May 30, 2011 | Graham

So you think carbon “pollution” is bad now?

Few things annoy me more than the description of carbon dioxide emissions as “pollution”, a pejorative misdescription which has even become enshrined in some laws.

You’re talking about one of the two basic chemical building-blocks of life, the other being water, which is present in the atmosphere in miniscule quantities. If emitting carbon dioxide is pollution, what about the steam that rises off my cooking?

Now I’m not arguing that because CO2 is less than a percent of atmosphere that it has no effect on temperature, but in this whole debate it’s worth looking at the graph below which tracks the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 500 million years, and plots climate against it.

Not only are we living in a time of carbon drought, but there is no observable correlation between CO2 levels and higher temperature. That doesn’t mean that there is no correlation, just that other factors dominate.


Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations last 500 years

The line represents CO2 concentrations with the grey shadow showing the margin of possible error, and the grey and white bars at the top represent cooler and warmer period. Grey is cooler and white is warmer.

Worth thinking about. Certainly more significant than Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick.

Posted by Graham at 9:49 pm | Comments (46) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. So, Academies of Science around the world, NASA, The Royal Society and the CSIRO don’t know what they’re talking about? Why should we believe you and not them? And where did you get your graph from? Lord Monckton?

    Comment by Con Carlyon — May 30, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  2. I’m with Con, why did you not reference that graph? Few things annoy me more than people publishing unreferenced material, particularly where matters of science are at issue.

    Comment by Bill Taggart — May 30, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

  3. OK, see this link for background to the graph:

    Comment by Bill Taggart — May 30, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

  4. I wonder where you’d draw the horizontal line in this graph to illustrate where human habitation would be possible and where it would not. Graham? Your thoughts?

    Comment by Bill Taggart — May 30, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

  5. Hi Bill,

    Hope you agree that National Academy of Sciences is a reputable body, and you’ll see that the paper was peer-reviewed. It doesn’t illustrate anything more than what anyone who actually studies this issue should know.

    I think you’ll find that over that entire 600 M year period climate would have been suitable for human habitation.

    Comment by Graham — May 30, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

  6. “It doesn’t illustrate anything more than what anyone who actually studies this issue should know.”

    So, are you suggesting that the Academies of Science, NASA, Royal Society and CSIRO don’t know, Graham? After decades of scientific debate, the consensus of climate scientists around the world agrees that climate change is real. “Consensus” does not mean that every climate scientist agrees, just a majority. By posting one graph from one paper, that you didn’t even see fit to attribute a source to, you are adopting the tactics of climate deniers the world over. The science is complex, and by suggesting the layman can form an opinion by looking at one graph you are being mischievous indeed. I thought you were better than this.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — May 31, 2011 @ 12:54 am

  7. Add to that, “climate change is real and contributed to by man”.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — May 31, 2011 @ 12:56 am

  8. The data cited refers to inorganic and organic carbon over 500 million years, when masssive geologic processes (weathering and volcanism) were dominant factors.

    The notion that the planet would have been habitable by humanity over that entire period is nonsense.

    Comment by Ben Rose — May 31, 2011 @ 1:22 am

  9. So are you disputing the graph Con, which was attributed – just try clicking on the link? I’m running a blog here, not an academic journal.

    And I am not basing my critique on this one graph, just commenting on an aspect of the debate.

    You seem to be adopting the tactics of global warming hysterics everywhere – verbal the messenger and deny the data.

    Comment by Graham — May 31, 2011 @ 1:24 am

  10. That’s a pretty big call Ben. The time period dates more or less from the Cambrian Explosion forward, so the atmosphere was quite conducive to animal and plant life as demonstrated by the fact that the explosion occurred. So what are you claiming makes humanity that different from other animals that they could survive and we couldn’t?

    Comment by Graham — May 31, 2011 @ 1:57 am

  11. What is it that so enrages people like Con? It seems like a worthwhile addition to the discussion concerning carbon dioxide, or is it official, the discussion is over? Please point me towards the irrefutable smoking gun, Cos.

    Comment by luciferase — May 31, 2011 @ 2:03 am

  12. The author is scientifically correct.

    The non-scientists who believe in anthropogenic global warming are being politically correct or else conned by the dogma, while the supporting scientists do so on the basis of pseudo-science or plain assertion — not science.

    There is no scientific evidence that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions have a measurable effect on global warming. Consequently, there is no scientific or economic basis for taking action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

    There is no truth in the claim that climate science is settled.

    Comment by Ray — May 31, 2011 @ 2:08 am

  13. The claims of AGW are not backed up by sound science and even if it were true,there is no logic in us going it alone when the carbon emitions by the rest of the world will continue to grow exponentially.It is a double whammy of stupidity.

    I few weeks ago I did a job for an engineer who is a specialist in sewage/water treatment.He said he’done the sums himself and if we burned all the carbon on the planet the most increase we would see is 1 deg C.

    He also invented a home water treatment system using your pool’s filter to recycle 80% of water used in the home.This obivously excluded sewage and your filter could be coverted for $800.00 He approached Sydney Water and they were not interested because their income would be vastly reduced.Here we see the hypocracy of Govt.It was a short while ago that AGW would cause enternal droughts and we needed to conserve water.Hence they built a multi billion $ useless coal burning Desalination Plant.This engineer comes up with a solution and is ignored.The environment is not the issue.Money is the issue.

    I think a lot more of our AGW worshippers needed to study science at school,since they have certainly acquired a serious void in the logic dept.

    Comment by Ross — May 31, 2011 @ 2:30 am

  14. “So are you disputing the graph Con, which was attributed – just try clicking on the link? I’m running a blog here, not an academic journal.”

    No, I’m not disputing the graph, Graham. I’m aware enough to know that I don’t have the scientific knowledge to have an informed opinion on it. With all due respect, neither do you.

    And you are exactly right. You are running a blog, not an academic journal. That is why academic matters are best left to academics to discuss, not uninformed laymen.

    The fact remains that the consensus of the world’s climate scientists is of the opinion that climate change is real and is a threat to the planet. I prefer to be guided by that salient fact than those who think that a high school knowledge of science is sufficient to dispute the overwhelming majority opinion of the world’s climate scientists. So, I’ll leave you to your graph, Graham. Good luck with changing the opinion of the world’s climate science community with it. Somehow I doubt they’ll be taking any notice of you.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — May 31, 2011 @ 3:26 am

  15. Con, belittling your own abilities as well as other people’s is no way to win the argument. I’ve got more than enough knowledge and ability in the areas to understand the climate change debate. Ultimately it’s not even a scientific question but a risk management one, which is basically the field of economics.

    I bet if you went to the doctor and were told you had a fatal disease you’d get a second opinion. And if the second opinion said something different from the first then you’d have to analyse the information for yourself. Which is exactly where we find ourselves with climate change.

    There is no scientific consensus. That’s just a myth as the thousands of papers challenging one part or another of the IPCC view demonstrates. You can’t have a consensus when there is a significant body of divergent opinion.

    Comment by Graham — May 31, 2011 @ 5:58 am

  16. Well, Graham, I’d suggest you take the matter of whether there is a consensus up with the scientific organisations around the world that say there is. You might also enquire why governments around the world are acting to reduce emissions on the advice of these organisations.

    At the end of the day, if they are wrong, they will have reduced carbon emissions at some considerable cost. But if you and like minded deniers are wrong, the economic and ecological consequences may well be irreversible. You may be prepared to take that chance. I’m not.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — May 31, 2011 @ 6:15 am

  17. It was Maurice Strong the then Secretary of the UN who set up the IPCC and the parameters of its’ enquiry.It did not include the influnence of the Sun in its’ enquiry.Why would you exclude the prime source of climate change in solving any changes?

    Maurice Strong is a eugenicist who is on record as wanting to see the World’s pop decreased to half a billion.Strong is a radical Malthusian dictating to us the parameters of an investigation that will affect the survival of billions on the planet.

    “We have to hide the decline.” ” World temps have fallen and it is a travesty that we cannot account for it.” Are these the words of skeptical honest scientists?He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    The true scientists who asked the questions were labelled deniars like the holocaust deniars with the intent of slandering them.Prof Tim Ball a Climatogolist from Canada now faces criminal prosecution for speaking out.The science is never settled.

    Comment by Ross — May 31, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  18. Whether the planet was substantially livable for humanity over the period indicated by the graph still isn’t the right question. The issue is whether civilisation can withstand a RAPID (i.e. instantaneous at the scale of the graph) return to conditions that Earth has spent the last 35 million years evolving away from. Not a proposition I want to bet my grandchildren on.

    Comment by Mark Duffett — May 31, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  19. If only it were a one way bet Con, but it isn’t. Combating climate change is going to destroy lives and livelihoods. It already is. People are literally dying in cold countries because they can’t afford adequate heating. Other people are starving because of mad policies which are diverting food stocks to ethanol.

    It will only get worse.

    At the same time increased carbon dioxide is likely to be more beneficial than not.

    When you say that governments are acting to reduce greenhouse emissions you’ve actually got to look at what they do, not what they say. The only thing that has reduced emissions to date is recession, not conscious government action.

    And as we recover from recession, guess what, emissions grow, as they did last year, by record amounts.

    What you see most governments doing is talking about doing something to keep people like you happy who want to believe that something needs to be done, at the same time as they try to ensure it doesn’t actually hurt the economic interests of too many voters who’d rather be housed, clothed and fed than paying for some hypothetical prospect of temperature increase sometime in the uncertain future.

    So, judged on our actions, we’re just about all “deniers”, which is a despicable term employed by people who know their argument doesn’t stand up to try to tag people they disagree with.

    Comment by Graham — May 31, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  20. “People are literally dying in cold countries because they can’t afford adequate heating. Other people are starving because of mad policies which are diverting food stocks to ethanol.”

    Care to provide a link to substantiate that wild claim, Graham? And no, pointing me to another denialist web page isn’t substantiation. And in any case what does people dying because they can’t afford heating have to do with climate change when emissions are still increasing? Could it just be that the reason those people can’t afford adequate heating is because they are living in poverty as so much of the world is?

    You’ve made similar wild claims about increased carbon dioxide emissions being beneficial, again without any substantiation of your claim. Sorry, but your opinion is worth no more than mine in scientific matters. I am pointing to the overwhelming majority of climate scientists’ opinions as the basis for my beliefs. Nowhere can you point to a consensus supporting your claims.

    But let’s try and look at it objectively from the perspective of risk management with which you say you are familiar. Let’s say opinion is evenly divided between climate scientists. We have a choice of whether to follow climate change believers or the deniers. We also have a choice as to whether to take a short term view or take long term responsibility for the lives of succeeding generations of all life forms on this planet.

    If we choose to follow the believers then the worst that can happen in the short term is that there will be some impact on the economy, and inevitably some jobs and livelihoods will be affected, but to compensate, other jobs and livelihoods will be created. Our government accepts that it is our moral responsibility to assist those affected to make the transition to a climate friendly economy. The long term benefit is that we will reduce our reliance on finite fossil fuels, and accelerate our development of the renewable energy sources upon which our descendants will ultimately have to rely. We will also decrease the emissions of carbon dioxide which will reduce the impact of a climate change which threatens to destroy our planet.

    If we follow the denialist option of doing nothing then it is true that we will not immediately impact on existing jobs and livelihoods, but the long term impact is that our finite fossil fuel reserves will deplete more rapidly which has negative consequences on the economy for our descendants. We will also increase the carbon dioxide emissions which the deniers say will be beneficial.

    Yet, according to our exercise, 50% of climate scientists say that these emissions are not beneficial and will ultimately destroy life on this planet. One would have to say that this body of opinion which predicts such a disastrous outcome would have a major impact on any objective assessment of risk management.

    There is no smoking gun in the climate change debate that will prove or disprove either side’s argument. The debate has gone on for long enough. The time has long past when we must decide one way or another whether to take action on climate change. In making that decision I think we should be mindful of the words of Rupert Murdoch, “The planet deserves the benefit of the doubt”. To argue otherwise seems to me to be an exercise in gross irresponsibility concerning the welfare of future generations and all life on this planet.

    I think Machiavelli had it right in “The Prince”:

    “We must bear in mind, then, that there is nothing more difficult and dangerous, or more doubtful of success, than an attempt to introduce a new order of things in any state. For the innovator has for enemies all those who derived advantages from the old order of things, whilst those who expect to be benefited by the new institutions will be but lukewarm defenders. This indifference arises in part from fear of their adversaries who were favoured by the existing laws, and partly from the incredulity of men who have no faith in anything new that is not the result of well-established experience. Hence it is that, whenever the opponents of the new order of things have the opportunity to attack it, they will do it with the zeal of partisans, whilst the others defend it but feebly, so that it is dangerous to rely upon the latter.”

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 1, 2011 @ 4:08 am

  21. “There is no smoking gun in the climate change debate that will prove or disprove either side’s argument. The debate has gone on for long enough. The time has long past when we must decide one way or another whether to take action on climate change. In making that decision I think we should be mindful of the words of Rupert Murdoch, “The planet deserves the benefit of the doubt”. ”

    The fact is that the scientific literature is devoid of any compelling scientific evidence that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions cause dangerous global warming. To put it another way, the AGW hypothesis has not been proved. The science is not settled.

    Political correctness, assertion, green ideology, pseudo-science, precautionary principle, derision, deceitful argument (e.g. mis-naming CO2 as “carbon pollution” when it is a colourless non-polluting gas necessary for life), left-wing ranting, alarmism, etc. do not qualify as science, and consequently there is no scientific or economic justification to legislate to reduce anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

    Comment by Ray — June 1, 2011 @ 4:49 am

  22. “The fact is that the scientific literature is devoid of any compelling scientific evidence that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions cause dangerous global warming.”

    How do you know? Have you read it all? The Academies of Science around the world have reached the opposite conclusion. By saying they are wrong, you cast aspersion on the scientific method and the reputations of people whose business it is to assess the results of scientific research. Resorting to the usual ad hominems so beloved of deniers does nothing to support your argument. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 1, 2011 @ 6:00 am

  23. Con Carlyon,Why did the IPCC have to “hide the decline” in Global Temps? Why did they also exclude the most salient influence on climate,the Sun from their investigations?

    Comment by Ross — June 1, 2011 @ 8:33 am

  24. Everyone take a step back and hHave a look at

    It was last night’s SBS Insight program

    Comment by luciferase — June 1, 2011 @ 8:42 am

  25. Ross, no idea if they did or didn’t. Ask them.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 1, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  26. Thanks for that luciferase. I hadn’t seen it before. I was interested that he spoke in terms of risk assessment. At the end of the day that is what it is all about, isn’t it. My attitude is that the risk incurred in doing nothing far outweighs the risk in doing something to reduce emissions.

    To do nothing one must be absolutely convinced that there is no risk. Given the array of scientific opinion confronting us in regard to climate change, I do not see that the informed layman can arrive at such an opinion with any confidence. I think we must be guided by the consensus of climate scientists and “give the planet the benefit of the doubt” as that “notorious left winger”, Rupert Murdoch, says. And that will probably be the first and last time I agree with him on anything.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 1, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  27. Yeah, I insure my house on a less probability than that of “problematic” GW. I do not believe that all life on earth will be wiped out, by the way, just that there will be nasty problems I’d rather my grand-kids didn’t have to deal with. By the way, the argument that Oz makes little impact on CO2 is a moral cop-out.

    Comment by luciferase — June 1, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  28. PS That shock jock alan jones should be taken behind a bike shed and………

    Comment by luciferase — June 1, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  29. I hear talk of tipping points where it will be too late to take action. I’ve no idea if that’s true or not. Hopefully we don’t ever get in the situation where we’ll find out.

    No comment on Jones or fellow travellers, except to say I do wonder how they sleep at nights.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 1, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  30. “How do you know? Have you read it all? The Academies of Science around the world have reached the opposite conclusion. By saying they are wrong, you cast aspersion on the scientific method and the reputations of people whose business it is to assess the results of scientific research.”

    The 2007 IPCC Report cited over 18,000 references, but not one contained proof that CO2 emissions are the driver of climate change. If any other organisation or scientist has such proof, why would they keep it secret?

    It is time that alarmists woke up to the political motivation of governing executives of science academies. If, instead of aligning with the IPCC and adopting political correctness, the academies of science around the world used scientific method to research climate change, as many independent scientists have done, they would confirm that there is no compelling scientific evidence of CO2 emissions causing dangerous global warming.

    Comment by Ray — June 1, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

  31. “The 2007 IPCC Report cited over 18,000 references, but not one contained proof that CO2 emissions are the driver of climate change.”

    And where is your link substantiating such claim? And your assertion that only those scientists who disagree with climate change use the scientific method is laughable.

    There has been a recurring theme in the comments posted here by deniers, and that is that the denier sees no need to reference their comment to any authority in order to verify the truth of it. I think that says it all. G’night.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 1, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  32. Con Carlyon.I have searched for a study by the IPCC exluding the Sun from causing the the warming from 1990 to 2001.We also see no explanation for the decline in temps over the last 10 yrs.Is this why they “had to hide the decline.”? Could you find an IPCC report on this?

    There is another possible influence on climate and that is the Earth’s magnetic varibility.The poles are shifting at record rates over the last 10 yrs and the magnetic force has decreased by 10%.Our magnetic field acts as a reflector to some of the Sun’s electro- magnetic radiation.This is another unknown which the IPCC has not addressed.This could also be a factor in the recent spate of earthquakes we have experienced yet scientists refuse to make prediction because of the complexity of earthquakes.

    How is it that they have so much surity about CO2 and climate and not about earthquakes? They are wrong 50% of the time still, on weather predictions, yet are 100% sure about so called AGW and CO2 being the cause.

    In all reality this AGW theory is consensus science.Science in the past has never operated this way.The IPCC has not tested its’ hypothisis because they know it won’t past the real test of credibility.

    Comment by Ross — June 1, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  33. Instead of going into hysterics in promoting their dogma, and deriding any opposing views, why can’t alarmists come up with the compelling scientific evidence to prove their hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 emissions cause dangerous global warming. It is up to them to prove it.

    They should be aware that the IPCC has spent over 20 years looking for the evidence, but has failed. The best it can do is come up with the assertion in its 2007 Report, that “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperature since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”. Assertion is not science. The climate models that the IPCC has used to produce alarmist global warming projections, have not been validated. The IPCC reports have been tainted with essentially false statements. Climate science is not settled.

    Comment by Ray — June 3, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  34. Con, you need to use Google a bit more. Here’s a link for you about cold and heat killing people

    And a Guardian report about a UN report on biofuels to reference my second point

    And here’s a more recent link to a news article about problems with heating in Wales

    Not “wild claims” at all.

    CO2 being beneficial is a well-known fact. This is a link to Google scholar for a search on the terms “CO2 fertilisation effect” –

    From a risk management point of view you have to put the damage that trying to limit CO2 production when there isn’t a viable economic substitute as fuel into the balance against the damage that not regulating CO2 might do. And you also have to weigh up the benefits on each side as well.

    You’re not doing that. You’re saying that if there is a risk of damage from something you mitigate it, but you need to be sure that the cure is not worse than the disease.

    In this case, as the graphic that started this post shows, there isn’t a lot of risk in emitting more CO2.

    Comment by Graham — June 7, 2011 @ 8:09 am

  35. Good on you for sticking your nose out with this question provoking post. Although, I find the comments more striking than the post itself.

    I am stupified by how anyone even beginning to question or interrogate climate science has metaphorical stones thrown at them, a fact that I am sure is only due to the limits of the internet.

    Instead of petulantly demanding citations, or claiming that it is ‘not backed up by good science’, why don’t you provide a counter hypothesis for peer review? Last time I checked, this is what science is about, arguing and testing hypotheses within a credentialed peer group to best describe the natural world.

    For a movement based on science, hardline climateers sure do tend to very unscientific attacks whenever questions are raised. I personally label myself a skeptic for lone reason that I do not want to lumped with the “HOW DARE YOU ATTACK THE SCIENCE YOU MUST BE STUPID RAWRR PROVIDE 3000 CITATIONS THAT AGREE WITH MY POINT OF VIEW FIRST!!” or the “any change is a bad change” crowd.

    Maybe a post on the history of science is in order – maybe Galileo?

    Comment by Chuckbert — June 7, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  36. Graham, the issue to be addressed is whether climate change caused by man is real, and if so, if it is a threat to life on this planet. I accept the consensus of climate scientists that it is real and that it is high time we did something about it. As I have said before, I am not a climate scientist so see no point in engaging in discussion on whether heat or cold causes more deaths or whether there is a problem with biofuels, or whatever else you can cherry pick from the net that you think supports what you want to believe. That is no substitute for the scientific method which has arrived at the consensus over decades of discussion.

    As regards risk, if we are to believe the consensus of climate scientists then there is no doubt that there is more risk in ignoring climate change than addressing the problem. Nowhere have I seen a consensus of climate scientists stating that there is more risk in addressing the problem than ignoring it, which is what you are suggesting.

    I really don’t see any point in my continuing this discussion, as neither of us will convince the other one way or the other. Also, I see your post is attracting some who seem to think that ad hominems are a substitute for civilised discussion. I really can’t be bothered wasting my time on that nonsense, so I’ll be off. Thanks for the discussion.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 7, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  37. Con,

    You talk about the scientific method, but you’re like any fundamentalist – you have your holy writ, in your case the IPCC, and that is that. You aren’t pursuing this scientifically at all.

    It doesn’t trouble you that there is no climate consensus, nor that climate scientists are not skilled at evaluating risk. Nor that science isn’t done by consensus.

    You just bang on about how you have to be a climate scientist to understand anything to do with climate, even when it is a question of economics, or health, and when someone gives you evidence contrary to what you believe you accuse them of cherrypicking.

    You then call people names like “deniers”, and to top it off have the hide to say it’s others that are resorting to ad hominem.

    You’re right. We don’t have a lot to say to each other, but that’s not my fault. You can’t engage with someone who refuses to engage.

    Comment by Graham — June 7, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  38. Graham, if you deny that the world’s Academies of Science, the Royal Society, NASA and the CSIRO are all believers in man made climate change then climate change “denier” is not an ad hominem. It is simply a statement of fact, and that is all I ever intended it to be to distinguish from “believers”. If you want to nitpick over what you want to call yourself, go right ahead. It is of no concern to me.

    You may care to read the entry on scientific opinion on climate change in Wiki.

    In particular, you should note “No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion;…”.

    That sounds like a consensus to me. If you want to dispute that, then I’d suggest you take it up with the organisations concerned. And using economics or health as an argument against taking action seems rather futile when the consensus view is that the threat to the very survival of life on the planet is real, and that it is high time we did something about it.

    Comment by Con Carlyon — June 7, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  39. Graham, if you delved a bit further into the links turned up by Google Scholar, you’d find that CO2 fertilisation isn’t necessarily a good thing. Some of our most important food-producing plants (e.g. corn) can respond to increased CO2 by putting more energy into the bits that we don’t eat, and may actually reduce the quality and/or quantity of the bits we do.

    Comment by Mark Duffett — June 7, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

  40. “… the issue to be addressed is whether climate change caused by man is real, and if so, if it is a threat to life on this planet. I accept the consensus of climate scientists that it is real and that it is high time we did something about it.”

    Instead of using the term ‘global warming’, alarmists use the term ‘climate change’ deceptively to imply that all ‘change’ in the climate is caused by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. In fact, climate change is real, as it is a natural process that has been going on since earth’s beginning.

    Whether anthropogenic global warming is real, is the issue. Pseudo-science and political correctness erroneously claim that it is real, whereas in fact dangerous global warming has not been substantiated by scientific method.

    Comment by Ray — June 7, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  41. “Few things annoy me more…”

    Was that before or after this became a popular anti-AWG meme? I’m disappointed that you can’t think of a lot more annoying things in our dystopic world.

    Comment by Kevin Rennie — June 8, 2011 @ 6:43 am

  42. It couldn’t have been before because no-one described it as “pollution” before. I have greater degrees of concern than annoyance. But it’s one of the things that makes this world seem “dystopic” that people try to change the meaning of words to suit the way they would like reality to be rather than accepting reality for what it is.

    A bit more empiricism and a bit less romance and the world would be more utopic.

    Thanks for the info about corn Mark, but I think you’ll find that the lack of CO2 is a larger problem than a little bit more. Not aware of anyone having done a comprehensive survey of edible plant species to see what the overall nutritional effect might be from a human point of view.

    Comment by Graham — June 8, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  43. BTW Mark, could you provide the link? I’ve just been looking for maize and most of what I’m seeing is tainted by the omnipresent scourge in this area of being model outputs rather than real observations. I’ll admit real observations are a bit difficult to organise, but controlled experiments are still going to be better than models.

    Comment by Graham — June 8, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  44. I’m sorry, Graham, I was shooting from the hip re corn based on memories of an abstract I saw several years ago. I should not have been so unequivocal, as the papers I’ve found do not completely accord with that memory. However, I stand by the general assertion that CO2 fertilisation is not an unmitigated good for food:

    Comment by Mark Duffett — June 9, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  45. Maurice Strong 1997 National Review Magazine.” If we don’t change our species will not survive.Frankly we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world is for the industrial civilsation to collapse.”

    Now this is the person who instigated the IPCC and the parameters of its enquiry.Tax carbon,the building block of life and the prime source of our energy and billions will live in abject poverty or perish from disease and malnutrition.

    Who ordained a few elites to be the god of our planet?

    Comment by Ross — June 10, 2011 @ 8:30 am

  46. Thanks Mark. These issues are always complicated. Including the CO2 effect on temperature. The articles don’t dispute the CO2 fertilisation effect, just suggest it might not be as large, or existent, for some crops:

    “Results from the open-field experiments, using Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) technology, “indicate a much smaller CO2 fertilization effect on yield than currently assumed for C3 crops, such as rice, wheat and soybeans, and possibly little or no stimulation for C4 crops that include maize and sorghum,” said Stephen P. ”

    But the effect exists, which was something Con was happy to suggest was a “wild suggestion”. Would be great if we could engage in an intelligent discussion about these issues.

    Comment by Graham — June 10, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

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