Time Lapse Evidence Shows an Increase in Carbon Dioxide Does Not Harm Vegetation

Wednesday, May 12, AD 2010

[Updates at the bottom of this post.]

Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant.

And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.  And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.  And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.  And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:  And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.

–Book of Genesis 1:26-30

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27 Responses to Time Lapse Evidence Shows an Increase in Carbon Dioxide Does Not Harm Vegetation

  • Um, Tito … plants breathe carbon dioxide. They release oxygen into the atmosphere as a byproduct of photosynthesis.

    Some plants also love phosphates, and when Dow or some other company dumps them into a pond or a swamp, some species will love it. And crowd everything else off.

    The biblical command to dominion is a two-way street, and involves, unlike our corporate masters, a reciprocity of care and stewardship.

    Agreed the penguin and bear photos are silly. But I wasn’t aware you were a priest who wore a biretta. Who knew?

  • Not sure I understand the post. The AGW argument, right or wrong, is that increased quantities of CO2 will heat up the Earth’s atmosphere. What does the effect of CO2 (which plants absorb and process) on plants have to do with this?

  • Todd,

    Thanks for the 3rd grade science refresher.

    So tell me how a rise in CO2 levels will kill plants again?

  • John Henry,

    Your straw man is unproductive here JH.

  • Tito,

    Don’t think there was a straw man. I just don’t see what this post proves. What do you think the study proves?

  • John Henry,

    I’ll play along this one time only.

    Al Gore disciples are promoting Global Warming/Climate Change as a catastrophe of immense proportions, ie, destroying our environment.

    So this video disproves one of the many whacky theories that Global Warming/Climate Change alarmists are bandying about in order to increase the role of government in our lives.

    Which of course violates our free will.

    If you want to continue down this train of thought, then go ahead and post your own column and stop distracting from my post.

  • So this video disproves one of the many wacky theories that Global Warming/Climate Change alarmists are bandying about

    I’d never heard about this particular theory, I guess. The main line of argument is that CO2 emissions cause the atmosphere to heat up, which, over time, will raise sea levels and damage low-lying areas. And the concern is that this is a one-way ratchet; something we can’t undo. That all may be wrong, but that’s the argument I’d heard, rather than the claim that CO2 damages plants. As you’ve requested I stop commenting on this thread, I won’t comment any further.

  • Tito,

    I’m a little confused as to what the video is getting at.

    It’s certainly true that CO2 is great for plants, and that higher CO2 levels would mean more plant growth. In this sense, greater CO2 emission would be great for “the planet”. There have been periods when, for natural reasons, the planet has had much higher CO2 levels than we have now, and plants (among other things) were just fine. The claim of global warming advocates (or at least, those who don’t think that The Day After Tomorrow was a documentary), however, is not so much that “the planet” would be destroyed by more CO2, but that it would become very inconvenient for us, with oceans rising, weather patterns changing, etc. Since it’s hard to move large populations from where they are without a lot of suffering and death, it is pretty clearly true that if they are right in their predictions about the climate (which I think is open to question) the results would be bad for civilization, even though plans would very happily grow over the abandoned cities.

    I do share a certain annoyance with calling CO2 a “pollutant”, since it’s a perfectly natural gas which appears as part of our atmosphere. But then, “a weed” is simply a plant growing where you don’t want it to.

  • John Henry and Darwin,

    I’m at a loss of words of where you two are coming from.

    So you’re both telling me that global warming alarmists have never said that a rise in CO2 levels will destroy the environment?

    This whole time that rising ocean levels, plants dyeing, changing weather patterns, etc. is not what they’ve been saying?

  • John Henry and Darwin,

    I will admit that I failed to explain the sarcastic elements of my post, for that I’ll take the blame.

    By mocking them I sowed more confusion.

    And when I have to explain a post then I’ll be the first one to admit that the message wasn’t conveyed properly.

    With that thanks for being patient in explaining to me your confusion.


  • My recollection certainly is that the global warmist claim is that among the ill effects of increased CO2 concentration is deforestation and crop loss. (Gore famously Photoshopped a NASA photo of Earth to suggest this in one of his books.) The truth is, as the video demonstrates, increased CO2 levels enhance plant growth.

    But to me, the real lesson of the video should be the role of planetary vegetation in the dynamic control of O2 and CO2 levels, which global warmists totally ignore. As CO2 levels rise (and O2 proportionately declines), plants consume more CO2 and produce more O2, helping to restore balance.

    And not just any balance, but one perfectly suited to the need of humanity. Many of our global warmist friends think that’s just an accident.

  • “So you’re both telling me that global warming alarmists have never said that a rise in CO2 levels will destroy the environment?”

    Got it.

    I confess: I never read Al Gore’s book. I had a 200-level college course in climatology, and I follow the science on the issue, less the politics.

    More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases heat retention near the surface. Most climatologists are less worried today about rising sea levels–and that’s enough of a problem for obvious reasons–than the planet hitting a tipping point where climate will change rather quickly. The scenarios include a shift in the monsoon climates of South Asia, the Gulf Stream redirecting toward Africa because of increased freshwater melt in the North Atlantic.

    The environment will survive most anything we can throw at it. The survival question would be rioting hundreds of millions in India, SE Asia, and Indonesia. Or Europe getting Canada-style winters. Plant and animal life can and will adapt to change. Since you’re very concerned about the economics of it all, let me remind you that in the long haul, western economics and politics are very, very fragile compared to the long-term survival of the planet.

    By the way, I don’t know of any environmentalist that took those polar bear and penguin images any more seriously than as an icon. Sorry if others thought they were any more than that.

  • Pingback: What Do You Mean It Was Just A Symbol? « Catholic Sensibility
  • I am also familiar with the CO2 will destroy the environment and kill plants. Vaguely remember writing several replies about it four-five years ago.

  • Tom, Foxfier, et al.,

    Thanks, I’m sure I’m not the only one that read it that way as well!

  • Symbol,

    Fake but accurate?

  • Phillip,


    It’s amazing how we are accused of believing in myths, yet progressives and their Catholic enablers continue to propagate falsehoods.

  • Symbols to elicit an emotional connection?

    Of course they were; same way PETA use to put out those stupid comics like “Daddy tortures fish to death” and “mommy boils bunnies” or whatever.

    It’s admitted openly, now?

    (In defense of the lay folks that believed CO2 was killing plants, I do know that up by Mammoth Lake that’s happening– trees don’t like volcanic gas hitting their roots.)

    I personally really, really hope we’re causing global warming, since the reconstructed pattern of ice ages says we should be hitting one about now. Talk about a difficult change to adapt to!

  • “It’s amazing how we are accused of believing in myths, yet progressives and their Catholic enablers continue to propagate falsehoods.”

    It’s one thing to literally believe in a myth, and another to utilize mythology properly as either moral teaching or cultural rooting.

    The polar bear/penguin on an ice raft isn’t too much different from the Stupak poster Donald puts up now and then. It’s meant to elicit an emotional reaction from the base. It’s political PR. No more, no less.

    Some climate change deniers refuse to be swayed by either logic or emotion. They cling to their own views of and desire for a static world, in which nothing ever changes, and one’s environment never changes.

    Well, the universe doesn’t work that way. The planet’s climate is changing. Once that was denied. But even today we see that carbon dioxide levels are rising faster than plants can absorb it.

    If you’re interested in the serious science on climate change, there are places to go. If you want to keep it political, you’re also free to do that. But don’t complain that you’ve been left behind in the serious debate.

    Last word, gents: all yours.

  • Todd,
    You are wrong. The Stupak poster is obvious propaganda. The bear/penguin photos and videos are contrived to be deliberately misleading. Most people assume they are true and actual events captured on camera or video, and that is exactly what is intended. That is not comparable to the Stupak poster.

  • To be fair, the polar bear was actually captured, as I remember…it’s just usually used as evidence that polar bears are dying off, and they’re…um… not.

    Some climate change deniers refuse to be swayed by either logic or emotion. They cling to their own views of and desire for a static world, in which nothing ever changes, and one’s environment never changes.

    Now this is ironic, given that the folks who claim climate change is going on assume a static world is good (without evidence) and that the evidence for real climate change is somewhat shaky.

  • Todd,

    Here’s some pretty hard science with this conclusion:

    “Although carbon dioxide is capable of raising the Earth’s overall temperature, the IPCC’s predictions of catastrophic temperature increases produced by carbon dioxide have been challenged by many scientists. In particular, the importance of water vapor is frequently overlooked by environmental activists and by the media. The above discussion shows that the large temperature increases predicted by many computer models are unphysical and inconsistent with results obtained by basic measurements. Skepticism is warranted when considering computer-generated projections of global warming that cannot even predict existing observations.”

    Full link here:


    Now people can and do discuss the merits of this article. Bottom line though, reasonable people do disagree.

  • “The polar bear/penguin on an ice raft isn’t too much different from the Stupak poster Donald puts up now and then. It’s meant to elicit an emotional reaction from the base. It’s political PR. No more, no less.”

    Actually Todd it’s giving Stupak the benefit of the doubt, by assuming that he actually believed that the meaningless executive order that he got from Obama meant anything. I could put up a poster of Stupak saying “Liar”, but I never like going beyond the evidence before me.

  • Todd and everyone else,

    The polar bears are actually having a population boom that they are now moving into areas that have never seen polar bears in centuries and interbreeding with grizzly bears.

    As one polar bear biologist was quoted as saying, “There aren’t just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears,”


  • Stupid bears! They don’t know they’re supposed to be dying.

  • “polar bears in centuries and interbreeding with grizzly bears”

    Time for a mind scrub to erase that particular image!

  • Echo Phillip

    More CO2 means more heat potentially (not that mankind is doing all that much), means more evaporation/transpiration (which reduces the heat energy of the ocean/land/plant by kcal/g water and reduces the water level but we get more rainfall and snowfall which returns water to the lands and oceans and ice to the poles), means better plant growth which converts CO2 into Carbon compounds (wood, stem, leaf, fruit, nuts, food, wheat, corn) which reduces CO2 in atmosphere and increases O2. So we’re going to get woozy from all the higher O2! And need more kids to eat all this food!

    Entropy is positive – AHHHHH!

    So God had a plan – and earth’s ecosystem isn’t so man-dependent as our narcissistics want to believe. Do you really think He would trust earth to our free will? We’re weak idiots. I have dominion over my children and wife – as long as I concur with practically everything they do! And Thank God for the 4th Commandment to help me with that family dominion think too. As God Designed.

What Virtue In False Promises?

Wednesday, December 30, AD 2009

One of the things that strikes me repeatedly watching the global warming debate (especially in the lead-up to and in the wake of the Copenhagen conference) is the incredible amount of excitement people have about trying to get countries to make commitments in regards to CO2 emissions which they obviously are not going to keep.

For instance, in discussing their hopes for Copenhagen, a number of environmentalists expressed hope that there would not be another “do nothing” commitment such as the Kyoto Accord — despite the fact that even those countries which did agree to Kyoto had not managed to keep those very modest commitments. The goals that environmentalists did very much want to see committed to (generally a 80-90% global drop in CO2 emissions within somewhere between 10 and 40 years) are far more aggressive, and thus far more unrealistic.

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7 Responses to What Virtue In False Promises?

  • Fantastic post, Darwin. And so true!

  • If committed environmentalists are only finding ways to decrease their household CO2 emissions by 25%, how in the world do they expect a whole country to drop its emissions by 80%?

    Households can reduce consumption but have to, more or less, accept the type of energy they consume. Governments can turn coal-fired plants into wind farms.

    Those who claim that carbon pricing will ruin our economy, overestimate the costs. They have the tendency to think of carbon emissions reductions as cuts in consumption alone. If we had to reduce our consumption 80%, we’d be in trouble. But most of the reductions would come from switching to alternative energy and make more efficient use of it. It’s possible to cut emissions by more than half without any change to our lifestyle.

  • The reason that none of these leaders are making firm commitments to reduce carbon emissions is because they don’t want their peoples to live in poverty. It’s well-established that the prosperity of a society is strongly correlated with its energy consumption. It so happens that presently the most effcient energy sources also produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Reducing carbon emissions therefore necessarily reduces one’s energy use, which necessarily reduces one’s propsperity. Their rhetoric otherwise, these leaders know this, which is why, for the time being, their talk about emissions cuts will remain a bunch of, uh, hot air.

  • Households can reduce consumption but have to, more or less, accept the type of energy they consume.

    Actually, households are in the same position as power producers and governments: they can reduce consumption, or they can make massive capital outlays in order to use the same amount of energy from some other source. I could, if I wanted to spend 20-40k on it, cover my roof with solar panels and massively reduce my carbon footprint. I don’t do so because I’m hesitant to turn a monthly bill of around $100 into an immediate outlay of 300x that amount, especially when that wouldn’t even totally cut my dependence on carbon-based electricity as I’d still need to get electricity from the power company on cloudy days (like the whole last week).

    If individuals are hesitant to make this kind of massive capital outlay for questionable benefits (the idea of powering most of the US by wind and solar is massively unrealistic — at best one could do so through lots more nuclear power), I don’t know why they should be surprised if the government is unwilling to make the same sacrifices on a larger scale.

  • Like you said, solar won’t eliminate your dependence on the grid. The vast majority of us need to use electricity generated from coal. Transitioning to wind and nuclear over the next few decades is not unrealistic. 80% by 2020 may be too optimistic but 2050 is doable.

  • Nuclear moreso than wind. Wind is good for supplementing whereas nuke power would be a solid backbone. Two problems: wind requires much real estate and has the “not in my backyard” issue to contend with. Nuke is a PR nightmare that also brings its “not in my backyard” issue.

  • I can see the concerns about promises that aren’t going to be kept, particularly as international law is so weak at holding anyone accountable to their commitment.

    However, I do want to say that your comment about activists reducing their emissions is a straw man argument. They are reducing their emissions 25% over the next year or two. They are asking the government to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, 40 years from now.

    McKinsey Consulting said that we can slash our emissions in half at net zero cost and in fact the first 40% of emissions reductions will make us money, more efficient, and more competitive internationally.