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Discussion > Carbon dioxide, not carbon

It is becoming increasingly evident that the alarmists have resorted to mind games Look through this article, as an example http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/carbon-salary-survey-acre-resources-acona. Count the number of times the word Carbon is used against the number of times the word carbon dioxide is used.
This may appear to be somewhat trifling on the face of it but - apart from the fact that in a scientific style report they are referring the wrong substance, which to say the least is a bit sloppy - I believe there lies behind this a more sinister motive.
Many of us are aware of how the likes of Derren Brown use NLP techniques to implant understandings into a subject's mind without the subject being consciously aware. Is it beyond the realms of possibility that this same method is being employed by referring to CO2 as Carbon? As we all know, CO2 is a gas that is essential to life, carbon on the other hand is a dirty black substance. So what do you think is implanted in the subconscious mind when the term 'Carbon Footprint' is bandied about? Could it be an image of dirty footprints on a clean carpet? Why not ask a friend who is not involved in the debate, what comes into their mind when you mention the term Carbon Footprint?
I believe that many people are, unwittingly in most cases, planting negative images into people's minds, thereby playing into the alarmist's hands. Let's be more vigilant.

Mar 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterIain Dutton

I had to walk away from a work colleague who was chuffed as nuts that they were buying a 6.1 liter landrover to run on used veg oil from the chippy (which he hadn't secured). Apparently he is running it neat and will warm it up before driving? He was thrilled to tell me he'll be driving completely carbon neutral. Had to leave the room very quickly, just on the use of 'Carbon Neutral' alone.

Mar 10, 2011 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss H

They are way ahead of you..

http://www.futerra.co.uk/revolution/leading_thinking

Futerra - Words that Sell (Focus group 2007)
http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/Words-That-Sell.pdf


CARBON FOOTPRINT
This term was generally liked and has clear imagery.
“What you leave behind”
“It’s not about blame, it’s about responsibility”
“It says it clearly”
However, few had ever heard the term, while one observed that “carbon – you
get that everywhere, don’t you?”
An associated term that was also liked was the idea of a ‘positive footprint’.
So much of the green footprint terminology deals with mitigating negative
impacts that it ignores the desire of many people to make a good impression.
“We all leave a trail behind us. We’d like the world to be a nice place when
they grow up”
“If we could all make our footprints a bit more positive, we could really do
something”
This association of footprint with positive impacts as well as negative ones is
a useful development in the sustainable development terminology.

Mar 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

“Carbon Neutral”

My pet hate, too. It was used this morning on an item about wood-burning, for which industrial users can now get a subsidy, although IIRC, power generators using it already do, through the ROC scam scheme.

If burning wood is CN, why not coal?

Mar 10, 2011 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Ian Dutton

You are probably right.

I saw a comment elsewhere about the ubiquitous use of "carbon" for CO2 - it was suggested that from now on will all refer to water as Hydrogen.

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Sorry Iain - I missed the Scottish spelling.

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

James P

Coal is CO2 neutral but surely it is all about time-scales isn't it? The idea that what took a long time to form will be returned to the bio-sphere as you burn it in one go.

Wood obviously does much the same, but the tree will have captured the offending CO2 as it grew. Willow will grow, capture CO2 and release it again in one year.

The fact that it doesn't seem to have any effect to speak of, whichever you do, is totally lost in the religious zeal.

Mar 11, 2011 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

There are trillions of tonnes of Carbon as Carbonate in rock of all sorts. Why is that forgotten?

Mar 14, 2011 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

New business idea. Offer to make people truly carbon neutral by removing all the carbon from their bodies. Then they'll be really clean and green. I guess any marketing may want to gloss over the side effects.

Mar 14, 2011 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Atomic, it just so happens that I have have come up with a much more effective way of helping people reduce their carbon impact on the world. They pay me a not unreasonably large sum of money, which I then convert, using a very technical and scientific method which has been peer reviewed, into a very stable and dense form of carbon (colloquially known as diamond) which I then bury safely in my bank vault where it is safe from affecting the atmosphere for many years to come.

I know, it's very selfless of me, but it's for the good of mankind.

Mar 19, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

carbon,... carbon-di-oxide....

*We* have to teach these people the right name to give *their* fradulent activity the right name, do we?

Mar 21, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub