CO2 as Plant Food ~ The Latest Global Warming Deniers’ Crock

Pour enough salt in the beans and even the starving will turn away from them.

opaA perfectly reasonable gentleman engaging me in debate over the issue of global warming (See Fomenting Doubt ~ The Tactics and Motivations of Global Warming Deniers plus the post’s comment thread) has suggested that increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is actually good for the plant kingdom. This idea, the latest “crock” thrown out by global warming deniers to confuse us on the issue, asserts that, since CO2 is food for plants, more of it accelerates the growth of trees and food crops, thus absorbing more carbon fuel emissions through photosynthesis and providing more food for the world’s hungry. If this idea sounds perfectly reasonable to you, as it did to the gentleman sharing it with me, take a moment to watch the following video:

Global warming deniers are increasingly throwing out “viral disinformation” like this.  It’s not about questioning the science of climate change, not really. This is about partisan politics as usual — fear and doubt. Pour enough salt in the beans and even the starving will turn away from them. But fear and doubt are not what our nation needs just now, fear and doubt are not what the world needs. We need to have renewed confidence in the preponderance of scientists warning us that our actions have consequences. We need to have renewed confidence in the preponderance of economists telling us to give the latest round of economic stimulus spending a chance to work. We need to have renewed confidence in our democracy and communicate regularly with our elected representatives. Mostly, we need to stop being distracted by the vocal minority of special interest groups advocating tried and failed policies and start thinking for ourselves.

Please feel free to post a comment, pro or con.

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Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm  Comments (32)  

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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “we need to stop being distracted by the vocal minority of special interest groups advocating tried and failed policies and start thinking for ourselves.”

    We sure do. That includes those who adhere to the unproven and heavily contested claims of the Warmists as well though…

    As for faith in our democracy – we Americans have that, just not faith in what Obama and his LIberals want to replace it with….

  2. Sir, I submit that your “Reflections From a Murky Pond” are a might distorted by your ultra conservative views, just as mine might well be by my left-of-center views. But can we not agree that we are ALL Americans and that there is much for us to do that cannot succeed without working together?

  3. No, Sir. I don’t believe that we can agree on such a premise. Being an American is and must be more than ust an accident of birth. Those, like Obama and his followers, who do not hold to the longstanding ideals of America cannot and should not be considered Americans.

  4. Ugh! Then I guess we’ve nothing to discuss. Let’s at least hope that this hate you are spreading dosen’t foment into violence.

  5. Dear Kent –
    I just wrote a long comment, and somehow erased it, lol. Argh!

    We just met on Jonolan’s blog, and I have to agree with you, “Murky Pond” is very difficult to deal with. Jonolan and I have managed to carve out a tiny sliver of common ground, rather impressive considering we are polar opposites politically.

    I want to apologize for jumping on you for commenting on that one post, when it was one of the very few posts where jonolan is being decent about President Obama. Normally I do not read any of his posts, as you are correct, he can get quite hateful, and it is hard for me to read the ugly side of someone with whom I have had a good rapport.

    On another topic entirely, besides us having the ‘Quentin’ theme in common, I wrote a post about Chemtrails back in December 2008, and this fellow from Spain went after me to the point where it was utterly insane, silly, and pointless. Especially considering that he lives in one of the most gorgeous places on earth – why attack one lone little post? I would not even have a computer if I lived there, lol.

    I guess my point is, I do not understand why we cannot all have our own experiences, thoughts, and opinions without seeming to ignite WWIII. It saddens me.

    Well, it looks like two like minded, un-American Liberals met in the Murky Pond! I will bookmark your page, and visit as often as I can.

    Jonolan, this does not mean I still don’t love ya, doll!

    Cheers,
    Kel

  6. Oh, and a quick P.S.

    As a red-blooded female, I would be checking that young lovely out, also, lol. 🙂

    It has been a pleasure to meet you.

    Kel

  7. WOW! Opa, I did not know that I am not an American. When did this occur? There is just too much hatred in the world today and I fear it is eating people up on the inside. Yes, I believe that we earthlings are messing up the atmosphere. I wonder where all the smog is coming from and just where does it go. I just read an article last week from Science News and it was really scary. It makes one not want to eat anything from this planet. The food in itself is fine but it is what we use on the plants to promote growth and what is used to preserve its shelf life.

    Keep up the good work Opa because it is scary out there.

  8. Opa,

    Here’s my video: search YouTube for “Elevated CO2: How Sweet it is … for Sugarcane!”

    We’re really not going to get anywhere if we just toss links and videos back and forth, but I hope to establish that there exist multiple opinions and that the existence of a certain number of YouTube videos or peer-reviewed article doesn’t “prove” anything.

    The most interesting thing is how you interpreted my comment. I had said that I believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that man primarily to blame for the rise of CO2. You lumped CO2 in with a bunch of pollutants’ I said “CO2 is a problem only because of its potential to cause catastrophic global warming. Other than that, its certainly not a pollutant”. You respond with a the comment that this is a “crock”. Then you show me a video where they say that “when you run an experiment that has “not just high CO2 levels, but the whole range of facts that will effect crops due to climate change. When expected changes is temperature, moisture and nitrogen levels are part of the experiment” it’s bad for plants.

    So your video agrees with me that CO2 is good for plants. It’s when they include other factors that they predict will be a part of global warming that plants will suffer.

  9. So… plants can have beneficial effects of increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere except — never mind the cumulative effects of increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere which you accept are a consequence of increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Oh, yeah, that’s right; you don’t accept that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are significantly contributing to the negative effects of global warming. I get it: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    Ya know what, Bill? I agree. I don’t think we are going to get anywhere.

    Opa

  10. Great nice video, I especially liked the subtle (NOT) suggestion that those who disagree with the ‘majority’ are just under the influence of drugs! So what is causing the warming? Certainly it is not just CO2 or other so-called greenhouse gases – no hot spot and no lock-step of rising CO2 and rising temperatures. So what are we dealing with? Gee the video never addressed that. A victory of spin over substance. Let’s get back to science please.

  11. Who’s science, John? The science of politicians, or engineers, or the “unwashed” like me who are just interested spectators? Should we be listening to those who are dabbling in the science for fun, taking pot-shots at the conclusions of the preponderance of “serious” climatologists, or should we be listening to those who have received the recognition and acclaim the Nobel Prize committee?

  12. Talk about misleading information… the YouTube clip you purport to debunk the “more CO2 is good for plants crock” actually proves it is true. The study cited shows that the plants were more attractive to bugs because of the higher sugar content in the leaves. It also showed that the higher sugar content increased the production of the plants themselves. Just because the Japanese Beetle population increased does not mean that the original point is untrue. If you want to use that argument, you also have to accept the argument that a warmer Earth is, and has always been, more productive and healthier than a cooler Earth. Less people die from heat related issues than cold related issues. But that is another argument…

    Another section of the video discusses the heat wave and the effect it had on CO2 uptake in trees, which again is not what the original argument was. No one has said that increased heat is good for trees, but increased CO2 is. You may argue that they are inseparable, but this is where we would also differ. My evidence is that we see heat waves all the time, but they do not have an equal increase in CO2 levels. That example using the heat wave is would be like using one colder than normal summer as debunking the whole global warming theory, and I doubt very seriously you would accept that as an argument.

    The third, and perhaps most blatent, fault with these studies is that they assume the levels of CO2 in 2050 to be written in stone, and yet no evidence exists that match the IPCC models of CO2 concentrations increasing as the models predicted. In fact, all of the measured evidence shows that the models are wrong.

    I suggest reading this:

    http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf

    for a better understanding of why people are skeptical. Remember, most skeptics don’t deny global warming, they deny what the IPCC says is the cause. When the IPCC reports and models don’t match observed data, then skepticism is justified, and science should keep trying. Instead, it comes down to ridiculous arguments that are basically saying “We know everything about this, and everything we know is right! Act now!”

  13. Yes, more carbon dioxide is good for plants, Chris — in laboratory conditions wherein all other conditions are held constant. But environmental conditions on earth are not and cannot be held constant. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and the greenhouse effect, which inreases global temperatures, is increasingly effective the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere. It gets hotter and hotter the more efficient the greenhouse effect becomes. Now, no matter how much CO2 is available to plants, they also need sunlight, fresh water and do best within a given range of temperatures. Therefore, too much CO2 is not good for plants in all areas of earth. Plants adapted to conditions in the tropics may do better there with more CO2, but plants adapted to conditions in temperate zones (where most people on earth live by the way) won’t. Watch the video again, Chris.

  14. Chris,

    You’ve offered some of the typical denialist propaganda without offering one citation to back up some of those claims. For example, you stated that “less people die from cold related issues than heat related issues.” I would like to see your source for that statement, because this is actually not true. Here in the U.S. the number one weather related killer is heat (according to the National Weather Service)…

    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml

    As you can see, heat related deaths far outnumber those due to cold and winter storms.

    Weather related statistics on a global scale are a little harder to come by (at least on the web). Anyway, I found a table available from the Univ of Wyoming that shows weather related deaths. Drought is listed as the number one killer, heat second, cold unknown…

    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap03/nat_hazard.html

    Now, you could argue that cold related deaths are unknown, but could be more than heat related. Fine, where is the source? And, I won’t accept sources from politically biased blogs or the like, but only from reputable unbiased (as possible) sources.

    As far as CO2 increases, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. The CO2 levels as tracked by the Mauna Loa observatory are as follows…

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

    It’s actually fairly easy to extrapolate this trend into the future, barring any significant changes to CO2 production/storage within the system.

    Science is basically this…offering the most reasonable explanation utilizing sound scientific methods that best fits the observable data. So far, global warming theory best fits the observed data. When you try to explain the temperature trends of the past 100 years without the introduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (AGG), the models utilizing natural forcing mechanisms alone (as best we understand them) do not fit the data as well as the models that do employ the addition of AGG. It’s that simple. You say that you are skeptics, and that is good. Science is filled with them, as it should be. However, where is the peer-reviewed research that offers a better fit of the data than does anthropogenic global warming theory? So far, the skeptic community has not come up with any convincing arguments to the contrary. Until that time, if it ever comes, this scientist will be in the man-made global warming camp.

  15. First of all, as I do appreciate your response, I always find it interesting when an opposing view is thought of as “typical denialist propaganda”. My first argument is that you misrepresented your own data and the point I was making, “typical” of someone that is trying to fit the data to support their point of view. I admit that my original statement was not very clear, and I should have said that “less people die in warm weather climates than cold weather climates”. I am not trying to change my argument, I just mistated it. I am not going to try to link all the studies on this, but doing a simple search on “cold climate deaths” will bring up many studies. You can pick and choose which ones you find “acceptable”. But as one example, there is this:
    http://origem.info/FIC/pdf/Viboud%20et%20al%20Association%20of%20Influenza_Eur%20J%20Epi%2004.pdf

    That study, from European Journal of Epidemiology (is that credible to you?) shows the higher mortality rates due to influenza in cold weather. That is why your links are misleading. It’s not just about cold WEATHER deaths, it’s about cold CLIMATE deaths.

    When you talk of models fitting the data, you are doing exactly that… fitting the models to the data. There is plenty of evidence that says the models are wrong, and if nothing else, you even admit that we don’t fully understand everything that goes into climate. So my point is, why are we making such severe and dire predictions on unknown and unproven models? Please, take a look at some of the contrary evidence instead of just writing them all off as kooks or “denialists”. I’ve looked at both sides, which is why I am a SKEPTIC. I continue to look at both sides which is why I continue to be a SKEPTIC.
    I do appreciate the discussion, but please, do not assume that being a skeptic is being an idiot. I am looking at current science, not predictions of models, to base my opinions on, and the SCIENCE is just not conlusive yet. And before you say “well, better to do something now than wait” I reject that argument, because doing “something” doesn’t mean it will help, since we don’t fully understand the mechanisms. In fact, it could hurt. Think about what would have happened if we took actions in the 70s when there was a “consensus” that we were all going to freeze to death unless something was done.

  16. Chris… I hear you loudly. Your passion for this subject speaks too loudly for a SKEPTIC. A skeptic wouldn’t persist the way you do on this subject – cherry-picking the minority reports and studies that suit you. Your relentless arguments against the majority opinion/conclusions of people who are more intimately familiar with the science of climate change than either of us convince me that you are indeed a DENIER. You are in-league with those who have resorted to the tactic of casting doubt for the purpose of defeating meaningful near-term action to avoid or minimize global catastrophe to perpetuate the status-quo. You, sir, are a denier, I have no doubt. And I will give you no more space on The World According to Opa to publish more of your disinformation.

  17. Chris,

    Since it looks as though you’ve been banned from this blog, I will be as fair as possible in my response, since you cannot respond in kind. But, I feel it necessary to clear up a few matters you brought up.

    First, in no way did I misrepresent my own data. I simply stated that statistics from the NWS showed that heat related deaths outnumbered those related to cold and winter storms, at least in the U.S. Then, I provided a link demonstrating as such. Nor did I misrepresent your statement. In fact, I reproduced it exactly, and then demonstrated how there are statistics to the contrary, and further showed that a dearth of statistics exists (world-wide) to verify your claim. Moreover, your clarified statement, “less people die in warm weather climates than cold weather climates” doesn’t really bring anything further to the argument. First, “warm” and “cold” weather climates were not defined. Now, if you meant more people die in mid-latitude and high-latitude climates (your “cold” climates), then this is true. However, that is because more people actually live in these latitudes (approx 2/3 of the world’s population) than in lower latitudes. You would have to show that these deaths were directly attributable to these colder climates, or to cold weather-related events. And still, you didn’t provide a source detailing any verifiable statistics.

    Second, you introduced an article that still failed miserably to support your claim. This article sought to establish covariations between ENSO events and indicators of the impacts of influenza in France. Granted, their research did show that cold ENSO events lead to greater mortality due to influenza. However, this was a correlation with cold ENSO events, and not necessarily colder temperatures. In fact, there is very little correlation between cold ENSO events (La Nina) and colder temperatures in France during wintertime. A stronger positive correlation does exist between the two phenomena across parts of Scandinavia and eastern Europe. However, the authors may have made a bit of a leap in suggesting that colder temps in those areas could have lead to higher incidence of deadly influenza in France. It is certainly possible, but there was no indication of a definite link. Also, there is yet insufficient data suggesting that AGW will lead to a preferred mode of ENSO. Yes, there are some reputable arguments that a warmer climate may lead to more of a sustained warm mode of ENSO. However, research has not confirmed this yet. So, you could not use this argument. Lastly, this research, as stated above, simply showed a reasonable degree of correlation between cold ENSO phases and higher incidence of deadly influenza in France (among other factors due to influenza). Again, this was not an example demonstrating how more (or less) people will die in a warming world. While it may be shown that less people may die in France from influenza during warm ENSO episodes, you would have to demonstrate that global warming would lead to a greater occurrence of warm ENSO episodes, and also have to show that this would offset higher death rates due to the effects of increased warming on a global scale. Basically, this article totally missed the mark, and didn’t offer any reasonable support for your claim.

    Third, you stated that “there is evidence that the models are wrong.” If by “wrong” you mean that they don’t reconstruct past temperatures PERFECTLY, then yes, you are correct. However, this statement tells me that you know very little about scientific modeling. A model, by its very definition, is a mathematical REPRESENTATION of a real-world system, and cannot possibly represent that system with 100% accuracy. Why?…because it’s impossible to know everything about a system and/or to measure it with absolute accuracy. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t APPROXIMATE it’s nature to a relatively high and acceptable degree. That is what meteorological and climatological modeling attempts to do, and this is the case in any scientific modeling. Here’s the problem, and again, you didn’t answer my question posed previously…the models that employ the addition of anthropogenic greenhouse gases explain the temperature trend over the last ~150 years (and especially over the last 30-40 years) much better than do the models that employ natural forcing mechanisms alone. Again, where is the convincing peer-reviewed research, where is the mathematical model utilizing natural forcing alone that reconstructs the temperature trend over the last 150 years nearly accurately without the introduction of man-made greenhouse gases? I’ll tell you where…it doesn’t exist. There MUST BE an atmospheric response both to the net radiative forcing from increases in these gases, and to man-made changes to the surface of the Earth (mainly deforestation). It’s quite simple.

    Fourth, I do not assume that skeptics are idiots or kooks, and I never stated as such. I myself used to be a strong skeptic until just a few years ago. But, the more I grew to understand the science, and after taking off my political lenses and pre-conceived notions with which to view it through, I began to see the validity and substantive scientific rationale behind AGW theory.

    Lastly, you had to end your statement with yet another easily debunked myth. There was no scientific “consensus” in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an ice age, as perceived by some. In fact, a paper that appeared in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society in September 2008, by Peterson, et al., dispelled this myth. This paper found that, of the number of scientific papers classified as predicting, implying, or providing supporting evidence for future global cooling, warming, and neutral categories…during the period from 1965 to 1979, 7 supported cooling, 20 supported neutral temperature trends, and 44 supported warming. Thus, the “consensus” easily favored warming scenarios.

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F2008BAMS2370.1

    Click on the PDF link to see the full paper.

    Hopefully, in your process to truly understand this science (if that’s your real goal), you’ll grow to understand that there is a difference between blind skepticism and healthy skepticism.

  18. My goodness! Beetles reproducing and eating plants. Forests dying and burning. Why, that’s never happened in earth’s 6000 year history. This must be because of my light bulbs.

    Is this what science has been reduced to?

  19. Do I detect some degree of sarcasim here? Why, sourunly… nyak, nyak, nyak 😉

  20. Gentle People:

    An utilitarian approach:

    1. Either anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 (and CH4) will:
    A) cause significantly higher temperatures or
    B) they will not.

    2. What is the cost of doing nothing, if A), if B)?

    3. If (A), the cost is coastal flooding, disrupted weather patterns with a higher incidence of destructive storms, agricultural losses approaching collapse in some regions, famine, etc.
    If (B), then there is no cost to doing nothing now.

    4. What’s the cost of doing something, if A), if B)?

    5. If (A), the added expenditures related to carbon sequestration, alternate energy infrastructure, more efficient energy transmission, etc., while significant, will be as a drop in a very large bucket, when compared to the catastrophic costs that would have been caused by the effects of global warming.
    If (B), then we would have spent a large amount of money unnecessarily (from the standpoint of climate change), although there would be some health benefits from cleaner air, as well as cost benefits associated with more efficient technology.

    6. So we see that if (A) happens, the cost of DOING NOTHING could be catastrophic, beyond economic measure.
    But if we do the SOMETHING required and (B) occurs, then we’re out of 500 Billion – 1 Trillion, perhaps, with nothing to show for it besides cleaner air and more efficient vehicles and power grid.

    7. And given that we’ve already handed over more money than that to the banking system and to wall street, when all that they warned about was monetary doom, it seems a manageable sum to spend, as INSURANCE, against the physical doom that awaits us if the dire predictions of climate change come true.

    8. Or is money so precious to some that they would risk planetary catastrophe to save somebody else a few bucks?

  21. It is true that more trees growing due to increased CO2 have caused competition for nutrients and thus tree stress, making them more susceptible to the pine beetle. Warming is not part of the phenomenon.

    Obviously, as a skeptic you really did not understand the science and you bought into the simplified junk science of AGW. There is quite honestly not a single piece of defendable science which supports AGW and the real science showing it to be junk science is growing every day. If it was real, why would all of the major temperature sets have to be manipulated and defrauded to show warming?

    By the way, CO2 has been many times higher (>3000 ppm) during 95% of the last 600 million years and horticulturalists standardly raise their plants in 1000 ppm to accelerate growth. It is plant food and the fact that they thrive on higher CO2 says that they are currently stressed by our low concentrations. Obviously you are not a biologist,

  22. No, you are right, sir. I am not a biologist. Neither do I fully understand the global warming science. But I have more faith in the majority opinion of scientists who are activy publishing on the subject. “According to the results of a one-time questionnaire-based statistical survey published by the University of Illinois, with 3146 individuals completing the survey, 97% of the actively publishing climate scientists (as opposed to the scientists who are not publishing actively) agree that human activity, such as flue gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, is a significant contributing factor to global climate change” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_consensus. According to other sources available on the Internet, the majority of scientists who work on climate change agree on the main points published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPC). And you call me a skeptic????

  23. Sorry, but both global warming and CO2 are good not bad. Who needs vast deserts and ice wastelands when we could turn them into food producing regions by increasing the CO2 levels. Let’s try doing it by reactivating volcanoes in places like Antarctica.

  24. Tell me you’re kidding — please. You’re saying that you would willingly, nay, wantingly deny the vast majority of people on earth fresh water from seasonal glacial melts for agricultural purposes and flood the continents’ coastal areas in which 80 percent of the world’s population lives? How can this possibly be good?

  25. Mostly, we need to stop being distracted by the vocal minority of special interest groups advocating tried and failed policies and start thinking for ourselves.

    Especially the failed policies of the Warmistas and others of the far left.

  26. Of what “failed” policies do you speak?

  27. Stimulus spending??? This is the surest way to destroy the economy.Stimulus spending consumes wealth,it does not create it.If stimulus spending had a net,long term,positive benefit,then why dont we just forget about the private sector and just keep stimulating through government spending?

  28. Thank you for expressing your view, Warren.

    Speaking of stimulus… I remember my great grandmother’s farm-house kitchen. With a cast iron stove burning wood and chunks of coal, it was the only warm place in the whole house in the winter. Beside grandma’s galvanized steel kitchen sink was a small water pump. Next to the pump always sat a cupful of water. This was used to prime the pump, which was necessary before any amount of hand pumping could bring water up to the sink. If she or anyone else failed to refill the cup, she would have to go out to the rain barrel next to the house to get more “stimulus”. In the winter, the stimulus was frozen solid so she would have to chip away at the ice to bring small chunks of it in to melt on the stove. This took time. Similarly, the economic policies of the past administration have left us with an empty cup and it’s going to take more stimulus and longer than anyone would want to get things flowing again. Once the economy is growing steadily again and people are again working for living wages, we must not forget about grandma’s priming cup.

    You’re right about one thing though, Warren. Given that government’s current stimulus spending is being done with borrowed money, it is creating “negative” wealth. But when you’re down and out, you’ve either gotta borrow or steal to keep house and home together until you can bring-in a crop. The lesser evil, I think, is to borrow. Let’s hope we have the wisdom and resolve to pay it all back.

  29. Hello Opa,
    Just stumbled across this ‘CO2 As Plant Food’ blog in my study of the climate change issue. I’m guessing that the ‘reasonable gentleman’ you refer to is Dimsdale from your ‘Fomenting Doubt’ blog. Not sure though, since the link to the Stossel blog comments no longer works. Regardless, I’ve perused your blog and appreciate your respectful, rational dialogues.

    As a retired BSME, PE I’ve been studying the climate change issue the last couple years. I presently see things pretty much like BillBodell(Fomenting Doubt comments). I guess what you call a ‘lukewarmer’.

    This blog on ‘CO2 As Plant Food’ raises a few questions in my mind. Perhaps you can help me understand. First, have you read the paper “Grassland Responses to Global Environmental Changes Suppressed by Elevated CO2” that is referenced in the video?

  30. I have no doubt, sir, that, under scientifically controlled, laboratory conditions, more CO2 is beneficial to plants. However, in the real world, natural conditions cannot be controlled; nature always finds a balance. Change one parameter, others must change also. In other words: more CO2, more greenhouse effect; the more greenhouse the effect, the more ocean and large water body temperatures rise; the warmer the ocean and large water body temperatures become, the more cloud; the more clouds, the more greenhouse effect; the more greenhouse effect, the warmer arctic and subarctic surface conditions become; the warmer the surface conditions in these regions become, the more methane is released from the permafrost and the faster sea ice and continental ice melts; the more methane released from permafrost, the faster the greenhouse effect increases; the faster ice melts, the faster sea levels rise and coastal areas are flooded, which, by the way, is where eighty percent of humanity lives; the faster the greenhouse effect increases, the more clouds form; the more clouds that form, the more rain and humid conditions there will be in mid-latitudes; warmer, wetter conditions in mid-latitudes spell better conditions for insects; the more insects, the more damage to trees and other flora, including the things we and other land animals eat. Ultimately, flora as well as fauna on earth suffers, and it’s happening right before our eyes.

    Yes, I’ve read enough of the paper to understand the argument. But, as you can see, my concern, as well as the concern of the vast majority of climate scientists, is the larger, long-range picture.

  31. Thanks for the response. One of my questions is on the paper in the video. Yes, the ecosystem has many interactions, some additive, some neutral, some counter-acting depending on various combination of variables.
    But let’s focus on the experiment in the Stanford article which was not done in a laboratory. As you can see in the photos in the article, it was done in the outdoors under the natural sunshine, natural rainfall, ambient CO2, ambient temperature, and undisturbed soil in-situ. A good natural environment.
    These scientists designed an experiment in this environment to best evaluate how the ecosystem would be impacted by changes expected in a future “globally-warmed” world. What makes this experiment especially interesting is that they didn’t just evaluate the effect of a single variable, CO2. They evaluated the four variables(CO2, temperature, rainfall & soil nitrogen) that they expected to change in this ecosystem.
    The interesting result was that when they evaluated the effect of increasing these four variables, the plants increased their biomass by 40% compared to today’s ambient level of those variables!
    My question is: How is a 40% increase in plant growth in a future “globally-warmed’ world bad for the ecosystem?

  32. Yes, I know. Randy. But again, I have no argument with the study’s conclusions. They may, indeed, be correct. My point is that the potential benefits of a warmer, wetter world are more than offset by the negative consequences of climate change. Plants need more than CO2, they need water too. And after all the glacial ice of the Himalayas is all gone, the agriculture that supports nearly 80 percent of the world’s population will be forever changed; it’s hard to grow anything to eat in a swamp. Hundreds of millions will have to migrate inland from flooded coastal area cities. Some nations will be completely submerged, and diseases will kill everybody that the bugs don’t eat first. No, sir, forty percent more bio mass is not necessarily a good thing.
    This will be the last comment from you that I will approve on my blog and the last time that I will respond to your questions. I do not wish to engage in a diatribe with persons like Dimsdale and others who cannot or will not consider the broader implications of the climate changing which is a consequence of global warming. All this does is perpetuate doubt among the uneducated and frustrate lawmakers’ efforts to address the problem. Perhaps this is your real reason for commenting on my blog.


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