Cancun COP16 attendees fall for the old "dihydrogen monoxide" petition as well as signing up to cripple the U.S. Economy

Oh dear, some of these folks aren’t the brightest CFL’s in the room.

Readers may remember this famous Penn and Teller video from 2006 where they get well meaning (but non thinking) people to sign up to ban “dihydrogen monoxide” (DHMO), which is an “evil” chemical found in our lakes, rivers, oceans, and even our food!

Yeah, they signed up to ban water. Now watch the video from the Cancun climate conference, you’d think some of these folks would have enough science background (from their work in complex climate issues) to realize what they are signing, but sadly, no.

CFACT writes:


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Steve in SC

That stuff corrodes the finest steels and wears away the highest mountains.
Just think what it would do to your insides.

Let’s see the names on the DHMO petition!


I’m gobsmacked.


Brilliant! Inspired satire. Please tell me the signatories’ names will soon be appearing somewhere on the web. In the currently fashionable spirit of full disclosure, of course.


How embarrassing!! And they would have us believe they are the best and brightest for fixing Mother Earth.


Let’s just get to the bottom line, hey? Ban Homo Sapiens and be done with it. That is the goal, right? Right? Hello! Hello, is anybody there!?


i can hardly wait to see this on the front page of my local newspaper! Oh, wait…


I confess I wouldn’t have known what “Dihydrogen Monoxide” is. But I expect I’d have asked, “what is it? where does it come from? who makes it? why is it bad?”
A charity once tried to sign me up to their anti-drugs programme which they said was very successful. I asked them, “so, how do you measure your success? how many of people you’ve helped stay off drugs?” He didn’t know. His colleague didn’t know. They rang their boss, who didn’t know. “Yeah but it is really successful!!” OK, but how do you know?


Words fail me…..
And these are the people who think they are the “elite” who deserve to rule over us as unaccountable global bureaucrats. Gods help us.


Well, it’s just frightening how thick these people are and how much power they are given by the powers that be. That is the really scary thing, to my mind. Not so much the people in the video but the politicians, who are at least as thick on the issue. Gordon Brown, for example. David Milliband, for another. I could go on and on and on.
This is my favourite Cancun video though, Bureaucrats Gone Wild:

You’ve probably all already seen it, so apologies if that’s the case. I know the tune in the video but can’t name the artist – 60’s number?

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Next they will be signing the petition to get the word “gullible” put back into the Oxford English Dictionary.
Unbelievable and incredibly sad that it is true, but I guess if you believe all the CAGW guff you will believe anything. No point putting the brain (if any) into gear before signing.

James Sexton

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Well, there’s our scientific consensus in action! We must believe our scientific brain-trust!
This is somewhat reminiscent of the Man-show and their petition to end woman suffrage. They got several signatures, too, from women.

Baa Humbug

I’ll be passing this little gem along as far and wide as possible.


“I know the tune in the video but can’t name the artist – 60′s number?”
Tequilla, by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

Pat Moffitt

I find very little about this funny.

Yes, I’m entirely for replacing all the Di-Hydrogen Monoxide consumption with consumption of PURE ETHANOL!
Save the enviroment, and live in a drunken stupor…Wait, it seems the people at Cancun already are doing nothing but CHOOH consumption.
Max 🙂

Dave Springer

Stefan says:
December 8, 2010 at 9:38 am
“I confess I wouldn’t have known what “Dihydrogen Monoxide” is. But I expect I’d have asked, “what is it? where does it come from? who makes it? why is it bad?””
Dihydrogen monoxide is a widely used industrial solvent which is harmless in pure liquid form but evaporates into a powerful greenhouse gas when exposed to air.

Retired Engineer

Without DHMO, I would have to consume ethanol straight up. That could be deadly.
Like CFL’s, these folks don’t light up very quickly. But, after the truth comes out, they will claim they knew the whole thing was a joke. And are still entitled to tell us how we have to live.
As for dismantling the U.S. economy, who needs the U.N.? We are doing a good job of that all by ourselves.


James Sexton says: December 8, 2010 at 9:47 am: This is somewhat reminiscent of the Man-show and their petition to end woman suffrage. They got several signatures, too, from women.
Well, there are some English words that should be banned from use because their meanings are very confusing in relation to similar words in common use. “Suffrage” is one and “restive” is another. I’m sure others can come up with man more.
[I do not recommend banning “man” …. Though many in Cancun seems to want to do just that. 8<) Robt]


Oops. That was supposed to be “many more”. Sorry.


LoL…. Classic. The arrogance and the ignorance of these bureaucrats and activists. It’s scary that they have so much influence over our lives…..
Kitefreak says:
December 8, 2010 at 9:43 am
You’ve probably all already seen it, so apologies if that’s the case. I know the tune in the video but can’t name the artist – 60′s number?
The song is “Tequila” by The Champs….:-)

Roger Knights

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Larry, Moe, and Curly say, “Cancun spelled backwards is nuc nac.”
Incidentally, what was the actual count of signers?

Roger Knights


Rational Debate

And this was the U.N. Delegates, not the NGO’s or activists?? I wonder if they were careful about that? Displaying my own ignorance here, but are all of the delegates involved in the negotiations? Is there just one per country? That first girl/woman that signed looked like a kid!
I hope to heck that CFACT and everyone notifies every media outlet they can think of about this video.

Harold Pierce Jr

Max Hugoson says on December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am:
“…but CHOOH consumption.”
That would be formic acid aka ant acid. Very nasty stuff.

Pull My Finger

Jeez, a high school sophomore should be able to figure that out in about five seconds of rumination! It would be interesting to see who signed, frankly I’m curious just who attendeds these things anyway? Scientists? Politicians? Bloggers? Certianly seems quite a bit more ticky-tackey than the Save the Planet Conceit and Pomp of Copenhagen.

Alpha Tango

Dammit – Tea all over my screen now.

Hu Duck Xing

I have been the chief operator of a DHMO company for almost 30 years! They’ll probably want to imprison me! I’ve been shipping DHMO through a pipeline directly to 400 homes, 24 hours a day. Uh oh! I’m in trouble!

Can’t fix stupid.

Peter Miller

This is a very serious question indeed:
Which is more dangerous: di-hydrogen monoxide, or oxygen di-hydride?
Perhaps the good folks at Real Climate could help, they like to think they are scientists.

tom T

Now we know why they don’t know that water vapor is the biggest greenhouse gas, they don’t know that what water is.

Henry chance

President Bush left Obama with the Gulf of Mexico filled with the stuff.


If this is true, the it is certian that the people working in AGW are to specialized and from the shallow end of the intellegence pool. The petition to ban water has been going around from time to time for 15+years. This student did it in Cityville, or that student did it TownCity. Perhaps a little Clorine would help (with our without that villian Sodium.).
Although I supose I shouldn’t be surprised, one of the founders of Greenpeace quit the movement when the exec board of Greenpeace was considering taking a stand banning Clorine -because of CFC’s destroying the atomosphere. He was like ‘really, you want to ban an element? How would we even do that?’
footnote for MAX @ 12/10 10:01 – wouldn’t ethenol/ CHOOH be better described as Carbonic Hydro DiOxy Hydrogen?


I use a gaseous state of HOH to produce another very dangerous type of energy. The HOH state I use can cause severe burns if engulfed, if discharged with great enough kinetic energy it will lacerate and/or sever limbs. When it is returned to its liquid state, the purity is such that if consumbed over extended periods of time, may leach nutrients from the bloodstream and cause severe anemia.
And yes, I’m linking this for all to see (at least those I can reach).

Jenn Oates

Oh, my, I realize that this is serious and I shouldn’t really laugh, but I can’t help but do it anyway. Have NONE of these people seen P&T’s stunt on You-Tube?
When I was a kid, back before the days of being able to e-mail jokes, I remember my dad having a much photocopied (probably from an original carbon copy, no less) “screed” against the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide, and even as a kid I thought it was hilarious (and who would fall for that, anyway?) and right along with the Nacirema in terms of sarcasm.
I had great parents when it came to expecting critical thinking from their kids.

grant mills

Max@10:01…Come on now. Since when is CH00H considered ethanol. It has been over 40 years since my chem. classes and even I remember that there are 2 carbons and a single oxygen in ethanol C2H50H. Or is this an attempt to see how little attention is paid by the readers of this blog?

M White

“A US-British team of astronomers has discovered the first planet with ultra-high concentrations of carbon.”

This just goes to show you that the UN IPCC and their cronies are not about helping the earth.


Things like this just escape most people. They have other things on their tiny minds, besides Carbon ( 3rd most common element in the universe), Water (70% of the surface area of this rock), etc., etc. Such as why they can’t get a signal to tweet their latest ( and no doubt infrequent), synaptic connection.


They MUST release the list of names – wikidlecher would.

Stephen Brown

@Max Hugoson, December 8, 2010 at 10:01 am
CHOOH is methanoic acid and probably not very nice to imbibe. Ethyl alcohol is CH3CH2OH, it is found in many pleasing beverages, most especially single malt whiskies, where it is an essential component.

Not that it would matter to the signers, but the claim that DHMO is fatal if inhaled is false. Anyone breathing the natural atmosphere inhales it with every breath, and most of us die of other causes.


A small smile, a knowing wink. What’s the diffrence to the likes of these? CO2, Freon, DHMO, DDT all represent the same risks and all must be banned! Some of those signers may have been “Lead Authors” ya never know, the dangers og DHMO may make the big time, take the place of Coral Bleaching or Ocean Acidification or who knows what as the NEXT BIG MAN INDUCED…must go take my meds.


Water is fatal if inhaled? I’m inhaling some now at around 20000 parts per million.


I think that not everyone would know what Di-hydrogen monoxide was straight away, if it was me the penny would drop eventually or possibly straight away there is no way that I can know. Like Stefan though, I always ask a lot of questions before I sign petitions.
On the subject of words that sound as if they mean the opposite of what they actually mean. I always found the phrase “The exception that proves the rule” baffling. Surely, I thought, it should be the exception that disproves the rule. The answer of course is that the word “Prove” can mean put to the test. this is why prototype vehicles are ‘put to the test’ on a proving ground.


It may be satire but it actually proves a very interesting point that is exploited by nearly all con artists.
You start with a proposition that you know that the target will be sympathetic to and will want to believe. The rest is easy and it clearly demonstrates how easy it is to sell man-made global warming guilt-trip. (after all, particularly in the West, we all tend to feel a little bit guilty about the fact that we live better off than any generation that has ever lived and far better off than 6 billion others currently alive)
It is the same principle used by big box electronics stores all the time. The target has just purchased a wonderful expensive piece of electronics or new speakers (where markup is perhaps 20% or less, and where the price has often been discounted with rebates and with a “guaranteed low price”). The next step is for the sales person to convince the target that in order to get the best performance from their purchase they cannot possibly use ordinary copper wires to connect the electronics. The customer is naturally proud of the new purchase and will often throw in a couple of hundred extra dollars at some “special” cables with special properties (no discount). Unwittingly the target has just bought a product with a mark up of several hundred percent and one that will not make one wit of audible or visible difference (compared to adequate spec ordinary cables) – despite all the nonsense marketing technobable and custom packaging.
The fact that this type of “con” works every day out in the open and that nobody bats an eye is an indictment of our western school system. Nobody is being taught critical thinking anymore. The latest generation appears to have an even higher percentage of sheeple than the last. Where this will take us nobody really knows but, for sure, despite all our technology, Western Society appears especially vulnerable to manipulation by con artists and the powerful people pulling the strings behind Can’tcon know this all to well.

A variant of this is a move to ban “protonated hydroxyl ions.” Same thing. Water. H2O.
Water is simply H+ combined with OH-, where OH- is the hydroxyl ion, and H+ is a proton.
Gotta watch those chemists and chemical engineers. Sometimes they can get pretty fancy with the language.

Michael D Smith

In case any of you haven’t seen the facts about DHMO, here is one link.
Sounds like pretty dangerous stuff. Did you know they’re finding this stuff in virtually everyone’s urine? I hear they’ve never tested a brain cell sample of any mammal that did NOT contain DHMO… Heh.

Guybrush Threepwood

It’s entertaining, but I honestly don’t see how it’s any more ridiculous than calling Co2 a ‘pollutant’ that causes global warming!?


Dave Springer says:
December 8, 2010 at 10:03 am
Dihydrogen monoxide is a widely used industrial solvent which is harmless in pure liquid form but evaporates into a powerful greenhouse gas when exposed to air.
Not quite harmless – very high doses are in fact toxic to humans. It is also, as pointed out above, harmful if inhaled in large quantities.