Astroturf in the Climate Change discussion

Now I mostly write about computer related issues. What most people don’t know is that I spent 10 years working in the environmental industry, in regular contact with the Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, and Environment Canada. I’m no longer in the industry, but I learned a lot while I was there, and still have a strong interest. After all, we only have one planet, and I live on it.

Glyn Moody pointed me at a website that has to be seen to be believed. The website, run by a group called CO2 is Green is an incredible collection of lies, half truths, and total and utter bullshit (I grew up on a farm – I know shit when I see it). Let’s take it from the top.

Why would labeling CO2 as a pollutant be such a catastrophic decision?

Claims that CO2 is a pollutant are a myth and are absolutely false. In fact, lowering levels of carbon dioxide would actually inhibit plant growth and food production. What we see happening in Washington right now is the replacement of politics for science in conversations about CO2.

They are trying to twist things here. By their logic, since Radon gas is a naturally occurring substance, we should ignore its radioactive properties. So what if people get cancer? Second, increased levels of CO2 have been shown to inhibit plant growth. It’s like food. It’s good for you. But it’s also the primary cause of obesity. Plants and Animals need nutrients in the amounts that their metabolisms are capable of handling. Give them too much or too little, and you have problems.

Could this happen soon?

Yes, Congress and federal regulators are poised to make a misguided and reckless decision that will stifle our long term economic recovery and long-term enhancement of plant and animal life on Earth. The Environmental Protection Agency will hold hearings to justify their plan to label CO2 as a pollutant. Congress will also consider cap-and-trade legislation that, if enacted, will make Wall Street, a few inside investors and the government a fortune, but will cost everyone else in higher food and utility bills.

I love the wording in this section. It’s designed to scare non-technical people into backing something that is totally against their best interests. Consider Coal fired power plants, every day the plant has to burn a certain amount of coal to provide power, whereas a wind powered plant requires nothing but the wind. Did you know that the Chinese government has decided that the entire nation will be powered by renewable energy by 2020? Their plan is heavily biased towards wind power, and while there is a cost to build the turbines, and some cost to maintain them, China’s fossile fuel emissions would drop to virtually zero if they can do this. And they can. The technology exists. And unlike the democracies, business is not allowed to astroturf. In fact if it does, it can get a bullet in the back of the head.

It’s not too late.

Polling indicates that most people will change their opinion when presented with the facts.

If we lie enough to you we may be able to still go on selling you overpriced fossil fuels.

What you can do.

* Educate yourself on how CO2 can further “Green the Earth” by visiting
* Educate yourself on the pending legislation.
* Write a Letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. This critical committee will soon hold hearings on legislation to label CO2 as pollution.
* Take action today. Use our tools to write your representative
* Donate to organizations that expose the CO2 myths.

Yes, let’s educate ourselves. A quick check with Source Watch tells us you are funded by Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, Hunt Oil, Lyco Energy Corporation, and Five States Energy Corporation. I consider this relevant information, which you should display prominently on your website, after all, your sponsors should be proud to have their names listed with such an important issue.

About CO2 Is Green

CO2 is Green is a pending 501(C)(4) non-profit organization. Our mission is to support scientifically and economically sound public policy on environmental issues. Currently, we are especially concerned with federal proposals that would interfere with nature’s dependence on carbon dioxide (C02).

CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 makes Earth green because it supports all plant life. It is Earth’s greatest airborne fertilizer. Even man-made CO2 contributes to plant growth that in turn sustains humanity and ecosystems.

CO2 Is Green is working to insure that all federal laws or regulations are founded upon science and not politics or scientific myths. No one wants the plant and animal kingdoms, including humanity, to be harmed if atmospheric CO2 is reduced. The current dialog in Washington needs to reflect these inalterable facts of nature. We cannot afford to make mistakes that would actually harm both the plant and animal kingdoms.

Now this is where it gets fun. Is this site in the United States? If it is, the new FTC regulations covering blogging may cover it, and force disclosure. On the other hand, the reason to register a 501(C)(4) non-profit organization is often to obscure funding.

Now this doesn’t directly affect me. I’m not an American. I’d never be an American. I don’t even like visiting America. But I’ve got a lot of friend who are American, and I don’t think that it should be legal for corporations, political organizations, and special interest groups to lie the the American public.

And that’s what this website is. One. Big. Lie.

Join the conversation


  1. There have been Coal industry advertisements talking about the liquefying CO2 and pumping it in the ground to reduce CO2 emissions. That is fine as far as removing the gas from the exhaust. But it does not address the issue of removing the O2 from the atmosphere. If you entrap the CO2, the oxygen level will drop.

    Is the amount insignificant? I don't know. But if the amount of CO2 being released is an issue, I can't believe the corresponding drop in O2 wouldn't be an issue. It just hasn't been properly studied yet.

  2. Greg,

    I can see that you know enough to be dangerous. No, the amount of O2 involved in the coal company proposal is not significant. Besides, it's already wrapped up in CO2 – meaning that if it was an issue, burning fossil fuels cause the O2 level drop you are worried about, whether the CO2 was in the atmosphere, or stored in the Earth's crust.

  3. I don't know of any studies that show what the effect is of the oxygen being used. The greenhouse gas issue has all the attention. But if the amount of CO2 being produced is an issue, I begin to wonder if the decrease of O2 should be studied. Perhaps in the overall picture it is insignificant.

    The point is the only way to recover the oxygen is to recover it from an oxide.

    I don't know anything besides the plant life we have that does this on a global scale.

    I would be very happy if we were able to shift to a hydrogen economy. Presumably the oxygen produced by electrolysis when obtaining the hydrogen would balance the oxygen consumed when the hydrogen is burned.

  4. Greg,

    You can break it down other ways, but the energy cost is prohibitive. Plants do it for free, and do it very efficiently.

    The problem is to cut down on production of CO2. Now.

    What do you drive?

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