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Demonising CO2

September 7, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




Future generations will look back and wonder how much junk science was ever accepted as mainstream.


Ron Clutz has the latest story:



The media are reporting stories with a new theme: More CO2 is bad for plant life. This flies in the face of biochemistry, but the activist motivation is clear: They want people thinking CO2 is bad in every way. They don’t want the warming scare undermined by the idea that CO2 along with warming actually helps plant life and agriculture.

The current stories are coming from researchers involved with an outdoor laboratory site called Jasper Ridge, affiliated with Stanford University, my alma mater and home to famous alarmist Stephen Schneider (deceased). The headlines are occasioned by a new paper appearing Sept. 5 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, authored by Chris Field director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment..


Headlines Claim, Details Deny

Headlines and claims like those below are appearing this week, but as we shall see, the details do not support the conclusions claimed; a leap of faith (bias) is required.

Warmer, wetter climate would impair California grasslands, 17-year experiment finds

“There’s been some hope that changing climate conditions would lead to increased productivity of grasses and other plants that draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” said study lead author Kai Zhu, a global ecologist and data scientist at Rice “In northern California, it was hypothesized that net grassland productivity might increase under the warmer, wetter conditions that are predicted by most long-term climate models. Our evidence disproves that idea.”



Read the rest here.

  1. Oliver K. Manuel permalink
    September 7, 2016 9:26 pm

    The London GeoEthics Conference on Global Climate Change begins tomorrow. It will increase Public awareness of social cost of misleading information on Earth’s climate:–social-costs-from-overlooking-this-power/

  2. Vanessa permalink
    September 7, 2016 9:40 pm

    Why don’t these people just stop breathing – that should reduce the CO2 by mega-millions !!!

  3. Ewing Caldwell permalink
    September 8, 2016 1:46 am

    If heightened concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere are so bad for plants, then how on earth did:
    1. the titanosaurs evolve?
    2. the titanosaurs thrive?
    3. the titanosaurs die off?
    … keeping firmly in mind that the titanosaurs were herbivores (plant eaters), and were anything up to 45m long, 8m high, and weighed over 40 tonnes? That’s an awful lot hay required, just for one.
    Sure, the Big Bolide 65MYA blew them into history, but they were not a short-lived phenomenon.
    Contrast those giants with the largest herbivores in modern times, those tiny mere 4m by 4m by 4 m pygmies we call elephants, those miserable squirts weighing in at only a minuscule 2500 to 6000KGs (2.5 – 6 tonnes).

    The elephant is so small because there is insufficient CO2 in the atmosphere, to support bigger, better, brighter elephants. The lack of CO2 is stifling and starving the modern plants.

    Current low levels of CO2 are more damaging to plant life than any increase can achieve. CO2 is the gas of life.

  4. tom0mason permalink
    September 8, 2016 6:37 am

    So they heated up the atmosphere and soils around these plants, added some sort of nitrogenous acid and watered it all in. They then relied on the natural CO2 rise over 17 years from about 370ppm to 402ppm, a miserable 32ppm, to indicate something.

    Now for some reason they could not see how this minimal amount of difference in CO2 rise has on these experimentally stressed grass land. Maybe they don’t understand 400ppm is at the low end of scale that plants need. Added to this the artificial stresses they added to these plants and they are surprised the grassland didn’t thrive. What can be said apart from ‘What a waste of time and money?’

    OK commercial grower stop pumping in the CO2, to 600ppm and above, into all your glasshouses as scientist say it doesn’t work!

    Oddly most of the scientific papers here find the opposite.

  5. September 8, 2016 7:53 am

    Every gardener knows that plants need nutrients and trace minerals like phosphorus to grow well. Basically these were a useless set of experiments (no doubt designed to give the desired answer) and totally unscientific.

  6. Malcolm permalink
    September 8, 2016 8:27 am

    At the prosaic level, no acronyms, no scientific insight, I am engaged in the harvesting of fruit in my garden. The plumbs were the sweetest and reasonably prolific. The cooking apples were by far the biggest crop that my tree has ever produced with stem growth in abundance. And as for the damsons, amazing, a huge crop, ditto medlars, ditto quince.

    I think nature is trying to tell us something: there is a balance between the proliferation of people and their industry and nature’s ability to change to accommodate such expansion using that societies waste, clever nature. The message that nature is sending is that it will do its best to ensure the abundance of food to keep our insatiable demand for procreation is serviced, it seem to suggest a constant ratio. Good old nature, bad, bad stupid science.

    We look for big answers and theories and all the time the planet is doing its best to accommodate our oddness and peccadilloes. If carbon in the atmosphere is food then we should be accepting nature’s gift and exploiting it. They say that we need to plant more trees to aid flood defences, the detractors say that it would decades for a difference to be made. On the evidence of my little acre I would not be so pessimistic. Trees planted now are a gift to future societies and might even help to stem the decline in our natural fauna. At least it might go some way to balance the slash and burn in Indonesia. The burn a hectare of trees and instead of throwing up our hands and planting even more windmills we could plant a hectare of our own trees, that’s synergy.

    • September 8, 2016 11:51 am

      As I pointed out in an earlier posting, Singer and Avery in “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years”, modern high density farming practices have been beneficial to plants and animals as far less land is used for a higher production. And you can reuse the same land which precludes the slash and burn of always seeking new land for production.

      Decades ago, hand wringing was over the flooding of our atmosphere with CO2 from the slash and burn practices acceleration in Central and America. Dang those people for wanting to eat. Anyway, studies showed that the tundra regions of Alaska were happily slurping up the additional CO2.

  7. Jack Dawkins permalink
    September 8, 2016 9:00 am

    There again, scientific research suggests that atmospheric CO2 is at some of the lowest levels ever seen over geological time.

    “History of Atmospheric CO2 through geological time (past 550 million years: from Berner, Science, 1997). The parameter RCO2 is defined as the ratio of the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere at some time in the past to that at present (with a pre-industrial value of 300 parts per million).”

  8. Sara Hall permalink
    September 8, 2016 4:28 pm

    My family here in Guernsey was involved in the tomato exporting business until its demise sometime during the 80s….we couldn’t compete with cheap EU Dutch and Spanish produce. I worked in sales for a while in the 70s and often came across invoices for ICI’s Drikold dry ice that was then being used in the greenhouses.
    I don’t know what the results were and I don’t know if the growers knew either. Maybe they were too impatient for results and as they couldn’t see immediately what was happening to the plants from this invisible gas, they stopped buying it?
    Anyhow, they stopped importing it from ICI after just a couple of years, but it must have seemed a good idea to someone somewhere at the time.
    Pity it didn’t become more popular as we’d now have a whole lot of records of plant growth to study now.

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