How is it that so many people can't understand the not-so-subtle "nuance" between climate change and pollution? In a recent letter
The only way that pollution, CO2, and climate change are remotely related is in the fact that the federal government mis-defined carbon dioxide--one of the most vital nutrients for plant life on earth--as a pollutant.to the editors of the Deseret News, Scot Morgan ("Humans Partly to Blame", 10/8/2009) chastizes Frank Overfelt for not believing that humans have much of anything to do with climate change (which we don't), but as supposed proof that we do cause climate change, he lists ways that we cause pollution. In an attempt to make an otherwise excellent point regarding our stewardship of the environment, Morgan suddenly finds himself in the left field of global warming.
Pollution and climate change are two different things. One does not cause the other.
In his letter, Morgan stated:
Brigham Young declared: "The soil, the air, the water are all pure and healthy. Do not suffer them to become polluted with wickedness." Yet we have suffered it to be so, primarily for the accumulation of personal wealth. We can stop being litter-bugs and curtail our use of plastic. To wring our hands and pretend we are not culpable of the consequences of our habits or incapable of making better decisions is dishonest.I completely agree. But what does this (pollution) have to do with climate change? Nothing.
The only way that pollution, CO2, and climate change are remotely related is in the fact that the federal government mis-defined carbon dioxide--one of the most vital nutrients for plant life on earth--as a pollutant.
In his recent work entitled Heaven and Earth: Global Warming-The Missing Science, Ian Plimer notes that pollution can shorten life, but that CO2 does not shorten life, therefore CO2 is not a pollutant. Plimer reminds us that
Carbon dioxide is a plant food, is necessary for life, and without CO2 there would be no complex life on earth. Car exhaust consist of [both] harmless gases (CO2, nitrogen, H2O vapor) [and] pollutants (carbon monoxide...nitric oxide...sulfur dioxide [etc.]While CO2 is a nutrient for plants, smog--containing actual pollutants--can kill plants, along with animals and people. Why don't we concentrate on controlling pollution in those areas of the globe where it is still a problem? Because the religion of global warming is siphoning off and wasting most of our financial resources. Plimer writes
Heaven and Earth, page 12
At present, China emits more sulfur dioxide than any other country in the world, and this chokes people, causes acid rain, damages life, and destroys buildings. The "Asian Brown Cloud" covers an area as large as Australia, obscuring the sun in some polluted Asian cities. It has a profound effect on human health. At times it...covers the Northern Hemisphere. Darker soot falling on snow and ice allows it to absorb more solar energy and may contribute to more rapid melting of snow and ice.Plimer states further that
Heaven and Earth, page 13
The public have rightfully become less tolerant of pollution, and much progress has been made to clean up the Western world.Why have we become less tolerant of pollution? Because pollution has an observable, measurable, negative effect on our environment. To this day,
Pollution has an observable, measurable, negative effect on our environment. To this day, no similar observation or measurement has been made with regard to CO2's effect on climate change.no similar observation or measurement has been made with regard to CO2's effect on climate change. The only thing about CO2 that has been measured is that its minuscule presence in the atmosphere has been going up.
If we started admitting that humans can have an effect on pollution, but that we cannot have much of an effect at all on climate change, we'd all be eminently better off. Then we might start to actually focus on a genuine environmental catastrophe--one that we can possibly hope to control.