Rep. Barton Argues CO2 Shouldn’t be regulated because it is in Coca Cola

Rep. Joe Barton defended his anti-global warming position on C-SPAN today by arguing CO2, carbon dioxide should not be regulated because it is not a pollutant. He said that since CO2 is in Coca-Cola it is safe for people and should not be regulated.

Here is the video from Think Progress:

“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. It’s in your Coca-Cola, you’re Dr. Pepper, your Perrier water. It is necessary for human life. It is odorless, colorless, tasteless, does not cause cancer, does not cause asthma. There is nobody who has ever been admitted to the hospital for CO2 poisoning, so it is not a pollutant. ”

Barton also went on to discuss the theory of climate change, – “If you think greenhouse gases are bad, life couldn’t exist without greenhouse gases. … So, there is a, there is a climate theory — and it’s a theory, it’s not a fact, it’s never been proven — that increasing concentrations of CO2 in the upper atmosphere somehow interact to trap more heat than the atmosphere would otherwise.”

Of course Barton’s argument ignores that nobody is disputing that CO2 isn’t a pollutant. It is not the CO2 itself that causes the problem. The climate change occurs based on high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which is something, that the deniers like Barton conveniently ignore. The high concentrations of CO2 do lead to more pollution, which leads to more people developing conditions like asthma.

The Republicans who deny that climate change is occurring must think that we are all stupid. Barton earned the nickname “Smokey Joe” in 2003 from the Dallas Morning News because he has long been in the back pocket of the nation’s biggest polluters, and the argument that he is using here is one that might fool a toddler, but most people are smarter than this. In essence, Barton is trying to change the debate to make it about CO2 instead of CO2 levels.

24 Replies to “Rep. Barton Argues CO2 Shouldn’t be regulated because it is in Coca Cola”

  1. Wow. Absolutely amazing. Living proof that evolution missed the republican party. Just out of curiousity which american university can claim this dimwit as a proud alumni? Does anyone know.?

  2. There is so much stupid in this one video clip, that we must destroy it before it infects the Internet and the rest of Congre- wait, nevermind, too late.

    Seriously, how do people that are so obviously stupid and corrupt get elected? Ah, I just saw where his district is. East Texas. That explains a lot.

  3. How you have become completely irrelevant in our modern times.
    Maybe he should prove how safe CO2 is by sitting in a room filled only with the stuff. I’m sure he’d be fine as O2 has long since stopped going to his brain.

  4. Hey Joe? Expect a letter from me soon, as I am cursed with your representation. Go huff a few lung fulls of air that’s about 10% CO2 and tell me it’s not a pollutant. That is, if you survive the experience.

  5. Here is an article Rep. Barton should read. It’s a review article of many studies.

    Langford NJ, “Carbon dioxide poisoning” Toxicological Reviews 24(4):229-35, 2005.

  6. The problem isn’t as simple as it seems folks. Without high levels of CO2 in our upper atmosphere our planet would hover somewhere around -400 degrees fahrenheit (the temp in space). That being said, we can’t bury our heads and say spewing forth hydrocarbons, decimating forests, and consuming at a break-neck pace… aren’t a factor in turning our world to shit.

    Quit bickering about ‘climate change’ and start being concious of the environment.

    But while you are at it… remember… the U.S. accounts for around 4% of the world’s population. So quit blaming ‘Republican Americans’ for global warming. There is plenty of blame to go around.

  7. Glenn Beck made that point before and I knocked that down in a previous post. I didn’t want to feel like I was repeating myself, but I should have discussed it again in this story.

  8. Glenn Beck made that point before and I knocked that down in a previous post. I didn’t want to feel like I was repeating myself, but I should have discussed it again in this story.

  9. My recollection as to the role of Carbon Dioxide is; CO2 is synthesized (ingested) by green plants/vegetation (ie.. tree, grass, moss, etc) and the gas given off by these plants is simply good old Oxygen. If more time were spent regulating the destruction of forests and fields. Do you think it may be possible to reduce even equallize O2 and CO2 emissions. It won’t be long before Oxygen will be considered a pollutant/greenhouse gas which is obvious the brains of Gore and his radicals are in short supply of.

  10. 90 – 97% (depending on who you listen too) of annual CO2 pumped into the atmosphere comes from natural sources. CO2 atmospheric concentration is currently around 380 parts per million, up from around 280 parts per million in pre-industrial times. About .0003% of the total atmosphere.

  11. BS in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M, and then a Master of Science in Industrial Administration from Purdue. Then again, it WAS in 1972 & 1973, so he may just be a wee bit rusty on the scientific side of things…


  12. I guess all you “eco-types” missed the day in science class where the natural cycles of the Earth were discussed. If not for natural global warming we would still be in an Ice Age. But we’re not. The Ice Age ended due to natural warming. And then a few hundred years ago we entered a mini ice age and we came out of that. But let’s not get into the facts. That just confuses the converts of Junk Science.

    The problem with the idea of man-made global warming is that it compares select few years to come to it’s conclusion. It ignores other years that show this is part of a natural cycle. Hmm, wonder why that is? No,l don’t wonder. Just follow the money.

  13. When I was in school news reporting was supposed to unbiasedly deiver the who what where why when and how. The last two paragraphs of this article are purely opinion of the author NOT FACT.

    CO2 is converted to O2 by all plant life. Without CO2, plants die, without plants people die as O2 drops. CO2 is a normal part of the air we breath and is necessary to support the global food chain.

    Limiting CO2 output will do nothing but increase the costs of everything we buy. The more we constrain our economy with made up science,

    NASA has evidence that Mars has been experiencing global warming. Perhaps we have had a little warming because of a change in the sun’s output not because of anything anyone on this planet has been doing.

    Only the ignorant are willing to forego science and jump on the eco-terrorist band wagon. This is a testament to the poor quality of education in this country that the majority of people don’t differentiate scientific method from alarmist made up theories from people with a political agenda built on fear tactics.

  14. Sending millions of tons chemical byproducts and exhaust into the air is not natural, nor is it any part of any natural cycle. Its a catalyst that accelerates climate change. The only question is how much does it accelerate it…

  15. I want to thank you, for all this global warming. We had a freeze here on April 12, one of the latest on record. Get your facts straight. Cow farts are the blame! And all the hate spewing Liberals! If we could getr you Liberals to shut up for 1 week then global warming would be resolved.

  16. AWG is the crisis that never was. Our over reaction to it will be far worse than any damage that a warmer planet might cause.

    In short the climate is highly complex and weathered far worse than us humans. Think of it as a buffered system (remember your high school chemistry), the climate is stable and does not want to make large moves. The current CO2 concentration is 385ppm (do the math) thats 385/1,000,000*100% = 0.0385%. A lot of really educated people think the other 99.9615% of the atmosphere might have something to do with the temperature.

    By the way you should know; that car of yours emits more than just CO2. There is another green house gas coming out of the tailpipe that absorbs more IR energy and is produced in greater amounts than the CO2 which gets all the headlines. So don’t just raise the alarm over CO2 when you could be one of the first to recognize the pollution danger represented by water vapor.

  17. CO2 does not cause climate change. Solar activity causes a predictable climate change. CO2 lags behind change in temperature by 200-400 degrees. Educate yourself.

  18. I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have CO2 and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as in, uh, nitrogen and, uh, the Oxygen and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help nitrogen and should help oxygen and the carbon dioxide, so we will be able to build up our future for our children

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