Carbon Dioxide a “Pollutant”?
Article audio sponsored by The John Birch Society

For the last two decades, we have been bombarded with the claim that carbon dioxide, a minor greenhouse gas, is going to cause the planet to heat up, the polar ice to melt, the sea level to rise, tropical diseases to become rampant, and hurricanes to intensify and become more numerous.  Virtually any problem, including record snowfalls, has been left on the doorstep of this supposedly evil gas. 

More and more often the term "pollutant" is used in political circle to describe carbon dioxide as if it weren’t produced by all living things — including plants. Supposedly, we must "limit" the production of this greenhouse gas in order to "save the planet"?  But let’s look at some data that seems to have been overlooked.

Water vapor is by far the greatest contributor to the greenhouse effect, accounting for about 95 percent of the total amount of greenhouse gases. (Does that make water vapor a far more dangerous "pollutant" than carbon dioxide that will need to be dealt with later?)  Ignoring minor greenhouse gases that comprise less than 1 percent of the total, carbon dioxide makes up the remaining 5 percent. But how much of this carbon dioxide is anthropogenic — that is, caused by man’s activities?  About 3.2 percenet.

We are told again and again that burning coal, driving cars, breathing, and other carbon-dioxide- producing activities are going to bring us to some "tipping point" where the the total greenhouse-gas "pollution" becomes too great for the planet to survive. Yet, as already stated, only 3.2 percent of the 5 perceent contribution of carbon dioxide to the total amount of greenhouse gases is caused by man. That is less than 0.2 percent of the total amount of greenhouse gases. What this means is that even a doubling of the amount of manmade carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would result in an overall increase of only 0.4 percent in the total amount of greenhouse gases. Yet we are supposed to believe that a such a tiny increase is going to cause global warming leading to the death of civilization as we know it. (For an thorough analysis of greenhouse-gas contributions, click here.)

One would hope that all scientists would be interested in seeking the truth about this matter, but sadly that has not proven to be the case. In fact, a global-warming industry has developed that includes thousands of "researchers" and media followers who continually come up with more scary scenarios of species extinctions, sea-level inundations, etc. The political pressure and money fueling this industry is so great that it has become a joke in writing government grant requests that the term "global warming," or the more chic "climate change," must be included if the request is to have any possibility of success. Want to do a study on the mating habits of the Purple-footed Titmouse? Then entitle your proposed study "The mating habits of the Purple-footed Titmouse under conditions caused by global warming."  And it better show that we are about to lose the critters if we keep driving SUVs!

What is the evidence given to show this relationship between a rise in carbon dioxide and the rise in global temperatures that began in the mid-1800s and continues sporadically until today?  First, carbon dioxide has increased; and second, there has been a warming trend. Therefore, carbon dioxide has caused global warming. However, by this same logic you can prove that ice cream is a major cause of drowning deaths as there is a direct correlation between the two.  (Hint:  More people both swim and eat ice cream during summer months when the temperature goes up.)

A closer look at the evidence shows this to be bunk. The primary period of temperature rise in the 20th century was between 1900 and 1940 while the rapid rise in carbon dioxide didn’t begin until the ’40s. As carbon dioxide continued to rise in the ’70s, the temperature decreased, causing many scientists to worry about the beginning of a new ice age.  Similarly, over the last 10 years there has been no warming trend, and in the last two years a cooling trend is  evidenced by satellite temperature data.

Historically there is a relationship between carbon dioxide and global temperatures, but not the one Al Gore and company would want you to see: temperature rises precede increases in carbon dioxide due to a phenomenon seen by everyone who has opened a bottle of warm club soda. Warm water cannot absorb as much carbon dioxide as cold water. As the climate warms, so does the sea, although there is a lag time of hundreds of years owing to the sea’s enormous thermal mass. The warming sea releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from 800 to 2,800 years after the climate warming.

The suggested cure for AGW (anthropogenic global warming) is to cut our use of fossil fuels back to levels of 1990. That this will totally disrupt not just our industrial capacity but our personal activities is a given. And what do the global-warming alarmist say we will get in return? Perhaps a decrease in the temperature rise they are forecasting by as much as one-tenth of one degree Celsius by the year 2100. Whoop-de-do. What’s going on here?

Carbon dioxide is neither a pollutant nor is it causing global warming. In fact, the increase in carbon dioxide is known to have driven the rise in agricultural efficiency worldwide and accelerate the growth of forests. The carbon dioxide "enemy" is a convenient lie to give control of energy to governments at all levels, including a world government. With control of energy comes control of the entire economy and control of our personal activities. What more could a dictatorship want.

— Photo: AP Images