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Why the climate zealots are almost completely wrong

By John Robertson - posted Thursday, 23 April 2015

President Obama recently tweeted "Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous…"succinctly summarising the three key points about "climate change" as climate zealots hold them to be; real, man-made and dangerous.

Let's examine the three points.

Real? Yes, Mr President. Climate change is real. Climate has always changed, is changing now and will continue to change in the future.

Man-made? Yes, Mr President. Man's release of CO2 into the air by burning fossil fuels is a significant factor in current climate change.

Dangerous? No, Mr President. The exact opposite is true. There is massive evidence in the public domain that more CO2 has been overwhelmingly beneficial to the World at large.

There is no reasonable doubt that, other things being equal (although they seldom are), CO2 does warm the Globe. Given the resonant modes of the CO2 molecule and the corresponding energy absorption it would be very odd if it didn't.

The questions are:

  • How much warming will there be?
  • Will that be harmful or helpful on balance?
  • What will be the other effects of more CO2, e.g. plant fertilisation, water saving, increased rainfall and longer growing seasons?

The amount of warming is slight; about 1.6 C for a doubling (any doubling whatever the starting point) of CO2. (Svante Arrhenius, Nobel Laureate, 1906; Lewis & Curry, Climate Dynamics, 2014). As and when CO2 doubles it will take average global temperature from about 14 C to about 15.6 C. This modest change will be very beneficial to the World as a whole. See further below.

Whatever their starting point, 'climate scientists' almost all arrive at the same political end point: "CO2 is a dangerous pollutant whose increase threatens Mankind and Nature alike." There is heavy peer, financial and even Presidential and Chief Executive pressure on scientists to conform to this view. But does the evidence support it? No!

Since 1900, atmospheric CO2 has risen by a multiple of 1.35; from just under .03% to just over .04% by volume. 2014 was said to be the "hottest year on record". Surely some clear signs of the damage predicted for more CO2 (e.g., reduced food production or many more deaths from storms) should now be apparent? But what do we see?

  • World population has risen from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7.3 billion now. (World Bank) Food production has more than kept pace with a fivefold increase from 1900 and 2014. (FAO)
  • Average World life expectancy at birth has risen from 31 years then to 70 years now. (WHO). This is surely Mankind's greatest achievement! It has happened despite the huge population increase and despite inequalities, wars, disease and natural disasters. It required more CO2 in every facet and at every stage.
  • As CO2 has increased hundreds of millions of people have risen out of poverty – 500 million in China alone. (World Bank). Those still in poverty look in hope for a further increase in CO2 to allow them to rise also.
  • World grain production in 2014 reached a record high; over 2,500,000,000 tons. (FAO). That is just under 1 Kg per day for every man, woman and child on Earth. Note: about 3,500,000,000 tons of atmospheric CO2 were needed to feed 2014's grain crop.
  • Leading re-insurer, Swiss Re, in its report for 2014 shows that losses of life and property from natural perils was at a low. Loss of life was down 59%. This is even more remarkable given the steady rise in the number of lives and the value of property at risk.
  • In 2014 the extent of Antarctic sea ice hit yet another all-time high of 20 million Km2(NASA). The area of Australia, China and India combined.
  • The extent of the massive, intensely cold Antarctic land ice remains constant at 14 million Km2. (NASA) The Antarctic land mass is very high, around 2,300 metres. This means that the temperature of the land ice is at least 23 C below than that of the very cold sea ice surrounding it.
  • As evidenced by 60 years of aerial photography, the land area of the low-lying, 'canary in the coalmine' Pacific Islands of Kiribati has increased - by 30% in the case of the very populous Betio Island. (Webb & Kench, Global and Planetary Change, 2010 and 2013). This illustrates the fact that the land is not an inert lump but is dynamic. It can and does rise above the sea.
  • The 2013 CSIRO/ANU report using 20 years of worldwide satellite photography shows that the deserts of the World are continuing to 'green' due to the fertilising and water saving effect of more CO2. (Geophysical Research Letters, 2013). The effect is about 1% less desert for each 1% more CO2.
  • The above report also shows that Earth overall is 'greening' from the effect of additional CO2.
  • The superb whale population migrating up and down the East Coast of Australia is monitored by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. It continues to increase at about 10% annually. This is a very high rate of increase for those huge and beautiful mammals and requires an ample food supply. It gives the lie to the assertion that our Ocean is 'acidic, polluted and nutrient-depleted'. Note: Whales feed on tiny krill, krill feed on even tinier phytoplankton and phytoplankton feed on CO2 dissolved in seawater.

And so it goes on and on. Rather than being damaging, more CO2 and the small temperature rise that goes with it has proven itself beneficial to Mankind and Nature almost beyond belief.


More CO2 is very good for us all.

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About the Author

John Robertson was born in Scotland. He was an Open Scholar at Cambridge and has a Masters degree in Engineering. He has spent his life in farming, as a fighter pilot and is now an Australian citizen living at Mount Tamborine. He and his wife are active in many community volunteer organisations.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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