On the naming and shaming of Carbon Dioxide

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Tom Peer

Poor old carbon dioxide. One minute it was a harmless gas providing as vital a link in the cycle of life as water or oxygen and then the next thing it knows it’s a pollutant.

To add insult to injury it’s not even carbon dioxide any more, just plain old carbon. Stripped of two out of three of its constituent atoms. No longer oxidised, instead demonised as humanity’s greatest threat, it’s a bad time to be CO2. It’s enough just to say “carbon pollution” and instead of meaning soot or smoke or anything that involves real carbon pollution you’re actually referring to imaginary damage wreaked by a harmless gas.

What was it that poor old CO2 did wrong. How come it’s public enemy number one and Nitrous Oxide gets to go to all the cool parties?

The carbon shaming reached a nadir…

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