Climate Change: Another Denialist Site

People link to the weirdest things. A Facebook discussion with a local climate change denier had him posting:

Here’s a good read, with links.

That page has a “myth/response” layout. The main problem is that the items they list as myths are generally what is true.

This isn’t really unexpected. SourceWatch shows the group is highly partisan with major funding from fossil fuels sources.

Let’s look at one of their items.

MYTH 7: CO2 is a pollutant.

FACT: This is absolutely not true. Nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere. We could not live in 100% nitrogen either. Carbon dioxide is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is. CO2 is essential to life on earth. It is necessary for plant growth since increased CO2 intake as a result of increased atmospheric concentration causes many trees and other plants to grow more vigorously. Unfortunately, the Canadian Government has included CO2 with a number of truly toxic and noxious substances listed by the Environmental Protection Act, only as their means to politically control it. The graph here shows changes in vegetative cover due to CO2 fertilization between 1982 and 2010 (Donohue et al., 2013 GRL). A major study here shows that CO2 fertilization will likely increase the value of crop production between now and 2050 by an additional $11.7 trillion ($US 2014). See here for more discussion.

This is the climate change equivalent of the Marshall’s “The Truth: God or Evolution?”

Nobody proposes that replacing our atmosphere with pure something would be a good thing. The fact that any atmosphere without oxygen would not support human life isn’t exactly scintillating content. Notice how “Friends of Science” carefully avoids any reference to greenhouse gas activity in this response. As for “no more a pollutant than nitrogen is”, let’s consider that nitrogen comprises about 78% of earth’s atmosphere, or 780,000 parts per million, and humans live well in that situation. That stands in contrast to the Centers for Disease Control’s assessment of Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health Concentrations (IDLH) for CO2:

Other human data: Signs of intoxication have been produced by a 30-minute exposure at 50,000 ppm [Aero 1953], and a few minutes exposure at 70,000 to 100,000 ppm produces unconsciousness [Flury and Zernik 1931]. It has been reported that submarine personnel exposed continuously at 30,000 ppm were only slightly affected, provided the oxygen content of the air was maintained at normal concentrations [Schaefer 1951]. It has been reported that 100,000 ppm is the atmospheric concentration immediately dangerous to life [AIHA 1971] and that exposure to 100,000 ppm for only a few minutes can cause loss of consciousness [Hunter 1975].

Revised IDLH: 40,000 ppm
Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for carbon dioxide is 40,000 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [Aero 1953; Flury and Zernik 1931; Schaefer 1951].

40,000 PPM is 4%.

Reddit has a pretty decent fisking of this site, too.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

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