Chodong Business

The Phony War Against CO2

The Phony War Against CO2: Rodney W. Nichols and Harrison H. Schmitt write that contrary to the narrative peddled by the climate change movement, carbon dioxide has helped raise global food production and reduce poverty.

ENLARGE Photo: Getty Images

National polls show that climate change is low on the list of voters’ priorities. For good reason: In the U.S., and for much of the world, the most dangerous environmental pollutants have been cleaned up. U.S. emissions of particulates, metals and varied gases—all of these: ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur—fell almost 70% between 1970 and 2014.

Further reductions will come from improved technologies such as catalytic removal of oxides of nitrogen and more-efficient sulfur scrubbers. This is a boon to human health.

But a myth persists that is both unscientific and immoral to perpetuate: that the beneficial gas carbon dioxide ranks among hazardous pollutants. It does not.

Unlike genuine pollutants, carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless, colorless gas. Every human being exhales about two pounds of CO2 a day, along with a similar amount of water vapor. CO2 is nontoxic to people and animals and is a vital nutrient to plants. It is also a greenhouse gas which helps maintain earth at a habitable temperature.

Fear of excessive warming from more CO2 in the atmosphere, including that released from human activity, has caused some people to advocate substantial and expensive reductions in CO2 emissions. But observations, such as those on our CO2 Coalition website, show that increased CO2 levels over the next century will cause modest and beneficial warming—perhaps as much as one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)—and that this will be an even larger benefit to agriculture than it is now. The costs of emissions regulations, which will be paid by everyone, will be punishingly high and will provide no benefits to most people anywhere in the world.

In 2013 the level of U.S. farm output was about 2.7 times its 1948 level, and productivity was growing at an average annual rate of 1.52%. From 2001 to 2013, world-wide, global output of total crop and livestock commodities was expanding at an average rate of 2.52% a year.

This higher food security reduces poverty and increases well being and self-sufficiency everywhere, especially in the poorest parts of the developing countries. Along with better plant varieties, cropping practices and fertilizer, CO2 has contributed to this welcome increase in productivity.

The increase of atmospheric CO2 following the Industrial Revolution also has facilitated the expansion of natural vegetation into what had been barren areas, such as the edges of the Sahara and the Arctic. According to the U.N., the world will add 2.5 billion people over the next 30 years, most of them in developing countries. Feeding these people and assuring them a comfortable living standard should be among our highest moral priorities. With more CO2 in the atmosphere, the challenge can and will be met.

National policies must make economic and environmental sense. When someone says, “climate science is settled,” remind them to check the facts. And recall the great physicist Richard Feynman’s remark: “No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles.”

Mr. Nichols, a physicist, and Mr. Schmitt, a geologist and former Apollo 17 astronaut, are co-founders of the CO2 Coalition.

photo The Phony War Against CO2 images

photo of The Phony War Against CO2


Source www.wsj.com.

related

U.S. Court Ruling is a Game-Changer for Endangered Species

This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a game-changing ruling strengthening the link between climate change projections and the listing of end...

Why overfishing is affecting the pace of climate change

Sharks and whales help reduce the levels of carbon dioxide production.

Exxon Enters No Man's Land

Slowly, in fits and starts, Exxon's investors are pushing it to take better account of climate-change risks.

A Climate Change Policy that Benefits the Poor

Putting a price on carbon is a reliable and cost-effective approach to reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. It spurs investments in clean ene...

Ontario needs better data on its groundwater supply: environmental watchdog

Ontario's environmental commissioner is urging the Liberal government to get better information about the province's groundwater as it reviews the permits for bottled water

America's Cutest Mammal Is Disappearing, And We're Doing Nothing To Stop It

The climate change-threatened mammal has been denied protections under the Endangered Species Act. Again.

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Hit New 25-Year Low

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions fell to a new 25-year low during the first six months of 2016, helped in large part by power plants switching from coal to natural gas and renewable

We Just Passed A Grim Carbon Dioxide Threshold, Possibly For Good

CO2 levels surpassed 400 ppm in September. Scientists say we won't see a month below that symbolic benchmark "ever again."

Could prairie farmers actually benefit from global warming?

An economist studying global food supply says farmers on the Canadian Prairies are "literally" the only agricultural winners on the planet as a result of global warming.

Earth hasn’t surpassed this climate milestone in more than a million years

A climatologist believes Earth may have reached something that humans have never seen: carbon dioxide levels that not only have reached 400 parts per million, but levels that are

The world is watching as California steps up — again — on climate change

Cap and trade should remain central to the Golden State’s multifaceted plan to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Is the “white gold” export boom under threat?

THE Chinese crackdown on Australian dairy has cast a veil of uncertainty over what was hailed as a “white gold” export boom.

Rules on heavy trucks’ efficiency are valuable. But there’s still a better approach.

To fight climate change, the U.S. needs a simple carbon dioxide policy.

The Climate of Man—I

One glaciologist likened the climate to a rowboat: you can only tip it so far before you get to the other stable state, which is upside down.

European Commission Unveils Greenhouse Gas Targets

The European Commission unveiled proposed greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets for every EU country from 2021-2030, including for the U.K., which could be out of the bloc by

Here’s the honest statement Comey won’t make

Since he apparently no longer believes in transparency, he leaves it to our imagination to wonder what he thinks.

What do we do now? Take a deep breath.

As the Clinton email saga rages, remember what’s important.

Make America trade again: Our view

Campaign rhetoric from both Clinton and Trump distorts economic reality.

'To Thine Own Self Be True.' Lessons From A Four-Star General To The Hogan Entrepreneurs

Speaking to the 2016 class of Hogan Entrepreneurs recently, retired General David Bramlett offered lessons of leadership culled from decades of military ...

McDonald's to pay $3.75 million in dispute over worker pay at franchise restaurants

For the first time, McDonald’s has settled a case with workers who said they were subject to labor violations at franchisee-owned stores.

Army must consider using Palantir software, judge rules

Palantir Technologies Inc. said Monday that a federal judge sided with the Silicon Valley software firm in its bid to force the U.S. Army to consider Palantir’s product for a

Feds hope Canadians will focus on long-term economic plan over short-term pain

The federal Liberal government will update the country's economic and fiscal progress Tuesday, hoping to encourage Canadians to focus on the potential of its long-term plan -- and

The criminal probe into Valeant's former CEO raises 2 big questions

We're still waiting for a response from the company on this.

Hedge funds need to stop hiring the same white, male Wall Streeters they always have

We are near the end of a third consecutive year in which hedge funds have struggled to justify their existence.

The rise of electric cars could kill thousands of auto manufacturing jobs

Electric motors are much simpler than internal combustion engines, so Volkswagen and other car companies might be facing big layoffs in the next few years.

Texas' battered oil and gas industry may finally be turning around

But the climb back out of the hole dug since the price collapsed from over $100 to the $30 lows of January-February 2016 will be slow.

Here's what a bunch of analysis is saying about crude oil right now

A look at crude oil from a lot of different perspectives.

Future of Payments: Four Trends to Know in Payment Processing

The payments industry is constantly changing with new startups looking to change the way we move money around the world. See the four latest trends in...

10-year Treasurys just had their worst month since February 2015

The 10-year yield rose 24 basis points during the month of October.

11 signs you're not ready to buy a house

Can you afford to buy a home? Here are few red flags to watch out for.

Protecting the internet's purpose

Like every paradigm-shifting technology, the internet has evolved quickly from interesting to essential. Security failures are not an option.

McDonald's agrees to pay $3.75 million to settle wage-theft lawsuit

McDonald's has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it was liable for labor law violations by a California franchisee.

Americans spent $420 billion in effort to stop buying things last year

Subscription streaming services like Spotify, HBO Go and Netflix are a business model that will only get stronger, says Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo.

This stock market metric says the likely winner is...Trump

The stock market's election year performance between July 31-Oct. 31 has often accurately predicted the next president, and this year it predicts Trump.

Trader bets against Mexican stocks ahead of the US election

Trader Todd Gordon is trying to take advantage of the uncertainty in Mexico about the U.S. election.