Carbon Dioxide: One of Life’s most Essential Nutrients
BY MARK SIRCUS, Ac. OMD
On Friday the 17th of February 2009 The Environmental Protection Agency formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that will regulate the gases blamed for global warming. The E.P.A. said the science supporting its so-called endangerment finding was “compelling and overwhelming.” The EPA believes that concentrations of these gases are very likely responsible for the increase in average temperatures even though global cooling is being reported as the sun cycles down for a period of minimum activity. (We will publish a greatly updated essay on global cooling after these two parts on carbon dioxide. After reading these essays you decide whether we can trust our governments’ positions on CO2 and weather you want to pay heavy taxes on it.)
The federal government is ready to use the Clean Air Act to require power plants, cars and trucks to curtail their release of climate-changing pollution, especially carbon dioxide.
The main issue with CO2 is not global warming its health and life itself. Carbon dioxide like air, water and oxygen is essential for life and health in general and specifically it holds the key to resolving asthma, cancer and many other chronic diseases. Carbon dioxide is an essential constituent of tissue fluids and as such should be maintained at an optimum level in the blood. The gas therefore is needed to supplement various anaesthetic and oxygenation mixtures for use under special conditions such as cardio-pulmonary by-pass surgery and the management of renal dialysis.
CO2 is not the beginning and end of climate change. – Dr. Lowell Stott
Carbon dioxide is a nutrient as well as a product of respiration and energy production in the cells and its lack or deficiency is of itself a starting point for different disturbances in the body.It is very interesting to note that in comparison with most of the Earth’s geological history we live today in a world that is in a state of relative carbon dioxide starvation, especially for optimal plant growth; just ask the commercial tomato growers who use enhanced levels of carbon dioxide in their greenhouses to expedite crop growth.
Dr. Gerald Marsh tells us that five hundred million years ago, carbon dioxide concentrations were over 13 times current levels; and not until about 20 million years ago did carbon dioxide levels drop to a little less than twice what they are today.1 Since 1750 the concentration in the air has risen from of CO2 278 parts per million (ppm) to more than 380 ppm, making it easier for plants to acquire the CO2 needed for rapid growth. Scientists generally suggest that raised CO2 levels will boost the yields of mainstream crops, such as maize, rice and soy, by about 13 per cent.
A molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) consists of one carbon and two oxygen atoms. Colorless and odorless, it is hard to detect. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been in flux throughout the Earth’s history and there was a point when there was a lot more. When one looks at carbon dioxide it is best to go back to basic biology to understand its central role in both plant and animal physiology.
Plants survive by extracting CO2 from the air using magnesium at the center of chlorophyll and sunlight to convert it into proteins and sugars.
Public opinion tends to think of carbon dioxide as a waste product or even a poison. (It is sometimes confused with carbon monoxide, which is a poison). Way back in the 19th century, Zuntz, in Berlin, recognized that carbon dioxide, unlike oxygen, is not carried by haemoglobin. He showed that in the blood, carbon dioxide is combined with bases, chiefly as sodium bicarbonate, which plays a part in acid-alkaline balance. Most of the carbon dioxide is dissolved in the plasma, both in simple solution and that combined with alkali into the bicarbonates.
In medicine, up to 5% carbon dioxide is added to pure oxygen for stimulation of breathing after apnea and to stabilize the O2/CO2 balance in blood.
A study by the University of Leeds, published in the science journal Nature, measured the girth of 70,000 trees across 10 African countries and compared them with similar records made four decades ago. On average, the trees were getting bigger faster and researchers found that each hectare of African forest was trapping an extra 0.6 tons of CO2 a year compared with the 1960s.2 Yes you are beginning to hear the real story about CO2, which has little or nothing to do with climate change and global warming. We are actually in a period of global cooling due to diminished solar activity combined with decreased industrial output of pollutants due to economic contraction. Plus the trees, if we don’t cut them all down, are sucking up more CO2 as CO2 levels rise.
One more time we are having the hood pulled over our eyes with terrible misinformation. Carbon is not an enemy or a terrorist organization and certainly it’s not a reason to break people’s backs with a new tax on it. We have so many examples lately of how wrong people can be and how our media just lies about reality. They keep kicking up the carbon story because they don’t want to say anything about the current disaster with mercury pollution coming out of the smoke stacks of coal burning electrical plants. Mercury, a deadly neuropoison is the enemy not carbon dioxide.
When we begin to understand the physiology of carbon dioxide and also the fact that the higher levels of anxiety, fear and outright panic people are feeling (which makes them over-breathe) is helped by higher concentrations of carbon dioxide we can start to comprehend the massive mistake being made. We have done this before and will continue to make dangerous things seem safe and safe things seem dangerous.3
People are having panic attacks over the state of the economy. With the acknowledgment each month of increased economic destruction we are seeing a plague hitting the emotional and mental framework of society.
According to the Verigo-Bohr effect (which we will look at below), we can state that a CO2 deficit caused by deep breathing leads to oxygen starvation in the cells of the body. This state is known as hypoxia and it badly affects the nervous system. Chronic hidden hyperventilation (over-breathing) is very common amongst western populations leading to impaired oxygenation of body tissues. But what is actually driving down the O2 levels is the hyperventilation, its getting rid of too much CO2. Meaning we need the CO2 almost as much as we need the O2 because, as we shall also see below, the two are married to each other in an eternal physiology dance.
With more layoffs expected, the threat of foreclosure looming over so many and our savings disappearing, even the best parents can feel stressed out and overwhelmed leading to more anxiety and even increased violence in the home.4
There are many reasons why people over-breath, including anxiety and pollution. Years of poor posture, anxious thinking, tension and pressure will usually result in breathing patterns which are less-than-ideal. Over breathing can be counted amongst panic attack symptoms, or amongst causes, as one ‘feeds’ off the other. About 60% of attacks are accompanied by hyperventilation and many panickers over breathe even whilst relaxed.
Most doctors have never heard of carbon dioxide therapy. Yoga or deep breathing exercises actually increase CO2 levels and this is good.
Most people have unhealthy breathing habits. They hold their breath or breathe high in the chest or in a shallow, irregular manner. These patterns have been unconsciously adopted, accidentally formed, or emotionally impressed. Certain “typical” breathing patterns actually trigger physiological and psychological stress and anxiety reactions. Babies know how to breathe and you can see their belly expand as the diaphragm moved down. Adults breathe more through expanding their chest cavity and it takes training and discipline to return to more natural breathing patterns.
Little does anyone know that a lack of carbon dioxide is harmful and even less understand that carbon dioxide is as fundamental a component of living matter as oxygen.
If a carbon dioxide deficiency continues for a long time then it can be responsible for diseases, ageing and even cancer. The ancient forms of medicine knew that for increased vitality and freedom from disease good habits of breathing must be formed. They knew that poor breathing reduces our vitality and opens the door to disease.
The principle role of breathing is, of course, to stay alive! One of the ways in which breathing does this is through seeking to maintain an optimum internal oxygen-carbon dioxide balance. The important thing is not how much oxygen or how much carbon dioxide you have in your system but rather the relationship between the two gases – between carbon dioxide and oxygen. Too much oxygen (relative to the level of carbon dioxide) and we feel agitated and jumpy. Too much carbon dioxide (again, relative to the level of oxygen) and we feel sluggish and sleepy and tired.
Poor oxygenation or hypoxia appears to be a favorable environment for cancer development whereas good oxygenation favors healthy tissue growth. Increasing Co2 levels through the use of sodium bicarbonate is good in cancer treatment because bicarbonate drives up CO2 levels in the blood which increases oxygenation to the cells.
“Another natural misconception is that oxygen and carbon dioxide are so far antagonistic that a gain of one in the blood necessarily involves a corresponding loss of the other. On the contrary, although each tends to raise the pressure and thus promote the diffusion of the other, the two gases are held and transported in the blood by different means; oxygen is carried by the haemoglobin in the corpuscles, while carbon dioxide is combined with alkali in the plasma. A sample of blood may be high in both gases, or low in both gases. Under clinical conditions, low oxygen and low carbon dioxide generally occur together. Therapeutic increase of carbon dioxide, by inhalation of this gas diluted in air, is often an effective means of improving the oxygenation of the blood and tissues”.5
Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
Director International Medical Veritas Association
1 By Dr. Gerald Marsh: Five hundred million years ago, carbon dioxide concentrations were over 13 times current levels; and not until about 20 million years ago did carbon dioxide levels dropped to a little less than twice what they are today. It is possible that moderately increased carbon dioxide concentrations could extend the current interglacial period. But we have not reached the level required yet, nor do we know the optimum level to reach. So, rather than call for arbitrary limits on carbon dioxide emissions, perhaps the best thing the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the climatology community in general could do is spend their efforts on determining the optimal range of carbon dioxide needed to extend the current interglacial period indefinitely. We ought to carefully consider this possibility before we wipe out our current prosperity by spending trillions of dollars to combat a perceived global warming threat that may well prove to be only a will-o-the-wisp. Dr. Gerald Marsh is a retired physicist from the Argonne National Laboratory and a former consultant to the Department of Defense on strategic nuclear technology and policy in the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton Administration.
2 If this is replicated across the world’s tropical rainforests they would be removing nearly 5 billion tons of CO2 a year from the atmosphere. Professor Martin Parry, head of plant science at Rothamsted Research, Britain’s leading crop institute, said: “There is no doubt that the enrichment of the air with CO2 is increasing plant growth rates in many areas. Humans are believed to generate about 50 billion tons of the gas each year. www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/5109251/Trees-are-growing-faster-and-could-buy-time-to-halt-global-warming.html
3 I once wrote an essay called medical insanity, which I defined as the making of dangerous pharmaceuticals (vaccines with mercury for instance) legal and reject marijuana, the safest drug in existence, making it a crime to use for suffering and pain.
5 Henderson, Y. Carbon Dioxide. Article in Encyclopedia of Medicine. 1940.
Legal Notice:The Author specifically invokes the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and of the press without prejudice. The information written is published for informational purposes only under the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution for the United States of America, and should not in any way be used as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other licensed health care practitioner. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the FDA. The products discussed herein are not intended to diagnose, cure, prevent or treat any disease. Images, text and logic are copyright protected. ALL rights are explicitly reserved without prejudice, and no part of this essay may be reproduced except by written consent. ©2008 by Mark Sircus
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