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Utah Lawmaker Says We Should Emit More CO2 Into The Atmosphere

Update Date: Feb 20, 2014 10:53 AM EST

At one end where Obama admission is focused on cutting carbon dioxide usage, one Utah state lawmaker has argued that the country should emit more carbon into the atmosphere. 

According to the Utah Republican state Rep. Jerry Anderson, there is not enough carbon in the atmosphere and "really could be much higher and give us a lot of benefit for growing plants."

"We are short of carbon dioxide for the needs of the plants," Anderson, who's a retired science teacher, told state lawmakers, according to Daily Caller. "Concentrations reached 600 parts per million at the time of the dinosaurs and they did quite well. I think we could double the carbon dioxide and not have any adverse effects."

The legislation proposed by Anderson would limit the state's ability to regulate carbon emissions. The bill also narrows down the definition of the term "air contaminants"  by adding "natural components of the atmosphere," suggesting that carbon and others are not pollutants.

Current carbon concentration levels are at about 400 parts per million (ppm), which scientists have declared as alarming. 

"Passing the 400 mark reminds me that we are on an inexorable march to 450 ppm and much higher levels," said NASA climate scientist Dr. Michael Gunson, according to Daily Caller. "These were the targets for 'stabilization' suggested not too long ago. The world is quickening the rate of accumulation of CO2, and has shown no signs of slowing this down. It should be a psychological tripwire for everyone."

Other experts warned that carbon levels of 500 ppm affected ocean by acidifying it. 

"We are on a path to double the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere since we started burning fossil fuels. We can all see the chaotic weather that it has already produced," said Retired University of Utah engineering professor Joe Andrade

"It's not toxic to you and me below concentrations of 1,000 or 2,000 [parts per million], but it's toxic to this planet," Andrade added. "Setting an arbitrary upper limit, that is out of the bounds of anything related to planetary stability, is simply bad government."

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