American Elephants


CO2 is Greening the Earth, Benefiting the Biosphere, and Lifting the Poor Out of Poverty. by The Elephant's Child

greeningCraig D. Idso is the founder and former President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and currently serves as Chairman of the Center’s board of directors. He has written:

At a fundamental level, carbon dioxide is the basis of nearly all life on Earth, as it is the primary raw material or “food” that is utilized by plants to produce the organic matter out of which they construct their tissues…

Typically, a doubling of the air’s CO2 content above present-day concentrations raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways of photosynthesis.

There is no doubt elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 lead to enhanced plant photosynthesis and growth. This well-known fact has been confirmed over and over again in literally thousands of laboratory and field studies conducted by scientists over the past several decades. In recent years, however, the growth-enhancing benefits of atmospheric CO2 have been increasingly studied and observed in the real world of nature using Earth-orbiting satellites. Such instruments have the capability to remotely sense plant growth and vigor at altitudes miles above the Earth’s surface; and they have generated a spatial and temporal record of vegetative change that now spans more than three decades. And what has that record revealed?

The take-home message of the satellite data is two-fold. First, at the global level, all recent studies show there has been a significant greening of the planet over the past few decades despite the occurrence of a number of real (and imagined) assaults on Earth’s vegetation, including wildfires, disease, pest outbreaks, deforestation, and climatic changes in temperature and precipitation. Greening has more than compensated for any of the negative effects these phenomena may have had on the global biosphere during that time. Second, there is compelling evidence that the atmosphere’s rising CO2 content—which is considered by many to be the chief threat  to the future of the biosphere via climate change—is most likely the primary cause of the observed greening trends.

Do read the whole thing, including the references. This is why Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” will accomplish nothing beyond putting a lot of coal miners and power plant workers out of work. CO2 is NOT a pollutant, but essential to life on earth. If all the billions of dollars of new wind farms and solar arrays were actually to accomplish anything, it might make a difference of 0.03ºC by 2100. Just another failure to add to the legacy.



Matt Ridley, On The Greening of the Planet. by The Elephant's Child

This video is a year old this month, but the very clear message seems not to have reached the true believers, so I’m re-posting it.  Apple CEO Tim Cook has just told global warming skeptics to “get out of this stock.” In essence, he told every Apple shareholder to take a hike and waved away any potential investors.

When Mr. Cook met with shareholders on Friday, a group proposed that the company be more open about its environmental activism and more transparent about the costs it incurs as it increases its dependence on renewable energy. “If you want me to do things only for ROI (return on investment) reasons, you should get out of this stock,” he said.

What he was saying is that profit is overrated, and if you aren’t interested in a warm feeling from political activism, you are misdirected. Cook succeeded Steve Jobs in 2011, and Apple has gone for fighting global warming in a big way, tripling the use of renewable energy for its offices to 75%, The goal is to go 100% renewable.

Unfortunately, comparing costs is interesting. The cost per megawatt hour of a new natural gas power plant averages $66, while the tab for wind is $96, and solar photovoltaic $153, and solar thermal $242. It not only costs way more, it doesn’t do anything whatsoever to stop the natural warming and cooling of the planet. And you may have noticed that cooling is the current mode. There has been no warming for over 17 years.

European countries are becoming aware of the vast drag on their economies from their investment in “renewable” energy. Germany is realizing that its Energiewende — its radical energy policies — cost taxpayers €22 billion last year alone, making businesses uncompetitive.

True believers aren’t interested in facts, but are hell-bent on saving the planet. It’s a religious belief, and it’s adherents are cult-like in their devotion.

Over the past three decades, our planet has gotten greener!

Even stranger, the greening of the planet in recent decades appears to be happening because of, not despite, our reliance on fossil fuels. While environmentalists often talk about how bad stuff like CO2 causes bad things to happen like global warming, it turns out that the plants aren’t complaining.



Matt Ridley: Fossil Fuels Are Greening the Planet! by The Elephant's Child

In this modern age we are inclined to be perhaps over-impressed with our technological abilities. New things appear every day, and they seem so cool that we expect more than  they can deliver.  Devising computer programs to simulate the environment seemed like a natural. You just put in the science that we know for sure and what we’re pretty sure of, and we may have to add some  educated guesses, and voilá we can predict what the climate will be in 5, 10, 50 years —why not? That’s where we got in trouble. We thought we knew more than we did, and some of what we thought we knew turned out to be wrong, well, that’s just how things go astray.

And they did go astray. The models told them that the climate of the earth was inexorably warming. You’ve heard Obama: he wants to stop the rise of the seas, save you all from hurricanes, (he didn’t do too well with Sandy), and he wants to do it all with the use of wind and solar— clean energy — and get rid of nasty, dirty fossil fuels. I posted this video of a lecture by Matt Ridley earlier this year, but it seems to be time to post it again.

He does a splendid job of explaining the connections, why  things have changed and what our use of fossil fuels had done to make the planet greener, use less land, feed more people,  It is absolutely amazing, and utterly devastating to the entire argument of the Greens.  Fossil fuels are good? Our whole effort to stop the use of fossil fuels is misguided? Yes, but don’t expect anyone to change their mind. It is not a thought process, it is ideology, or religion, and they are true believers.




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