The Many Benefits of CO2 Enrichment

Mean surface temperature change for the period...
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I was searching for a good article that explains the difference in CO2 metabolism between C3 and C4 plants when temps and CO2 are high (long and complicated story there.) And down this rabbit trail, ran into the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming.

It’s a very impressive web site, design-wise, compared to many you run across. At first glance, it seems like a good resource for anyone wanting to learn the facts. But hold on.

A survey of its offerings quickly gives one the accurate impression that there is 1) an overall denial of climate change, and 2) to provide CYA, an open-armed embrace, the more CO2 the better. Something does not seem quite right here.  A thing that is false cannot also be true. At least that’s the world I live in.

One of their offerings is a book, The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment. The book is subtitled “How humanity and the rest of the biosphere will prosper from this amazing trace gas that so many have wrongfully characterized as a dangerous air pollutant.”

Okay. I’m following the money and the bias here. Turns out, this outfit made Mother Jones Dirty Dozen of climate change denial. 

Caveat emptor–even when something gives the impression of being slick and scientific. We’ve never needed to be more scientifically literate and intellectually vigilant and have never as a nation been less so than today. The truthiness mongers have the majority right where they want them. Teach your children well, their father’s hell…

What compels educated people to hold positions that are contrary to the preponderance of evidence to the contrary? Motivated inference? [Psychology Today]

Motivated inference is not just simpleminded wishful thinking, in that motivations do not lead directly to beliefs. Rather, our goals lead us to acquire and consider information selectively, so that we manage to find some evidence that makes us think we are being reasonable in maintaining an emotion-based belief that we ought to doubt.

The motivations that encourage politicians such as Rick Perry to deny human-caused global warming are clear: they don’t like government intervention in the economy in general, and in particular they don’t like interference with the oil industry, a major source of carbon emissions.

If global warming is a serious problem, then there needs to be massive actions by governments across the world to change people’s energy practices that produce greenhouse gases. Oil company executives and allied politicians do not want to see such actions take place, so they make various kinds of maneuvers to undermine scientific conclusions: research is flawed, global warming is just natural fluctuation, and so on.”

AND… CO2 is an amazing trace gas, and we’re gonna love the way it makes this planet feel!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. and the Earth is flat and there be dragons…

    Don’t worry Fred we, here in Old Europe, have known about global warming for decades and are (finally) doing something to reduce our CO2 emissions.

    Sadly it is the USA that produces the majority of greenhouse gases, and consumes the majority of the planet’s resources
    and while you have people like our friend denying that climate change is man-made then we are doomed

    I am happy to report that my own carbon footprint is so light that my gas provider sent a man to check that my meter had not become stuck, yes, I really only did consume £28 of gas in the last three months
    And I am currently thinking of harnessing the dog to a treadmill to produce electricity but at the moment I also use very little of that too