The full proverb says, “Give a dog a bad name and hang him.” They’ve given carbon dioxide (CO2) a bad name and it is now being hanged by draconian and completely unnecessary legislation. Consider this comment by Susan Solomon, NOAA senior scientist, ”I think you have to think about this stuff (CO2) as more like nuclear waste than acid rain: The more we add, the worse off we’ll be,” An alarmist, outrageous and completely unsupportable comment, but not surprising from the co-chair of Working Group I of the IPCC 2007 report.
The reality is if CO2 is reduced we are worse off as the plants suffer. Something must be done to protect the plants from fanaticism.
There is no evidence CO2 is causing global warming or climate change but that is the basis for the slur and the proposed actions. As usual little thought is given to the direct and collateral damage such as the economic impacts from increased taxes and cost of doing business. No thought is given to the damage to nature. So you have the paradox of environmentalists screaming to reduce CO2 to save the planet, while putting all life in jeopardy by killing the plants. It is blind faith. But this is not surprising because the great problem of environmentalism as a religion is the failure to do full and proper cost/benefit analyses. For example, all you ever hear about are the down sides to warming when there are actually more up sides. One major downside rarely mentioned is the impact on plants of reduced CO2 levels.
Extreme environmentalists consider plants and animals more important than humans. Ron Arnold, Executive Vice-President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, said, “Environmentalism intends to transform government, economy, and society in order to liberate nature from human exploitation.”
David Graber, a research biologist with the National park Service said, “Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet.” “Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
Getting rid of everyone permanently solves the problem – David Foreman former chief lobbyist for the Wilderness Society says the optimum number is zero. Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said, “Mankind is a cancer; we’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth.” “If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species, Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”
In a dramatic twist the virus Graber awaits and the reduction to zero may be the campaign of environmentalists, both moderate and extreme, to reduce CO2. It is a fascinating and perverse unintended consequence.
All climate policy is designed to reduce atmospheric CO2, but that is not what the plants would vote for. Plant producers have added CO2 to enclosed growing environments for 100 years to enhance growth. Extensive research shows the beneficial effects including a significant increase in biomass including roots, size of the plant and yields. Another benefit is a reduction in the amount of water used. As CO2 levels increase the stomata (pores on the leaf) partially close thus moisture loss (transpiration) is reduced. The current atmospheric CO2 level is reportedly 380 ppm. Plant growth slows at 220 ppm and stops at 150 ppm. Most plants grow 2 to 3 times faster in 1200 to 1500 ppm, but the optimum range is 800 to 1000 ppm. This means plants are malnourished under current conditions. Reduce CO2 further and the plants suffer, but so do fauna as there is less oxygen. Thank goodness there are many natural sources of CO2 and significant reductions are not possible otherwise humans would be eliminated, as extremists want. In another unintended consequence so would all other species.
Environmentalists and governments have abandoned the plants in the false belief a reduction of CO2 would stop global warming. It is time to defend the plants from these misguided people. The obvious solution is to seek power of attorney for the plants to vote on their behalf against any attempts to reduce atmospheric CO2. This way we can satisfy another old proverb and stop them being killed by kindness.
Copyright © 2009
“Dr. Tim Ball is a renowned environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. Dr. Ball employs his extensive background in climatology and other fields as an advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition
, Friends of Science
and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy
Dr. Ball can be reached at: Letters@canadafreepress.com