In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

By Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer

Of all of the world’s chemical compounds, none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That’s simply not the case. Contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.

The cessation of observed global warming for the past decade or so has shown how exaggerated NASA’s and most other computer predictions of human-caused warming have been—and how little correlation warming has with concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. As many scientists have pointed out, variations in global temperature correlate much better with solar activity and with complicated cycles of the oceans and atmosphere. There isn’t the slightest evidence that more carbon dioxide has caused more extreme weather.

The current levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, approaching 400 parts per million, are low by the standards of geological and plant evolutionary history. Levels were 3,000 ppm, or more, until the Paleogene period (beginning about 65 million years ago). For most plants, and for the animals and humans that use them, more carbon dioxide, far from being a “pollutant” in need of reduction, would be a benefit. This is already widely recognized by operators of commercial greenhouses, who artificially increase the carbon dioxide levels to 1,000 ppm or more to improve the growth and quality of their plants.

Read the rest at the Wall Street Journal.

8 Responses to In Defense of Carbon Dioxide

  1. Rob N. Hood May 22, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    So there is no stock trading of CO2 in the US. Thanks for clarifying that.

    • koolaid June 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      Nov. 7, 2010… CCC: RIP

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Climate_Exchange

      • koolaid June 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

        Post Script:
        Vice President Al Gore had a substantial financial interest in the success of the CCC. His reputation and bank accounts suffered in the months subsequent to the demise of this trading scheme.

  2. NEILIO May 19, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    CO2 is villified precisely because it is a byproduct of just about every modern process. Manufacturing, energy production, transportation, breathing….. you get the picture. What better way to control everything than to control CO2?

  3. Rob N. Hood May 10, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Carbon trading stock markets? In the US?

  4. Al Bore May 10, 2013 at 6:22 am #

    Former Climate Blame Believers are Better Planet Lovers
    Science can say asteroid hits are real but won’t say their CO2 climate crisis is as real as an asteroid hit is. It’s been 28 years of a “maybe” crisis and science has never said any crisis “WILL” happen. Not one IPCC warning isn’t smothered in “maybes”.
    28 years of “maybe” a crisis proves it “won’t be” a crisis.

    Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.

    • NEILIO May 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      You know, that is one of the signs of junk science. Whenever a “scientific” study says “might”, “maybe”, “could”, it might just be junk science.

    • koolaid June 27, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Hello from koolaid.
      This site sure is a refreshing change from topix.

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