Friday, August 24, 2007

Think CO2 is "Just Plant Food"? Think again.

Here's a good rebuttal for anyone still running into the C02 - They Call It Pollution, We Call It Life crowd.

A favorite argument of global warming deniers is that the carbon dioxide is harmless because it's "just plant food". It turns out that like any other "food", too much will only cause harm.

Both Grist and Environmental Defense are covering new research showing that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will mean less food value (i.e. decreased nitrogen and protein) in our fruits and vegetables. Think you'll get around that by boosting your meat diet? Once more, think again. Lower food value in plants, means less protein for grazing cows and pigs and therefore less meat produced by each animal. Add to this the exploding demand for meat from developing countries like China and you will need to tell me where we're meant to get all of these food calories from.

Maybe the new denier jingle can be "C02 - They Call It Pollution, We Call It A Cure for Obesity".


8 comments:

scottie said...

Up to a point , it is a plant food, when the trees. take it in...but the truth is, the trees, so many. are being cut down, while Alberta spews carbon .

luis said...

Great post!

If the economics don't work, recycling efforts won't either.
As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing,http://LivePaths.com blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

neohxc said...

I think in the scope of the history of earth we have dealt with "less food." also what exactly does that mean anyway? Have experts in that field commented on the whole idea of "less food." what do the worlds leaders in agriculture have to say about that? Environmantal science is an interesting field where the bigger picture or the other side isnt explored enough or at all.

Odiyya said...

well, historically 'less food' generally means famine. The real point here is that we are already above the long term carrying capacity of the earth, so if we have more people demanding increasing food combined with decreased yield we have a problem coming up pretty quickly.

You make some other rather sweeping generalizations. do you have any information to share? Or just the whims coming off the top of your head?

Lyze said...

I was wondering when this would come to light.

Not only does it mean less yield, but the crops and animals that actually do provide yield won't be as useful. On a cellular level, the excess Co2 decreases the amount of protein and other valuable products, so most animals would have to eat more to get the same nutritional value, and stomaches have limits.

Armand Rousso said...

The excess of CO2 is bad. CO2 in itself is not harmful because it is the food of plants but in excess it is always bad.

Armand Rousso
http://environment.armandrousso.biz/

tippitappi said...

luckily vegetarians and vegan are becoming more and more and more... everywhere in the world

Term Papers said...

well, historically 'less food' generally means famine. The real point here is that we are already above the long term carrying capacity of the earth, so if we have more people demanding increasing food combined with decreased yield we have a problem coming up pretty quickly.