Environment,  Stateside

“CO2 Is Green”

A half-page ad (pdf) in Wednesday’s Washington Post opposed the Kerry-Lieberman climate change and energy bill (including a cap-and-trade provision) in Congress on the grounds that, well, carbon dioxide is green.

According to the website of CO2 Is Green, the organization that bought the ad:

As humans emit CO2 when we breathe, it is illogical to assert that CO2 is a direct health hazard. Nonetheless, CO2 has been unjustly vilified and is currently under review by the EPA for an “Endangerment Finding” that CO2 is hazard to humanity. Judicial review has found that the EPA could consider CO2 as a pollutant. CO2 has been identified as a cause of global warming and legislation has been proposed to raise taxes, raise consumer energy prices, and, in theory, to reduce CO2 emissions.
CO2 is necessary to plant and animal life on Earth. Unfortunately, the positive effects of CO2 in our atmosphere have not been given proper consideration within the legislative, judicial, and regulatory proceedings. Plant photosynthesis processes use CO2 for growth and create oxygen. More CO2 in the atmosphere will increase plant growth as thousands of controlled greenhouse research records prove.

I suppose it will shock no one that CO2 Is Green is funded by oil and coal interests.

So the more CO2 the better? Then why not build machines to pump, say, double the current amount of CO2 into the atmosphere? That would make things twice as good.

(The website also makes the contradictory assertions that a) carbon dioxide “has a very small impact on global warming – other factors are much more important” and b) global warming is not happening at all– rather the Earth is cooling.)

This “CO2 is good for you” meme is hardly a new one. I’m reminded of TV ads a few years ago sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, funded in large part through the astronomical profits of companies like Exxon Mobil.

Here’s one of the ads:

Yes, of course CO2 is essential for life on Earth. I’m sorry to inform the CO2 Is Green folks that nobody believes otherwise. But as the Think Progress website pointed out:

There are plenty of things that are healthy and essential in reasonable quantities but harmful in extremely large quantities. (For example, drinking a few glasses of water is beneficial. Drinking 10 gallons of water can kill you.) We need some carbon dioxide, but too much causes global warming.

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