appeared on the Watts
Up With That? website on February 18, 2019.)
by Craig D.
Idso and Caleb S. Rossiter
inconvenient scientific fact for the climate alarmist industry is
that industrial carbon dioxide turns out to be plant food. The
burning of fossil fuels to generate electrical power has not only led
to dramatic economic growth, and hence the wealth that buys health
and life expectancy. It also has led to a greening of the planet by
carbon dioxide, an inert, non-polluting byproduct of combustion.
So, it is
perhaps not surprising that the alarmist industry - which usually
spends its time and effort publicizing computer models that have
significantly over-predicted both the warming effect of carbon
dioxide and the climate changes that result - has started to claim
that there are costs to crops, and not just benefits, from these rising
carbon dioxide levels. A summary study in this new line of attack was
published in August 2018 by researchers at the Harvard School of
Public Health, with this headline: "As CO2 Levels Rise, Millions
at Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies." (https://phys.org/news/2018-08-co2-climb-millions-nutritional-deficiencies.html#jCp)
experiments have long shows that a few crops deliver perhaps five to
ten percent less zinc, iron, and protein per unit when carbon dioxide
levels are increased from current levels to concentrations that are
predicted for the year 2100. As the Harvard researchers acknowledge,
people have been "dramatically" and
"significantly" increasing their wealth and hence improving
their diets for many years, so this small decline in the nutrients in
some crops is hardly likely to cause a nutritional crisis. They also
acknowledge that plant breeding, fertilizers, and new growing methods
can more than compensate for the decline. However, the researchers
decided to hold wealth, diets, and agricultural methods constant in
their computer model, which resulted in their estimates about
"millions" being harmed.
justify this bizarre view of the future, the Harvard researchers
claim that "the aim of this study was not to predict the precise
future health burden related to" higher levels of CO2. Oh yes it
was! Then they say that, "Macroeconomic trends, environmental
changes and the potential for adaptation make forecasting
speculative." Why then, we wonder, did they speculate?
This is what
"climate science" has come to: an institution dedicated to
promoting public health has created a scary story that supports a proposal
to "redouble efforts to reduce CO2 emissions." But that
would require reducing the very fossil fuels that drive economic
growth and hence human health in the poorest countries.
expectancy in Africa is in the low 60's, just as it was in China
before its fossil-fueled economic boom took it to 76 years of life
today. Less than a third of African households have an electrical
connection. Businesses across the continent suffer from black-outs
and brown-outs, and so rely on highly-polluting diesel generators to
meet orders. For the foreseeable future, only fossil fuels can power
a reliable grid in Africa. Under pressure from the climate alarmist
industry, the World Bank is no longer going to help African countries
build coal and gas-fired power plants. Now there's a real crisis in
Dr. Craig D.
Idso is an agronomist and climatologist. He is the chairman of the
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and the
principal adviser on plant productivity at the CO2 Coalition.
Dr. Caleb S.
Rossiter is a climate statistician and the executive director of the