mean, if you ever wanted a leverage point to control everything from exhalation to driving, this would be a dream. So it has a kind of fundamental attractiveness to bureaucratic mentality.” – Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT

“CO2 is not a pollutant. In simple terms, CO2 is plant food. The green world we see around us would disappear if not for atmospheric CO2. These plants largely evolved at a time when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was many times what it is today. Indeed, numerous studies indicate the present biosphere is being invigorated by the human-induced rise of CO2. In and of itself, therefore, the increasing concentration of CO2 does not pose a toxic risk to the planet.” – John R. Christy, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alabama

“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a naturally occurring, beneficial trace gas in the atmosphere. For the past few million years, the Earth has existed in a state of relative carbon dioxide starvation compared with earlier periods. There is no empirical evidence that levels double or even triple those of today will be harmful, climatically or otherwise. As a vital element in plant photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is the basis of the planetary food chain – literally the staff of life. Its increase in the atmosphere leads mainly to the greening of the planet. To label carbon dioxide a “pollutant” is an abuse of language, logic and science.” – Robert M. Carter, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental and Earth Sciences, James Cook University

“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. On the contrary, it makes crops and forests grow faster. Economic analysis has demonstrated that more CO2 and a warmer climate will raise GNP and therefore average income. It’s axiomatic that bureaucracies always want to expand their scope of operations. This is especially true of EPA, which is primarily a regulatory agency. As air and water pollution disappear as prime issues, as acid rain and stratospheric-ozone depletion fade from public view, climate change seems like the best growth area for regulators. It has the additional glamour of being international and therefore appeals to those who favor world governance over national sovereignty. Therefore, labeling carbon dioxide, the product of fossil-fuel burning, as a pollutant has a high priority for EPA as a first step in that direction.” – S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

“To state in public that carbon dioxide is a pollutant is a public advertisement of a lack of basic school child science. Pollution kills, carbon dioxide leads to the thriving of life on Earth and increased biodiversity. Carbon dioxide is actually plant food.” – Ian R. Plimer, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne

“Carbon and CO2 (carbon dioxide) are fundamental for all life on Earth. CO2 is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas. CO2 is product of our breathing, and is used in numerous common applications like fire extinguishers, baking soda, carbonated drinks, life jackets, cooling agent, etc. Plants’ photosynthesis consume CO2 from the air when the plants make their carbohydrates, which bring the CO2 back to the air again when the plants rot or are being burned.” – Tom V. Segalstad, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Geology, University of Oslo

“To suddenly label CO2 as a “pollutant” is a disservice to a gas that has played an enormous role in the development and sustainability of all life on this wonderful Earth. Mother Earth has clearly ruled that CO2 is not a pollutant.” – Robert C. Balling Jr., Ph.D. Professor of Climatology, Arizona State University

“C02 is not a pollutant as Gore infers. It is, in fact essential to life on the planet. Without it there are no plants, therefore no oxygen and no life. At 385 ppm current levels the plants are undernourished. The geologic evidence shows an average level of 1000 ppm over 600 million years. Research shows plants function most efficiently at 1000-2000 ppm. Commercial greenhouses use the information and are pumping C02 to these levels and achieve four times the yield with educed water use. At 200 ppm, the plants suffer seriously and at 150 ppm, they begin to die. So if Gore achieves his goal of reducing C02 he will destroy the planet.” – Tim F. Ball, Ph.D. Climatology

“Many chemicals are absolutely necessary for humans to live, for instance oxygen. Just as necessary, human metabolism produces by-products that are exhaled, like carbon dioxide and water vapor. So, the production of carbon dioxide is necessary, on the most basic level, for humans to survive. The carbon dioxide that is emitted as part of a wide variety of natural processes is, in turn, necessary for vegetation to live. It turns out that most vegetation is somewhat ‘starved’ for carbon dioxide, as experiments have shown that a wide variety of plants grow faster, and are more drought tolerant, in the presence of doubled carbon dioxide concentrations. Fertilization of the global atmosphere with the extra CO2 that mankind’s activities have emitted in the last century is believed to have helped increase agricultural productivity. In short, carbon dioxide is a natural part of our environment, necessary for life, both as ‘food’ and as a by-product.” – Roy Spencer, Ph.D. Meteorology, Former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies, NASA

“I am at a loss to understand why anyone would regard carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Carbon dioxide, a natural gas produced by human respiration, is a plant nutrient that is beneficial both for people and for the natural environment. It promotes plant growth and reforestation. Faster-growing trees mean lower housing costs for consumers and more habitat for wild species. Higher agricultural yields from carbon dioxide fertilization will result in lower food prices and will facilitate conservation by limiting the need to convert wild areas to arable land.” – David Deming, Ph.D. Professor of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma

“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a colorless, odorless trace gas that actually sustains life on this planet. Consider the simple dynamics of human energy acquisition, which occurs daily across the globe. We eat plants directly, or we consume animals that have fed upon plants, to obtain the energy we need. But where do plants get their energy? Plants produce their own energy during a process called photosynthesis, which uses sunlight to combine water and carbon dioxide into sugars for supporting overall growth and development. Hence, CO2 is the primary raw material that plants depend upon for their existence. Because plants reside beneath animals (including humans) on the food chain, their healthy existence ultimately determines our own. Carbon dioxide can hardly be labeled a pollutant, for it is the basic substrate that allows life to persist on Earth.” – Keith E. Idso, Ph.D. Botany

“To classify carbon dioxide as a pollutant is thus nothing short of scientific chicanery, for reasons that have nothing to do with science, but based purely on the pseudo-science so eagerly practiced by academia across the world in order to keep their funding sources open to the governmental decrees, which are in turn based on totally false IPCC dogma (yes, dogma – not science).” – Hans Schreuder, Analytical Chemist

“Atmospheric CO2 is required for life by both plants and animals. It is the sole source of carbon in all of the protein, carbohydrate, fat, and other organic molecules of which living things are constructed. Plants extract carbon from atmospheric CO2 and are thereby fertilized. Animals obtain their carbon from plants. Without atmospheric CO2, none of the life we see on Earth would exist. Water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide are the three most important substances that make life possible. They are surely not environmental pollutants.” – Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry

Jim Hatem

  1. Anna Q. says:

    bravo, mr. hatem. where do you get all these sources? do you just sit at home reading blogs and science magazines all day?

    • Well as a matter of fact, kinda. I am a nerd and I do read science and medical journals all the time. Over the years I have amassed a ton of information with hopes that one day I would have an outlet to share my thoughts. Now I do. Stay tuned here for lots more.

  2. the HANman says:

    Wow. It is amazing what these people are trying to do. Why not label oxygen a pollutant too? Keep this up sir. You are doing a tremendous service.

  3. calistolite says:

    It is all about the money. The people behind the global warming scare are anti-capitalist hell bent of redistributing wealth from the industrial world to the non-industrial world. If Al Gore is so worried about rising sea levels then why would just buy a sea-side home? What a scam.

  4. Altair Maine says:

    Nearly anything is a pollutant, in excess. Ramp up the oxygen levels in the atmosphere, for example, and we’d all die in runaway fires. The fact that carbon dioxide is naturally occurring and has an important role in the environment doesn’t mean that an unlimited amount of it is desirable. At around 5% of an atmosphere, if I recall correctly, it becomes directly toxic to people. Obviously, we’re nowhere near that level, nor is it in even the most extravagant forecasts. I don’t think anybody is worried about being *poisoned* by CO2. But it’s clear that at some level, it could be considered a pollutant.

    It’s entirely subject to debate where precisely that threshold should properly be placed. But you’re dramatically overly simplifying to say that increased CO2 levels would be an unmitigated blessing due to enhanced plant growth. Entirely apart from climate change considerations, for instance, ocean acidification is a serious problem of its own. And that’s a much simpler system than climate, where it is admittedly tough to unravel causes and effects amidst all the feedbacks. High school chemistry dictates ocean acidification pretty straightforwardly if the partial pressure of CO2 rises.

    • Talk about over-simplifying! Ocean acidification may even be more complicated than climate changes. You fail to mention several feedback mechanisms (both biological and chemical) that mitigate such fears. That will be the subject of a forthcoming essay, for sure. Suffice it to say that the Earth has experienced prolonged periods of CO2 levels higher than anything we could ever hope to see and the oceans did just fine. You underestimate the Earth’s (and its life forms) ability to adjust.

      Nobody is talking about an unlimited amount of CO2 being desirable. You are using the straw man argument. Shame on you. We KNOW that plant life flourishes in elevated CO2 levels. There is a mountain of experimental evidence to support this (another essay). That is why greenhouse farmers pump the stuff into their greenhouses.

  5. a_engr1948 says:

    Altair, you are right about one thing, Oxygen is much more dangerous than is carbon dioxide so I think we should regulate that instead. It is physically impossible for the earth’s atmosphere to build up toxic levels of carbon dioxide. There is not enough carbon on the planet to do that. I did some rough calculations and didn’t even take into account recycling and we could never even approach 1% if we burned every drop of oil buried in the earth. In my old lab we had to monitor carbon dioxide levels in the room. I can tell you unequivocally that in the very room you are sitting right now (assuming all the windows aren’t open and a breezed is blowing) you are experiencing carbon dioxide levels higher than anything we could ever see in the atmosphere as a whole.

  6. Mary T says:

    The problem is that it is too easy to get people to associate CO2 with stuff that’s actually bad, and for most people who really couldn’t care less, who don’t even bother using their own common sense (or just missed out on too many days of school) it’s even easier.
    They just link things together and people don’t see past the link. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2, factories or whatnot burn fossil fuels, people drive by a factory and see a giant black/yellow/whatever disgusting looking cloud of smoke, and they think, look, that must be that CO2 ‘pollution’ thats messing everything up.
    That’s pretty much as far as it goes for most people, they don’t even consciously form a decision about CO2, they basically just absorb the beliefs from what they are told to see and interpret around them.

    There was even an example of this linking on one of the comments on your blog, I forget exactly what it was, but someone went off chastising your refusal to believe in the global warming scam, continuing on saying that next you would be denying that water pollution existed as well.
    All the ‘evils’ have been linked together, if all the rest are true, the one scam thrown in just gets grouped in with the rest, never separated long enough to consider what exactly they are getting all up in arms about.

  7. E=MC2 says:

    Your response to Altair was right on the money. Ocean chemistry is very complex.

  8. t_fish says:

    I am beginning to think these people are not just ignorant. They are dangerous.

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