Florida Republican Opposes Environmental Plan Because "God Gave Us CO2"

A coal power plant in Germany.
A coal power plant in Germany.
Photo by Arnold Paul | WikiCommons CC3.0

In an effort to curb climate change, the Obama administration unleashed a plan last year with the goal of cutting carbon emissions. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection must come up with a plan to meet the goals, but Rep. John R. Wood introduced a bill that would require the DEP to send their plan to the legislature for ratification before sending it to the feds.

Unsurprisingly, Wood is not a believer that carbon emissions are responsible for climate change.

"CO2 in my opinion is not a pollutant," he said on the state House floor today. "God gave us CO2 to grow plants, for us to exhale, everything else."

Now lets take a break for common science: The amount of carbon dioxide (AKA CO2) that is produced from the breath of land-breathing animals is not enough to cause any harm. We have plants that turn it back into oxygen. Only trace amounts of CO2 are naturally found in our atmosphere. Remember middle-school science?

However, burning vast amounts of carbon-based fuels have released huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution, creating a greenhouse effect that has lead to global warming.

According to Political Fix Florida, Wood is worried that a plan to curb those carbon emissions in Florida would come at "draconian costs" and wonders if such plans would actually have any affect. He perhaps could have a point if he thinks this is all a little too late, but Wood isn't sure CO2 is an atmospheric pollutant at all.

During a member of the House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee, Democrat Dwight Dudley wondered if CO2 had any negative health affects on people with respiratory problems. (For the record, it is not that kind of pollutant.) So you have a Democrat asking a dumb question, to which a Republican Wood supplied a dumb rant of an answer.

"If you consider CO2 to be a pollutant, than everybody zip up their moths and don't exhale for the rest of the meeting, because you are polluting the air," he said. "CO2, in my opinion, is not a pollutant. God gave us CO2 to grow plants, for us to exhale, everything else."

For the record, carbon emissions in the U.S. have already fallen 10 percent between 2007 and 2013. Obama's plan would like to see a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution in the power industry by 2030.

"Power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution, accounting for about one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions," reads Obama's plan. "The Clean Power Plan will set standards for carbon pollution from power plants, just as we have set limits on power plant emissions of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and soot."

Again, we are not taking about the amount CO2 produced by people breathing -- or anything to do with people's breath -- but rather carbon emissions from power plants.

Furthermore, God did not directly give us power plants, and the Bible makes no mention of either modern power or carbon emissions.


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