Is carbon dioxide pollution?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is certainly not pollution. It is aerial fertilization for plants. Dr. Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change told the America First Energy Conference on November 9, 2017 in Houston, Texas,
"the whole of the terrestrial biosphere is reaping incredible benefits from the approximate 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution."
That’s why commercial greenhouse operators routinely run their internal atmospheres at up to 1,500 parts per million (ppm) CO2 concentration. Plants inside grow far more efficiently than at the 400 ppm in the outside atmosphere.
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.
Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions will result in "reduced agricultural yields, higher food prices and growing food insecurity that will disproportionately burden the poor," said Idso. This would cause "undernourishment and potential starvation of hundreds of millions of persons just a few short decades from now," Idso warned.
Increasing CO2 levels pose no direct hazard to human health. In fact, CO2 concentrations in submarines can reach levels well above 10,000 ppm, 25 times current atmospheric levels, with no harmful effects on the crew.
We often hear people referring to CO2 as carbon, but that too is a mistake. 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, even our bodies are made of carbon compounds.
Pure carbon occurs in nature mainly in the forms of graphite and diamond. So, what are “carbon emissions” that so concern climate activists? Are they speaking about soot emissions? Amorphous carbon, carbon without structure, is the main ingredient in soot and that is a pollutant important to control. Power plants have already done a good job reducing soot, as they have other pollutants.
Activists are crusading against emissions of one specific compound of carbon, namely carbon dioxide. Ignoring the oxygen atoms and calling CO2 “carbon” makes about as much sense as ignoring the oxygen in water and calling it “hydrogen.”
These errors are not harmless. They are part of the way language has been distorted to bolster concerns about human-caused climate change. 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 people 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.
Dr. Patrick Moore covers more about this topic here.