Re: [asa] Fw: Save the planet---increase your carbon footprint!

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <>
Date: Mon Dec 14 2009 - 10:57:05 EST

The scientific assessments I have seen indicate that threr are some
cases where plant production is marginally better with higher CO2

Howsomeever -- the amount of farmland is diminished. Witness the
drought conditions in the west.

I view this article with great skepticism. I would hope that it is
factually true. But the author cites no quantitative studies, just
hand waving. And the referenced web site is not a credible one.

On 12/14/09, John Walley <> wrote:
> Now this is a very interesting contrarian perspective. I daresay Climategate
> is emboldening these guys to come out now where they never would have been
> able to before.
> Is there any reputable science on which to judge these claims or not?
> John
> ----- Forwarded Message ----
> The National Post
> The gas of life
> Lawrence Solomon
> Posted: December 11, 2009, 9:08 PM by NP Editor
> Western carbon dioxide emissions increase plant yields in the Third World.
> So why are they asking for reparations?
> At Copenhagen, Third World countries are demanding hundreds of billions of
> dollars in reparations from the West for the consequences of the West’s
> fossil fuel burning, among them droughts and crop failures.
> Third World countries have it backwards. The West’s CO2 emissions have been
> increasing crop yields while helping to ease the Third World’s water
> shortages. Rather than plead for reparations, Third World governments should
> offer a paean to Providence.
> The bureaucrats at Copenhagen dread high CO2 levels. The biosphere craves
> them. Plants evolved when CO2 levels in the atmosphere stood at a healthy
> 1000 parts per million, two-to-three times today’s paltry level of about 380
> parts per million. Plants crave CO2 so much that commercial greenhouse
> operators often enrich greenhouse air with CO2 — also known as nature’s
> fertilizer — to levels of 1500 parts per million, or four times that of our
> current atmosphere.
>  Since humans began adding CO2 to the planet’s atmosphere, taking plants off
> their starvation rations by creating a planet-wide greenhouse, plants have
> thrived. Data from NASA satellites, which since the early 1980s have been
> tracking the amount of biota on Earth, vividly demonstrate the results. As
> CO2 emissions grew in leaps and bounds, so did plants — the data shows
> planet Earth is now greener than when those satellite measurements began.
>  Growth in greenery varies from country to country, and within countries,
> because climatic factors are so many and so varied, but the overall trend is
> clear, and especially in the Third World. The Indian subcontinent, the
> Amazon, the tropical countries generally, all show marked improvement, with
> studies pointing to improvements in carbon dioxide levels as an important
> factor.
>  China, which includes some of the most resource-stretched regions on the
> planet, provides the most dramatic demonstration of the boon in biota. As
> shown in a 2007 analysis by academics at the country’s prestigious Beijing
> Normal University, China’s plant growth increased by an astounding 24 % over
> the 18-year period studied, 1982 to 1999. The Chinese analysis, which like
> many others was based on satellite data, notes that China’s
> resource-constrained regions sometimes did particularly well. In
> water-constrained Northwest China, for example, plant growth increased by
> 29%. In Northeast China and the Tibetan Plateau, where temperatures
> ordinarily place severe limits on vegetation, plant growth increased by 30%.
> South China and East China, where sunlight is a limiting factor, saw plant
> growth increase by a still-impressive 19%. Changes in CO2 during those 18
> years correlated well with the changes in vegetation.
>  That plants love CO2 comes as no surprise — CO2 is not only their food, it
> is a gas to which they are superbly adapted. When the air is rich in CO2,
> plants don’t need to work as hard to breathe it in, letting them reduce the
> number of stomata, or air pores, on the surfaces of their leaves. Fewer
> pores means the plants breathe out less water vapour, letting them conserve
> moisture and better survive droughts. CO2 also helps plants survive droughts
> and other adverse conditions by extending their root systems, allowing them
> to collect minerals and moisture from afar. Through other mechanisms, CO2
> protects plants against insect infestations, soil salinity and other
> environmental threats.
>  This gas — also known as the gas of life — is healthful and helpful to
> humans, too. CO2 not only boosts agricultural yields, it boosts the
> antioxidant and vitamin content in plants, as well as their essential
> minerals. Also importantly, CO2 helps make hospitable marginal areas of the
> world that would otherwise be inhospitable.
> Industrialization in the West, along with the fossil fuel burning that it
> has entailed, has been a win for the West and a win for the world, including
> the Third World. The colourless, odourless, tasteless gas called CO2 is
> indispensable to life and, because China and India are certain to rapidly
> increase their CO2 emissions, the world will soon be getting more of it.
> They say you can have too much of a good thing. With CO2, the science tells
> us, the planet is far, far away from reaching its cornucopia potential.
> Financial Post
> Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe
> ( and Urban Renaissance Institute and author
> of The Deniers: The world-renowned scientists who stood up against global
> warming hysteria, political persecution, and fraud.
> Read more:
> The National Post is now on Facebook. Join our fan community today.

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Received on Mon Dec 14 10:57:32 2009

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