September 28, 2007 | Graham


Looks like the environment movement has finally managed to define “being alive” as an act of vandalism. This morning on ABC Radio National Breakfast I have repeatedly heard the meeting US sponsored meeting on climate change described as a meeting of “the 16 largest polluters”, referring to their level of CO2 emissions.
Since when was CO2 pollution? Everytime we exhale, we exhale CO2. And the “carbs” that some of us eschew and that the rest of us live on – they’re produced by plants which synthesise them from atmospheric carbon dioxide, water and sunlight. Rather than pollution, it’s the stuff of life, which would be just as unimaginable without it as it is without water.
These subtle shifts in word usage are important. “Emission” is a neutral word, but “pollution” rules out any benefits from an activity. Surely Auntie could be more careful. There’s upside to CO2 as well as downside, and failure to acknowledge this will lead to some bizarre and counter-productive policies.

Posted by Graham at 7:51 am | Comments (11) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Such a very silly post!
    What do you honestly think could be “bizarre and counter-productive policies”?
    This was silly when this was put out:
    And it is even sillier now. The thoroughly ignorant rhetorical line “You call it pollution, we call it life” is bad politics & bad science.
    If the Liberal Party are expelling people trotting out the silly “Carbon dioxide is good for you!” line then perhaps there is some hope for them. The sooner they get over their climate change denialism, the more relevant to the Australian people they become.
    If you can’t understand why pumping out excessive amounts of CO2 is bad for the environment, and hence pollution, and the root cause of climate change then there is no hope for you in politics.
    The debate is about industrial pollution, not about people’s exhalations.
    No-one is interested in the silly idea that being alive is an act of vandalism, and you only make yourself look foolish by mentioning it.
    This pig won’t fly.

    Comment by Peter J. Nicol — September 30, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  2. My split sides are still recovering from Prof Pitman’s take on CO2 during the ABC’s censored version of the Great Global Warming Swindle. It’s worth recalling that he actually said carbon dioxide to the planet was the same as the ebola virus to the human body. Oh dear.
    Strangely, the eco-worriers and doom-mongers have made a concerted effort to play down CO2 and speak only of ‘climate change’ these days. No doubt because no one in their right mind could deny the climate actually changes.

    Comment by D McCarthy — September 30, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

  3. So Peter J Nicol, you’re suggesting that Carbon Dioxide is “bad” for you? We’re not all silicon-based life forms you know.

    Comment by Graham Young — September 30, 2007 @ 11:15 pm

  4. Another profoundly silly comment. Really!
    Tell you what, you go and post your comments from a room containing only CO2, and I will take your nonsense seriously.

    Comment by Peter J. Nicol — September 30, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  5. Bet you feel the same way about H2O too.

    Comment by Graham Young — September 30, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

  6. Ahhh, yes. If industry was producing billion of tons of new H20 every year, and causing near irreversible problems with it, then yes, I might be concerned about it.
    Is CO2 causing climate change or not?

    Comment by Peter J. Nicol — October 1, 2007 @ 1:15 am

  7. Peter J Nicol – you complain about stupid questions? Do I believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas and is making the world hotter than it would otherwise be? Yes. Do I think it is the major factor behind the world being hot? No. Are increasing levels of C02 causing damage or not? Unlikely that it’s greater than the damage that climate change without an increase in C02 would cause, and given that heat and CO2 are conducive to life, possible that any damage is outweighed by the benefits. Is the change in CO2 due to man’s activity likely to have a catastrophic outcome? Definitely not.

    Comment by Graham Young — October 1, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  8. Hrrrm. It seems you drank the kool-aid. Good luck with your kooky ideas.

    Comment by Peter J. Nicol — October 1, 2007 @ 11:44 am

  9. This post by Graham is a typical example of those on the right to make make an all encompassing critique of “environmentalism” on the basis of some silly comments by an enviromentalist.
    And speaking of being “careful” since when has the “right” wing media ever been “careful” in the use of their language, or done anything other than reduce the inherent complexity of the environmental issue (or any other issue) to a set of simplistic binary cliches?
    Or even acknowledged the multiple contexts within which every political and cultural issue is embedded?
    A certain Bolt specialises in this simplification binary exclusion game.

    Comment by John — October 1, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

  10. So John, I take it you agree that CO2 is not pollution.

    Comment by Graham Young — October 3, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

  11. Its NOT being alive that’s the problem … its our unsustainable consumptive behaviours.
    Put simply …
    First – there are too many of us .. and our population is incresing too rapidly.
    Second – the ‘richest’ / ‘advanced’ countriess are consuming way way too many resources … energy, fuel, coal, food … for this to be sustainable once China and India want to live in the same way !
    Third – the gross imbalance between rich / poor ain’t really fair
    Fourth – science tells us that unless we do something – SOON – we are probably doomed to a less than comfortable lifestyle … maybe extinction.
    Onya ABC for at least exposing tbe issues …

    Comment by Steve — October 6, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.