Jerry Anderson, statelegislator from Utah
Another wacko who thinks we'd have it good if we had an atmosphere like the dinosaurs did.
Jerry B. Anderson, a retired science teacher, has been a Utah state legislator since January last year. Like most rookie lawmakers, he hasn't introduced much legislation yet. But he's tossed a doozie, H.B. 229, into the hopper. It would alter the definition of what constitutes air pollution. Brian Maffly reports:
Anderson’s bill would prevent the establishment of state standards for carbon dioxide below atmospheric concentrations of 500 parts per million. This is a level far above what is currently in the atmosphere, already padded with carbon thanks to two centuries of fossil-fuel burning.

"We are short of carbon dioxide for the needs of the plants," Anderson, a retired science teacher, told the committee overseeing environmental programs in the state on Tuesday. "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."

Did I mention that this guy is a retired science teacher? In an interview explaining his bill, he dragged out a few of the typical deniers' claims about global warming, including the standard reference to how good it would be if global warming were real given recent snowstorms.

If the Chicxulub meteor that many scientists believe wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had missed earth the way the asteroid 2000 EM26 did two days ago, perhaps whatever the dinosaurs had evolved into by now would be teaching an upgraded level of science at whatever school Anderson used to misinform students. Not to mention introducing sane bills in our legislatures. Alas, the dinosaurs are mere fossils while elected guys with fossilized brains mess with public policy.

For the record, a retired Utah engineering professor, Joe Andrade, pointed out that the carbon levels Anderson thinks would be no problem would actually send the earth's average temperatures soaring and acidify the oceans to a devastating degree: "[Carbon dioxide] not toxic to you and me below concentrations of 1,000 or 2,000 [parts per million], but it’s toxic to this planet. Setting an arbitrary upper limit that is out of the bounds of anything related to planetary stability is simply bad government."

Members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee have placed Anderson's bill on hold.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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