Good news for everyone!
Everyone is justified in being concerned about about extreme weather, as well as other potential natural disasters. We should construct buildings not only so they conserve energy, but also so they don’t get flooded or collapse. We also need to minimize harmful pollution including the emission of carbon monoxide, sulfur compounds and soot. But we need not be concerned about carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide is not villainous. It is a colorless, odorless gas, completely non-toxic and soluble. It is the ingredient that makes soda bubbly. Most people don’t realize that carbon dioxide is part of the “carbon cycle” with animals breathing it out, and plants taking it in as their food. Without it plants die.
Our planet is becoming greener
A further well proven benefit of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be the continued greening of our planet. Our cropland, grasslands and forests are becoming denser and more productive. With increasing productivity of our farmland we could return fields to a wild state and encourage wildlife.
A study published in Nature Reviews in December 2019 reviews some details of how much scientists know about global greening but notes that “considerable uncertainties remain in Earth system models.” Vegetation removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It also has many effects itself on climate. Studies such as these reinforce the Realists perspective that there is little room for dogmatism on any side because climate is complex as are the factors effecting it. And indeed, the benefits of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may outweigh the dangers.
Dr. Patrick Moore is one of our supporters. He has Ph.D. in ecology and is a veteran of peace and environmental activism having faced down the harpoons of whaling ships as a founding member of Greenpeace. In this video he explains the benefits of increasing levels of CO2 in the environment.
He states, “We are the salvation of life, not its destroyer.”
Crop yields trending up
Crop yields of the 6 principle grains have increased by a factor of 2.4 over the last 5.7 decades. Yields have increased due to many factors, including carbon dioxide fertilization, technological advances and changes in weather patterns including increased precipitation.
Graph plotted using data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization by Friends of Science.
Pollution trending down
The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that compared to 1970 vehicle models, new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks are roughly 99 percent cleaner for common pollutants (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particle emissions). At the same time in North America population and gross domestic product have increased.
Also levels of lead in the air decreased by 94 percent between 1980 and 1999.
Pollution in developing countries has increased dramatically.