Whenever I think of carbon dioxide as a pollutant I become puzzled. Carbon dioxide is a building block of life. No carbon dioxide means no plants which means no oxygen which means no humans. I am used to thinking of pollutants as poisons and carbon dioxide doesn’t fit.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas…but greenhouse gases are good. Without greenhouse gases we’d have a climate more like the moon. Not exactly a friendly place for humans. The global warming doomsayers argue that it is possible to have too much carbon dioxide….but how much is too much?
Pollution is defined as a discharge of a harmful substance. And too much carbon dioxide can make the planet warmer than it would otherwise be…but is that necessarily harmful? At least so far, global warming has been, on balance, beneficial.
Too much of just about anything is bad. It is possible to drink so much water that you kill yourself….but that doesn’t make water a poison.
So, how much is too much? I don’t know, but I’ll go a step further – anybody that thinks they know is guessing. Climate science is extraordinarily complex. Climate models don’t predict the recent past (say the last 1000 years) very well. They have problems with the medieval warming period and the little ice age. C’mon guys…at least admit to a bit of SWAG here.
We live on a planet that has a climate that warms and cools in a cycle that lasts about 100,000 years. Most of the time it is cooler than today. The Earth’s climate changes all by itself and we do not understand that process well enough to model it accurately. And since we can’t model it we don’t know whether the warming we have been seeing in recent centuries is normal or man-made or both. We are guessing.
The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted .2 degree C warming in the first 10 years of the new century and they predicted another .2 degree C by the end of 2019, in less than 7 years. And that prediction was based on carbon dioxide levels lower than we have right now. So far, there has been no net warming in the 21st century.
It is possible the IPCC have got the man-made global warming science exactly right…and they have the background noise that is natural climate variation completely wrong. Hmmmm. I’d be surprised, but it is a possibility (but don’t bet on it). If that were the case, carbon dioxide would be saving us from a colder world.
You make your guess, I’ll make mine…and we’ll meet in 10,000 years and see who’s right!