John Hinderaker, who works for a firm employed by Koch Industries, argues that efforts to regulate the greenhouse pollution of the petrochemical giant are wrong because “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.” “Climate change is not caused by pollution; history proves that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not control worldwide temperatures,” Hinderaker wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is a natural substance that is essential to life on earth.” On Thursday, Koch Industries promoted Hinderaker’s radical denial of basic climate science on its Twitter feed and Facebook page:
“Let me address the argument that carbon dioxide is benign because we exhale it,” Rep. Jay Inslee explained this week when Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) parroted the same line as Hinderaker about the greenhouse gas. “That’s about as good an argument as saying a tsunami isn’t dangerous because we drink water.”
Scientists have been warning about greenhouse pollution from the burning of fossil fuels since the 19th century. In 2010, NASA scientists put the final nail in the coffin of Hinderaker’s zombie myth, with the Science paper “Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature,” which explained “carbon dioxide is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere.”
Unfortunately, neither Hinderaker, Koch Industries, nor their political allies are interested in factual evidence. All they seem to care about are the profits and power their pollution brings.