This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. Let me say that again. This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. After the world food security crisis of 2007, which saw civil unrest in some countries, it is fantastic to see that in just 7 years we are producing record amounts of food for a growing world population. The US Department of Agriculture recently raised global crop predictions for corn, soy and wheat. Yet the World Bank indicates that over the last 10 reporting years, the percentage of agricultural land worldwide has not changed.
So what is driving this world food production boom?
Carbon dioxide. Plants are thriving on the extra CO2 in the atmosphere. A recent study showed that climate modelers over-estimated the amount of carbon dioxide that would remain in the atmosphere. Lo and behold, they have now discovered that plants are soaking up the additional carbon dioxide and growing more vigorously. Plants and trees and crops will absorb 130 billion tonnes more carbon dioxide this century than expected. It’s called the ‘carbon dioxide fertilisation effect’. This is not just a benefit to food crops – it is a boon to native vegetation, from the ancient forests to desert scrub that environmental activists have been trying to preserve for decades. Then there is the latest science on how the oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide with plankton growing faster than previously thought.
So why is the Abbott government spending billions of dollars to reduce this airborne saviour of vegetation and food crops? I am stunned by the number of politicians who are either ignorant or wilfully misleading the public on this topic. A whole political industry has developed around new arcane language to describe what we have known for centuries about producing food and improving our environment. A whole false economy has developed, fuelled by taxpayer funding through an Emissions Reduction Fund, An Emissions Trading Scheme, Renewable Energy Targets, The Renewable Energy Agency, The Climate Change Authority, Climate Change Departments and more. Greg Hunt and Clive Palmer’s newly passed Bill seeks to subsidise activities because they have so-called ‘co-benefits’ – well, if there are benefits in activities that also arguably help the environment, people should be doing them anyway without massive taxpayer subsidies – just as landfill operators have been doing for years, and I commend them for doing so over – in capturing gas emissions from landfills. Until, of course, the rent seeking, carpet-bagging, bootlegging crony capitalists jumped on the climate change bandwagon to suck money from the taxpayer.
With the carbon tax, families felt and could clearly see for the first time the direct impact on their personal budgets that comes from spending money to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This latest Emissions Reduction Fund is no different, but by sleight of hand people will be less able to see how their taxes will need to stay higher than they should be in order to pay for this scheme.
Taking money from low-income families and spending it on dodgy activities with a spurious scientific basis punishes the poor, rewards the rent-seekers and churns money in taxes, grants and rebates. Australia cannot afford this Emissions Reduction Fund; particularly during what the government has told us is a ‘budget emergency’.
While many families struggle with the cost of living, while mums and dads struggle to find jobs to make ends meet, the government spends their money appeasing high-income elites enthralled by this latest cause and championed by celebrities, self-promoting ‘experts’ and certain elements of the media.
Rent-seekers, like the wind tower companies and solar panel manufacturers, get paid handsomely and advocates in the climate change industry are living very nicely off the system flying around in private jets irrespective of whether these schemes improve the environment, or human living conditions, or not.
Now we are committing $2.5bn of taxpayers money to be spent on reducing carbon dioxide to stop so-called global warming while Arctic and Antarctic sea ice is growing. Growing, not shrinking. It’s bizarre! I am dismayed that honest, intelligent people can sit mute and watch this blatant trashing of both science and economics.
I have a science background but any high school student can tell you that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. CO2 in the atmosphere is not pollution.Now, I know there are members of parliament who agree with me on all or much of the above but feel they must toe a party line. I am not so constrained, and perhaps I speak for some of them in saying that I will not sit mute and support this nonsense.
Mathias Cormann told the Senate last week, and I quote: ‘Coal is good. Coal is good. It is at the heart of our economic prosperity here in Australia and around the world. It has helped lift living standards for people right across the world. It will continue to help lift living standards around the world.’
If that is so, if intelligent and like-minded people believe in all good conscience that the Coalition’s Emissions Reductions Fund is wrong, then I urge them to speak up, too. Don’t be scientific girlie men!
Bob Day AO is a Family First Senator for SA
AUSTRALIAN politics has been more influenced by the climate debate than any other country. Yet Australia is responsible for only 1.5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Perhaps this speaks of Australia’s extraordinary commitment to the international community. Yet Australia has threatened to hobble its own economy while much larger nations take a pass while making pious pronouncements.
I am sceptical that humans are the main cause of climate change, and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over”, the “science is settled”.
My scepticism begins with the warmists’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis that increased CO2 due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.
In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonised Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionised civilisation.
Looking back over millennia, today the Earth is colder, and has a lower level of atmospheric CO2 than during nearly all the history of modern life. The idea that it would be catastrophic if CO2 were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.
Recently, the IPCC announced for the umpteenth time that we are doomed unless we reduce CO2 emissions to zero. Effectively this means either reducing the population to zero, or going back 10,000 years before humans began clearing forests for agriculture. This proposed cure is worse than adapting to a warmer world, if it comes about.
By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate for billions of years. We don’t understand the precise workings of the natural causes of climate change any more than we know if humans are part of the cause at present. But if the IPCC did not find that humans were the cause of warming, or if it found that warming would be more positive than negative, there would be no need for the IPCC under its present mandate. To survive, it must find on the side of the apocalypse. Either the IPCC should be reconstituted with a larger membership of UN bodies (it is now a partnership between the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN Environment Program), and its mandate expanded to include all causes of climate change, or it should be dismantled.
Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren and feel guilty. Third, a powerful convergence of interests among key elites support the climate “narrative”. Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and engage in a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as large wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.
So we are told CO2 is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed when in fact it is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, gas present at 400 parts per million of the global atmosphere and the most important food for life on earth. Without CO2 above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.
Over the past 150 million years, CO2 had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the industrial revolution. If this trend had continued, CO2 would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human use of fossil fuels and clearing land for crops have boosted CO2 from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.
At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for CO2. While one wing of CSIRO promotes the IPCC line, another is demonstrating the positive impact of the small increase in CO2 over the past 50 years due primarily to fossil fuel use — a 10 per cent to 30 per cent increase in plant growth in many regions. Australia is benefiting more than most because its vegetation evolved for dry conditions. Increased CO2 means plants don’t need as much water, so our deserts are lusher.
The optimum level of CO2 for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Glasshouse growers inject CO2 to increase yields of 50 to 100 per cent. Farms and forests will be much more productive if CO2 keeps rising.
We have no proof increased CO2 is responsible for the slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the CO2 ever emitted. Yet we have absolute proof CO2 is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasise to our children?
The IPCC’s followers have given us a vision of a dying world due to CO2 emissions. I say the Earth would be a lot deader with no CO2 and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. Let’s celebrate CO2.
Patrick Moore was a co-founder, and leader of Greenpeace for 15 years is now an independent ecologist and environmentalist based in Vancouver, Canada.
via The Australian
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