16 February 2011
Prime Ministers should stop misleading people about "carbon"
In their references to the "price of carbon" in their discussions the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand
should stop misleading people and they should refer to the substance by its correct name carbon dioxide (CO2), the
colourless odourless gas which is but a minor trace gas in the greenhouse effect, but which is vitally important to
human and plant life on earth. This today from Terry Dunleavy, secretary of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
"Calling CO2 just carbon is a common tactic of proponents of the unproven hypothesis that human-caused emissions of this
natural and life-giving gas can or will cause dangerous global warming, when in fact we all need it to live, we all
exhale it with every breath we take, and it is an essential component of the process of photosynthesis by which plants
grow, as well as being the sparkle in our beer, soft drinks and Champagne. Because graphite, one of the two forms of
pure carbon is black, they hope to create a perception of dirtiness, forgetting that the other pure form is diamonds
which are anything but dirty.
"Calling the gas just carbon is as silly as referring to water as just hydrogen. Our Prime Ministers should be above
this silly and misleading charade and should stop it forthwith,"said Mr Dunleavy.