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Don’t Breathe In CO2 Says Lancet

March 25, 2017

By Paul Homewood






I’m not quite sure what the supposedly objective, scientific Lancet is doing publishing a scurrilously partisan report on Trump’s EPA budget cuts, that could just as just as easily have been written by the Democratic party.

This gives a flavour:

The Trump administration’s proposed budget makes large cuts to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Susan Jaffe, The Lancet’s Washington correspondent, reports.

As Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt represented his state in more than a dozen lawsuits challenging the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) efforts to limit air and water pollution. Several cases sought to block President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from coal plants linked to climate change.

The conservative columnist George Will has called Pruitt “one of the Obama administration’s most tenacious tormentors”. And the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, praised Pruitt as “one of America’s most courageous opponents of federal overreach”. Pruitt provided both quotes in a biography attached to his congressional testimony last spring criticising the Clean Power Plan.

Less than a year later, Pruitt and his opponents have switched sides. President Donald Trump appointed Pruitt to lead the EPA and now those opponents accuse the Trump administration of federal over-reach by seeking to undermine key environmental laws.

The administration has already taken steps to begin rolling back some environmental rules issued by the EPA under President Barack Obama

And last week, Trump unveiled his proposed federal budget, which reduces federal non-defence spending by US$54 billion, including a 31% ($2·6 billion) cut in EPA funding—more than any other domestic agency. If Congress approves the Trump spending plan, some 50 EPA programmes would also be eliminated, including the office of environmental justice. One of its founders, Mustafa Ali, resigned in protest 2 weeks ago after 24 years with the agency.

“Literally and figuratively, this budget is a scorched earth budget”, said Gina McCarthy, Obama’s EPA administrator, in a conference call with reporters last week. The cuts include 3200 EPA staff positions, which means one of five people will have to leave the agency next year, she said. “We’re talking about a 45% reduction in state funds and a targeted reduction in our scientists, which means 42% of our Office of Research and Development scientists will have to find other employment.”



But this bit takes the biscuit:

Attention to climate change should not be optional, said Paul Billings, senior vice president of advocacy at the American Lung Association. The Clean Air Act gives the EPA the responsibility to protect the public health and environment by limiting air pollutants including carbon dioxide. ”All inhaled air pollutants have direct respiratory health impacts for the lung because it is the mechanism by which the pollution is absorbed.”


Since when did breathing in CO2 have a direct respiratory health impact?

Welcome to the world of postmodern science.

And they call themselves doctors!

  1. tom0mason permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:04 pm

    CO2 does have a direct health implication — see

    • Andre permalink
      March 25, 2017 1:23 pm

      So does O2. see

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        March 25, 2017 7:48 pm

        So does breathing in di-hydrogen monoxide.

    • Alan Davidson permalink
      March 25, 2017 3:09 pm

      We are all inhaling atmospheric CO2 at around 400ppm and exhaling CO2 at around 40,000ppm. Tom Mason, what do you think the health implication is?

      • John F. Hultquist permalink
        March 25, 2017 7:25 pm

        Read more. CO2 is the trigger for your breathing. Without it you would die in your sleep. How is that for a health implication.

      • tom0mason permalink
        March 25, 2017 10:34 pm

        My point is CO2 is required by your body to regulate your breathing, unless you prefer to consciously regulate every breath for all of your life. You may find that a bit tiring though!

  2. Broadlands permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:06 pm

    Amazing! Perhaps these concerned specialists have been in the same dark room for too long with the windows closed… to keep “pollutants” out of their lungs.

  3. March 25, 2017 1:17 pm

    ”All inhaled air pollutants have direct respiratory health impacts for the lung because it is the mechanism by which the pollution is absorbed.”

    It is dangerous. I chocked while laughing at the headline. And to think we have been led to believe that “The Lancet” was a serious medical journal.

    Have they declared O2 a “pollutant” yet, or is that next week’s bombshell from the vaunted halls of academia?

    • Broadlands permalink
      March 25, 2017 1:31 pm

      Oxygen? A pollutant? Not if they keep the “vaunted hall” windows closed to protect them from fossil fuel CO2 damage to their lungs.

    • Old Englander permalink
      March 25, 2017 4:28 pm

      The Lancet is a bit like Nature – they are so clever they run Current Affairs oped editorials veering right outside their true realms of expertise. And in so doing, reveal that as far as their politics are concerned, they are on the same dripfeed of propaganda as virtually the entirety of British academe viz, BBC, Guardian, Independent etc. So they already KNOW that anything President Trump may try to do is evil, before reading the text, examining the program, checking the facts etc.

      But breathing CO2 a medical risk. Wow. Gives whole new meaning to “don’t hold your breath”.

      BTW, Mr Davidson should keep quiet about exhalation at 40 kppm. He’ll get us all taxed to buy mandatory carbon credits, presumably at a flat rate – but didn’t they try that wheeze in the late 1980’s ? Didn’t play well for the Govt that tried it, as I recall.

  4. Keitho permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:27 pm

    *sigh* what a bunch of palookas.

    These are the kind of chops that think they will be “marching for science” next month when it’s all just politics.

  5. BLACK PEARL permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:27 pm

    All these so-called intelligent people running about screaming like Chimpanzees

  6. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 25, 2017 1:48 pm

    Whenever looking at failures in the application of the scientific method, it seems that medicine is always right at the top of the bad boys list.

  7. Athelstan permalink
    March 25, 2017 2:03 pm

    Sure, breathing PURE CO₂ is going to curtail your earthly sojourn.

    BUT BUT and but at concentrations of ± 390 ppm – IS not relevant?

    Atmospheric CO₂ is, the primary source of life on this planet – no ifs nor buts

    And then, the fact is we need O₂ breathe CO₂, like the plants need CO₂ and ‘breath’ [FIX] O₂ – its called symbiosis, life jus’ lerves CO₂ in case the LANCET haven’t told you – we respire it………..”well I declare I never did”, I hear you all shout, [or, probably not……].

    Sure – we need air to breathe but if you take this stupid argument to the nth degree – all of the constituent gases that we breathe in, are, if in their purest forms are – deathly……….but we breathe air not pure N, not CO₂, NO₂, NO, SO₂, Ar and et bloviating cetera.

    The EPA [actually Obarmy’s legal team advisory ‘star chamber’] having speciously declared that “CO₂ is a poison” was a move of Machiavelli-esque finesse. it was a coup for the green ecolobby, hell fire it was a wet dream for the litigators!!

    The very idea of CO₂ being classed as a ‘poison’ at best is a loose acquaintance with the facts, actually is scientific illiteracy both in semantics and grounded medical REALITY.

    this wholly uncalled for intervention by ‘the Lancet’ is a deliberate, desperate, last ditch effort to call in the ‘medical experts cavalry’ – a plea to the medical professional mouthpiece and political shills therein – to protect jobs, advocacy [“jobs and advocacy” or, did I get that the wrong ways around?]………………and to continue the great green scam which is oh I forgot to mention erm…….I’ll say it again shall i? YES! the green scam is UNDERPINNED BY the EPA = FORMERLY US-GOV; OBARMY’S LITTLE HELPERS AND THE EU, UN, UNEP, SOROS WORLD ENTERPRISES INC.

    And nothing else, hang your heads in shame you medical weevils at ‘the Lancet’ – this is piss poor.

  8. March 25, 2017 3:01 pm

    ‘Since when did breathing in CO2 have a direct respiratory health impact?’

    It’s not done the brain of that American lung ‘expert’ much good 😦

  9. catweazle666 permalink
    March 25, 2017 3:34 pm

    Damage to the lungs caused by CO2 pollution is nothing compared to that caused by hydroxylic acid, inhalation of quantities of which almost invariably proves fatal.

    • John Palmer permalink
      March 25, 2017 4:04 pm

      Ho, Ho, Ho… or should that be H2O, H2O, H2O?
      Nice one, CW!

    • Athelstan permalink
      March 26, 2017 12:26 am

      more water with it mate!


  10. March 25, 2017 4:22 pm

    • Old Englander permalink
      March 25, 2017 4:42 pm

      Please provide source for your v useful graphic. Also, source for the 150 ppm minimum conc for plant life. I have seen this asserted several places, unfortunately without references, citations etc. Presumably difft species have different tolerances for CO2 “starvation” so the figure needs a justification. [I am a physicist, not a plant biologist.]

      Serious request, this one.

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      March 27, 2017 10:02 pm

      My Red Cross First Aid Certificate might be over 30 years out of date, but one thing I remember is mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Seems that folks used to believe that putting 100 times atmospheric CO2 into the lungs of a person not breathing could save their life. The important part is that although one’s breath has only two-thirds of atmospheric oxygen, its a lot more than nothing.

  11. Singer beneath bridges permalink
    March 25, 2017 4:55 pm

    Try hyperventilating, causing a decrease of pCO2 in your lungs, to determine just how much your body craves this dangerous pollutant gas. Ever seen someone encouraged to breath in and out of a paper bag after vigorous exercise? No doubt the doctors mentioned would not condone this dangerous treatment.
    They ought to be struck off.

  12. Kelvin Vaughan permalink
    March 25, 2017 4:56 pm

    That’s buggered all those people who work in a CO2 enhanced greenhouse.

    • mikewaite permalink
      March 25, 2017 7:43 pm

      Sometime ago (2012) there was a posting on WUWT about safe CO2 working levels and I enclose a quote from a US Navy source :

      “Data collected on nine nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines indicate an average CO2 concentration of 3,500 ppm with a range of 0-10,600 ppm, and data collected on 10 nuclear-powered attack submarines indicate an average CO2 concentration of 4,100 ppm with a range of 300-11,300 ppm (Hagar 2003). – page 46”

      An average concentration of 3500ppm and to date none of the CO2- drugged submariners has managed to wipe out a city.
      That the Lancet can come up with rubbish is not surprising . At University there was universal conviction that if you were not clever enough to do Chemistry or Physics , the only option was medicine.

  13. 1saveenergy permalink
    March 25, 2017 5:03 pm

    [by limiting air pollutants including carbon dioxide. ”All inhaled air pollutants have direct respiratory health impacts for the lung because it is the mechanism by which the pollution is absorbed.” ]
    What utter rubbish !!!

    Basic physiology –
    Respiration, in healthy people, is mainly controlled by CO2 concentrations in the brain and arterial blood. Carbon dioxide helps the blood vessels constrict and relax.

    When you digest food, your body makes carbon dioxide as a waste product in the form of gas. The blood carries carbon dioxide to your lungs, where it is exhaled at ~40,000ppm.

    We breathe the 40,000 ppm into victims needing CPR and it does not cause them to die!
    The monitoring systems in U.S. submarines do not provide an alert until CO2 levels reach 8,000 ppm & submariners regularly work in 11,000 ppm CO2.

    Without carbon dioxide you die……Some examples of carbon dioxide levels in humans.

    Normal Blood Carbon dioxide (bicarbonate) 23-30 mEq/L (23-30 mmol/L)

    High carbon dioxide (bicarbonate) levels may be caused by:
    • Vomiting, dehydration, blood transfusions, or overuse of medicines that contain bicarbonate (especially antacids).
    • Conditions such as anorexia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), heart disease, Cushing’s disease, or Conn’s syndrome.

    Low carbon dioxide (bicarbonate) levels may be caused by:
    • Panic attack Hyperventilation, aspirin or alcohol overdose, diarrhea, dehydration, or severe malnutrition.
    • Liver or kidney disease, a massive heart attack, hyperthyroidism, or uncontrolled diabetes.
    Kidney disease The kidneys maintain normal levels of sodium, potassium, carbon dioxide and phosphorus in the blood. When kidney disease or kidney failure impairs kidney function, these organs no longer carry out this function properly. Carbon dioxide levels decrease, resulting in the need for treatment.
    Diabetic ketoacidosis As ketones build up in the body, the person develops diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition causes carbon dioxide levels to decrease.
    Chronic or severe diarrhea causes hyperchloremic acidosis; When the body loses sodium bicarbonate, it reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood.
    Addison’s disease causes low levels of sodium, carbon dioxide and chloride in the blood.

    • nigel permalink
      March 25, 2017 5:58 pm

      The first entry into the English language of the word “pollution” was in the 14th C when it was used as pompous Latin to express neurotic horror of masturbation. Mad use then and mad use now.

      • Reisen permalink
        March 29, 2017 1:35 am

        Not to take it off topic, but excessive masturbation CAN harm you. Dose makes the poison.

  14. HotScot permalink
    March 25, 2017 7:30 pm

    “We’re talking about a 45% reduction in state funds and a targeted reduction in our scientists, which means 42% of our Office of Research and Development scientists will have to find other employment.”


    • nigel permalink
      March 25, 2017 8:48 pm

      “…find other employment…”

      Don’t come near me!

    • catweazle666 permalink
      March 25, 2017 9:31 pm

      “Would you like fries with that, sir?”

  15. Bill Church permalink
    March 26, 2017 8:48 am

    The CO2 level on the ISS is 10,000ppm – how those people must be suffering!

  16. March 26, 2017 9:16 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  17. AndyG55 permalink
    March 26, 2017 10:32 am

    The guy must be meaning N₂O .. he certainly seems to have everybody laughing.. at him !

  18. Max Sawyer permalink
    March 26, 2017 12:28 pm

    Just when the nonsense seems to have gone as far as it can, up pops another claim that goes even further into the realms of absurdity. If only the scientific community was not so cowed by peer pressure, research grant allocation and career prospects (not least, tenure). “Toe the line or else” is a powerful persuader.

  19. March 26, 2017 1:38 pm

    So a naturally occurring atmospheric trace gas is now a pollutant. Then we are reminded that our lungs inhale air around us.

  20. Curious George permalink
    March 26, 2017 3:06 pm

    The swamp is really wide.

  21. Old Englander permalink
    March 26, 2017 5:37 pm

    Thanks to Ron Clutz for the references. The bar chart itself, is that yours ?
    Re the counter-attacks, nothing tells me more clearly that the AGW theory is a house of cards than the way anything that dents the “narrative” (in this case pointing out CO2 is good for plants and without it they die) is immediately set upon by warmist cheerleaders with specious pieces, typically starting with the required conclusion and digging for data to defend it.

  22. dennisambler permalink
    March 27, 2017 10:02 am

    It’s the old adage, Follow the Money:

    “Six nonprofit groups that criticized President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts failed to mention the nearly $179 million in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants they’ve received since 2009, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group (TheDCNF) analysis of federal spending data.

    The agency has funded thousands of such groups since former President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, but TheDCNF focused only on six of the largest nonprofit recipients in its analysis of grant data compiled by the watchdog Open The Books.”

    It has been thus for a long time:

    “By the EPA’s own grant database, over the last ten years, the agency has bellied up to the bar and bought drinks for many of its friends at the taxpayers’ expense. Within the past decade, the EPA awarded or continues to have open more than 7,500 grants, totaling $3,847,160,250 to non-profit groups alone.

    While some EPA grant recipients like the American Lung Association may seem more palatable than LVEJO, many have shown themselves to be reliable reactionaries for the EPA. The American Lung Association recently came to the agency’s defense, stating:

    Polluters and some members of Congress want to interfere with EPA’s ability to protect public health. Most Americans believe that the Clean Air Act needs protecting. We are fighting hard to prevent anyone from weakening or undermining the law or the protective standards the law provides. We are fighting to ensure EPA has the legal authority and necessary funding to continue to protect public health.”

    Exactly what kind of nefarious plans by “[p]olluters and some members of Congress” to damage public health is the American Lung Association seeking to thwart? One of their efforts is targeted at defeating a bill that seeks to stop the EPA from doing an end run around Congress and regulating greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide – under the Clean Air Act. Money can’t buy passion like that, but if it could, the 164 EPA grants to various American Lung Association groups totaling over $20,000,000 within the past decade might help.”

  23. March 27, 2017 10:52 pm

    Oh these guys?

    “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

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