Carbon Dioxide is not Pollution

Written by Viv Forbes, The Carbon Sense Coalition

The Carbon Sense Coalition has accused those waging a war on carbon dioxide of being “anti-green”. The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that carbon dioxide is the gas of life, feeding every green plant, producing food for every animal and in the process releasing oxygen, another gas of life, into the atmosphere.

lush vegetation

A recent report on measuring global vegetation growth notes that data from remote sensing devices show significant increase in annual vegetation growth during the last three decades. They also report that CO2 fertilization is more important than climate variation in determining the magnitude of the vegetation growth. “The CO2 fertilization effect of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil, is beginning to assume its vaulted position of being a tremendous “boon to the biosphere. . .”  

Current levels of carbon dioxide are well below optimal levels for plants, so all true environmentalists should welcome any increase – all life would benefit if the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere was triple current levels.

The biosphere always flourishes during the recurring but short warm eras on Earth. Ice ages are the times of extinctions. As oceans warm, carbon dioxide is expelled and water evaporates. Warmth, and more moisture and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere provide ideal growing conditions for the green world.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is replenished mainly from warming oceans but also from termites, volcanoes and exhaling animals, assisted by about a 3% contribution from burning carbon fuels.

No rational person could define carbon dioxide as “pollution”. It is a harmless, non-toxic, colourless natural gas that is the essential food for all plants which then produce food and oxygen for all animals.

Almost everything in coal was derived from plant material so burning it is no more dangerous than burning wood. Both will suffocate you if burnt in a confined space, but when dispersed in the vast atmosphere their emissions are beneficial plant fertilisers.

Naturally we should minimise real pollution of land, atmosphere and oceans.

Everything that man does could be seen to create some “pollution”. But very little pollution comes from modern coal-burning power stations. Modern power stations have extensive filtration equipment which ensures that the exhaust gases are harmless natural gases already present in the atmosphere – nitrogen, water vapour and carbon dioxide – all essential to sustaining life on Earth.

The smogs of Asia are not caused by burning washed coal in modern power stations. They are caused by burning everything else, usually in dirty open fires. They burn cow dung, wood, cardboard, plastic, paper, recycled oil, tyres, dirty coal, kerosene – anything available that will cook food, provide warmth/light or deter mosquitoes. Forest fires in Indonesia, cremations in India and dust from the massive Gobi desert all add to Asian air pollution. As do old worn-out boilers, furnaces, engines and obsolete power stations which can spew unfiltered exhaust gases, ash, soot and unburnt fuel into the air.

These are what cause real air pollution – carbon dioxide does not.

Fifty years ago, the suffocating smogs of London and Pittsburgh were solved by:

  • bans on open fires and dirty furnaces, plus
  • clean coal-fired electricity, and
  • clean-burning piped coal gas.
  • The same solution will banish most Asian smogs today.

    If you are still concerned about carbon dioxide and would like to read more:

    CSIRO says: Rising CO2 is turning the world’s deserts GREEN:

    As carbon dioxide increases, the planet has become green:

     Rising carbon dioxide creates global greening:

    How carbon dioxide is greening the planet:

    Warmer temperatures and increasing carbon dioxide is causing a greening of the globe:

    The Benefits of rising carbon dioxide. Numerous studies conducted on hundreds of different plant species testify to the very real and measurable growth enhancing, water saving, and stress alleviating advantages that elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations bestow upon Earth’s plants:

    The Asian Brown Cloud is Real Pollution:

    Pollution of city air is nothing new: 

    Is Coal Dirty – some facts on coal combustion:

    How they clean up coal exhaust products:


    Tags: , , , , ,

    Comments (3)

    • Avatar




      Could you please describe to me exactly what “CO2-induced increased ocean temperature” is? Precesily how is increased (or decreased for that matter) ocean temperature connected to CO2?

    • Avatar



      No doubt the increased CO2 increases the growing season (which is good) but CO2-induced increased ocean temperature results in [i]more evaporation,[/i] which leads to stronger and more-frequent ocean storms (can we prepare for this?)and what of rising sea level? Doesn’t that [i]decrease[/i] agricultural land area? So doesn’t this merely counterbalance a longer growing season?

    • Avatar



      The rationale that the US Supreme Court used to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant in 2007 is quite astounding. It is a chain of the following 11 beliefs that links burning fossil fuels for energy with the ocean’s encroachment of Massachusetts’ coastline whose relative sea level has risen about one foot in the past century. The case in question is called [b]Massachusetts[/b] vs EPA because Massachusetts sued the EPA for not protecting its coastline from the Atlantic Ocean.
      Here we go:
      1) It is believed that this relative sea level rise is because there is more water in the ocean and not because the New England coastline is subsiding. (In a paper called the “Holocene Epoch” Larry D Agenbroad makes the following observation: [b][i]“The coastal area of southern New England is still slowly subsiding at the present time (1–3 millimeters per year).” [/i][/b]
      2) This extra water is believed to be coming from melting glaciers and melting polar ice.
      3) It is believed that this ice is melting because global temperatures are rising.
      4) It is believed that global temperatures are rising because there is more water vapor in the air than there used to be.
      5) It is believed that water vapor causes the air to be warmer.
      6) It is believed that there is extra water vapor is in the air because there is more carbon dioxide in the air.
      7) It is believed that the increase of carbon dioxide from 0.025% to 0.04% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution has caused measurable atmospheric warming.
      8) It is believed that the extra carbon dioxide that is in the air has come from human beings burning hydrocarbons for energy, which produces carbon dioxide as a by product.
      9) It is believed that if the United States unilaterally abandons the use of fossil fuels as an energy source the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere globally will stop rising and even recede in spite of the world-wide upsurge in fossil fuel use.
      10) It is believed that:
      …..a) The energy currently being generated in the USA using fossil fuels can be replaced by wind and solar energy or
      …..b) if it can’t the American lifestyle is too extravagant anyway and US citizens need to be satisfied with less of everything: less travel, less air conditioning, less central heating, less microwaves, less communication devices, less entertainment, less expensive food, i.e. abandon eating meat, etc., or
      …..c) if US citizens can’t survive in a third world economy it is just as well that most of them die off, since there are too many people in the world anyway.
      11) It is believed that owners of oceanfront property in Massachusetts have a legal right to not have the ocean encroach upon that property even if it means pulling the plug on the US economy, which runs on fossil fuels.
      At its heart this Court finding demands that over 300 million US citizens sacrifice their access to abundant, relatively inexpensive energy under the pretext that doing so will protect the oceanfront property of a few wealthy land owners in Massachusetts.
      Is this justice?

    Comments are closed