Monckton goes BP in Bonn

by Gareth on April 15, 2010

Beyond parody, that is. I mean, this has to be a spoof, doesn’t it? Scaife-funded CFACT sent the potty peer to Bonn, and this is what he delivered in return. If this is the best the inactivists can do, then the world is safe. Watch: it’s side-splitting…

[Hat tip: µWatts, where this is taken seriously, it seems.]

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Taylor April 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

This would be a classic straw man, EXCEPT that continued inaction on AGW will likely bring about the very death of democracy he fears, as the human race struggles to survive when our ecosystem life support services begin to fail.

dappledwater April 15, 2010 at 9:45 am

Is it those cookie monster eyes, or is he not looking at the camera?.

Gareth April 15, 2010 at 10:22 am

And the tie! The Tie. It's a stick of Brighton Rock with Brooklyn overtones.

I've now watched this three or four times, and it gets a laugh every time.

"..they're going to try to stitch together a deal to take democracy and freedom and prosperity away worldwide for ever, and to make themselves very, very rich and to make you who are watching this video very, very poor.

Now, why is this a bad idea?"

Cue Forrest sauvignon blanc/screen interface….

pough April 16, 2010 at 7:10 am

Yeah, I had to pause the video at that point. Hilarious!

Steve Wrathall April 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

What precisely do you dispute in what he is saying? Be specific.

"The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," – James Hansen

Gareth April 15, 2010 at 10:24 am

See above.

Scienceisnotsettled April 15, 2010 at 10:35 am

Steve. It is called seeking out the heretics and try to shout them down.

bill April 15, 2010 at 11:08 pm

‘seeking out the heretics’? you came here, you nong; no one sought you out!

I’ll say it bluntly; anyone who cannot see that this self-aggrandizing narcissist motormouth is a delusional fraud is as crazy as he is. This is exactly the kind of looney-tunes nonsense that got him labelled a ‘swivel-eyed maniac’ by The Spectator, no less!

‘What precisely to you dispute’? The whole risible, ranting thing! Ultimately the ‘populism’ of the denialist camp is underpinned by just this kind of utterly absurd McCarthyite conspiracy theory; a chilling reminder that the enlightenment hasn’t really permeated anywhere near as far as we had thought…

Scienceisnotsettled April 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

Wow Bill. "the enlightenment hasn't really permeated anywhere near as far as we had thought…" No wonder the critics of your group claim that the alarmists have taken on a religious fervour. And the most fanatical proponents of it are described as “true believers.”

bill April 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm

This seems to be a non-sequitur to me; because I’m concerned that the followers of Monckton appear to have have remained immune to the impact of the enlightenment I am a religious fanatic?

Let’s see; firstly you roll up here claiming victim status – as a ‘heretic’ who is being ‘shouted down’ – without acknowledging the inherent absurdity of introducing yourself/ves onto an ‘alarmist’ blog to do so. (Cunningly surreptitiously staking out ground, I assume, that warmism’ is a religion?)

This after one of the members of ‘your group’ – two can play at lumping everyone together willy-nilly – has demanded a specific refutation of the worst kind of hand-waving ‘demonological’ mush. ‘It’s all a conspiracy, I tells ya!’ ‘The Reds are coming!’

If this guy were on my side – thank God he’s not – I’d be going out of my way to distance myself from him, not making myself look an idiot by demanding a ‘fair-hearing’ for conspiratorial tin-foil-hat nonsense.

I accuse you in turn of being an agent of the corporo-fascist international, witting or otherwise – how exactly would you go about refuting that? Specifically?

‘My group’ – who I’ll call, for the sake of argument, ‘rational people’ – in all its incredible diversity has to put up with being labelled as activists or dupes of a totalitarian plot that is and/or will be responsible for the deaths of millions – find the video of Monckton telling a bunch of earnest-young-things ‘You’re the Hitler Youth!*’ (including a Jew!) in Copehagen – AND then we have to talk to you nicely and in good faith? Sheesh!…

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

The "Hitler Youth" quote from Monckton to a Jew was, in my opinion, completely justified. I have family who where in Nazi Germany and I can see many parallels between the modern day CAGW movement and Nazism

For example: in WW2 Germany it was only possible to hold down an academic position unless you were a member of the Nazi party.

It was acceptable to use pejorative terms to undermine your enemy (Jew/denier)

A group of "Hitler Youth" or "youth passionate about climate change" unquestioningly propagated the "truth"

Laugh you may, history will tell. Monckton doesn't spin all my wheels, but he does speak some sense.

ctg April 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

Wow. Just wow. That is quite the most self-deluded thing I have ever heard a denialist say, and that's saying something.

You really believe that? You really believe that people who say burning fossil fuels might be dangerous are really equivalent to the murderers of 6 million people?

Wow. Just wow.

I mean, really? Saying CO2 is a pollutant is the moral equivalent of invading Poland?

Really?

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

"Saying CO2 is a pollutant is the moral equivalent of invading Poland?"

I was merely pointing out the parallels.

For those who have no historical context, or families who have been involved in dogmatic political agendas, then I feel for you

Wow, just wow, it is really, wow just wow

Wow, just wow

Wow, yes wow

By the way CO2 is ESSENTIAL for life, even humans will die if they don;t get enough in their air. SO by saying CO2 is a pollutant indicates that, yes, you really ARE THAT STUPID

WOW just WOW!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to the AGE OF STUPID

ctg April 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Okay, so I have a bottle of CO2 here. If it is so essential to life, you wouldn't mind breathing it for a couple of minutes, would you? Please. Pretty please?

ctg April 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

OMG. I just realised – you actually believe this stuff, don't you? You really are so dumb that you think CO2 is not toxic, that it really is "essential for life"? You're going to take my bet, aren't you? STOP – don't breathe the CO2, it will kill you, it really will, I'm not just saying that because I'm a Nazi. STOP!

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Hmm, I heard a rumour that plants use CO2 to grow, thereby providing us with food.

Then, maybe I really am just stupid.

After all, it wouldn't be the first time that the AGW crowd broke the laws of physics.

Apparently, the volcano eruption in Iceland was also caused by Global Warming!

Scienceisnotsettled April 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

If you are so earnest in what you "believe" in Bill, you should be understood. In the meantime us tin-foil-hat brigade will stand by while you, Chicken Licken, Henny Penny et al are be busy handing out the hard helmets!

bill April 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I’m not sure why ‘believe’ requires quotation marks here. I am also unsure of the English meaning of ‘If you are so earnest in what you believe in you should be understood.’

What I am sure of is that it will be pretty obvious to any thinking person that you’re in very tawdry company indeed with Mr. Brown here. Enjoy the latest posted video on this blog.

Zorr April 15, 2010 at 11:13 am

o.0

It's like it's a weekend sale that we will never ever have the chance of seeing again… I better run down to my local Briscoes and see if they still have some prosperity in store…

If you need to be told what the issue with the video here is then our words will probably be wasted anyway. Also, it is only 2:40 long and it is chock full off padding because he has nothing to actually communicat other than he is against it. Lord Monkey, we guessed that the moment we saw your name on it.

Steve Wrathall April 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Again, what precisely do you dispute in what Monckton is saying?

Do you deny that leading warmists are deeply derisory of democracy?

Do you deny that preliminary drafts of the Copenhagen treaty called for creation of a global "government" where clause after complicated clause set out the requirement that developed countries pay their "adaptation debt" to developing countries. Clause 33 on page 39 said that by 2020 the scale of financial flows to support adaptation in developing countries must be in the range of $US70bn to $US140bn a year.

Do you deny that the cost increases of energy required to force CO2 down to 350 ppm, would destroy prosperity.

Your infantile cackling simply doesn't cut it any more.

Alex Brown April 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Yes Steve, You are correct. The COP15 treaty was to include this global governance.

Of course, it would not happen overnight, but the kind of creeping bureaucracy that took the Common market into the EU we see today – a cumbersome totalitarian bureaucracy.

Gareth April 15, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Do you deny that leading warmists are deeply derisory of democracy?

Yes.

Do you deny that preliminary drafts of the Copenhagen treaty called for creation of a global "government"

Yes. Monckton wants you to believe that, but if you read the drafts he refers to (and I have), you'll see that they refer to the governance of the treaty and its mechanisms, which is avery different thing indeed.

Do you deny that the cost increases of energy required to force CO2 down to 350 ppm, would destroy prosperity.

Yes. It will require huge structural changes in energy and transport infrastructure, and there will be winners and losers, but if we do nothing we will lose a hell of a lot more.

As for the "infantile" jibe, I think you'll find it applies rather nicely to Monckton's political analysis.

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 1:40 am

"governance of the treaty and its mechanisms, which is avery different thing indeed. "

Like the Lisbon treaty is "just a treaty"

Steve Wrathall April 20, 2010 at 4:47 am

"Structural changes" – nice euphemism.
Obama himself admits that energy prices must "neccessarily skyrocket". It's ECON101 . To force a large reduction in use of X you have to drive it's price up until it hurts.

Winners: Ticket-clippers with an eye for the main chance.

Losers: All NZ consumers and taxpayers . And the environment ,as our industry and agriculture is exported to less efficient countries.

Gareth April 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

Energy generated by the use of fossil fuels could (and should) increase. We want to reduce their use. Energy from other sources can be the same price, or cheaper. Even if you reject global warming as a reason for doing this, then peak oil and ocean acidification are equally good as justification.

bill April 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

Comrades! Our plan has been rumbled!

Curse the ever-vigilant online running-dog warriors of the decadent West. Ever since we came over the Berlin Wall and into the Green groups* our plan to avenge ourselves on the Capitalist Imperialists by creating the World Government we have always craved has proceeded apace thanks to Commisars Jones, Hansen, Stern, Mann, Gore et al.

But now the fiendish Democrats (not the useful US branch of the One True Party, the other ones) are on to us! Curse their resourcefulness. But let us not lose heart; our goal is nearly achieved – only one UN conference away, in fact!

So; once more unto the Barricades, Comrades – let us sing The Internationale to bolster ourselves – anyone know the words?

Tom Lehrer was right. Satire is redundant.

*an actual quote from Australian Senator Nick Minchin

diessoli April 16, 2010 at 10:20 am

Dire news indeed, comrade bill. We had instructed our agents in the Socialist Eco-Republic of Europe to interrupt any air traffic to Bonn. But they did not get the timing right and the volcano erupted too late (we could never really rely on our comrades in Island). But we have been lucky. The enemy could have named names and presented all the other incrimination evidence that shows to the world what our real plans are. But he forgot them in the hotel room and our cell in Bonn managed to secure them with comrade Scrotum's help who saved the day once again.

Paul King April 15, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Gareth, who can impose "governance" if not "government"? How are these fundamentally separate things?

Do you reject the idea the idea that life on earth has survived far worse & far faster global warming periods?

On what basis do you assume that the economic, social & political consequences of world "governance" as proposed will not be worse that the environmental impact? Would the precautionary principle not dictate that robust economic infrastructures should be preserved so that we can better adapt to climate change, as well as all the other environment issues we face, or generate ourselves through overpopulation?

Is it not true that when a car is heading towards a precipice, it is far safer to accelerate around the curves than to apply the handbrake.?

nommopilot April 15, 2010 at 11:38 pm

"Would the precautionary principle not dictate that robust economic infrastructures should be preserved so that we can better adapt to climate change, as well as all the other environment issues we face, or generate ourselves through overpopulation?"

Your boat has a hole in it and is sinking. Should we not leave the hole unplugged so that the water has somewhere to flow out once the laws of physics magically change?

nommopilot April 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

"Is it not true that when a car is heading towards a precipice, it is far safer to accelerate around the curves than to apply the handbrake.?"

No this is not true. accelerating into curves is not a safe way to drive unless you slow down before the curve. I do hope I'm not sharing roads with you…

Besides this, in your analogy who is turning the steering wheel? the course the inactivists propose is equivalent to accelerating straight off the cliff…

Robust Economic Infrastructures != unconstrained resource use and pollution emission

philscadden April 15, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Life has survived rapid climate change but individual species have not. However, this isnt really the stake – we are really concerned about the enhanced mortality among the human species, or even just the threats to the infrastructure of our civilization caused by global change. The threats to the economy of mitigation I think are being exaggerated by those portions of the economy which would be clear losers.

The spectre of world government need not be raised – we just need global cooperation as occurs in many other spheres.

"Handbrake or accelerator"? well I would let physics decide both for the car and for our climate.

Gareth April 16, 2010 at 12:41 am

1: When you're dealing with a truly global problem — and climate change is nothing if not that — then you need to find mechanisms that allow nations to work together to achieve a common goal. As Phil says, that's about cooperation. What systems are put in place depends on what nations are prepared to accept, and certainly can't be imposed — any more than the US could impose democracy on China.

2. Life has survived everything the planet (and solar system) has thrown at it for 4.5 billion years, so I have no doubt that life will survive whatever happens as a result of our emissions. Whether our civilisation can survive in its present or a similar form is a different matter completely.

3. It's a very high stakes bet you want to place. Engineering a change to global energy infrastructure will certainly not be cheap or easy, but the alternative is worse.

4. If I were in a car heading towards a precipice, I would stop the car and get out. Stop the planet, I want to get off is not an option, sadly.

dappledwater April 16, 2010 at 11:44 am

"Is it not true that when a car is heading towards a precipice, it is far safer to accelerate around the curves than to apply the handbrake.?" – P. King

Actually, humanity is driving straight at the precipice and people like you (deniosaurs)are saying things like:

– What precipice?.

– That's not a precipice, you're just being alarmist!.

– Cars falling off precipices is a giant hoax!.

– Precipices are natural. Cars have driven off precipices before, therefore all cars driving off precipices are natural.

– It's not the precipice, it's the sun – in my eyes stupid!.

– What about all those people living in poverty in the third world?, how are they going to get a car to drive off a precipice if we slow down?.

– Some random kook scientist says that driving over precipices won't lead to tragedy. Why should we believe centuries of science and not this guy?.

– 31,000 howler monkeys have signed a petition that cars driving off precipices isn't harmful.

etc,etc,etc.

That's a more accurate summation of the ridiculousness of the deniosaurs.

nommopilot April 20, 2010 at 11:24 am

haha true!!

bill April 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Only last night I was reading Comrade Ronald Wright’s ‘A Short History of Progress’ and his discussion of what might have been going through the minds of the Easter Islanders as they felled the last grove of the Chilean Wine Palms they were in fact totally reliant on, thereby destroying their prosperity forever, leaving them to collapse into a sink of human misery that is hard to even contemplate.

(Don’t worry if you haven’t read it yet – when We have achieved World Government it will be compulsory reading.)

I know that Comrade Jared Diamond has speculated as to whether the fellers of that last tree shouted ‘Jobs, not Trees’ as they landed the fatal axe blows.

You’d like to hope that our global civilization might be a bit smarter than that, but I put it to you that what we are seeing here is the updated version of the ‘Cut them all down, the Gods will provide’ brigade’s febrile rationalizations. Chilling stuff…

philscadden April 16, 2010 at 1:21 am

Extremely 4th hand… but I asked an ecologist about this too and he had worked with others on environmental perception in small tribal communities. The opinion was (for what's worth), is that they probably didnt know they had cut the last tree. On a smaller island, or one without strong clan divisions restricting "global" knowledge, then this would have been more apparent and who knows? We however do not have that excuse and so hopefully will get a better outcome.

Kim Sokolich April 16, 2010 at 12:35 am

I see that Steve Wrathall's (if it is the same guy) career depends on the cutting down of trees which should come as no great surprise.

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 12:52 am

Presumably he has to plant them first.

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 1:51 am

We are too stupid to manage our own country.
We need bureaucrats in Switzerland to tell us how to manage our environment

Yeah right

philscadden April 16, 2010 at 2:49 am

But its not "your environment" – CO2 emissions are global. IF (and a bloody big IF), some sort of ETS or carbon tax IS the solution, then you would need global take up to prevent cheats. In fact any kind of agreement on emissions need global buy in and agreement. It seems to me to be simply rhetoric to characterize this as "governance by bureaucrats in Switzerland."

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 8:18 am

"Global take up to prevent cheats"

I think what we have seen to date of the international carbon market is that is creates cheats, not prevents them.

Even James Hansen concurs here.

Personally, I think NZ should make its own course. We'll never get the rest of the world in line.

nommopilot April 16, 2010 at 10:36 am

"Personally, I think NZ should make its own course. We'll never get the rest of the world in line."

I thought you didn't believe we should do anything?

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 10:48 am

"I thought you didn't believe we should do anything? "
– hmm, mankind rarely achieves anything by doing nothing

I do believe, however, that we can do a lot by levying a (possibly small) tax on fuel, that was used to improve our nations energy efficiency via rebates in insulation, double glazing, solar water heating, etc.

This, in my humble opinion, would be a win across the board. We would reduce emissions, increase local business, reduce energy consumption, and do this with a relatively small compliance cost.

AndrewH April 18, 2010 at 4:15 am

Alex… your tax idea sounds remarkably similar to what James Hansen advocates.

cindybax April 18, 2010 at 11:27 pm

wow. Monckton has certainly sparked something off here. Much confusion on what it all means.

Global governance – isn't that how other international treaties work, like:
*the international treaty on human rights
* the Geneva Convention
* the international treaty which bans the dumping of nuclear and toxic waste at sea
* the international ban on driftnet fishing
* the treaty banning the use of 2-4-5 T and other highly toxic substances.

Any country ratifying a legally binding international treaty must first enact legislation at home. Surely it's up to the democracy at home to decide whether they should accept those rules or not. And up to our govt as to whether it will sign up to those rules (and have input on them).

Alex: the bureacrats are not in Switzerland. and they are instructed (in Germany) by the members of the body they work for, ie Governments.

Monckton's video is clearly aimed at the american people. Hence the use of the words "world Government" and "congress" (oh, and of course "freedom" and "democracy"). He's been well-coached by his friends at CFACT. Scary.

Marcus July 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

“For example: in WW2 Germany it was only possible to hold down an academic position unless you were a member of the Nazi party.”

Sorry, are you suggesting that so-called “non-warmists” can’t hold down positions in academia or publish papers? If so then it merely highlights how your mob rely so heavily on propaganda rather than FACT. Have you not heard of McLean, Lindzen, Choi, Roy Spencer or Bob Carter? All of them work in Academia in spite of holding anti-AGW views, & all of them get their work published in the scientific literature-sometimes in spite of the most glaring errors of fact. If the “warmists” are running some kind Blacklist, then it clearly isn’t very effective. As you said, welcome to the Age of Stupid. Though if you believe even a word that Baron Von Monkhausen says-then the one who deserves that epithet is YOU!

Marcus July 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Also Alex, the only ones behaving like the Nazi Party are the Deniersaurs llike yourself. Like the Nazi Party, your side too relies on propaganda & ideology-not science-to push your agenda. Like the Nazi Party, your side too relies on intimidation & criminal acts (like hacking) to achieve your goals. Like the Nazi Party, your side too relies on kooky conspiracy theories to demonise others (“a group of people who’re getting rich by destroying the prosperity of our nation.” Sound familiar? Reads almost like a quote from Mein Kampf or Protocols of the Elder Zion). Like the Nazi Party, your side also has powerful connections in the economic & political sphere. Also, why are a disproportionately large number of White Supremicist groups backing the Denialist Agenda? All in all it certainly sounds like the ones who are shouting zeich Heil are the Denialosaurs.

Marcus July 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Oh also, Alex, way to push mutually contradictory arguments in relation to CO2 being vital to life. Clearly you’ve learned from the “best” in the Denialosphere. Yes CO2 is vital to life, but so too are water & oxygen. Get too much of any of them, though, & they will kill you. That aside, the claim that “more is better” in regards to CO2 & plants is a complete nonsense-based on the idea that, because CO2 is used in photosynthesis, then more CO2 is better for plants. Wrong! Go to the back of the class. That’s like saying that, because O2 is used in Respiration, then more O2 is better for humans. Anyone that has died from OXYGEN NARCOSIS, though, would tell you otherwise (if they were still alive)!
The actual fact is that, in ideal conditions, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will cause a modest (roughly 20%) increase in plant biomass over the short term-for *some* varieties of certain plants. However, this increased biomass requires a significant (+30%) increase in nitrogen & adequate supplies of water. The nutritional level (protein, Zinc, Iron etc) of these plants were shown to decline in high CO2 conditions, & the increased biomass usually dropped to insignificant levels after just a few years, due to acclimation.
Of course, that assumes *IDEAL* conditions-increased CO2 will lead to increased warming & significant changes in hydrology (too much water in some places & too little water in others). This will lead to earlier ripening & greater crop stress, which will probably more than offset any gains in biomass from increased CO2. Then of course there is any lost agricultural land that will result if we get a significant increase in sea-levels. Also, the plants which will probably benefit most from increased CO2 levels are those we currently designate as WEEDS-as they have a far greater tolerance to low water & low nitrogen conditions-so increasingly costly weed & pest control will also result from a high CO2 world. So it seems that your arguments for pumping out more CO2-for the sake of the plants-are just as bone-headed as all your other Denialist Propaganda. Seriously, are you & Monckton long lost twins or something Alex?

Marcus July 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm

One last point Alex. *Yes*, the unit cost of energy from fossil fuels *will* increase if we seek to reduce CO2 emissions-but guess what? The unit cost of energy fossil fuels will increase *ANYWAY* as these resources become more scarce (oil first, coal not far behind it). It will be far, far better to get used to an economy that isn’t dependent on Coal & Oil-whilst we still have them-than to try & do it *after* they’re all gone.
Also, just because the UNIT COST of energy might go up, doesn’t mean that people’s actual energy bills have to rise also. Given the amount of energy people *waste* due to inefficiency, there is a very good chance that their energy bills could GO DOWN, not UP. Consider this example. If you run an 80W light globe for 10,000 hours (roughly the life of a *single* compact fluorescent light globe), you will consume about 800kw-h of electricity. At about $0.25c per kw-h, that will cost you about $200. However, if you use an 11W compact fluorescent, then you’ll consume about 110kw-h of electricity. Even if you were paying $1.00c per kw-h for that electricity, the total cost you’d be looking at is only $110-a *net saving* of $90-from just a SINGLE LIGHT GLOBE. So not only are you reducing your CO2 emissions, but you’re getting a cheaper energy bill overall. The same goes for things like insulation, low-energy appliances, double-glazing of windows & using public transport instead of your car for peak-hour commutes. So, far from trying to “wreck prosperity”, the so-called Warmists are in fact trying to encourage the population to save money by engaging in more sensible use of energy-this dovetails nicely with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions. However, as it also results in the reduced consumption of electricity, such measures are vociferously opposed by the Denialosphere & their camp followers (like yourself Alex!)

ctg April 16, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Are you a plant? If not, then CO2 is toxic to you. But be my guest and start breathing CO2 if you are so convinced it is so lovely.

BTW, if you are not familiar with Icelandic, the "jökull" part of Eyjafjallajökull means glacier. What do you think happens to glaciers when it gets warmer? Hint: glaciers are made of ice.

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

"Start breathing CO2"

Actually I did that several decades ago.

So far, it doesn't appear to have done me any harm.
But then, maybe I am in denial.

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

When it gets warmer, ice melts. Now I get it!

But I am puzzled, how does this make volcanic eruptions more likely?
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=

Are they taking the piss?

I mean, if you have a freaking great plume of magma that is "millions" of degrees (according to Al Gore) , I don't really imagine it matters how much ice is on top.

It will get through somehow.

Anyway, off to take some more deep breaths of CO2 before I expire.

ctg April 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

You're so funny. What percentage concentration of CO2 is there in the atmosphere? About 0.04% (~390ppm).

At what concentration does CO2 become toxic? About 5%.

So breathing air is obviously not going to kill you. But breathing pure CO2 would kill you pretty damn quickly.

But you don't believe anything I say, so go ahead and try it for yourself.

Alex Brown April 16, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Of course breathing CO2 above a certain concentration is toxic to human life. That doesn't mean CO2 is toxic.

Exactly the same argument can be applied to water. Drinking too much water can kill you, and water is also, guess what, a greenhouse gas.

So by your argument, water is toxic.

It's a bit early in the day to start drinking but I am tempted.

Especially as there are lots of lovely CO2 bubbles in my beer.

I *love* CO2

ctg April 17, 2010 at 12:05 am

That's exactly the point. Any toxin is only actually toxic at or above a certain concentration. To die of water toxicity you have to consume massive amounts of water, so for most purposes it makes no sense to consider water as a toxin.

CO2 on the other hand, produces toxic effects at quite low concentrations, so for practical purposes, CO2 is indeed a toxin (for animals). If you don't believe me, ask the villagers of Lake Nyos. Oh wait, you can't – they're all dead, killed by that lovely stuff, CO2.

Now, as far as being a pollutant, the same sort of reasoning applies. For most of human history, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has been less than 300ppm, so at that level it can't be considered a pollutant. But double that to 600ppm, and the climate will change so drastically that you can consider that as being "toxic" to the earth's climate.

Yes, it's ironic – we can't live without water, but too much can kill us; we can't live without CO2, but too much can kill us.

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