Why We Need More CO2 Emissions, Not LessAlan Carlin | July 14, 2016
I believe it would be, although our understanding of global climate is sketchy at best so absolute confidence is not appropriate. Higher atmospheric levels of CO2 have been shown to result in higher plant growth, and plants are the basis for the Earth’s ecosystem and human food. The availability of atmospheric CO2 is an important constraint to plant growth, particularly at the current historically relatively low levels (in geologic terms), which amount to a starvation level for many plants.
There is no scientific basis for believing that modest increases in atmospheric levels of CO2 will have catastrophic effects despite the misdirected efforts of the UN and alarmist scientists. Attempts to restrict human CO2 emissions serve no useful purpose for anyone except wind and solar industries looking for customers, sensation-seeking news media looking for readers, environmentalists looking for a cause to attract contributions, climate “scientists” looking for more government grants, and politicians looking for increased government revenue to spend on their favorite boondoggles.
Cold Is the Major Threat, Not Modest Warmth
Long term averages of global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 have been falling over hundreds of millions of years. Historically, Earth is about due for a new ice age, which have become more severe over time. The Little Ice Age made life much harder for humans and the current interglacial period has seen the blossoming of human welfare and civilization never before seen primarily because of the use of energy from fossil fuels. A new ice age really would be catastrophic for humans and all other life on Earth.
So the long term imperative is to avoid a new ice age or even a new Little Ice Age. Wealthy humans can easily adapt to minor changes in global temperatures. What they probably cannot adapt to is an advancing ice sheet that could cover much of the Northern US and other northern areas, just as they have every 100,000 years in recent geologic history. Americans currently prefer warmer climates for retirement and air conditioning has encouraged them to move to such places. None of the alleged catastrophic effects of modest increases in global temperatures have proved correct to date and there is no scientific basis for alleged catastrophic increases in global temperatures as a result of modestly higher atmospheric levels of CO2. There may be minor increases in global temperatures from increased human-caused CO2 emissions (although even this is far from certain) but no catastrophic effects.
But How Can This Practically Be Accomplished?
So I see only net benefits from modest increases in atmospheric CO2 levels. Now as to the means for accomplishing this, one obvious possibility is to end and reverse most attempts to reduce CO2 increases such as wind and solar, and obtain energy mainly from fossil fuels, preferably high-CO2 generating fuels such as coal. This would mean scrapping all the high cost, unsightly, and dangerous wind and solar sources on which Western nations have wasted so many resources in recent decades. If still more CO2 emissions are desired, economic incentives can be offered for burning more fossil fuels.
So the environment would be better off (provided justified emissions controls are continued for conventional pollutants), humans would be better off by not wasting resources on CO2 emissions reductions, and the chances that Earth can avoid a new ice age might be slightly improved. A new ice age is what must be avoided, not minor increases in global temperatures, which would be beneficial and might help forestall a new ice age.
Unfortunately, these important considerations were ignored by the USEPA in their haste to implement the then new Obama Administration’s politically-motivated CO2 emissions reduction policies.