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Climate change: Removing CO2 could spark big rise in food prices

August 26, 2020

By Paul Homewood


Matt McGrath is finding out there is no such thing as a free lunch!!




Technologies that can remove carbon dioxide from the air could have huge implications for future food prices, according to new research.

Scientists say that machines that remove CO2 from the air will be needed to keep the rise in global temperatures in check.

But these devices will have major impacts on energy, water and land use.

By 2050, according to this new report, food crop prices could rise more than five-fold in some parts of the world.

In the wake of the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015, researchers have tried to understand what keeping the world under a 1.5C temperature threshold would mean in practice.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported on this question in 2018, and found that keeping below this temperature rise would require the world to reach net zero emissions by 2050 but would also need the removal and storage of large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

One of the ideas on how to achieve this is called BECCS – bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. It means growing crops that soak up CO2, then burning them for electricity while capturing and burying the carbon that’s produced.

direct air capture Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A Direct Air Capture (DAC) machine installed in Iceland

Critics say this idea would need the deployment of huge amounts of land which would reduce the amount of land for agriculture at a time of increasing global population.

Another technology that has raised much interest is called Direct Air Capture (DAC), where machines pull CO2 directly from the atmosphere.

A number of experimental installations of this idea have been successfully implemented, notably in Switzerland and Canada.

But there has been little research to date on how the deployment of DAC would impact crop and food prices.

This new study looks at the large-scale deployment of a range of negative emissions technologies including DAC.

The report says that the energy and water resources needed to drive these machines will be on a very large scale.

DAC will need large amounts of heat to make the process work, say the authors. This would require energy equal to 115% of current global natural gas consumption.


In any sane world, this would put an end to the whole idea of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

  1. bluecat57 permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:04 pm

    Wow, talk about Columbusing. I learned this 50 years ago when I did an experiment in the 5th grade. They could have ended world hunger if they had focused on the BENEFITS of CO2 instead of claiming “we’re all going to die!”

    • August 26, 2020 4:24 pm

      Looks like trouble either way – too little food, or too much sea level rise and heat.

      We’re all doomed 😅

      • bluecat57 permalink
        August 26, 2020 6:12 pm

        Unless like our “dumb” ancestors we move OUT OF THE DANGER ZONE. Sheez, modern humans are idiots.

      • Gamecock permalink
        August 26, 2020 9:53 pm

        Right you are, bluecat. We are to believe that humans can’t step three feet up the bank in 80 years, and will be drowned.

  2. Devoncamel permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:06 pm

    I had to read this bit several times over.
    ‘It means growing crops that soak up CO2, then burning them for electricity while capturing and burying the carbon that’s produced.’
    Wouldn’t it be simpler not to bother, or am I missing something?
    This is right up there with the Drax carbon neutral nonsense of regrowing the trees they burn in 80-100 years time.
    Political lunacy.

    • Steve permalink
      August 26, 2020 4:41 pm

      Yet BECCS is part of the Climate Change Committee technical report accepted by our government and the green commitment was in the manifesto. Few voters had realised that the new Conservative government would be implementing insane green policies.

      • Robert Christopher permalink
        August 26, 2020 8:05 pm

        If you are talking about the UK, you think we have a Conservative government? 🙂

      • dennisambler permalink
        August 27, 2020 11:11 pm

        I think voters hoped they would only pay lip service to it and the real reason to vote Tory, holding the nose, was the thought they might finally deliver Brexit.

        Wrong on both counts.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 27, 2020 8:43 am

      It’s utter madness. You have to put in more energy than you get out in order to capture the CO2. So it cannot ever end. And of course you have to put more energy in because you are reversing part of an energy generating system.

      The trouble is politicians will not face up to reality. If they want to stop Climate Change, then they have to stop us flying, driving, heating, etc etc. That’s the choice. Either adapt or revert to the Middle Ages.

  3. Brian Smith permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:09 pm

    The next big battle will be about global cooling with countries who will suffer from cooling opposing those countries in the first world who see it as a political imperative driven by their “woke” version of socialism.

    Knowing when, and agreeing when, to stop cooling processes will be a huge problem for the UN, EU and other multi-national bodies.

    Countries like Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Russia and Scandinavia stand to gain from a warmer world. Their multi million populations significantly outnumber Pacific islanders and the like.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:11 pm

    It is seldom pointed out that the amounts of CO2 to be captured and stored to make a difference to the Earth’s climate are very large. The technology to deal with it is very small.
    To remove and safely store just ONE part-per-million is the geological storage of almost eight Gt of oxidized carbon…7,800 million metric tons. At current annual rates of industrial CO2 storage it would take 200 years to store that one ppm. Yes, a sane world would put an end to this hopeless plan to save the planet. It cannot be done, certainly not by 2050.

    • August 26, 2020 3:48 pm

      Actually let us start from the bottom.

      Any discussion regarding the level of atmospheric CO2 in isolation without any reference to the Carbon Cycle or the fact that CO2 is contained in three media not 2 is plain ignorant and done do with the intention to wilfully deceive.

      There exists today NO statistically significant data set(s) which support the claim that atmospheric concentration of CO2 which has increased from when direct measurement..AT ONE LOCATION began from 280ppm to 410ppm is caused solely by man liberating CO2 back into the Carbon Cycle where it belongs. There exists NO statistically significant dataset(s) which support the claim that this increase in atmospheric CO2 is causing any measurable amount of warming, a warming which began 350 years ago. Thirdly, there also exists NO statistically significant dataset(s) which support the assertion that that unmeasurable warming has any effect on climate whatsoever.

      What there IS is lots and lots of hard data from geological history which demonstrate the total lack of correlation between the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and temperature, none what so ever! This should come as no surprise and indeed is confirmation of observations when comparing the electromagnetic signature of CO2 to that of Water Vapour. The brief CO2 signature in at the ultra low end of the infra red end of the spectrum is totally swamped by the signature of Water Vapour. If ANY gas has an overwhelming control on the as yet unproven greenhouse effect it is Water Vapour NO CO2. Also much unscientific nonsense is spouted about ocean acidification and a supposed correlation between very recent CO2 and temperature curves. 1. An alkali cannot become an acid, it just becomes less alkali.2. and rather importantly NEVER EVER throughout geological history have the oceans even been acidic even during the Cambrian with the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was around 7000ppm! Regarding the recent data, one of the very few actual pieces of scientific data that the religious Warmists hang their hats on, well it is the sort of thing an 11 year old should be marked down for because it is a deliberate misreading of the curves. The uptick in temperature precedes CO2 increase not the other way around and represents most likely ocean degassing as the temperature increase. It is very telling when mainstream scientific knowledge is either distorted and used out of context, or ignored

      The average level of CO2 in the atmosphere over geological time is….2500ppm. The plants we eat evolved when the level was 2500-2800ppm which is why commercial greenhouses pump CO2 because plants grow bigger, faster and use less water to do it.

      There IS however a real problem with CO2 and that is that the Carbon Cycle is completely out of sync and has been so for 160 million years. . This has been a problem developing continuously for 160 million years and has been caused by the evolution of shelly marine organisms which sequestrate CO2 to combine with calcium to make hard shells from Calcium Carbonate which in turn on death of the organism form organic shelly limestones. Much more CO2 is going into rock creation than is being released by erosion of the rocks.160million years ago the atmospheric level of CO2 was around 2500ppm. Now, even including you and I driving our SUV’s forming a temporary uptick the level is ONLY 410ppm. During the depth of the first part of the current Ice Age which began around 34 million years ago atmospheric CO2 levels have been observed to have been around 180ppm, 20ppm above the death of plants because folks that is when photosynthesis stops.

      And these lunatics want to suck MORE CO2 out of the atmosphere stuck on a relentless 160 million year old trend????????

      In conclusion and supported by both geological history and physics, any measurable warming has nothing to do with the atmospheric concentration of CO2.Also from a human point of view the more recent FOUR warming events ( Minoan, Roman, Medieval and the Present) were times of plenty and positive from a human perspective. It is the cold bits which bring huge storms and famine. But then there is a multi billion dollar industry to support which uses actors, strange Swedish teenagers and corpulent failed politicians who have not a clue about anything but their religion. The first is a delusional idiot who should stick to acting, the second is mentally ill and the third should simply be in jail!

      • Mack permalink
        August 26, 2020 4:11 pm

        Well said sir, take a bow. And when you consider that the human contribution to comparatively paltry (in geological time scales) current global levels of co2 is totally negligible in comparison to those from natural sources, it makes one quickly realise that the whole farrago of nonsense spouted by the climate Pharisees is just a scam. Even if co2 emissions were a problem, which they aren’t, the doomsters would have to murder Mother Nature to achieve their goals.

      • August 26, 2020 5:46 pm

        The best estimation I have seen Mack is that man contributes 3% of the total annual flux of CO2 put into the atmosphere. Now just think if we assign a 5% error to that calculation, the error in the natural component will be greater than the total man liberated component. Also that must be a magical 3% with special properties to exceed the effects of the other 97%!

        Joking aside, I must reemphasise that this is one part of a vast Carbon Cycle. You will ask why more real scientists do not call out the scammers? Simply it is human to be a coward and people are in real danger of having their livelihoods taken away if they dare to challenge the Orthodoxy even though challenging claims is fundamental to scientific endeavour. You will note that the few who do stand up and challenge the bullcrappers are usually retired or are of independent means. Then of course they are dismissed as being past it or as in Al Gores case going as far as calling Roger Revelle senile, because he dared to express grave doubts regarding to the importance of CO2 as a greenhouse gas (something he had proposed back in the 1960’s), not long before he died.

      • tom0mason permalink
        August 26, 2020 10:25 pm

        Yes indeed and very well said pardonmeforbreathing,

        I’d also point out that free CO2 on this planet is held mostly in the oceans, and less so in the atmosphere The oceans contain about 50 times more CO2 than the atmosphere and 19 times more than the land biosphere. CO2 moves between the atmosphere and the ocean by molecular diffusion when there is a difference between CO2 gas pressure (pCO2 ) between the atmosphere and oceans. For example, when the atmospheric pCO2 is lower than the surface ocean, CO2 diffuses across the ocean-air boundary and out of the ocean surface water and into the air above.
        In general, warmer tropical waters release CO2 to the atmosphere, whereas cooler high-latitude oceans take up CO2 from the atmosphere. CO2 is also about 10 percent higher in the deep ocean than at the surface. The two basic mechanisms that control the distribution of carbon in the oceans are referred to as the solubility pump (and there is a biological pump). Basically the solubility pump control follows a modified Henry’s Law (modified for the chemistry of the oceans) but it’s maintained in balance by this mechanism. As we exit the Little Ice Age the planet’s atmosphere and oceans have warmed with consequent effects on CO2 levels.

        Thus for any given air and ocean surface (top 100m) temperature if we were to try and remove the CO2 from the air, the balance of the partial pressure would be upset between oceanic CO2 and atmospheric CO2. The balance (for a particular temperature) would then be restored back to the atmosphere by the tropical oceans venting more CO2. That would continue until humans managed sequester nearly all the CO2 in both the air and oceans, and so depleted them both to such a level that humans could equalize to any value of atmospheric CO2 we would like. Fortunately this would probably take a only few million years at the current, or even a thousandfold faster, rate of CO2 sequestering. Thankfully sane engineers and many scientist know this is folly, for to try this would consign carbon based life forms on the planet to utter annihilation.

      • I_am_not_a_robot permalink
        August 26, 2020 10:51 pm

        Your comments are refreshingly succinct IMO as a ‘non-science’ type.
        Above you comment: “… there exists NO statistically significant dataset(s) which support the claim that this increase in atmospheric CO2 is causing any measurable amount of warming …” etc. and here: “…Roger Revelle … dared to express grave doubts regarding to the importance of CO2 as a greenhouse gas …”.
        Those two statements are entirely compatible with GHG theory but many interpret similar remarks as denying the existence of a greenhouse effect, hence ‘deniers’; incapable of understanding the subtlety of the argument, in their minds it has to be a ‘binary option’, all or nothing.

      • Derek Reynolds permalink
        August 27, 2020 8:27 am

        Excellent summary, many thanks. A layman such as myself looked into the CO2 ‘scare’ after Gore produced his fantasy film. I had doubts at the time, though previously thought the industrial revolution must have had some effect on global atmosphere. I was fractionally right, but around 95% wrong.

        There is so much data available from credible sources that even I can see the scam that ‘CO2 bad’ has become, largely through pure ignorance of the masses absorbing the AGW propaganda. And Gates is spreading calcium carbide to keep the Sun rays muted. Where’s my warm coat . . .

      • August 27, 2020 11:06 am

        I am not a robot: The grenhouse effect has NOT been proven so it is only a claim or assertion no matter how many people repeat it. Also both Freeman Dyson and William Happer are quoted as saying that if it does exist then it will be hardly measurable if at all AND that the man effective ingredient will be water vapour and not CO2. A quick gander at the electromagnetic signatures of Water Vapour and CO2 points that one out very clearly. Cheers

      • August 27, 2020 11:17 am

        Tommasonson: It is telling that no public information is given regarding the Carbon Cycle, the fact that atmospheric CO2 is just part of that and the fact the Carbon Cycle is totally out of sync or that the vast majority of CO2 is infarct locked up in organic limestones. The oceans are estimated to have 38,000 to 40,000 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in solution within them. Compare that to the estimated 66 million to 100 million-billion metric tons of carbon in marine sediments and sedimentary rocks! Maybe you can start to see the problem because that gargantuan number pretty much began building 160 million years ago hence the decline in the free CO2 budget available to the Carbon Cycle.

  5. wirralexile permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:12 pm

    We already have a fully functioning machine for removing “Carbon” from the air, it’s called Plant Biology, it’s very green and it runs on sunlight.

    • Broadlands permalink
      August 26, 2020 2:39 pm

      Yes, that’s true. And scientists know that. What they want to do is to add to that natural process. Plant more trees! The problems are many. The land required is in conflict with human agriculture, in conflict with solar panel farming, in conflict with space for an increasing population to live. In the end, all of those trees will die and aerobic respiration will recycle their carbon. That’s why so much effort is being invested in technological burial…permanent burial. But, it can’t be done in the amounts needed. Game over?

      • wirralexile permalink
        August 26, 2020 4:17 pm

        pardonmeforbreathing (above) just about sums it up for me,

      • August 26, 2020 6:08 pm

        Broadlands. Please point to the empirical data based theory which states that an atmospheric concentration of 280ppm is “ideal” and that 410ppm and more is dangerous? I will caution a response by saying that for most of the Earth’s history the level hase been many times what it is today and as I point out there is actually a serious problem in need of attention which is how to stop the atmospheric CO2 line hitting the death line for plants which it is due to do in a relatively short time geologically speaking. What we should be doing is working out how to liberate the CO2 bound up in carbonaceous rocks once fossil fuels run out because the very recent very small uptick is going to turn down as soon as that happens.

        An Ideal level based on even recent Earth history is certainly over 1000ppm and better over 2000ppm which is close to the 2500ppm average for geological time. Remember CO2 in the atmosphere can ONLY be considered in a geological context and then only as part of the whole Carbon Cycle regarding the three media which contain CO2.

        Second point. Plants, trees included use water, C02 and sunlight to make sugars and of course O2. Fossil fuel is really only stored sun energy and when it is burned then what is produced is what went in, water, CO2 and energy.

        Re planting trees. Do that for a nice environment but do not con yourself it is for any other reason. On that note, exactly how much CO2 do trees absorb when they have no leaves which in Europe is a considerable part of the year.

      • wirralexile permalink
        August 26, 2020 6:49 pm


        The process for liberating carbon dioxide gas from limestone rock is extraordinarily simple and very effective, All that is required is a good source of heat and a mix of clay minerals and silica to replace the liberated carbon dioxide. This is what cement manufacture does.

        We are pretty much guaranteed never to run out of limestone, silica sand or clay minerals, Depending on which source you believe there could be as much as 50 planetary atmospheres of carbon dioxide stored in the limestone of the Earth;s crust.

      • yonason permalink
        August 26, 2020 8:37 pm

        “Plant more trees” – Broadlands

        I have no problem planting trees. I’ve planted well over a hundred in my lifetime, and intend to continue as long as I can find the room for the trees I want to plant.

        That said, let’s put this “plant more trees” into perspective.

        According to NASA, The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

        So, nature, on her own, is doing just fine. But, if you think you can make the ocean deeper by spitting into it, go right ahead.

        I think a lot of people are misinformed about how significant an impact we can make, individually. If there’s a tree you want to plant, by all means do. But if you have something else that’s more important to you, don’t feel guilty that you didn’t plant anything.

      • yonason permalink
        August 26, 2020 8:40 pm

        Aargh! I’ve been so upset that my comp is malfunctioning I forgot to put in the ref for the quote from NASA in my last.

      • Mack permalink
        August 26, 2020 11:51 pm

        Yonosan, I’ve planted 6,500 trees since Christmas. Bugger all to do with saving the planet from man made Co2 emissions, more to do with restoring long lost habitats that will improve the native biota. Removing a commercial plantation of Sitka spruce and replacing it with a native mix of oak, Scots pine, hazel, rowan and hawthorn with a few specimens of other tree and shrub species that attract moths, butterflies and lichens, it’s also been remarkable to watch the re-emergence of long dormant wildflowers popping their heads out after decades with no light. A once barren undercrop s now alive with life and the new woodland is now overrun with red squirrels that used to be rare in these parts.. It makes you proud to be a climate denier!

      • yonason permalink
        August 28, 2020 10:10 am


        I’m GREEN with envy 🙂

        Proud to know of “climate deniers” like yourself!

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        August 28, 2020 10:36 am

        More power to you sir.

        Sitka spruce is a truly appalling tree. The recovery of a barren under-story following the removal of this shallow rooted alien is something that you can be rightly proud of. Have a look at my comments on this WUWT thread:


        and continued here

        My comments in this posting are disjointed for technical reasons but I hope you get the gist.

      • yonason permalink
        August 28, 2020 11:18 am


        P.S. – Do you do this under the radar, or is there a website where I can see what you do?

        P.P.S. – E.g., on my small property in a residential area in PA I grew as much as I could.

        One year camping, my wife asked what a certain shrub was, and my eyes about popped out of my head to recognize Corylus americana. It had 5 seeds, which I took, and of which I planted the two that sprouted by the side of the house. By the time we moved, the shrubs were producing buckets full of nuts.

        A few others were an Ironwood and Lindera benzoin (both from seed from the local woods), Cornus kousa, Cornus mas (seeds from trees in Baltimore) and a red-twig dogwood shrub (purchased seed), Japanese maples (one came up in lawn, one purchased plant), Japanese Umbrella Pine (purchase plant), Hawthorn tree (grown from seed from “tea” purchased at Inner Harbor in Baltimore), 2 Giant Sequoia (one of which died in first year, and the other grew slowly despite infestation by bark beetles that I couldn’t get rid of), Fagus grandifolia that came up by itself in my lawn, brown paper-bark birch from seed, Chamacypress from seed around my deck (two came up gold, so I put those to either side of the steps), ….and there’s more, with local wild flowers to brighten things up from below.

        But where I had just a tiny postage stamp to work with, you have a magnificent canvas. It must be truly awesome to do what you are able to. I hope you are able to keep it up, restoring even more than you thought possible, because that is what’s worth doing, IMO.

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        August 28, 2020 11:51 am

        Lindera benzoin is a new species for me
        You do what I also do.

      • yonason permalink
        August 28, 2020 1:47 pm

        @Philip Mulholland

        Salute you, as well.

        I’ve read that colonists used L.benzoin berries as a substitute for allspice.

        It’s an understory small tree/shrub with brilliant yellow autumn foliage. It’s quite a sight when they turn color en masse in the forest, or even just as a one-of specimen.

  6. Bill Berry permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:14 pm

    It may be that a rise in food prices is the wake-up call required to prompt a serious push-back against the whole steaming pile of policies that have thrived while we were relatively well-off and able to absorb the increases in energy, tax and transport costs inflicted by CCA 2008.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 27, 2020 8:46 am

      The rise in food prices from this is nothing compared with the rise in food prices if we implement the plans of Greta, Caroline Lucas, Biden and the rest.

  7. jack broughton permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:17 pm

    If it were necessary to remove CO2 from the air, nature is already excellent at this. Grow crops and trees and let them air dry then store them under earth and carbon is captured and stored ……………… until a sane Fat Controller (or Big Brother) comes along and burns the lot as a terrific windfall!

  8. James Marusek permalink
    August 26, 2020 2:20 pm

    The elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is cause a greening effect on the planet. Plants are able to grow more efficiently. If one was to reduce the CO2 levels it would result in a starved environment and farming output would decrease because of the lack of one of the primary elements of plant food, carbon dioxide.

  9. August 26, 2020 2:44 pm

    Is it possible for the BBC and its environment correspondents (and science and any other type of correspondents) to sink any lower?

    • Broadlands permalink
      August 26, 2020 3:08 pm

      Yes. The efforts to promote green deals, new or old, will continue. Redefine the problem with new names. They seem to get lower. So low that they will have to look up to look under?

      • August 26, 2020 5:42 pm

        Yes, most of the CO2 on the planet is stored in the oceans. When the oceans warm it comes out of solution, when they cool more CO2 is dissolved in the oceans and atmospheric CO2 declines.

      • August 26, 2020 6:16 pm

        Actually Lydia the majority of CO2 is locked up in organic carbonaceous rocks, exceeding the amount in the oceans by several orders of magnitude hence the 160 million year old problem with the Carbon Cycle which I mention above. Them pesky molluscs just got too darned good at that sequestration!

      • wirralexile permalink
        August 26, 2020 7:01 pm


        Look at it this way, What those pesky Coccolithophores did was to avert the oceanic alkalinity crisis by stopping the pOH of the ocean water from becoming too high,

        All we have to do now is keep the oceans warm, that drives off the CO2 and keeps the land plants happy. By some accounts we are doing a pretty good job. Gaia is proud of her children.

      • yonason permalink
        August 26, 2020 8:46 pm

        @Lydia Holden

        Thanks for reminding me. I’ve been meaning to post on that. All the warmists focus on how much CO2 we put into the atmosphere, but they forget what you wrote, that most is in the ocean (at least 90%). So, when they tell us that we put 10 billion metric tons into the air, that means our contribution to atmospheric increase is less than 1 billion, because the rest goes into the ocean. I’ll bet the plankton, and the organisms that feed on it, are loving that.

      • yonason permalink
        August 26, 2020 8:56 pm


        Yes. And I’m assuming you got your info from Patrick Moore, or someone else concerned more with facts than hysterics? Here’s Moore’s take on it, for those not familiar.

        What we want is more CO2, not less. Those who want less are either ignorant or suicidal.

      • August 27, 2020 10:50 am

        wirralexile maybe you missed what I wrote. never in the whole of Geological History have the oceans been acidic, even during the Cambrian when the atmospheric level of CO2 was around 7000ppm. This is simply fake science no more no less than which promoted by the wonderfully impartial media has suddenly become fact…just like the Polar Bears and just like the Great Barrier Reef and just like the child level of understanding of sea level

      • wirralexile permalink
        August 27, 2020 11:49 am

        “wirralexile maybe you missed what I wrote ”

        No I did not miss your point and I agree with you about the chemistry of the oceans in the Phanerozoic Eon. We have to go back to the time of an oxygen-free world in the Precambrian and the formation of the banded ironstone to find conditions in which ocean waters were acidic.The phase stability of ferrous iron Fe2+ .means that this cation exists preferentially in waters with a low pH

        The humorous point I wanted to make was that if the critters had not learned the trick of how to precipitate calcite from the ocean waters then these waters would have become too alkaline to support life.

      • August 27, 2020 10:54 am

        yonason Actually I did see the video you mention by the great Dr. Moore a man I have admired for many years but I already knew about the decline in CO2 because this is my job! 🙂 My first degree is in Geology and my second in Geophysics and 35 years of working with both every day.

      • yonason permalink
        August 27, 2020 11:54 pm


        It seemed as if you knew what you were talking about. 🙂

  10. Alec permalink
    August 26, 2020 3:04 pm

    No need to fret about that. The major reduction of CO2 emission during the COVID lockdown had No Effect on how much CO2 was in the atmosphere, which continued to grow oblivious to what humans were doing. For good reason – several studies have now shown that, contrary to UN hype, the net effect of human addition and removal of CO2 is so small as to be irrelevant.

    • Devoncanel permalink
      August 26, 2020 5:35 pm

      Precisely. We cannot control the climate and it beggars belief that mainstream opinion continues to suck all this nonsense up.

      • August 26, 2020 6:11 pm

        We can’t balance the economy, we cannot cure cancer, we cannot take the poor out of poverty but we can control the climate……..

  11. August 26, 2020 5:36 pm

    C02 it the gas from which all life is made thanks to the miracle of photosynthesis. It has been declining in the atmosphere for 50 or 60 million years and is now at an all time low. Without CO 2 there would be virtually no life. Plants are functioning at starvation levels. Some plants known as C4 have the ability to concentrate CO2 up in their leaves to facilitate more efficient photosynthesis. They have become more successful in the last 20 or 30 million years, the grasses are an example. All this paranoia about a small increase in a trace gas that is vital to life is due to gross ignorance.

    • August 26, 2020 6:10 pm

      Hi Lydia. It is actually 160 million years, since the Late Jurassic. I give the reason why in my piece above otherwise your comments are quite correct.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      August 27, 2020 12:01 am

      I’ve read that 150 ppm is starvation level; atmosphere is now just over 400. 800 to 1,000 seems like a worthy goal.
      Interestingly, RCP8.5 (the scary scenario) assumed 936 in 2100. Others argue that can’t happen from human actions. Perhaps Gaia can help get well above the starvation level.

      • August 27, 2020 11:00 am

        Nancy & John Hultquist: 160ppm is where photosynthesis is seriously compromised but reduction in efficiency of plants starts long before that point. We have geological history not infernal models to tell us what the level has been during the past 500 million years and the average over that time is 2500ppm. As I wrote above, when the angiosperms evolved ( the vegies we eat) the level was somewhere around 2500-2800ppm. You would agree that we should look to geological history and not arm waving by arts degree holding activists and those looking to make money out of fear to understand where the Carbon Cycle should be and by inference what the level of CO2 in the atmosphere should be.

  12. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 26, 2020 6:55 pm

    More BBC Justin Rowlatt ‘criminally dire’ journalism:

    “Bread price may rise after dire UK wheat harvest”


    DIRE is a strong word, def. = extremely serious.

    NIAB is a reputable source – “However, despite what we sometimes consider to be extreme weather variations, UK wheat yields are amazingly consistent from year to year when compared to some other parts of the world.”

    In recent years 7-8t/ha seems pretty normal, for example 1976 was half that! BUT there have been 3 or 4 exceptionally productive years recently.

    So what are the yields this year, yes a terrifyingly dire 7.3-7.7t/ha estimated so far, 59% harvested, pretty ‘normal’ but not as high as a few recent exceptional years!

    And yet these exceptional and generally increasing yields have come as we battle the ‘climate emergency’ and in the face of ‘ever more extreme weather’ supposedly!

    2013 was quite a poor harvest compared to recent years but then the BBC reported:

    “The National Association of British and Irish Millers said a lower yield would not affect prices, which are governed by bigger global producers.”


    Oh they’ve managed to get BREXIT into the 2020 story too, it’s almost as if……….

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 26, 2020 10:09 pm

      The main news is also claiming worst in 40 years tonight – seems unlikely. I can only think the acreage planted was much less than normal (water-logging during planting period) and Justin’s reference to yield is misleading. Will have to wait for the final total tonnage.

      Regardless, the fields will not have been left barren, and other crops will have occupied the space – which will be more plentiful than normal – that’s farming!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 26, 2020 10:35 pm

      And the report said the price of wheat had ALREADY gone up i.e. it is international market driven, not because of a poor UK harvest.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 27, 2020 8:48 am

      If the BBC think what prices are governed by the harvest in the UK they are even more stupid than I thought.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        August 27, 2020 9:34 am

        They do and they don’t as suits their agenda du jour!

        The international price actually peaked mid Jan 2020 and has fallen back since. The pandemic with some concern over flour/wheat shortages and the port explosion destroying Lebanon’s 120,000-tonne capacity silo have caused volatility no doubt. But forecast price Jan 2021 is same as 2020.

        The whole story is essentially the BBC weaving actual (but largely irrelevant) issues/facts into a Brexit-bad/climate change propaganda narrative.

  13. saparonia permalink
    August 26, 2020 11:42 pm

    Idiots. Stupid flipping idiots. With no trees there is no life. I wonder if this is some actual aliens who rendered Mars to a wasteland are now here to do the same.

  14. manicbeancounter permalink
    August 27, 2020 12:02 am

    The article believes that net zero emissions by 2050 is feasible. It is not, due to the Paris Agreement. The 1.5C pathway requires global emissions to be at least 55% lower in 2030 than in 2019. The Paris Agreement Article 4.1 exempts the developing countries from any obligation to even constain emissions growth, let alone cut it.
    Now for the simplified maths.
    Current global emissions are about 55 GtCO2e, forecast to rise to 60 in 2030 under current policies. Target for 2030 is 25.
    The developing countries current emissions are 35, rising to 40 in 2030. Developed countries are about 20 and will stay constant. So to achieve the 1.5C target withinn the Paris Agreement, developed countries have to reduce their emissions by around 175%. That means zero emissions & to suck out of the atmosphere by 2030 5 times the maximum envisaged as possible in the article by 2030.

    • jack broughton permalink
      August 29, 2020 9:26 pm

      Great and simple arithmetic summary of the madness of the CCC and UK government policies: real tilting at windmills!

  15. Peter permalink
    August 27, 2020 12:42 am

    “growing crops that soak up CO2, then burning them for electricity while capturing and burying the carbon that’s produced”

    Would it be easier, cheaper and more efficient to grow trees, cut them down and store them in a cave?

    • August 27, 2020 11:25 am

      Peter. If there was a problem. No science I know of says there is……only models and people who have no clue about Earths history say there is a problem….. oh and those fine folks who look to make money out of fear mongering about it. Just have a look at any website of the main peddlers of eye wateringly expensive party time wind power. See how much time they spend distracting the reader with green BS to hide and justify the fact that their product is not much good but we still need to buy more from them to save the planet!

  16. Stephen Lord permalink
    August 27, 2020 4:34 am

    Reducing CO2 directly reduces food production because it is the critical food the plants ned.

  17. August 27, 2020 4:41 am

    Small price to pay to save the world

    • wirralexile permalink
      August 27, 2020 10:34 am


      “Small price to pay to save the world ”

      The following quote is attributed by Tacitus, in his history of the Roman invasion of Britain, to Calgacus, a chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy who fought the Roman army of Gnaeus Julius Agricola at the Battle of Mons Graupius in northern Scotland in AD 83 or 84.

      “they make a desert and call it peace”

      This is what the left always do, they seek to control us at all costs including at the cost of total destruction.

      • August 27, 2020 11:27 am

        wirralexile I doff my cap, a learned gent indeed! Yes! What have the Romans ever done for us! 🙂

      • August 29, 2020 8:01 am

        Good point, sir, and well made. Thank you.

  18. Pancho Plail permalink
    August 27, 2020 8:42 am

    Forgive me for going off topic, but yesterday I heard a news broadcast trumpeting “greatest wind power production”. So I checked Grid Watch this morning to see how sustained this was and was greeted by the fact that coal-fired generation was currently double wind power (1.5GW v 0.7GW).

  19. calnorth permalink
    August 27, 2020 9:33 am

    If you watch the private UK farming harvesting vids on Youtube (2020) you’ll no doubt notice how freaking hard it is to grow..Wheat, Barley, Oats and hardest of all now – Rape. This ranges through many pests, much machinery, fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, weeds, land and many regulations. Add in the variability (unreliability) of weather and often over wet or over dry. Its a risky business and I cannot see that foolishly playing with CO2 adds anything…it dangerously and critically subtracts.

  20. Philip Foster permalink
    August 27, 2020 11:46 am

    Henry’s Law ensures that it is impossible to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Any attempt to do so will simply result in more CO2 coming out of the oceans to replace it. Unless these idiots think they can extract all the CO2 from the oceans they will never reduce CO2 this way. Thankfully!!

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