Reader Question: When Did C02 Become a “Pollutant”?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Mark asks: You know how the environmentalists are always crying about CO2? I have some questions about this. One, since when did it become a pollutant? Isn’t CO2 necessary for plant life? Isn’t CO2 to plants what oxygen is to humans? Isn’t CO2 the breath of life for plants? Moreover, thanks to the process of photosynthesis, plants take CO2 and turn it into O2 for us; don’t plants breathe in CO2 like we breathe in O2? How is that a bad thing? Wouldn’t more CO2 promote more plant growth? Wouldn’t more CO2, courtesy of photosynthesis, mean more O2 for us and the atmosphere? Again, how is more CO2 a pollutant? How is more CO2 a bad thing?

Secondly, isn’t it true that humans and animals emit CO2 as a result of respiration? If there are more humans, doesn’t that mean more sources of CO2? If there are more sources of CO2, doesn’t that mean more CO2 in the aggregate? So, how do the environmentalists (who carp about excess CO2) propose to reduce CO2 emissions if there are more CO2 sources? Do they ever answer that question?

My reply: Technically, it became an “emission” – in the regulatory sense. This happened very quietly, about five years ago. This enabled the government and its amen corner in the environmental “community” (as the left styles it) to conflate gas mileage fatwas – which have little popular support because people can buy “fuel efficient” cars if they want to; most just don’t want to – with “emissions” and so portray government demands for ever-higher-mileage cars, regardless of cost, with “saving the Earth.” Very effective propaganda.

It also solved another “problem” – from the standpoint of the same interests:

IC engines have been refined to such a degree that they are almost emissions-free; many qualify as Partial Zero Emissions vehicles by the EPA’s own standards. In simple terms, IC exhaust emissions are no longer a meaningful public health concern. Therefore, a new concern had to be invented.

C02 as an “emission.”

And the best part is there’s no catalytically converting/direct-injecting/10-speed transmissioning C02 … the only way to “clean” this “emission” is to stop internally combusting, or combust a lot less.

This sets the stage of the final assault on the IC-powered car in favor of the electric car (even though it, too, “emits” C02, but that’s another rant).

And you’re right – of course – that C02 is a gas vital to life on this Earth. But the amount “emitted” by human machinery is literally a cough in the Superdome; no science supports the catastrophic “climate change” hysteria being peddled by the interested parties. A very slight (appx. 1 degree) change in average temperatures has been observed but it has not been proved that this is due to unnatural causes (i.e., us) or is merely one of countless natural cyclical variations in C02 concentrations and temperatures.

The “debate” – one side of it – has been riddled with misinformation and (arguably) outright lies designed to frighten people into accepting economic/energy austerity to be imposed on them by the elites – who will suffer neither thing.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. The Climate Change Rock or CCR might help some understand “CAGW, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.”

    If the rock is wet, it’s raining.

    If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing.

    If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining.

    If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy.

    If the rock is difficult to see, it is foggy.

    If the rock is white, it is snowing.

    If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost.

    If the ice is thick, it’s a heavy frost.

    If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake.

    If the rock is under water, there is a flood.

    If the rock is warm, it is sunny.

    If the rock is missing, there was a tornado.

    If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane.

    If the rock can be felt but not seen, it is night time.

    If the rock has white splats on it, watch out for birds.

    If there are two rocks, stop drinking, you are drunk.

    You can do your part to combat CAGW if you stop breathing.

  2. Why is the scientific fraud of man-made ‘global warming’ (aka climate change) still being pushed by politicians, major corporations, the government-media complex, and special interest groups? Servando Gonzalez in his essential book, “Psychological Warfare and the New World Order,” describes why on page 249:

    “Global warming is actually a psychological warfare operation waged against the peoples of the world. Its goal is to convince the people to voluntarily accept the lowering of their standards of living to pre-industrial levels of consumption and willingly become medieval serfs for the NWO [New World Order] masters.

    “There is strong evidence proving that the global warming theory is nothing but a psychological warfare operation. This evidence is the way the conspirators-controlled global warmers have implanted in the mind of a large majority of the people in the world the idea that an inert gas, vital in the maintenance of life in this planet, is actually a dangerous, poisonous pollutant.”

    The goal of this psyop is to:

    – De-industrialize the west
    – Enact misnamed “carbon taxes” to enrich bankrupt governments and international banks (FYI: “carbon” is not “carbon dioxide”)
    – Erect a global government to manage the carbon dioxide reduction schemes and destroy American sovereignty and the economy
    Read the full analysis of the fraud and corruption surrounding the warmist junk science at
    A physicist dissects the ClimateGate papers released by an unknown whistleblower in Nov 2009.

    Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

    • Somehow when the useful idiots in the Climate Change cult mouth their duckspeak about the “scientific consensus” they don’t bring up Freeman Dyson or that other doddering old coot, the late Reid Bryson (the father of modern climate science), who stated that the idea of man-made Global Warming is “absurd” and “a bunch of hooey”. (This was before the narrative was changed to “Climate Change” to cover all bases.)

      It really is a religion. Even when promoters of the climate change scam admit what they are up to that does not deter the True Believers.

      Fight climate change? You might as well “fight” the phases of the moon or the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

      • Hey Jason,

        “Unfortunately, I’m an old heretic. Old heretics don’t cut much ice, when you hear an old heretic talking you can always say ‘too bad, he’s lost his marbles…’ What the world needs is young heretics, so I’m hoping that one or two of you people in the audience may fill that role.” – Freeman Dyson

        Cue Albert Jay Nock.


      • Hey Jason,

        “Fight climate change? You might as well “fight” the phases of the moon or the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.”

        Even if the alarmists are correct about “climate change”, the assertion that they know how to fight it is absurd.

        “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” – F.A. Hayek, from The Fatal Conceit


        • Morning, Jeremy!

          The term itself – “climate change” – ought to raise red flags. Nothing could be more vague, less precise – which is the antithesis of science. The term is clearly designed to be a kind of catch-all and so much harder to pin down. The “climate” is always “changing”! But this is now being portrayed as abnormal – as a crisis which must be averted, via draconian methods imposed on the general populace, all of them entailing economic impoverishment and authoritarian collectivist regimentation of their lives.

          The same agenda as in 1917 Russia… just better packaged.

          • Morning Eric,

            Yes, the correct term is CAGW, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. But, this term became more and more obviously hyperbolic and might have made people think.

            BTW, I had a long conversation with a 22 year old last week that gives me some hope. A good friend of mine took him in when he was younger. This friend and I ride MTB’s together and we talk about a lot of stuff. He mentioned my views on “climate change” to Robert and he sought me out and asked if we could have a conversation.

            We spoke for over four hours. He came in “well informed” from the alarmist perspective, now he thinks very differently about the subject now. There is hope!


            • Top drawer, Jeremy!

              I also do my best to corrupt the youth. My niece is getting to be just old enough to listen to Crazy Uncle Eric (that’s what she calls me) talk to her about CAGW and many other such things… tally ho!

          • All these years they told us our carbon dioxide sins would make it hot and dry. Now that it is cold and wet they tell us it is our carbon dioxide sins that caused it.

            This should cause people to question, to doubt that there is any science behind it. Instead they accept it, because it’s religion.

            • Hi Brent!

              Yup. And it strikes me (you also, I bet) how the typical American’s mind is now emotional and reactive rather than logical and analytical – especially at the higher-than-prole level. To hear ostensibly “educated” people emote about issues – “climate change” being one of many – is appalling to me.

              Again, the schools. The government schools. A classical liberal education first taught a person to think – to use reason to weigh facts and draw conclusions, irrespective of how one felt about the facts.

              All chucked out the window – and not by accident.

  3. What astounds me is how easily people BOUGHT IN to this BS! Shoot, I learned about photosynthesis in 7th grade-in a public school! I assumed that photosynthesis and its relationship to CO2 was common knowledge. If people are questioning this, the national media is not giving them air time…

  4. Money and power/control. That’s all it’s about. That’s all it’s ever been about.

    And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”, Ooh, they only answer “More, more, more, y’all”. -CCR


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