OMFG, so, I finally went and watched the TV ads to be aired by the Competitive Enterprise Institute a week before An Inconvenient Truth is released.

I’m not sure what I expected, but these things are genuinely funny. They look like nothing so much as a parody produced by Saturday Night Live. The tag line — the last line of the ad, read dramatically as a little girl blows a dandelion — is: "Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life."

It’s a pro-CO2 ad. Seriously. It turns out, we breathe CO2 out. And plants absorb it. It comes from animals! And oceans! Who could hate it?

As though there were a huge cabal of people out there who viewed this particular molecule as intrinsically evil.

Obviously, I’m not in the target audience. But I can’t imagine anyone being persuaded by something so self-evidently absurd. I guess we’ll see, though.

(One thing to note: It’s "some politicians" and "global warming alarmists" making these claims about global warming. Not, say, scientists.)

Update [2006-5-17 15:48:57 by David Roberts]: Oh, I also meant to draw attention to a classic interview with CEI founder Fred Smith, from which this amazing passage is drawn:

Mr. SMITH: Look, the point – what we do know and don’t know, we know that carbon dioxide is increasing. We know carbon dioxide is a plant fertilizer which is a positive benefit to the peoples of the world. We know that there are these elaborate computer models that have never been right before, may be right this time, that suggest climate changes, possibly good, possibly bad. Most of the indications right now are it looks pretty good. Warmer winters, warmer nights, no effects during the day because of clouding, sounds to me like we’re moving to a more benign planet, more rain, richer, easier productivity to agriculture -

KINSLEY: Wait a minute.

Mr. SMITH: We’re basically to a world now that’s a lot closer to heaven than hell.