Let Them Eat Coke

Listen up, you tree-huggers: You've got it all wrong. Just ask Sherwood Idso, who says taxpayers owe a debt of gratitude to coal-burning utilities because they spew so much wholesome carbon dioxide into the air. Idso, an adjunct professor of botany and geography at Arizona State University, recently told the California Energy Commission that "essentially everything that plants do, they do better with more CO subscript 2 in the air." Or, from a plant's point of view, things really do go better with coke. So, as Idso explained to BUSINESS WEEK, if the government "is going to assess penalties against coal-burning utilities for the detriment they may or may not cause to the environment, justice demands they be given credit for the proven benefit."

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