Carbon emissions hit 400ppm. So what?

“CO2 is primarily plant food while its other implications for Nature are negligible in comparison." Maybe we should learn to love our carbon emissions?

Have we made too much of carbon emissions?
Peter C. Glover
On 20 May 2013 13:02

If there is one thing we know about Jihad, it is that it is highly attractive to anti-intellectual zealots and propagandists; which brings me to that most pointless of pseudo-religious ideologies, the anti-carbon jihad.

We only have to look at the quality of its advocates, and the hypocrisy that mars their campaigns, to tell us something of the movement. There is the former presidential candidate, a multi-mansion-owning, jet-setting major carbon emitter who sold his TV cable channel to a Big Oil-financed government. There’s the loony-tunes former NASA ‘scientist’ who harasses the Queen of England about the evils of coal on company notepaper.

Then we have the battalion of well-funded medievalist lobbyists wielding the latest technological gadgetry and jetting around international conferences while demanding the rest of us return to a “quaint” way of life – that is, one where life-expectancy was brutally short. And let’s not forget the highly politicized unelected tyranny that masquerades as the ‘United Nations’ and the data-fiddling IPCC panel of ‘climate experts’ – an oxymoron if ever there was one – it spawned.

Oh yes, and we need to give an honourable mention to that most famous of palace-hopping, limo-riding climate experts, Prince Charles.

On their say-so the world of anti-carbon jihad turns. Spurred into action, green politicians duly pass green laws and impose green taxes that help impoverish us at a time of genuine economic hardship – all of which do precisely zip to help the environment.

Take the latest ‘big’ CO2 scare story that broke in early May. The level of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, it was claimed, had hit a new ‘symbolic’ 400 parts per million (ppm). The usual suspects were spurred into righteous indignation; Al Gore’s blog post set the tone. Here is an extract:

“Yesterday, for the first time in human history, concentrations of carbon dioxide, the primary global warming pollutant, hit 400 parts per million in our planet's atmosphere...We are altering the composition of our atmosphere at an unprecedented rate...Talk to your neighbors, call your legislator, let your voice be heard. We must take immediate action to solve this crisis. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Now.”

The mush-for-brains left-leaning news media, long signed-up to climate alarmism, duly went into over-drive. The New York Times hilariously compared the trace gas CO2 to a “tiny bit of arsenic or cobra venom” dramatically concluding that “the fate of the earth hangs in the balance.” The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that CO2 levels have “never been seen in geological records and some effects of climate change are already being seen”. The UN’s resident climate alarmist-in-chief, Christiana Figueres, announced that the world had entered was a “new danger zone”.

Hundreds of headlines and editorials around the world duly chaneled the same paranoia.

But here’s the thing: so what? The fact is, not only this story, but the entire anti-carbon jihad, loses all credibility when a few empirical facts are understood.

For a start, a cursory check of early records reveal that CO2 may well have hit up to 500ppm back in the 1800s. More importantly, however, the entire anti-carbon jihad is based on a threefold proposition: that CO2 is a ‘pollutant’; that its current rise is a threat to mankind; that CO2 is inexorably driving up global temperature. Well here’s a shocker that does not often make the column inches for a Fourth estate increasingly failing to do its sceptical job. As the famous geologist Leighton Steward said, “CO2 is green!”

In his excellent book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism, Steve Goreham confirms Steward’s view pointing out that “carbon dioxide is plant food and fundamental to plant photosynthesis”. Further, it is “integral to all living things.” Goreham states it makes up 18 percent of our human body weight and is the reason that humans and animals are described as “carbon-based life forms”.

Former NASA astronaut Harrison Scmitt and Princeton physicist Dr William Happer, commenting of the latest carbon level, take up the real science case: “Of all the world’s chemical compounds none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas ... the conventional wisdom is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That’s simply not the case.”

Schmitt and Happer explain, in common with numerous other climate scientists, that hundreds of factors govern the earth’s climate and temperature, not just CO2. In 2009 Happer told a US Senate committee: “Warming and increased CO2 is good for mankind...CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison.” He added, “We’re really in a CO2 famine. Almost never has CO2 levels been as low as it has been in the Holocene (geological) epoch...Most times CO2 has been at least 1000ppm. Earth was just fine in those times.”

Indeed, the geological record, contrary to what Al Gore states, shows that during ice ages CO2 levels were as high as 2000 to 8000ppm.

So what’s a piddling 400ppm between friends?

Dr Reid Bryson has explained “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide. Even doubling or tripling the amount of CO2 will virtually have little impact.” And there’s the rub. The simple truth is the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas becomes increasingly diminished as the concentration increases. And this central scientific fact should be sufficient to drop the curtain on the entire anti-carbon jihad.

As top Swedish climate scientist Dr Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of the UN’s IPCC, declared, “The warming we have had in the last 100 years is so small that if we didn’t have climatologists to measure it we wouldn’t even notice it.” Put in layman’s terms, even if the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere doubled that would barely mean a mere one degree C rise in temperature.

Dismissing the 400ppm figure – and, by implication the entire anti-carbon movement – former Harvard University Physicist Dr Lubos Motl states, “CO2 is primarily plant food while its other implications for Nature are negligible in comparison. Humanitarian organisations should work hard to help mankind to increase the CO2 concentration” (italics mine). And therein lies the ultimate irony: Countless ‘humanitarian’ and political anit-carbon jihadists are currently working hard and collusively against the better interests of mankind.

So we should learn to love our carbon emissions. Better still, perhaps those who are able could invest in shale gas development, buy the latest gas-efficient SUV, or fight plans for useless wind farms. Any one of which would reveal us to be far ‘greener’, more knowledgeable citizen than those ‘evil’ anti-carbon jihadists.

Peter C Glover is co-author of the bestselling Energy and Climate Wars and is a contributing editor at The Commentator. For more:

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