Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is MOSTLY OXYGEN!

Written by Tom Harris

Carbon is a solid, naturally occurring, non-toxic element found in all living things. It forms thousands of compounds, much more than any other element. Medicines, trees, oil, and even our bodies are made of carbon compounds.

Pure carbon occurs in nature mainly in the forms of graphite and diamond. So, what is the “carbon pollution” environmentalists are concerned about? Are they speaking about soot emissions reduction? Amorphous carbon, carbon without structure, is the main ingredient in soot, which is a pollutant important to control. Power plants have already done a good job reducing soot, as they have with other pollutants.

No, activists are crusading against emissions of one specific compound of carbon, namely carbon dioxide (CO2). Ignoring the oxygen atoms and calling CO2 “carbon” makes about as much sense as ignoring the oxygen in water (H2O) and calling it “hydrogen.”

Calling CO2 “carbon,” or worse, “carbon pollution,” encourages people to think of it as something dirty and so important to restrict. Calling CO2 by its proper name would help the public remember that, regardless of its role in climate change (a point of intense debate among scientists), CO2 is really an invisible gas essential to plant photosynthesis, and so to all life.

Climate change campaigners do not seem to understand that commercial greenhouse operators routinely run their internal atmospheres at up to 1,500 parts per million (ppm) CO2 concentration for a good reason. Plants inside grow far more efficiently than at the 400 ppm in the outside atmosphere. Yet there is no hint of any consequent temperature rise.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts, a report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, cites over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies that document rising productivity of forests and grasslands as CO2 levels have increased, not just in recent decades, but in past centuries.

And increasing CO2 levels pose no direct hazard to human health. CO2 concentrations in submarines can reach levels above 10,000 ppm, 25 times current atmospheric levels, with no harmful effects on the crew.

Politically correct but deceptive language is dangerous because it dumbs down important science debates and inappropriately influences millions of people, and ultimately, government policy. People educated in the sciences must complain loudly whenever they hear such mistakes.

We are actually near the lowest level of CO2 in Earth’s history. About 440-million years ago, CO2 was over 1000 percent of today’s level while Earth was in one of the coldest periods in the record. This is just one of many findings that indicate that the climate models’ assumption that temperature is driven by CO2 is wrong.

Activists say that there will be important pollution reduction co-benefits to CO2 emission control. Yet US Environmental Protection Agency data show that total emissions of six major air pollutants dropped 62 percent since 1980 even though CO2 emissions increased by 14 percent. Using climate regulations to reduce pollution would obviously be an expensive mistake.

While some commentators promote using as much energy as possible during Earth Hour to demonstrate opposition to the event, a better approach might be to change its name to ‘Energy Hour’ and encourage citizens to minimize their energy use for an hour to give them a sense of what societies without adequate power are actually like. This could increase public pressure on politicians to ensure that reliable power generation from proven energy sources — coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro — will be available for years to come.

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

Read more at dailycaller.com

Comments (7)

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    Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE

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    Well, yes, that’s technically true. CO2 MW 44 – two O’s @ 16 for 32 and 1 C at 12. 73% O. That’s why 1 lb C makes 3.667 lb CO2.

    Btw, atmospheric CO2 accounts for about 1.5% of the entire carbon cycle.

    Earth’s carbon cycle contains 46,713 Gt (E15 gr) +/- 850 Gt (+/- 1.8%) of stores and reservoirs with a couple hundred fluxes Gt/y (+/- ??) flowing among those reservoirs. Mankind’s gross contribution over 260 years was 555 Gt or 1.2%. (IPCC AR5 Fig 6.1) Mankind’s net contribution, 240 Gt or 0.53%, (dry labbed by IPCC to make the numbers work) to this bubbling, churning caldron of carbon/carbon dioxide is 4 Gt/y +/- 96%. (IPCC AR5 Table 6.1) Seems relatively trivial to me. IPCC et. al. says natural variations can’t explain the increase in CO2. With these tiny percentages and high levels of uncertainty how would anybody even know? BTW fossil fuel between 1750 and 2011 represented 0.34% of the biospheric carbon cycle.

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    David James

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    Tom Harris promotes the a report by Heartland Institute’s “Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change,” in his op-ed without disclosing he is “Policy Advisor, Energy and Environment” for the Heartland Institute.

    • Avatar

      Phil Tucker

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      Your comment is not important to me. If what he said is true that matters. Please comment on the science if you have a problem with his article. This playing the man rubbish needs to stop.

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        David James

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        Tom Harris’s failure to disclose his conflict of interest is a criticism of Mr. Harris’s actions not “playing the man rubbish.”

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    Colin Henderson

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    A reasonable short form for carbon monoxide which contains one carbon atom and one larger oxygen atom would be ‘Monoxide’. This short form gives some clues about its chemical properties, while using the short form ‘carbon’ would not. Conversely a reasonable short form for carbon dioxide which contains one carbon atom and two larger oxygen atoms, would be ‘Oxygen’. Then again duping the public into paying an ‘Oygen’ tax would be a hard sell 😉

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    Centrefor Excellence

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    I always say IF you must fear any atmospheric gas it should be oxygen.

    The reactiveness of oxygen plus the fact it is a fifth of the atmosphere results in unceasing corrosion and combustion.

    Lets inform the public of the danger.

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    wheels

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    I’m not sure you can say that the higher CO2 concentration in submarines has no health effects on the crew. When I was on a sub in the 1970s, we had a doctor aboard one patrol who was involved in what we were told was the first study of long-term health effects of submarine duty.

    I never heard anything after that patrol, and a web search a few years ago didn’t turn up anything, although that may be more a comment on my search-fu. However, I remember him saying that our blood pH dropped sharply, because the higher levels of CO2 dissolved in the blood formed carbonic (carbolic?) acid. That has to have some effect, but I have no idea how serious a problem it is.

    This was back when smoking was still allowed on submarines, so the health effects of particulates and other things in the air might have been more serious; I remember we took apart one of the electrostatic precipitators and cleaned it once, and it was absolutely covered in grease that was black from contaminants.

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