NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 6, 2006

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case to decide whether the federal government should be forced to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.  Is the basis for all plant life on earth, asks Investor's Business Daily (IBD), really a pollutant?

Carbon dioxide has become the poster child for global warming advocates who constantly claim it is the major greenhouse gas.  Yet, experts disagree.  According to Robert Balling, director of the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University:

  • Carbon dioxide is in fact not a pollutant and is the basis of all plant -- and therefore all animal -- life on earth.
  • Carbon dioxide concentrations were much higher in the past, millions of years ago, when plants evolved around the world.
  • When carbon dioxide levels increase, plants grow faster, bigger, more resistant to any number of stresses, and far more efficient in their use of water.

Hardly the scorched-earth scenario painted by the greenies, says IBD.

Atmospheric CO2 levels have consistently been increasing, but global mean temperatures have not kept pace.  Moreover, warming has not been constant.  It has been interrupted by global cooling and seems to have stopped about eight years ago.  This is not the kind of temperature fluctuations one expects in the face of steadily increasing CO2 emissions, if CO2 was the main culprit, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "Waiting To Exhale (As Court Takes Up CO2)," Investor's Business Daily, July 6, 2006


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