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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Smokey Joe Barton

Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), seen here discovering new depths of ignorance, recently stepped up to the mic in defense of Carbon Dioxide.

“I would also point out that CO2, carbon dioxide, is not a pollutant in any normal definition of the term. … I am creating it as I talk to you.
He then added, Oh, did I say CO? I meant BS!

It’s in your Coca-Cola, you’re Dr. Pepper, your Perrier water. It is necessary for human life.

Not to quibble, but does that mean that high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring, and phosphoric acid are also necessary?

It is odorless, colorless, tasteless,

So is carbon Monoxide, which kills a lot of people, so those may not be the most relevant characteristics.

does not cause cancer, does not cause asthma. .

Yeah, neither do bullets, but I'm pretty sure they're still considered dangerous.

There is nobody who has ever been admitted to the hospital for CO2 poisoning, so it is not a pollutant. “

Are you purposely missing the point? It's not that CO2 is, in and of itself, harmful. the point is that it, along with other "greenhouse" gasses, accumulate in the atmosphere and cause heat to be trapped that would otherwise disperse. Or something like that. I don't really understand how it all works, and by the way, neither do you. But here's the difference. Just because I don't understand all the science doesn't mean that I dismiss it out of hand. See, if my doctor tells me that swallowing mercury is a really bad idea, I don't have to understand how neurotoxins function, I don't need to understand how the chemical properties of mercury interact with the cellular structure of the nervous system. It's enough that I know that she understands this stuff. Just like I don't need to understand the physics of climatology to know that the people who do understand it know that too much CO2 in the atmosphere is harmful. I don't tell my doctor "hey, there's mercury in that thermometer you stuck in my mouth, so obviously mercury is medically helpful." Ok, I understand just enough to get that there is a big difference between mercury in a thermometer under my tongue, and mercury in my bloodstream. Just like I get that there is a big difference between CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 in a can of Coke.

You're right, Santa. A nice cold Coca-Cola sure would hit the spot right now!

Ugh, I feel dirty. But when that sweet, sweet Coca-Cola money starts flowing this way, I think I'm gonna feel a whole lot better!