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Is it legitimate to say that carbon dioxide is a poison ?

September 2003

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What is a poison ?

The dictionnary says: poison : any substance that, introduced in a living organism, can kill it or alterate its vital functions.

Of course the climate is not a living organism (!), even though a very interesting book explains that, "seen form Mars", it is tempting to consider Earth as a living being, given the number of homeostatic (homeostatic means self-regulating) functionsour planet includes. But the CO2 we now introduce into the atmosphere can definitely "kill", or at least "alterate", the vital functions of climate, that are to create a biosphere favorable to our own species.

It is therefore perfectly legitimate to state that greenhouse gas emissions of human origin constitute a poison, including CO2. That should lead not to consider as "clean" processes that "only" emit CO2, such as:

cars with catalytic exhausts

natural gas uses

any fuel cell that uses hydrocarbons


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