Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant: it’s what plants breathe. It makes sense to stop pollution. It’s highly debatable whether it’s sensible or feasible to rein in CO2.

We could all agree DDT, dioxins, and asbestos needed to be removed from our living environment. There was no doubt in the science on how harmful they could be. No one wanted to live near Love Canal. The hole in the ozone layer was being greatly enlarged by chlorofluorocarbons and that was a very clear and imminent danger.

In contrast the case against anthropogenic CO2 is an indirect one. It is alleged our extra CO2 will lead to catastrophic global warming and climate change and this will be disastrous and destroy civilization. Then it is asserted the only way to stop the pending apocalypse is to let foreign bureaucrats curtail US industry and to pay billions to other countries all to reduce the rate of growth of anthropogenic CO2.

That’s all very debatable. In fact the climate has always been changing. It was warmer during the Middle Age Warming Period 900 years ago than it is today and a it was colder during the Little Ice Age 400 years ago.

The greenhouse effect is certainly real, but so is plant respiration that could mitigate runaway growth. Volcanoes can throw more CO2 in that air and cause levels to fluctuate year to year. We’re actually in a interglacial epoch say some and so we may need all the warming we can get. Who really knows? Climate is a really complicated process to model.

The best strategy may not be to try to control CO2, but rather to adapt to the climate as it changes. If sea level rises, build levees, raise structures onto stilts, start living in boats, promote wetlands, or move away from the coast. Our species has adapted to prior climate change: it can continue to do so.

But it more than disingenuous to deliberately confuse the issue by trying to label CO2 a pollutant.

Mathematician, Statistician, Businessman, and Academic. Student of history, poli sci , and the Bible.

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