The Fight Against Global Greening – Part 1

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

green_madnessSomething odd happened between April 2017 and July 2018.  I haven’t discovered exactly what prompted it but the rather good science writer and journalist, Carl Zimmer, seems to have flipped his wig.  Well, at least he flipped his viewpoint on Global Greening.

In April 2017, Zimmer wrote a nice article for the New York Times titled “Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth”.   The article is a straightforward report on research performed by Dr. J. E. Campbell of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California in Merced, California (and others…) called “Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production” published 5 April 2017 in the journal Nature.

Eric Worral did a WUWT news brief on the 30 July ’18 Carl Zimmer NY Times article.   I thought the issue needed a little more attention — in fact, I thought it needed a series of four essays, of which this is the first.

Zimmer reported in the New York Times (in April 2017):

“Analyzing the ice, Dr. Campbell and his colleagues have discovered that in the last century, plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years. Writing in the journal Nature, they report that plants are converting 31 percent more carbon dioxide into organic matter than they were before the Industrial Revolution.

The increase is because of the carbon dioxide that humans are putting into the atmosphere, which fertilizes the plants, Dr. Campbell said. The carbon in the extra plant growth amounts to a staggering 28 billion tons each year. For a sense of scale, that is three times the carbon stored in all the crops harvested across the planet every year.“   ….

“The pace of change in photosynthesis is unprecedented in the 54,000-year record,” Dr. Campbell said. While photosynthesis increased at the end of the ice age, he said, the current rate is 136 times as fast.

With all that extra carbon dioxide going into plants, there has been less in the air to contribute to global warming. The planet has warmed nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, but it might be even hotter if not for the greening of the Earth.”   ….

More carbon dioxide might spur even more growth. But many climate models project that plants will suffer as temperatures rise and rainfall patterns shift. Despite the extra carbon dioxide, worldwide plant growth may fall, and plants will no longer help to buffer the impact of global warming.

“I’ve been referring to this as a carbon bubble,” Dr. Campbell said. “You see ecosystems storing more carbon for the next 50 years, but at some point you hit a breaking point.”

— Carl Zimmer, writing in “Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth”

That’s what Zimmer reported in the April 2017 NY Times article.  That is a nicely written, well-balanced piece of writing.  The topic discussed is what is often called “Global Greening”, as shown by NASA in this image.


A bing search for “global greening” returns an interesting set of results.  I am treated to a definition of global greening from The Guardian, then a link to a NASA page “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds”, and then a News About Global Greening section which leads off with “‘Global Greening’ Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It’s Terrible.” which was  written in 30 July 2018 by the very same Carl Zimmer who  authored of the piece featured at the beginning of this essay.

By July 2018,  Zimmer has flip-flopped and his new piece is trying to convince us that more plant life, more photosynthesis, aka Global Greening,  is a bad thing.  How can that be?

Here’s excerpts from Zimmer’s latest:

“‘Global Greening’ Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It’s Terrible.”

Rising carbon dioxide levels are making the world greener. But that’s nothing to celebrate.

“Global greening” sounds lovely, doesn’t it? …  Plants need carbon dioxide to grow, and we are now emitting 40 billion tons of it into the atmosphere each year. A number of small studies have suggested that humans actually are contributing to an increase in photosynthesis across the globe.. ….

Elliott Campbell, an environmental scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues last year published a study that put a number to it. Their conclusion: plants are now converting 31 percent more carbon dioxide into organic matter than they were before the Industrial Revolution. ….

“Recently I talked Dr. Campbell and …. Here are four reasons he believes nobody should be celebrating “global greening.”

Remember, just the April before, Zimmer talked to Dr. Campbell, and wrote the first news item about Global Greening — a fair scientific approach and mostly positive about the effects of greening.  But now, Zimmer has gone back to Dr. Campbell to find out what is bad about greening…..and he tells us exactly why he is now trying to make a good thing look bad.

Apparently, when Global Greening was Good News, it was also Good News for the Bad Guys.  And you know what that means….all right thinking “good guys” (those in the Climate Alarm business) now have to make sure that the Good News is really Bad News so that the general public won’t listen to those Bad Guys – the Climate Science Skeptics.   Zimmer has to double back and paint his earlier views over with some green-wash — because here’s what the Bad Guys said:

“So-called carbon pollution has done much more to expand and invigorate the planet’s greenery than all the climate policies of all the world’s governments combined,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute declared shortly after the study came out.

“The best messages are positive: CO2 increases crop yields, the earth is greening,” wrote Joseph Bast, the chief executive officer of the Heartland Institute, in an October 2017 email obtained by EE News.

In June, Mr. Bast co-authored an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal in which he cited Dr. Campbell’s work as evidence of the benefits of fossil fuels. Our unleashing of carbon dioxide contributes “to the greening of the Earth,” he said.

— Carl Zimmer, writing in  “‘Global Greening’ Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It’s Terrible.”

So, Zimmer now says, in July 2018, “Recently I talked Dr. Campbell, and as it turns out, he feels people like Mr. Bast are drawing the wrong lessons from his research.”  Let me translate that for you…just guessing of course, but roughly this means — “For heaven’s sake, Campbell, the climate skeptics are making hay out of your global greening study, and pointing to my piece in the NY Times for support!  I’ve had a dozen calls complaining that I’m helping the skeptics — you’ve got to tell me what’s bad about global greening so I can debunk my own April 2017 article on your research!”.  So that’s what Campbell does — together, he and Zimmer manage to squeak out four “bad things” about Global Greening.

Bad Things About Global Greening: (quoted from Zimmer’s article — not my fault if they don’t make sense –kh)

1. “More Photosynthesis Doesn’t Mean More Food“

2. “Extra Carbon Dioxide Can Make Plants Less Nutritious”

3. “More Plants Won’t Prevent Climate Change”

4. “Global Greening Won’t Last Forever”

It is fascinating how Zimmer (and Campbell, we are told) agree that these points, which range from not-true through vaguely-true to trivially-true,  add up to “It’s Terrible!” — but Zimmer has been caught out on the wrong side of the Climate Wars DMZ and must prove his loyalty to the Consensus Team — and makes a fool of himself in doing so.  As each of these points requires their own discussion, this essay will be Part 1 of 4

Let’s look at #1“More Photosynthesis Doesn’t Mean More Food”.

Zimmer quotes Campbell saying    “Yes, we now get far more food from each acre of farmland than we did a century ago. But extra carbon dioxide only accounts for a small fraction of the increase.” “A 30 percent increase in photosynthesis does not translate into a 30 percent increase in strawberries off the land,” said Dr. Campbell.”  This is, of course, trivially true — the increase in photosynthesis doesn’t all go into production of food for humans — it does translate into an equal increase in food for the living things of Earth.

Zimmer should have quoted the IPCC — as  Vanessa Schipani,  writing at, does in her piece  CO2: Friend or Foe to Agriculture?   [ NB: is a left-leaning political “fact checking” site — generally happy to confirm any liberal/progressive statement and deny or denigrate conservative viewpoints] telling readers:

 “The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 report does say that increased atmospheric CO2 has “virtually certainly enhanced [crop] water use efficiency and yields.” So, [Lamar] Smith is right that more CO2 leads to more photosynthesis, which correlates to increased crop yields. And he’s also right that “[s]tudies indicate that crops would utilize water more efficiently” in an atmosphere with more CO2.

But the IPCC adds that the CO2 effect has a greater impact on wheat and rice, than on corn and sugarcane. [NB:  95% of plants are C3, like wheat and rice, and only 5% are C4 like maize and sugarcane – kh]

Photosynthesis in wheat and rice relies more on CO2 in the atmosphere, while corn and sugarcane rely more on “internal cycling” during photosynthesis, Jerry Hatfield, the director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment, explained to us over the phone.”

Schipani at least quotes the real science as it applies to the question.  CO2 fertilization enhances  both crop water usage and yields — more in some crops than others — but the enhancement is across the entire plant spectrum.  [The difference is due to what are known as C3 and C4 plants ]

Zimmer tries to downplay the increase in production of food crops due to CO2 enhancement —  playing the percentages game, “not all of it is food production.”  Of course, an increase in photosynthesis of phytoplankton in the sea doesn’t produce more strawberries — and no one ever said it did —  it will, however,  produce more fish.  But it has been proven over and over again that enhanced CO2 does increase crop yields and can be expected to increase crop yields into the future.

This question is, you guessed it, a Modern Scientific Controversy — in which there is a Consensus View (informed and dictated by the Climate Consensus) and a Contrarian or Pragmatic View — which is based on real world, on the farm results. Total crop yields all around the world have continued to grow and increase in output per acre, owing to the Green Revolution, improved crop varieties, improved agricultural practices, increased use of fertilizers and atmospheric CO2 enhancement.

It is a questionably true to say “extra carbon dioxide only accounts for a small fraction of the increase” and would only be true to the extent that the other factors are currently so large, depending on the crop and the state of local agriculture.    In areas using modern farming methods, seeds, and fertilizers the increases are largely due to CO2 fertilization.  In areas of more primitive agriculture, the gains from shifting to better seed varieties, modern methods and fertilizers outweigh, but don’t negate,  the contributions of CO2.

As always — the benefits are real in real time — but the “climate models” say “things might/may not keep getting better in the future” therefore ”Global Greening is Terrible!” — especially IF ( the inevitable IF — if climate sensitivity is very high — which is looking less-and-less likely as climate science matures) temperatures rise 5-8 degrees C and current crop areas suffer continual droughts and no one substitutes drought resistant varieties and the Greens keep up their attacks on improved plant varieties.  This argument is rather like saying exercise will improve your health now but it will not prevent your eventual aging  — therefore, Exercise is Terrible!

You may  rest assured that global greening will benefit all life on Earth — it is the evidence  of that benefit that is called global greening — increased plant life (> 30% increase) leads to increased well-being of all animal life, including mankind.  You can’t just wave away basic biology.

Not satisfied with this first nonsensical argument against Global Greening, Zimmer makes an additional hash of some sort of weird attempt to negate the whole concept of carbon bio-sequestration of carbon (CO2) by plants.  Zimmer and Campbell state:

“While photosynthesis does pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, much of that gas goes right back into the air. The reason: At night, the chemical reactions in plants essentially run backward. In a process known as respiration, plants pump out carbon dioxide instead of pulling it in.

“Part of the story is that photosynthesis is going up, and part of the story is that so is respiration,” said Dr. Campbell.”

The basic scientific facts are:  Plants take in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis during the day and release carbon dioxide during respiration at night. This said, plants take up much more carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis than they give off in respiration.

The reason for that is that plants use sunlight (energy), CO2 and water to make sugars (carbohydrates) which are used by the plants for energy and to then make more “plant” — fibers, tissues, wood, twigs, leaves, seeds, fruits and all other bio-mass of the plant is constructed from the basic elements of water, oxygen, (oops — kh), CO2 and trace elements taken up by roots and from the air. (Biology professors:  please feel free to expand on my simplistic rendering). Some of the sugars are “oxidized” at night, producing CO2 and water, which the plants give off through their leaves, a process called plant respiration.

It is this process of taking in sunlight, CO2, and water and using them to “manufacture” carbohydrates (sugars, plant tissues, wood, seeds, fruits) that is the basis of “Biological Carbon Sequestration” and the reason Climate Activists run campaigns to urge the planting of trees.


The sequestration takes place in the growth of the plants themselves and where the brown arrow shows carbon-based material entering the soil.  Of course, with trees, the longer term sequestration is the storage of carbon in the wood itself, often for a hundred years or more.  Your home may be made of sequestered carbon in the form of wooden 2x4s, wooden siding and floor joists.  Much of the furniture in your home may be bio-sequestered carbon — like that that fine oak dining room table.

Some of the bio-sequestered carbon is returned to the atmosphere as soil-dwelling life forms consume the plant materials as part of its decomposition.  Some of the bio-sequestered carbon gets pushed further and further into the soil and environment and one day may end up as a peat bog, oil or coal.

In the oceans, phytoplankton undergoes photosynthesis, taking in COfrom the water, and then is eaten by little sea creatures, who themselves are eaten by others.  Eventually, something dies and drifts to the bottom of the ocean, there to decompose and return some CO2 to the sea water and maybe to the atmosphere, much to remain there for a long, long time.

Bio-sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis (green plant life) is only a good thing — there is no down side.  The lame attempt to paint it as a bad thing mocks a huge part of the Green Movement’s efforts to stop deforestation and encourage reforestation and afforestation, all which are carried out in the name of bio-sequestration.

Increased photosynthesis, aka Global Greening, is the process of increased bio-sequestration of CO2 by plant life.  It is a positive thing, a good thing, a desired thing, a Win-Win for environmentalists as it reduces atmospheric CO2 and adds life to the biosphere.

It is not terrible — it is wonderful.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment Policy:

The idea that caught my interest was that the Climate Team feels it necessary to throw Global Greening under a bus — based solely on the fact that the skeptics use Global Greening to score points for their side of the Climate Wars.  Unfortunately for Carl Zimmer and Dr. Campbell, their arguments against Greening are ridiculously weak and must be stretched past their breaking points to be made at all.

Comments addressed to me personally (“Kip… ) will elicit a response — especially if on topic and collegial.

If you know of any scientific justification for the position “Global Greening is Terrible!” I’d be happy to read it.

# # # # #

Quick Links:  (added 10:00 ET 14/Aug/’18)

Carl Zimmer

“Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth”

“Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production”

“Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds” – NY Times

“‘Global Greening’ Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It’s Terrible.” – NY Times

bing search for “global greening”

declared shortly after the study came out

October 2017 email obtained by EE News

contributes “to the greening of the Earth,”

Far more food from each acre of farmland

Vanessa Schipani,

CO2: Friend or Foe to Agriculture?

C3 and C4 plants

“Biological Carbon Sequestration”




WUWT news brief on the 30 July ’18 Carl Zimmer article


301 thoughts on “The Fight Against Global Greening – Part 1

  1. Kip,
    I always enjoy your thoughtful and well-informed pieces.

    I am curious to know if you attempted to contact Mr. Zimmer to ask him about his apparent flip-flop.

    • John ==> Yes, I wrote to him via his Author Page and, after a week has passed, have not received a reply.

      • He has been doing his gardening, everything is getting over grown so quick.

        And his little Mexican has gone missing.

      • Kip, I don’t think any of us are surprised. Maybe a few commenters on here would make excuses, but that is par for the course. BTW, thanks again for your continued efforts. As always it is a job well done.
        There is a trend, and maybe it has always been, but those who purposefully deceive rarely face their opposition on fair terms. I am not holding my breath Zimmer replies.

        Just look at the Ocasio-Cortez/Shapiro volley. One party offers a genuine request to debate, with the sum of $10,000 going to her political coffer or charity. She responded by claiming he was “catcalling” her. Look at how many in the climate field refuse to openly debate or address their wildly inaccurate claims. This global greening shunning is obviously sophistry, and only the small minded would fall for it. I think this will be one of the final nails in dismantling the narrative that even these millenials will start to recognize is bunkum.

        How relevant is the novel 1984 right now?
        “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
        “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
        “Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

        These quotes really spoke to me when I read the recent claims of Zimmer. I just can’t shake my disappointment that some humans are capable of sinking to that level of self-deception.

      • Thanks. Looking at Mr. Zimmer’s biography and his curriculum vitae, I have formed a distinct impression that this is a guy who plays to the crowd.

  2. Not sure if this will work but I’ll try anyway

    I find it fascinating that of all the greenhouse gases including water vapour, man’s contribution is ~0.12%.

    Taken as a % of all atmospheric gases that’s 0.0012% (being that ~4% of all greenhous gases is CO2 which equates to 0.04% of all atmospheric gases).

    The fate of man is being determined by a number that in most cases would be considered statistically inconsequential.

    I’m happy to be corrected if I’m way off beam here, but I think the numbers are in the ball park.

    • So the same percentage increase is significant as a greening agent but insignificant as a warming agent?

      This is the trouble with so called sceptics, selective scepticism.

          • Maybe not. Ryan S is a bot. Always the one liners to throw off the discussion and always very early in the comment section.

          • kramer

            As I understand it, the radiative effect of CO2 is logarithmic. The more atmospheric CO2 there is, the less the radiative effect.

            Plant’s don’t have that problem, they will gulp down as much CO2 as they can get, within reason, ideally 1,500ppm – 2,000ppm.

            But even John Tyndall, the scientist who discovered the phenomenon said, “water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the other gases is not negligible but relatively small.”

          • kramer,

            It might be a good reply if it were true, but there is no evidence that plants will “gulp down as much CO2 as they can get” – in fact, the opposite has more evidence: plants reach a saturation point at which increased CO2 doesn’t lead to more uptake, and that point is more like 500-800 ppm.

            Tyndall said water vapour is the strongest GHG, true. But the “not negligible” is a key point. Others, such as Svante Arrhenius and Nils Ekholm (both before 1900) built on his work and predicted global warming and other climate changes as a response to increased CO2 due to fossil fuel burning. This work is the fundamental physical basis behind the theory of AGW.

          • Kristi,

            You have been misinformed.

            Depending upon the C3 plant, the saturation range is from 900 to 1300 ppm. That’s why commercial greenhouses keep their CO2 levels above 1000 ppm.

            And Arrhenius way overestimated the GHE of CO2.

          • You’re welcome.

            It really ought to be obvious that 400 ppm is far below optimum for C3 plants, since they evolved under much higher ambient CO2.

          • Theo,

            I stand corrected.

            However, the response of plant growth in the field is determined by much more than photosynthetic rate. For instance, in one field study conducted over the course of 3 years, “researchers concluded that elevated atmospheric CO2 actually reduces plant growth when combined with other likely consequences of climate change — namely, higher temperatures, increased precipitation or increased nitrogen deposits in the soil.” The researchers were surprised by this result. One hypothesis is that changes in environmental factors may increase the activity of soil microbes, which compete with plants for limited nutrients. (A caveat is the treatment parameters, which may not represent well the
            general conditions encountered through climate change – but it’s still an interesting result, one to examine more closely in other experiments.)

            As I speculated elsewhere, “It has been suggested that in more natural environments, although instantaneous WUE is increased, whole-plant water use may be differentially affected as a result of increased plant size. Allen (1994) reported that larger plant size [higher leaf area index (LAI)] counterbalanced the reduction in water use, offsetting enhanced WUE.”

            “Another largely unknown but important consideration of rising CO2 will be management of pests (weeds, insects, and diseases)
            in these systems. Weeds often show greater growth responses to elevated CO2 than do crop plants, which may be the result of weeds having greater genetic diversity and physiological plasticity than managed plants (Ziska and Runion, 2007). How rising CO2 will impact weed management strategies in horticultural systems is unknown. The interactions of plants with both insects and diseases are complex and vary according to the host–pest system of interest; however, these interactions have received very little attention (Ziska and Runion, 2007).”

            This is just a few examples of the complexities associated with increased CO2 levels and climate change in the real world (i.e., outside greenhouses, where most research into elevated CO2 has taken place). I’m not at all suggesting that higher CO2 will not have a positive effect on crop yields, I am suggesting that there may be limits to this effect well below saturation levels, and that under some circumstances there may be factors that counteract increased photosynthetic rate and WUE so much that no increased yield will result. The experimentation in this area is fairly limited so far, and I’m sure more will be learned in coming years.

            But you are right, I was misinformed. Thank you for putting it so diplomatically. It’s refreshing!

            P.S. I am well aware of the physiology of water use efficiency – my senior honors thesis was on the evolutionary potential of physiological and morphological traits affecting WUE in a dioecious plant.

            (I have to quibble with your statement ending, “… since they evolved under much higher ambient CO2.” The conditions in which plants first evolved are not very relevant, since plants never stopped evolving. If this were not the case, you’d expect plants to have a higher saturation point. It is more likely that inherent plasticity allows plants to adapt to different conditions – although it’s true that some of this plasticity may be a relic of times when CO2 was higher.)


            “And Arrhenius way overestimated the GHE of CO2”

            Maybe so, I don’t know (and you don’t provide evidence), but the physics behind the effect have been amply verified. One thing that I have never seen discussed here (by anyone else) is the fact that the energy absorbed by CO2 is passed on to other atmospheric gases, heating the atmosphere generally and allowing CO2 to once again absorb more energy in the range emitted by the Earth’s surface. In other words, it has a larger effect than one would expect from its concentration.

          • Kristi,

            Anyone the least bit familiar with the history of the CO2 scam knows how preposterously wrong Arrhenius was. But if you still insist on evidence, nay proof, here it is:


            But, more importantly, Arrhenius and his acolytes like Callendar, assumed that AGW would be highly beneficial.

            Not only that, but Arrhenius also bought into the then consensus “scientific” belief in eugenics.

            Be careful as to those whom you chose as heroes.

          • Kristi,

            – When it’s “the fact that the energy absorbed by CO2 is passed on to other atmospheric gases, heating the atmosphere generally and allowing CO2 to once again absorb more energy in the range emitted by the Earth’s surface”

            – then CO2 does “not absorb more energy:

            it did not absorb energy but: passed it on.

            / as long no Perpetuum mobiles outside Tesla worldview /

          • Then dinosaurs did not exist, because plants could never gulp down enough CO2 to become the megaflora required to sustain such massive herbivores? Except, they did exist.

          • Dr. Ed,

            What isn’t generally appreciated is that the giant sauropods often inhabited dry to semi-arid environments, contrary to the once prevalent concept of them as swamp dwellers. Their diet was mainly of tall conifers sparsely strewn about the landscape.

            One reason for relative vegetation abundance under arid conditions is the abundance of CO2 in Mesozoic air (estimated 1750 ppm for the Triassic, 1950 Jurassic and 1700 Cretaceous). Flowering plants (angiosperms) took off during the Cretaceous.

          • Kristi, “plants reach a saturation point at which increased CO2 doesn’t lead to more uptake,”

            So that leaves lots of CO2 for greening Sahara, Sahel Zone, near and middle East, …

          • Don’t think too hard. The answer should be obvious if you understand how plants form. CO2 is a limiting factor in their ability to grow; in fact, CO2 was much higher, by as much as an order of magnitude, during the Mesozoic (Age of the Dinosaurs) — which is why we have enormous coal beds all over the world, and a geologic era called the Carboniferous. Current CO2 is within a factor of 2 of starvation levels in terms of how green plants evolved — near the bottom of planetary history on a geologic time scale. (Of course, i should have scanned further down before commenting — Theo has done a great job describing this in much more detail. Thanks, Theo.)

          • Mark, I’ve been hesitant to weigh in and agree with you regarding your claims of troll and paid, in reference to certain commenters. I’m still not ready to agree on all accounts, however RyanS is certainly ringing the alarm bells as an agent provocateur.

          • a·gent pro·vo·ca·teur
            ˌäZHän(t) prəˌvôkəˈtər/Submit
            a person who induces others to break the law so that they can be convicted.

            I’m not trying to induce anyone to break the law…

            Just calling out bunk when I think I smell it.

          • MarkW said:

            “Ryan is paid to deflect the conversation, not contribute to it.”

            Yeah, and you’re paid by the militant left to make WUWT look stupid.

            Heck, why not while we’re throwing the usual accusations around the place.

      • Recognizing the vastly different mechanics, by which physics and biology function, does not equate to selective skepticism.

        If you could eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere completely, would the entire Earth no longer be able to retain any heat at all?

        The thermal properties of the planet,are not exclusively a function of the relative concentrations of atmospheric CO2; where as the biological process of photosynthesis, actually is.

        Take all of the CO2 out of the atmosphere, all plant life really does die.

          • Gary Ashe
            All life dies:

            Lots of marine life died* when oxygen began “poisoning” the air – produced by flora

            to energize fauna, land conquering

            that thanked / paid by exhaling CO2.

            * one of the first mass extinctions!

      • Selective?
        How so, they’re two utterly unrelated processes.
        Why comment at WUWT on such matters if you don’t understand basic principles?

      • If I observe that concrete is very strong in compression and very weak in tension, am I being selective?

        Why would you think that increased atmospheric CO2 would be equally significant for plant growth and temperature? Am I being selective when I ignore the effect of increased atmospheric CO2 on the strength of steel? link

      • RyanS

        Where did I suggest CO2 had anything to do with either greening or warming?

        On the other hand, NASA has demonstrated that increased atmospheric CO2 is responsible for at least 70%+ of the 14% greening in the last 35 years.

        Yet no one has credibly demonstrated empirically that CO2 causes global warming. That’s 40 years of the worlds best scientific minds devoted to climate change. There should be dozens, if not hundreds of replicable studies but there’s none.

        How did I just know there would be a drive by troll who would misinterpret and misrepresent what I posted because it included a colourful picture.

        Go back to reading comic books.

        • “That’s 40 years”….nope…over 100 years

          CO2 theory is over 100 years old…that’s the theory of global warming

          …and in over 100 years….not one prediction has come true

        • “On the other hand, NASA has demonstrated that increased atmospheric CO2 is responsible for at least 70%+ of the 14% greening in the last 35 years.

          “Yet no one has credibly demonstrated empirically that CO2 causes global warming.”

          This is a perfect example of selectivity in the acceptance of evidence.

          • gnomish

            Seriously mate, don’t bother, Kristi lives in her/his own little echo chamber and wont even consider that the case against CO2 is entirely circumstantial and in the most rigorous courts in the world, i.e. the courts of criminal law, circumstantial evidence is simply not enough to convict with.

            Observational evidence is the only means of convicting a criminal. Considering the option of empirically demonstrating CO2’s culpability is available, yet has failed to produce the required evidence in over 40 years, there’s not a criminal prosecutor in the civilised world that would touch the case with a barge pole.

            Even if evidence was found the first question a court would ask is “why so long?” and the ‘evidence’ would be considered in the light of 40 years of failure.

            But it seems to me, the science of climate change conforms to no standards of evidence that I recognise, they just make it up as they go along and in the end, of course, science itself suffers the consequence of these appalling standards.

          • “Observational evidence is the only means of convicting a criminal.” Not so. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient.

            In some cases an inference is more probative than observation. Look it up.

          • DAs typically won’t file charges based solely on circumstantial evidence, unless the amount is just too overwhelming to reasonably doubt.

            They prefer at least some hard observational evidence. That’s harder for the defense to explain away.

          • Spalding Craft

            “Circumstantial evidence is sufficient.”

            Very, very rarely and in most cases recently, only where there is solid evidence, like DNA e.g. rape, and even that’s subject to witness testimony as to the circumstances; were they flirting, did she invite him in for coffee……etc.

            “In some cases an inference is more probative than observation.”

            Very few, look it up.

          • “Very few, look it up.” Actually, I don’t think it can be looked up. Things like inferences and observations are evaluated by the jury, and both can be probative or not in the minds of jurors. The judge, of course, will decide if the evidence is of such quality that would allow the jury to consider it.

            The duty of the lawyer is to present circumstantial evidence, if that’s all that he has, and to explain away possible inferences other than the guilt of the accused. It’s always sufficient if explained properly.

            I had a trial practice for over 30 years. I believe I know the difference between circumstantial and direct evidence, and I’m not convinced that you do. And dna evidence is a combination of both – like ballistics.

          • Spalding Craft

            “In some cases an inference is more probative than observation. Look it up.”

            We can go head to head on the ‘look it up’ bit if you want.

            I was the guy with the job of finding the evidence lawyers make handsome livings from.

            I’m acutely aware of the difference between circumstantial evidence and hard evidence. I have dealt with numerous lawyers who didn’t and they jeopardised many criminal cases. Innumerable hours of police graft devoted to putting some very nasty people behind bars frequently wasted by lawyers who often couldn’t be bothered to use the evidence we gave them, or more often, they didn’t understand it.

            I had the misfortune to be forced to walk many lawyers through cases to help them understand how an evidence trail works in the real world.

            But perhaps we’re discussing different judicial systems, I was fortunate to work in the UK. I believe Its CJS is the template for every CJS in the civilised world so muggins PC Plod here has to be pretty clued up on every process from crime scenes, to evidence preservation and acquisition, through the arrest process, detention, prisoner welfare, documentation, witness interviews, case writing, presentation, hearings, trials and post trial analysis. And that’s just the abbreviated list.

            Are you still so sure I don’t know what I’m talking about?

          • classic roman rights are “the template for every CJS in the civilised world”

            outside “the Commonwealth”.

            But that’s another story.

          • “Observational evidence is the only means of convicting a criminal.” Not so. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient.

            That is why jurisprudence is hard for everyone involved.

            But no “hard science”.

          • Yes, Hotspot –

            the science of climate change conforms to no standards of evidence that I recognise, they just make it up as they go along and in the end, of course, science itself suffers the consequence of these appalling standards.

            There ought to be some kind of CO2 / global warming “exchange supervisory”.

          • Kristi Silber

            But it’s perfectly OK for alarmists to ‘select’ CO2 as the global warming culprit despite there being no empirical evidence.

            OK, maybe it’s not selective, it’s just fraudulent.

            These are not selective options, greening and lack of evidence are compelling evidence.

          • And you provide a perfect example of projection.

            You can’t accept evidence that’s, like Macavity, not there.

          • And that’s the “null hypothesis”:

            You can’t accept evidence that’s, like Macavity, not there.

      • “So the same percentage increase is significant as a greening agent but insignificant as a warming agent?”

        lets play with that logic “so you think the adding 500mg weight of aspirin to the mass of a person with a headache is beneficial, but the added weight they have to carry around is insignificant?”

        yeah- it sounds that dumb when it’s put that way RyanS.

      • Where is the scientific evidence that CO2 is the main driver of global temperature, “warming agent”? Computer models are not considered scientific evidence but they do employ circular logic.

        • Predictions from fundamental physics, and the fact that nothing else explains the increased temps we’ve seen. (CO2 is not the main driver of global temperature, the sun is. GHG are secondary drivers, but necessary to keep the heat of the sun in the planetary system.) In order to conclusively refute AGW theory, you would have to refute the physical theory behind it and find another explanation for climate change. Neither has been done.

          • nope.
            only need to find one example of global warming where co2 is lower
            one example of cooler global temps when co2 is higher
            falsification proves the conjecture to be false.
            law of logic.
            argument from ignorance proves something else entirely…lol

          • Kristi,

            You’re kidding, right?

            CO2 as the control knob on climate has no scientific support whatsoever.

            Do you seriously imagine that there is no other explanation for “climate change”? Earth’s climate has been everything from covered in oceans of molten rock to oceans of water ice.

            In the Phanerozoic Eon (the past 541 million years), Earth has had an ice age with high CO2 and warmer conditions with lower CO2. There isn’t even a correlation, let alone causation.

            The only valid observation is that over time, CO2 levels follow temperature. If it stays hot long enough, CO2 will come out of solution in the oceans. If it stays cold long enough, it’ll go back there.

          • Kristi ==> Thanks for stopping by. You are playing the wrong game here — you are playing Junior Climate Warrior (complete with ID card and Badge) posting scientifically unsupported Climate Consensus Talking Points to counter Junior Climate Skeptics who post scientifically unsupported Ain’t No Global Warming talking points.
            That game is senseless and childish — on both sides.
            If you want to be taken seriously here, you have to be an adult, read closely the essays, understand them from their own viewpoint, know the scientific background without too much biasing nonsense, and then post comments that are On The Topic of The Essay — not play stick-ball with the kids in the street.
            The “yes it is!”//”no it ain’t” shouts of the children are just noise — which the adults tune out.

          • Kip, if you want to be “adult” about it, don’t interpret others’ words by adding your own biases to them. You lose credibility (with me, anyway).

            You don’t even address what I’ve written, you just attack me. Why don’t you say the same to the other “childish” game-players?

            I’m not a climate warrior of any kind. I don’t even know what “Climate Consensus Talking Points” are, apart from what is asserted here – and often I have a hard time believing that what is supposedly thought by the consensus is really what they say – I think it’s confused with the media. I look at the reasoning and arguments of skeptics and those of climate scientists, and find the latter more convincing, partly because they are much more apt to discuss the limitations and caveats of their research, and put it in context of other research both supporting and contradicting the reported findings. I look at the evidence, and can’t understand why some skeptics maintain there has been no warming or that increased CO2 has no role in it – or why it isn’t more hotly debated on WUWT. I see countless examples of bias in posted articles, and wonder why others don’t object to them, since I know there are many intelligent people here. The thing is, when people read such biased views over and over, they begin to seem plausible and true – and this is what propaganda is all about. WUWT is pushing an agenda – that’s clear from the talk of “winning.” The exact same thing happens in the media, which is why I avoid it, especially when it comes to climate change. Nearly all my media exposure to climate change stories comes from WUWT. I never saw Gore’s movies. My mom gave me the book years ago, and it sat unopened on the shelf. Some say I’ve been indoctrinated at college, but college was 3 decades ago, and I remember exactly one day in class when it was discussed. I think we read Ekholm’s paper.

            People here don’t even know my views, they just assume they do because I argue against what I see as bias, poor reasoning, misuse of statistics, silly assumptions, oversimplification, and conspiracy theories. I don’t place a lot of trust in GCMs, for example. I don’t advocate abandonment of fossil fuels. I don’t think we have to worry about sea level rising by meters. I think some regions will benefit from AGW. But most of all, I believe that there is value in expertise and that the vast majority of scientists have scientific integrity, even if they behave like humans at times. Laymen don’t have the experience and depth of knowledge to casually dismiss peer-reviewed science or make up their own (simplistic) version of reality. Believing that people like Christopher Monckton have a better grasp of climate math than all climate modelers is downright bizarre. As I understand it, control theory would only apply if the sun’s input responded to feedbacks. The sun is the energy input, and energy escaping the planet’s atmosphere is the output; it’s not a closed loop, and the input is independent. Doesn’t this invalidate the application of control theory? Am I understanding this completely wrong? The feedbacks are within the planetary system, and they are interactive and complex, and can’t be described by a simple equation. It took me a while to see this, and I welcome corrections as long as they actually describe climate rather than engineering or electronics. (I know, this is off-topic! But at least it shows that I think for myself – none of this came from anyone else’s ideas. Boy, do I get tired of having to defend myself, rather than my views. “Junior Climate Warrior” indeed!)

            What are “climate consensus talking points” and why wouldn’t they be unsupported? How do you know they aren’t, and that you’re understanding the issue correctly? The IPCC??? Do you take into account the varying degrees of uncertainty and confidence, and the fact that new research is constantly being produced? Are you aware of the points about which there is active debate within the scientific community?

            Do you think reading a few articles about plant physiology enables you to evaluate the claims and counterclaims you write about? Do you think Joseph Bast and the CEI are credible, unbiased commentators?

            Really, Kip – you are not the one to be lecturing me about bias. I never suggested I wasn’t biased. It’s those who think they lack bias that are most easily taken in by poor arguments, in my opinion.

          • Kip! Kristi wants to debate you.
            Get the clue from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, dude.
            Look at that wall of text! Hot hot hot!

          • Kristi ==> This essay is not about the general topic of the AGW hypothesis. It is about whether or not Global Greening (as shown by NASA in their graphic) can be called “terrible.”
            If you’d like to address that issue, with a collegial and sensible question or comment, address it to “Kip…” and I’ll be glad to respond.
            You’re still playing the wrong game — and seem to be wondering why you don’t get any respect.
            You’ll notice that the readers who get treated with respect here are those who 1) stick to the topic, 2) ask sensible questions, 3) either show an understanding of the topic under discussion or admit they are clueless and ask for education/clarification, 4) don’t comment emotionally, but rationally, 5) If they disagree, state their disagreement in a collegial way, assuming good faith on the part of the author (who will return the favor).
            Posting comments nearly as long as the original essay is generally frown upon.
            If you honestly do not wish to become an accepted member of the community, then you should continue on as you are — most are treating you like a joke (behavior of which I disapprove). Some of the most respected readers here have strong disagreements with the general accepted viewpoints here — if you haven’t noticed yet, I generally don’t agree with a majority of the essays and comments here (search the site for “by Kip Hansen” and read the essays).

          • Kristi. From what I understand, CO2 imparts a warming tendency, all other factors remaining the same. In that way you may be able to say the CO2 is a “control knob”.

            The problem of course is that other factors don’t remain the same. If you look at other periods of warming in the 20th century (pick the 30’s), you’ll see periods of warming when CO2 was below the level scientists say will affect historical averages.

            What we don’t know are the relative contributions of CO2 and other factors that influence natural variation. The IPCC stubbornly holds to the view that it’s virtually certain that all the recent warming is CO2 – caused, but this is contrary to their own review of the evidence.

            AR5 is probably the definitive modern explanation of global warming, and is where I go when I get confused. It is the lukewarmer’s go-to source. But politics has polluted the Summary for Policy Makers and cannot be taken at face value.

          • I thought the IPCC maintained that at least half the warming was anthropogenic. No one with any sense argues that natural variation doesn’t play a role in climate. This is why there are times when temperature doesn’t follow CO2. AGW doesn’t end ENSO, PDO, etc., it overlays them.

            Personally, I rarely go to the IPCC for information except when someone refers to it.

            Looking back to previous geological eras to see whether temperatures follow or precede global warming is not a good way to assess whether CO2 is a driver since there are so many other factors at play, such as solar output, “geo-solar” cycles, continental drift, plant evolution and abundance, albedo, etc.

          • Wrong again, Kristi, as always.

            IPCC has repeatedly upped the ante on human influences being the predominant factor in global warming.

            Please get with your own side’s laughably false program.

          • Pick your time series Kristi:
   – this site monitors actual daily CO2 levels with ongoing constant monitoring.

            A few things you’ll note regarding winter:

            CO2 levels decline in winter *despite* increasing energy consumption by humans to warm their environment (reduced temp = reduced biotic activity)

            CO2 levels in winter peak around mid-day and then fall sharply (as the local environment accumulates warmth from the sun, plant metabolism is raised enough that they can start feeding)

            Despite huge amounts of energy being consumed by humans to warm their environment the ambient temperature remains.. well, cold. We cannot pump out enough energy in heating our surroundings to overcome the naturally cold winter when the suns energy on the place is reduced.

            A few things you’ll note regarding summer

            CO2 levels rise substantially compared to winter levels as chemical activity is increased in organisms that contribute to CO2 output.

            CO2 levels rise after dark (when the sun don’t shine) and plummet shortly after sun-up as plants greedily suck as much CO2 from the air as they can, the CO2 levels then remain low until sundown when photosynthesis halts and levels begin to rise (sharply). Clouds impact photosynthesis and this correlates with CO2 data on the ground.

            The main observation from all this is, CO2 levels in the air on a minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day basis have no measurable impact on temperature , otherwise if you want to put the horse before the cart and believe tat CO2 is the main forcing, you’d be seeing daytime summer temperatures plummet as CO2 drops – that ain’t happening..

            However the fundamentals of the carbon cycle, the established nature of photosynthesis, the known interaction between warmth and biotic activity is there is the recorded data clear as the daylight that warms the planet.

          • Kristi, that’s poor:

            “Predictions from fundamental physics, and the fact that nothing else explains the increased temps we’ve seen.”

            Maybe some see into the wrong direction.

      • CO2 is only one of several “greenhouse” gasses, hence even a large increase in CO2 would only be a small increase in “greenhouse” gasses. Conversely CO2 is the main source of carbon for photosynthesis, hence even a small increase is noticeable.

        According to HotScot’s chart above, man made CO2 has increased the “greenhouse” effect by 0.12%, conversely it has increased CO2 by 3.4%.

        • BillP,
          I think that you have hit on the essence of the problem. Many have pointed out that long term, there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature. Others have complained that the amount of CO2 is too minuscule to have an effect. I think that the answer to the problem is that water vapor and CO2 are so similar in their IR absorption characteristics that they can, and should be, treated as a single forcing agent. That is, with respect to climate sensitivity, the temperature increase should be considered on the basis of a doubling of ALL ‘greenhouse gases,’ not just CO2. It would then appear that (with the exception of the polar regions) water vapor provides a baseline effect, with CO2 and other trace GH gases being minor players that barely have an impact! The claimed recent correlation between CO2 and temperature is probably a spurious correlation. I’m going to work on trying to flesh this out more quantitatively.

          • Water vapor has a number of frequencies that it absorbs that CO2 doesn’t.
            So on a molecule to molecule comparison, water vapor is a stronger greenhouse gas than is CO2.

          • MarkW,
            Since you seem to be familiar with the absorption features, you can save me the time of looking it up. Do those additional WV absorption features correspond to the central peak, or to the tails of the outgoing IR?

          • Kristi,
            Looking at the graphs, it appears that everything on the long wavelength side of the thermal emission of Earth gets clipped by CO2 and H2O. The only potential for effectively increasing absorption is between about 15 and 7 microns for WV and between about 13 and 8 microns for CO2. That is, only about half the width of the thermal IR spectrum can be further effected by the two primary GH gases, and oxygen species already take a notch out of that window. One or two of the minor CO2 peaks overlap the oxygen, meaning it is nearly saturated It looks to me like there is more potential for WV to impact the absorption of IR than there is for CO2. In any event, we should be paying attention to the “Total” graph at the top, rather than focusing on just the CO2.

          • Clyde,

            CO2 is the most important because that is rising and we have something to do with it. Compare the H2O and the top graph. You can see that CO2 plays quite a big role because it fills a sizable part of the “window” left open by H2O – the wavelengths is doesn’t absorb.

            I don’t know why we should focus on the top graph – how is that productive?

          • All CAGW is based on computer models that misinterpret a natural, periodic rise in temperatures during the latter quarter of the 20th Century. The models’ inability to correctly predict actual temperature trends of the 21st Century is prima facie evidence that they are not sufficient support for fundamentally altering our society, economy and energy systems.

          • Clyde Spencer

            It’s my understanding that man has contributed almost zero amounts of water vapour to the planet, nor can it ever release much of any significance, ever, so doubling the quantities of all greenhouse gases, other than for theoretical scientific comparison, is not possible.

            John Tyndall himself “concluded that water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the other gases is not negligible but relatively small.”

            Yet somehow his observations are utterly ignored by the so called “scientific” climate change concencus scientists.

          • HotScot,
            You said, “…nor can it ever release much of any significance, ever, so doubling the quantities of all greenhouse gases, other than for theoretical scientific comparison, is not possible.”

            Then that would explain why there is so little correlation with long-term temperature and CO2. Humans are having a small influence on WV, but higher temperatures in the past could have increased the rate of surface evaporation and created a positive feedback loop up to the point of saturation with WV.

            Actually, by building reservoirs and irrigating with ground water, humans have probably increased WV, particularly in arid and desert regions. Focusing on a single global temperature, rather than temperatures of all the climate zones would hide increases in desert areas. Although, people who live in Phoenix have a subjective experience with it because the increased humidity in the city and down wind makes the nights warmer than they used to be.

          • Clyde, you have that Phoenix thing absolutely right! Phx. heat is no longer dry.
            Not that wet or dry, 115 degrees is anything but miserable to everyone but my daughter and the few other people like her who think 115 is just a tad higher than perfect.

          • Clyde,

            I recommend this video, which talks about the correlation (and lack thereof) between CO2 and temperature at different times in Earth’s history.

          • HotScot
            Clyde Spencer

            It’s my understanding that man has contributed almost zero amounts of water vapour to the planet.

            There’s cooling towers, exhaust tailpipes, aircraft engines / turbines, steam engines, gas turbines – where half of feeded energy is needed to bring the water to the boiling point, the second half turns energy into electricity.

            But still: water vapor isn’t new to planet earth, it suits to “weather”.

          • “I think that the answer to the problem is that water vapor and CO2 are so similar in their IR absorption characteristics that they can, and should be, treated as a single forcing agent.” This isn’t true. CO2 is important precisely because it absorbs heat in the range emitted from the Earth – a range in which there is a “window” in which water vapor has little absorption.

          • Kristi Silber

            And water vapour is 95% of all greenhouse gases, CO2 3%.

            Man made CO2 a small fraction of that 3%.

            Are you insane?

            No, sorry, you are insane.

            “…….water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the other gases is not negligible but relatively small.”

            John Tyndall.

            But of course Kristi Silber is better than Tyndall himself in the analysis of the releative effects of greenhouse gases.

            All hail Kristi!

          • Kristi,

            I think that need to go back and look at the graphs that you provided above — and see my comment while you are at it.

            Those absorption values are not fixed as with a solid of a specified thickness. They represent typical atmospheric absorption for the amount of CO2 and WV usually in the atmosphere. The main CO2 peak is saturated and the only potential for additional absorption is from the minor peaks, and widening of the wings of the saturated peak. On the other hand, WV is no where near being saturated on the SW side of the emission spectrum. Therefore, within the range of potential WV increase, it has a significant potential for capturing outgoing IR radiation — more so than the minor peaks of CO2. That is, as the atmosphere warms, the absolute humidity can increase, which will deepen the absorption features of the atmospheric WV, and it will happen across the SW side of the emission spectrum, whereas the CO2 is constrained to absorption at discreet lines. However, there is an upper limit on WV as determined by saturation and condensation.

          • Clyde,

            The graph has nothing to do with saturation. The graph is unchanging. It shows the wavelengths that are absorbed by different molecules, not how much energy they absorb in atmosphere.

            About 100% of the energy of outgoing photons with a wavelength of 4 microns is absorbed (top graph), but the Earth isn’t emitting a lot at that wavelength (bell curve distribution on right). CO2 molecules are capable of absorbing nearly all the energy of photons with a wavelength about 14 microns, and that is also near the peak of Earth’s emission spectrum. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more will be absorbed at this wavelength. Also, the more water vapor that’s in the atmosphere, the more energy will be absorbed at that wavelength, but it doesn’t do so as efficiently as CO2.

          • Let’s not forget that climate models create substantial warming by building in feedback mechanisms, such that increased CO2 causes an increase in water vapor which enhances warming, etc. The magnitude of the feedbacks is, of course, the essence of the controversy about climate sensitivity – really the central area of disagreement between lukewarmers and alarmist warmers.

      • Infra Red absorption by CO2 is 99.99% fully saturated – trees love the stuff and absorb more when more is available.
        IR doesn’t work like that – so there is nothing selective about it.
        CO2 is good for biology but has very little left to give to Global Warming regardless of its concentration.

      • Greening is objectively measured, the climate catastrophe is hyped, and you are comparing apples and oranges.
        Thank you for demonstrating how fanaticism makes the one suffering from it less able to think clearly.

      • RyanS, where did you miss that it was Zimmer and Campbell stating that increasing CO2 was greening the earth, while at the same time they believe anthropogenic CO2 was causing catastrophic global warming. Zimmer is the one being hypocritical. He doesn’t state why he change is mind other than he was faced with the fact that CO2, like most naturally occurring things is a good thing and possibly not bad at all or as bad as he was led to believe. Zimmer being a devout follower of the orthodoxy as you are had his beliefs challenged. Campbell knows if he says good things about CO2 his funding might decline.

      • You do understand that IR activity and photosynthesis are independent phenomena, do you not? i.e. It is thus a non-sequitur–“CO2 is needed for photosynthesis therefore it increases planetary warming”.

      • Ryans

        CO2 is the component in the atmosphere which most limits plant growth as it is vital to plants but in shortest supply.

        The atmosphere is already well loaded with a GHG (water vapor) that swamps any warming effect of CO2.

        So yes, CO2 is significant as a greening agent but insignificant as a warming agent.

        That is the trouble with so called climate scientists, selective science.


      • So the same percentage increase is significant as a greening agent but insignificant as a warming agent?

        This is the trouble with so called sceptics, selective scepticism.

        The answer to your question, I believe, is YES — the correct view of a small percentage of CO2 is that it is like a vitamin, NOT like a poison. Sorry that all small quantities don’t act like poison, RyanS.

        It’s NOT selective skepticism, therefore, it is proper context.

      • “So the same percentage increase is significant as a greening agent but insignificant as a warming agent?”

        I don’t see anything contradictory in that statement. CO2 is a significant greening agent, whereas there is no evidence that CO2 is a significant warming agent.

      • However, there seems to be real world evidence of useful increased green growth results but only speculation and model projections of harmful warming effects. While there are many claims of more drought, more flooding, more fires, more extinctions, etc. etc., THEY are not supported by the data.

        On the other hand, a little investigation will show that considerable increased plant growth on land is due to direct human activity in many parts of the world — the greening of Israel, the reforestation of Iceland, the Great Green Walls in Africa and China, projects in many parts of the Near East, India, and other parts of Africa. While additional CO2 might help these efforts, they would not exist without direct, deliberate human intervention.

        What percentage of the total do they make up, aside from any extra from CO2 increases? Human activity in landscape changes make large local differences and often produce those changes much faster than CO2 growth changes.

        • “While additional CO2 might help these efforts, they would not exist without direct, deliberate human intervention.”
          Andy, this makes no sense to me. For one thing, the sales of herbicides would not be a huge business if plants only grew when and where humans wanted them. You have obviously never gone to war with blackberry bushes in the Seattle area or horsetail weeds to name just a few of many plants which would take ever the world if left to do so.

      • Apples and oranges, Ryan. These are two radically differing scientific differing phenomena. But then I think you know that but can’t resist the glib, content free jab.

      • Ryan, the percentage increase is significant for plant growth.

        But it can’t compete with the sun.

    • I thought CO2 was +- 400 ppm, which decimal is .0004, which %-wise is 0.04%, not the 3.62% (0.0362) shown in the pie chart?

    • But “The heat absorbed by water vapor and carbon dioxide is shared with all the nitrogen, oxygen and argon, because the latter molecules are always bumping into water vapor and carbon dioxide as they mix in the atmosphere. …Currently, the total heating produced by the increases of all long-lived greenhouse gases (excluding water vapor) since preindustrial times is equal to about 1 percent of all solar radiation absorbed at the surface. The effect would be somewhat similar if the sun had started to shine 1 percent more brightly during the 20th century.”

      Do you suppose that a 1% increase in solar output would make no different to Earth’s climate?

      Your numbers mean nothing without an understanding of how the physics of the system works.

        • Kip

          Whilst I largely agree with you on your comments about an academic taking on a muppet, and reducing her/himself to my level in a futile dispute, I would meantime like to understand where the empirical evidence for CO2 causing global warming is.

          I am an uneducated muppet, I know that, you know that, Kristi knows it, because Iv’e admitted it, on numerous occasions.

          So why am I the one asking the single, simple question that no one can answer?

          Where is the empirical evidence that CO2 causes global warming?

          If that’s a question that consigns me to the dungeon of simpletons, then fine, I’m happy to accept that, but please don’t exclude Kristi or any of the other demonic alarmists from the same dungeon because they either refuse to, or can’t produce the evidence to support the claim that man made CO2, never mind CO2 in general, causes global warming.

          I may be thick, and happy in my blissful ignorance, but at least I admit it. Most of the self proclaimed climate change alarmist ‘scientific elite’ who visit WUWT are just that, self proclaimed and, until they can answer my question, remain an awful lot more stupid than me because I have the insight to understand my failings.

          • Kip

            I’ll add a footnote to this: My daughter is in the final weeks of her Masters degree in Zoology. We had a discussion the other day about the dismal failure of reproducibility of published scientific studies. It’s now perceived as a crisis amongst young academics, as is the peer review process. Both issues are seen as a major threat to science itself and, in my opinion, risk sending us back to religious doctrine, because it makes more sense than what’s spouted by the scientific community in general these days.

            Why does it take a layman to see this, and the scientific community, with all their gifts, can’t?

            Nor does anyone have a clue what my educational credentials are. My claims on a blog are worthless unless I care to back them up by revealing my identity. So my credibility rests solely on my question:

            Where is the empirical evidence that CO2 causes climate change? Nor is that question mine, It’s Patrick Moor’s. So the question itself comes from a credible, identifiable source.

            So why am I the idiot for asking it, and Kristi the intelligentsia for swatting it aside?

          • HotScot,

            I don’t answer your question not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to waste my time with you.

            “Demonic”? Wow.

          • “I don’t answer your question not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to waste my time with you.”
            That’s OK, Krista, no one has answered that question. You are far from the only one who can’t and far from the only who dodges the question. There is an entire industrial, scientific, political and Faith group who refuse to answer this very simple question because it has never been empirically proven snd they can’t either. You are in good company or, bad, depending on your POV and your views about scientific integrity and honesty.

          • Kristi Silber

            “I don’t answer your question not because I can’t, ………..”

            Easy way to shut me up, show me the studies that demonstrate empirically that CO2 causes global warming.

        • Kip – Relevance?

          Why don’t you address my comments? Or is the above just a “Climate Consensus Talking Point” – and if so, why not say that ALL climate science is just that? Does that mean we should ignore it? Is that the “adult” thing to do? Does it get us nearer the truth?

      • Kristi, you’re doing science fiction.

        Our sun is in steady state, maybe unremarkable fading.

        In some 4 bill. years it may expand to the orbit of Jupiter. And that would be “a tipping point” not only for climate on earth


        Anyway 1% statistical deviation in sun’s radiation is simply ALLOWED!

  3. This is exactly what has been happening in forests over the Earth. Decomposition acting as compost and thus good growth of trees. For the processes of decomposition forest gives copious rains and create aquifers. Acquifers create good groundwater at shallow depths. This is natures process but humans are destroying this process by butchering the forests to meet their growing population’s needs.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • The destruction you speak of is non-existent in North America except on lands that are “managed” by the BLM and the US Forest Service. The US sequestered forests are fire hazards as described in this video delivered at Heartland’s America First Energy Conference by Jennifer Fielder, Americans Land Council:

    • Dr. Reddy ==> Please look at the larger picture — it is true that some nations are managing their forests poorly, while others are managing their forests better. The United States has been increasing in forest cover for many years, as has Canada.
      It boils down to: The Developed World is responding to the call for more forest cover and acting upon it — both intentionally through afforestation, and unintentionally, through the abandonment of marginal agricultural land which then returns naturally to forest cover. The Developing World is struggling to feed itself — and thus is still in the stage of converting forests and grasslands to agriculture. As they develop modern agricultural methods, much of the marginal land will be allowed to regrow as forests. This is the pattern. If the developing world had responsible governance, they would plan this transition and convert only the land that would be most productive to agriculture and forbid the random slash-and-burn that is the current practice. The people must eat.

      • Why do forests need to be “managed”? They’ve done just fine for hundreds of millions of years.

        • Jeff ==> We need to manage forests because they are a very valuable natural resource — we need the wood for the construction of homes, primarily, and for the production of paper. There is a marvelous list of Products Made From Wood [pdf] from the University of Kentucky. A lot of chemicals are derived from wood as well, and used to make many things that begin as cellulose.
          Tree Farms are a huge business in the American Southeast, with vast tracts of land planted with fast-growing conifers which are periodically clear-cut (harvested like a wheat field) twenty acres at a time and replanted.
          As some have mentioned here, the US Federal government owns a majority of the forested land and manages it through the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forestry Service.

          • Kip,

            Interstingly, in the list of products made from wood, I saw no mention of wood pellets so that the crazy Brits can absolve themselves from those evil fossil fuels. 🙂

          • Phil R

            Please don’t include me in the “crazy Brits” bit. I don’t like the situation with Drax any more than you do.

          • Hot ==> Don’t worry, there are lots of others who are “crazy Brits”– served in the merchants with quite a few — however, IMHO, the Kiwis take the crazy cake.

          • Actually, Drax wood pellets have about the same marginal impact on American forests as wood chips. If the Brits want to buy our wood pellets, and if they want to think it’s a more “sustainable” solution than coal, then if they’re happy then I’m happy too.

          • Very little forest on BLM land. At best some scrub juniper. The BLM was formed in 1946 to manage the federal land which no one else at the time wanted.

            The US Forest Service was founded in 1905 to administer the national forests.

        • Lack of proper management is why the American west is having it’s current problems with wild fires.

          • MarkW ==> Yes — more correctly maybe -> “errors in management”. Fire suppression as primary goal turns out to have been a negative for forests in the long-run.

          • Small fire now, small fire later.
            No fire now, big fire later.
            No fire now, no fire later, GINORMOUS RAGING INFERNO much later.

        • Because for over 100 years we mismanaged the forests to death along with the wildlife which inhabits them by fire suppression and, then, by preventing logging and roads into the forest. Fire is natural to the forest and is essential. When the aspen groves were dying, they finally figured out that the seeds do not sprout without fire. They evolved this way as fire meant that the brush had been cleared and the seedlings had the best chance for survival.
          Through fire suppression, the forests we have today are seriously overgrown and very unnatural and unhealthy. The fires now have so much fuel, they burn super hot and sterilize the soil. They kill trees instead of just clearing the brush and taking out lower branched which gives seedling a chance to grow.
          Having created these extremely unnatural situations, enviros then prohibited logging and the building of roads into the forests which means, having eliminated natural firebreaks from natural fires, we also eliminated the means for firefighters to reach the fires.
          In a natural forest in the west, there are 30 to 60 trees per acre interspersed with meadows. Today we have 300 to 600 trees per acre with no meadows. With this density, the trees cannot get enough water or nutrients to thrive nor to withstand bark beetle infestations or remain healthy.
          Then, enviros fought the removal of dead trees and even burned dead trees which are known as fuel for the next fire.
          The Native Americans set fires for centuries if there had not been a natural fire to prevent just these conditions. The fires they set also killed insects harmful to the trees. We thought we were much smarter. We weren’t. Now that the damage has been done, firefighters let fires burn if not near human habitation but it will take decades to undo the damage and states like ‘Calif. still will not adopt and use any fire management methods to include logging which, by the way, puts in those roads needed for the firefighters and provides fire breaks. They won’t do managed proscibed burns, second-hand smoke you know, demand homes have defensible space via clearing or any of the other techniques that are now known to be essential for a healthy forest. In fact, many parts of Cal. won’t let a homeowner clear around his house.
          That’s why forests need to be managed, Jeff.
          Not to mention, the states have allowed development in and near forests and in order to protect that and human life, fires must be fought.

      • If we look at history of urban areas in developed countries including USA and Canada, the loss of forest cover can be clearly seen. Some examples I presented in my book “Climate Change: Myths & Realities” of 2008 — Washington D.C. case , etc. In fact my observation is historical change. This is not confined to developing countries for food but also to developed countries for food business. My main point was not on developed versus developing, but the basic process on CO2 in forests.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

        • Dr.Reedy ==> There is no question about the historic changes as mankind has altered the landscape to suit its needs. In the last 75 years or so, the US and most developed countries have been adding, not subtracting, forest area overall.

        • Dr., I believe there are now many more trees in the world than we ever thought it had and forests are increasing, not decreasing. This has been clearly shown by satellites. Correct me if you think that data is incorrect.

      • Kip, it seems to me that the one thing that would help the developing world not cut down their forests is to enable then to have 24/7 fossil fuel electricity like the First World has instead of demanding they fuel their factories, hospitals and homes with 13th century technology that is wholly unreliable and inadequate for modern needs. This means they must resort to deforestation and other harmful means for fuel such as wood and dung fires.
        We won’t let them have DDT to fight malaria even though it is well known that all of the alleged harm done by DDT was based on bad science and it untrue. But to “feel” good, we allow hundreds of thousands of Africans to become sick and/or die from malaria every year.
        We won’t let them have GMO seeds designed for drought resistance and to improve yields or, even that which adds Vitamin D to rice to prevent tens of thousands of cases of blindness every year.
        It never ceases to amaze me that for all the condemnation of the colonists of the Third World interfering with natives, the affluent White Man is still doing exactly the same thing and telling these people what they can have and what they can and cannot do.
        We won’t even let them manage their own resources to the benefit of the population and the animals.
        January 15, 2014Conservation This Week, This Week’s Good Read9

        How Hunting Saves Animals
        by Terry Anderson
        Thursday, October 29, 2015

        In reality, trophy hunting saves wild animals and endangered species because it makes them a valuable commodity to be preserved and nurtured and not pests which destroy fields and crops.
        Some things never change.
        Sorry, end of rant. I simply do not accept that we can cause grave harm to people for no better reason than it makes us feel good and we have good intentions so, all the harm we cause is not important.

    • Funny where i live we have 1000s of acres of commercial woodland, harvested and re-planted,…… our once heather filled mountain sides now pine green…….

      Every civilised country the same…
      Theres more tonnage of ”living” wood on the planet now than before the Ind Rev..
      Because we use far more dead wood now, theres many more of us.

      ”butchering forests” whattakh##t.

      • I was driving through the Pacific NW many years ago during the time when advocates were trying to shut down lumber production because of alleged harm to wildlife. I saw a bumper sticker on a car probably driven by a lumberjack – “If You Can’t Get Toilet Paper, Try a Spotted Owl.”

        • Ironically, by stopping logging, they created the ingredients for super fires which have killed the spotted owl and destroyed its habitat. Plus, to the enviors horror, the spotted owl has had the audacity to breed with non-spotted owls and the species is no longer “pure” and is on it’s way out now, anyway.
          It turned out, those who said they were saving the owl, killed it.
          Sort of like destroying the village to save it in Vietnam.

  4. Knowledge of the Global greening effect of CO2 must be beginning to get through. Scary for the Blob.

    • Don’t forget to tell any hippies you notice adding mulch to their garden how wonderful they’re providing all that CO2 for the plants when it breaks down . Watch their faces.. it’s memorable.

      You may have to explain that plants get their food from the air, and you may even need to explain composting allows the microbes to release carbon dioxide, but it is really worth the bother 🙂

      • Karlos51 ==> Mulching with compost is good agricultural practice and particularly suitable for home and small farm production — it increases yields far more than simple fertilizer through soil improvement. (and beats the heck our of throwing your compostable garbage in the trash bin for municipal collection!).

        • oh I know it 😉 My little experiments with compost and mulch scribbled about here a long time back was not a surprise however once I clicked the bulk of the benefit of composting came from released CO2 – and the growth rates and masses of plants produced in organic enriched soils was the same as the plant mass obtained from those grown in sterile soils tethered to containers with the same mass of (decomposing) organic material as the controls . The CO2 did it ! /humor

        • An interesting side effect of composting and recycling is the effect on the expected life of landfills. In my part of NC the life expectancy of the tri-county landfill has increased from 20 years to over 50 years, and climbing.

  5. It is difficult to follow all the twists and turns the anti-carbonists take in their pathetic efforts to save their dying ideology but suffice it to say, they do tie themselves in knots doing so. It is highly amusing to watch.

    • To ne anti-carbon is to be against life. The anti-life fanatic ideology is in no way dying down.
      It is becoming increasingly extreme and mindless.

      • If any of you are familiar with Mark Passio, it was his work on Symbolism/Mind Control/the occult that really put things into perspective. Yes, many folks, especially here, will undoubtedly claim he is a whackadoo. That is fine. However, much of what he says has been vindicated, most specifically on the topic of the green agenda.

        it boils down to this: Dark Occultists use symbolism and methods of mind-control to influence the unsuspecting population, often too busy to care or investigate, for eventual de-population and complete domination of the individual by a few worthy elites. Total surveillance, no rights, the state is god. That’s basically it.

        Most of these methods are subtle (think news casters NLP, blue background on news channels (color theory), common-core curriculum, employing logical fallacies when propagandizing the viewer, and the worst, fear-mongering of the youth) and of course other direct methods that are highly disputable (MKultra technology, erecting occulted symbolic structures in every major city, buildings saturated in dark occult symbolism, using numerology: again, highly questionable and debatable and I wouldn’t even attempt to persuade any one who doesn’t want to genuinely entertain the possibility).

        This is why they chose CO2, and why they constantly talk about carbon. Maurice strong was a misanthropic dark occultist, who knew full well what this was about. Eugenics. You can read his words and review his actions. It screams of misanthropy. These type of people are satanic, and the method most preferred is to flip reality, just like the great deceiver. Take something beautiful and wonderful, and flip it around, trick people into poisoning themselves and buying into misanthropic agendas…they do the culling on themselves. War comes to mind most directly. I can’t even imagine sending my kid off to go kill some foreigners under the guise of national security. What an absolute crock. When is the last time you saw any of the chicken hawks always pushing for war actually go and fight these battles? That alone should sound alarm bells.

        Carbon has 6 neutrons, 6 protons, 6 electrons. There is symbolic value as it embodies the beast, which also represents man. We are carbon based life forms and by believing that carbon, especially co2 is evil, we are subconsciously attacking ourselves. It is a massive con that goes unnoticed by most.

        I really want to submit an article but I know it would never pass the giggle test on this site, which is unfortunate, but I understand why. The patterns I’m recognizing and the implications, both socially and philosophically, would be too much for the average skeptic to digest or contemplate as accurate (look how much push back Dr. Tim Ball receives and he’s just pointing out the history of this mess). Additionally, the MSM would pick up on that article and have a field day, most likely not helping credibility. It is such a shame that reality, even the darkest depths of it, is too much for the average person to accept.

        Caveat: I am not religious. When I speak of satanic and similar terms, I’m speaking abstractly. Think Jordan Peterson discussion, the old archetypes, etc. The philosophical underpinnings of human emotion and behavior. I’m not claiming a Satanist worships satan, but rather their behavior and worldview embodies the mentality of the accepted understanding of that entity. More specifically, “Me first, at all costs, and damn the truth. I’ll make the truth what I need it to be”. Don’t take my use of these words as literal, but rather as methodologies of mind and action.

        • honest, I won’t say I buy all your points but, historically, much of what you say is true.

          September 2003
          The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics
          by Edwin Black

          Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called “Master Race.”
          But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement’s campaign for ethnic cleansing…

  6. I remember a time when eggs were bad for you. Then a time when eggs were good for you. Then back to a time when eggs were bad for you. Then they were good for you again. BTW, anyone know where it stands this year?

    • I think it’s back to “no one is paying any attention” now. Butter was bad, then good, then bad again, and now it’s okay so I never stopped using it..

      • All this flip flopping is easily explained by the axiom

        No one ever got his research grant renewed by saying everything is just fine

      • My grandmother, a LPN and a wise woman, said don’t eat margarine, eat butter. This was back when margarine just came out. It took medical science a long time to catch up with her. Oncologists tell their patients to not eat margarine now, too. All of her kids have their tonsils. She said they were there to fight infection and wouldn’t let them be taken out back when everyone had their tonsils removed. Her grandkids, have their tonsils, too.
        Now, medical science says don’t take out tonsils unless absolutely necessary. They fight infection.
        She said smoking was bad back when doctors were advertising cigarette brands snd smoking even in the ICU.

    • I think the eggs thing stands in the same ever- moving ballpark as salt which causes high/low blood pressure or birth control pills which cause/reduce the risk of breast cancer and global temperature which precedes/follows changes in CO2 levels.

      • 20% of breast cancers are caused by estrogen. I took birth control pills and I got the kind of breast cancer that feeds on estrogen. My bad luck. Now, I can’t eat anything with soy in it or put anything with soy in it on my body.
        On the bright side, I’ve been cancer free for 12 years.

    • A better analogy would be, when they came out with leaded gasoline, it cost more because they had to put the lead in; then when unleaded gasoline came onto the market, it cost more because they had to take the lead out.

      Just as anything done to process fuel, only ever moves the price in one direction; any news regarding Climate Change, can only ever be understood to mean that a man made global catastrophe, is closer and worse than was predicted before.

      • They started adding lead to gas because it helped to protect the the valves in your engine.
        So gas with lead was more expensive than gas without.
        When they took lead out of gas, they didn’t just take the lead out, they replaced the lead with another agent that would also protect the valves. The problem is that this new chemical was a lot more expensive.
        No conspiracy involved.

        • Mark, it’s true that tetraethyl lead had a beneficial effect on valves, but they originally added it to raise the octane rating of cheap gas. Higher octane allows better power from higher compression ratios. That’s before my time, but my guess is that it lowered the cost of making gasoline of equivalent octane. Otherwise it would not have been done. There may have been inferior grades of gas suitable for older low compression engines that were cheaper. In that case you get what you pay for.

          I’m pretty sure that the benefits of lead for valve lubrication were not fully understood until they tried to use unleaded formulations in cars that had been designed and tested to run on standard leaded gas and found that the valves wore out faster. It’s more expensive to produce gasoline of a particular octane rating without tetraethyl lead which is the main reason unleaded was more expensive than leaded back in the 70s when leaded still was produced along with unleaded.

          Not that I deny that marketing folks always try to deceive us into valuing new things and intangibles such as “environmentally friendly” beyond their objective value.

    • Tom ==> The latest science is that blood cholesterol levels are not controlled by dietary cholesterol. Eating foods containing cholesterol is no longer forbidden. That means “Eggs R OK”.

      • I have known that for quite a while. Research also shows that some foods that do not contain any cholesterol, vegetable oils for example, actually raise blood cholesterol. Of course Mazola and Wesson will never let that out to the public.

    • Tom, my family lives by the axiom my grandmother taught us. Everything in moderation. Those in the family that followed that axiom lived fairly health lives into their 90s, though the ones that didn’t barely made it past 70 and generally had a tough last decade.

    • I think it’s white part good, yellow part bad. This has stood for some time. Personally, I’m of the “I’d rather enjoy a short lief than be miserable in a long one,” persuasion, so I eat what I like. (made it to 76 and no sign of slowing down so I think enjoying a long life is also an option).

      • i’m jealous.
        but i burned my candle at all six ends, so i can’t complain. there was a lot of light!

      • My diet rules are as follows:
        Rule Zero: Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.
        Rule One: Eat when you are hungry.
        Rule Two: Stop eating when you are full.
        Rule Three: Eat what appeals to you.
        Rule Four: Seek new foods that might appeal to you.

        I expect many individuals with weight problems have yet to make it past Rule Zero. 😐

      • Not sure if they have switched recently but the science has been eating cholesterol does not raise your cholesterol. It is naturally produce by the body. Eating the whole egg is fine and a great protein. Now, it’s carbs, especially, refined carbs, which are bad for you which I have no doubt are bad.

    • Which ever way it goes, I have learned not to suggest to my wife that we eat one of her hens. [For whom I constructed a 12’X12′ air conditioned chicken palace with two wooden chicken hutches.]

  7. …If you know of any scientific justification for the position “Global Greening is Terrible!” I’d be happy to read it….

    Global Greening is scientifically bad because it may cut the grant availability to climate scientists studying famine due to Climate Change killing all the plants.

    So if a climate disaster happens in the next 10 years, those Climate scientists will not be available to help/say ‘I told you so..’…

  8. You left out the part about how plants ALSO release extra O2 (oxygen) as part of their respiration process.

    The more desperate these Greenbeans become, the more they twist facts to suit their agenda. I don’t understand it, but their desperation to control the rhetoric means they are grasping at moldy straw.

    I would much rather have a lush, green lawn and some shade trees than live in a barren Mad Max world, so just WHAT IS IT THAT THESE CRAZYPANTS PEOPLE WANT?

    I think they are nuts. Turning a good and normal biological process into a bad thing is a symptom of a major mental dysfunction. Without plants, the entire planet will die off. Is that what they want?

    And you guys thought all those “V” TV shows and “They Live!” movies were just entertainment. Hah! “Signs” wasn’t just another spook movie by Shyamalan. Well, don’t say you weren’t warned. The Pod People are looking for you now. “The Day of the Trifids” isn’t all that far away. (Yes, I watched way too much TV sci-fi, too.) Confounded Space Aliens.

    • Sara, while some of the greens are crazy most, especially the leaders, are not, far, far from it. They want power and control. They were educated in a system that taught that the western democracies, especially the USA, are the ultimate evil and THE biggest problem facing the Earth. They figured out sometime in the 1980s that to destroy the western democracies one must destroy capitalism to destroy capitalism one must eliminate access to cheap and abundant energy.

      I have been around the richest 5% off and on most of my life. Most are relatively nice folks. Yet some, especially recent billionaires, have obtained their wealth, some don’t have a clue how, and they are seeking something more. The “more” some are seeking is POWER. Some love being the wizard behind the curtain. They love manipulating entire countries or groups of people. Of course all are protected from the real world, living in a true bubble, pondering the world from on high believing all us peons are ignorant and stupid and need to be, not lead, but controlled. A few are utterly ruthless.

  9. 1. of course it does
    2. might as well say more water does the same thing…it does….and they don’t qualify it
    3. then stop planting trees
    4. growing faster and spreading are the most obvious signs a nutrient was limiting

  10. The mystery here is how on earth the Times allowed this story to be published in the first place. Surely they have processes in place to stop the climate truth getting out?

    • My dear naive Mr Bliss – you are assuming that there is some editor reading articles before they are published….

    • The Times has a great deal of credibility vested in promoting as much climate fear as possible.
      Much of modern journalism is merely partisan infomercials. The Times reporting on climate is a great example of this among the many they provide.

  11. In the original article:

    “More carbon dioxide might spur even more growth. But many climate models project that plants will suffer as temperatures rise and rainfall patterns shift. Despite the extra carbon dioxide, worldwide plant growth may fall, and plants will no longer help to buffer the impact of global warming.

    “I’ve been referring to this as a carbon bubble,” Dr. Campbell said. “You see ecosystems storing more carbon for the next 50 years, but at some point you hit a breaking point.”

    It makes sense if global warming steps up too much in the next decades. So global greening can be a temporary benefit but that’s all, and indeed misled us that global warming is actually good for us, and so used politically to falsely denounce global warming in its entirety.

    • Rouget ==> You seem to understand the Climate Team’s propaganda point well — if Global Greening is allowed to be seen as good (which is undoubtedly is) — then the general public might think that Global Warming or Climate Change is not Bad — and if people are not worried enough about Climate Change, then they won’t allow us, the Climate Consensus Team, to dictate national energy policy.
      The weakness in this argument is that Global Greening is 100% Good, and 0% Bad. That Global Greening may stop someday, if the climate changes radically, is not a logical argument for the proposition that “Global Greening is Terrible”.
      It is simply a scientific fact that is “not helpful” to the Climate Consensus propaganda effort.

      • I didn’t say say that greening is bad, I don’t get where I wrote that. The problem is that if global warming is so severe that ‘global greening’ is only temporary that it turns then into a ‘global browning’ then the small temporary advantage is lost. I reread your text and you address this point, so please do. Thanks.

        • Rouget ==> Didn’t think it was your point — only that you are right — that is the Green’s anti-greening point. We should consider ALL climate conditions “temporary” and subject to change — each at differing time scales. The US Southwest suffers decadal scale droughts (and sometimes MegaDroughts) bu the drought eventually ends and better times return. The Arctic treeline shows the scale of change there on a century/millennial scale, moving northward in some periods and retreating south in others.
          It is unlikely that the rate of Global Greening found by Campbell will continue forever — it must stop sooner or later or we will be overrun with plant life! But it is a good thing as it happens.
          As with all climatic/environmental changes, there will be winners and losers.

          • To be completely honest, we don’t much about of all of that? We pretend to do models to say everything will be terrible or everything fine but no one knows for sure if putting so much CO2 will cause terrible things… but maybe it will.

            So the more time passes, the more I’m convinced Taleb was right : we have to act because this is like insurance. In the end even the most skeptical can”t say for sure nothing bad will happen (a bit like you, ‘hey it’s life, things change, adapt, get over it!’

            Taleb’s climate letter:

          • Ah yes, the precautionary principle. The fall back position most warmists take when all of their so called science has been refuted.

            A few million years ago, the earth had well over 1000ppm of CO2, and none of the bad things that cause you such nightmares happened.

            100 million years ago, CO2 levels was well over 5000ppm and life thrived.

          • Rouget ==> Me, I’m not a huge Taleb fan — but we should support all win-win, no-regrets policies that will hedge our bets.
            Developing safe, self-cooling nuclear power plants, efficient fast-in/fast-out batteries, massive electrical storage solutions, clean coal technologies, more efficient electrical home appliances (like air conditioners), electric personal transport (once we have the electrical infrastructure) — all these are no-regrets — we will be glad we did them no matter how the CliSci wars turn out.

          • “more efficient electrical home appliances (like air conditioners)”
            Refrigerators and washing machines used to last 15 to 20 years. Now, thanks to energy efficiency, you are lucky to get 8-10 out of them and that is with frequent repairs and if you are lucky. Believe me, I know.
            Dishwashers used to get the dishes clean in one normal cycle. Now, it takes the long super cycle or wash before putting the dishes in or, after you take them out. I live in an area where water is our scarcest resource. This is not a plus for us. Dishwasher also die much earlier. I replaced the last on after only three years. I got 4 years out of a very expensive washer.
            With my appliances, whatever energy was saved was lost and more in having to replace appliances and all the repair calls and gas used by the repairmen.
            Our A/c is 17 years old. I’m not replacing it until it dies. I wonder how much time I will get out of the new ones? I suspect I will be lucky if it lasts half that long.
            Many repairmen have told me the energy efficiency has put a tremendous load on the engines of appliances and they wear out much faster. What are we gaining, again?

    • There’s no evidence that additional CO2 is capable of warming the earth by more than a few tenths of a degree. Not only is that not harmful, it is 100% beneficial.

      Regardless, the earth has been as much as 2 to 3 degrees warmer than it is today in the last 10K years, and plant life flourished.

      • The Norsemen didn’t name it Greenland just to be pointlessly ironic. (Hipsters hadn’t been invented yet.)


    Summary of the big picture:

    a. The global cooling period from ~1940 to 1975 (during a time of increasing atmospheric CO2) demonstrates that climate sensitivity to increased atmospheric CO2 is near-zero – so close to zero as to be insignificant.
    b. There is overwhelming evidence that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans is not dangerously high – it is dangerously low, too low for the continued survival of life on Earth.
    c. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

    Regards, Allan

    View this animation of the warmists’ reduction/elimination of the global cooling period from ~1940 to ~1975:

    Source: Tony Heller


    The global cooling period from ~1940 to 1975 (during a time of increasing atmospheric CO2) demonstrates that climate sensitivity to increased atmospheric CO2 is near-zero – so close to zero as to be insignificant.

    This and other evidence strongly supports the conclusion that there is NO global warming crisis, except in the fevered minds of warmist propagandists.

    There is overwhelming evidence that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans is not dangerously high – it is dangerously low, too low for the continued survival of life on Earth.


    I have written about the vital issue of “CO2 starvation” since 2009 or earlier, and others including Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, have also written on this subject:


    1. Atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high; in fact, it is dangerously low for the survival of terrestrial carbon-based life on Earth. Most plants evolved with up to 4000 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, or about 10 times current CO2 concentrations.

    2. In one of the next global Ice Ages, atmospheric CO2 will approach about 150ppm, a concentration at which terrestrial photosynthesis will slow and cease – and that will be the extinction event for much or all of the terrestrial carbon-based life on this planet.

    3. More atmospheric CO2 is highly beneficial to all carbon-based life on Earth. Therefore, CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

    4. As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on this planet, I feel the duty to advocate on our behalf. I should point out that I am not prejudiced against non-carbon-based life forms. They might be very nice, but I do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. 🙂

    Atmospheric CO2 is inexorably declining as it is being sequestered in carbonate rocks. In the last Continental Last Ice Age, atmospheric CO2 declined to about 180 ppm – in the next Ice Age it could drop lower, even closer to the extinction point of C3 plants at about 150-160 ppm. ”

    Virtually ALL food plants use the C3 photosynthetic pathway, so a drop of atmospheric CO2 to 150-160 ppm will be an extinction event for ~all advanced terrestrial life on Earth.

    A few food plants (less than 1%) use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, including corn and sugar cane – but I doubt terrestrial life could survive for long on Sugar Frosted Flakes – notwithstanding the persistent rumour that “They’re Great!”

    There are also CAM photosynthetic pathway plants, so we can look forward to having pineapple with our Sugar Frosted Flakes.

    Regards, Allan

    • Kip, thank you for this post and your many others.

      I have been reading your responses to others and you are definitely correct, based on my engineering degrees, ~five decades of work experience and on my scholarship on this subject since 1985.

      More atmospheric CO2 is better for humanity and the environment – it IS that simple.

      Climate is relatively INsensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no real dangerous global warming crisis – it is a fiction that exists only in the minds of global warming extremists and their minions.

      There is no significant downside to increased atmospheric CO2, but huge upside from improved plant and crop yields.

      In my opinion, the propaganda war against fossil fuels and increased atmospheric CO2 is one of the most corrupted and destructive acts in human history, harming billions of the poorest of humanity, and also causing huge harm to the environment through grossly misguided energy policies.

      Global warming and “climate change” alarmism is now the greatest scam, in dollar terms, in human history and has squandered tens or trillions of dollars in scarce global resources.

      Best personal regards, Allan

  13. The point of being a fanatic is to be able to avoid thinking and to replace it with alarmism.
    Climate fanatics like Zimmerman demonstrate alarmism in everything they write.
    And let us never forget the meaning of alarmist:
    “person who tends to raise alarms, especially  without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities.”

  14. I was tossing The Consensus about the other day with someone and how in science there’s often different schools of thought, some diametrically opposing one another and how despite majority consensus can take first place from time to time it didn’t mean it was right. Interestingly the item about proving loyalty to the consensus team came up.

    One person could not comprehend the idea of people being outside the consensus. Being part of the team was effectively proof of logic as far as they were concerned – any doubters outside the consensus *must* by definition be wrong according to their logic.

    We fiddled with the idea and came up with a scenario – In Australia football is a big deal and a lot of people consider themselves part of “their team” so a question was posed: “Is it better to support your team by sitting on your butt watching the game, or to be outside playing football” – the answer was watching was better. “so anyone who’s outside just playing the game rather than massing at a stadium is not really working in the best interest of the team?” no, they weren’t. “And for the team to do well, the maximum number of supporters watching is the best way to ensure a positive outcome from your team, no exceptions?” absolutely.

    “So the players on the grounds are letting their team down by playing and not watching?” blank stare.

    For all those ‘scientists’ sitting about in little echo chambers, flitting about the globe attending conferences or desktop researching computer models, for all those with qualifications ‘just doin’ my job’ doing mindless mechanical rote tasks, for all those entrenched in some QC role in industry there’s a tiny tiny few out pushing and kicking at the edges, making new discoveries, disproving old myths and taking science forward – and generally these guys will have knowledge that puts them outside the consensus. They are the players, the rest are the crowd.. except to give it real perspective the players would have to fight the crowd.

  15. The clear downside of global greening is that it might lead to less panic about CO2 emissions, and thus less funding for the green blob.

  16. Carbon Dioxide is the only singular throttle in the Carbon Cycle of Life. The Carbon Cycle cannot complete without CO2.

    More atmospheric CO2 allows for a more robust Carbon Cycle.

    “converting … more carbon dioxide into organic matter” – What type of Carbon Cycle was necessary for dinosaurs to attain and maintain their body mass?

  17. Here’s where Geisha was right. Global greening is adding more fuel to those wild fires in California and more o2 to burn with. The fact that no one is cleaning up any of the brush or logging to thin the trees or maintaining their power lines, these are all minor points compared to the negative impacts of AGW. But those Democrats still found a way to accept political donations from the evil fossil fuel companies. This would all be hilarious were it not for the realization that right around half of the people out there vote Democrat. Proof positive that the bell curve distribution of intelligence is real and probably skewed to the left.

    • JimG1 ==> Historically, most of the “cleaning up any of the brush” or “thinning the trees” was done by wildfires. It has been Man’s successful efforts to put out those necessary fires that has led to the current situation of hugely destructive, extremely hot fires that kill everything in their paths. This is well-known and accepted in the professional fire management world.

      • Kip,
        Not arguing that, however, I have seen piles of trimmings left on the forest floor after road / trail work, logging, power line work, etc. and never cleaned up providing fuel that ensures that the fires that do occur become canopy fires rather than just forest floor fires when the next dry thunderstorm hits. This is in our national forest here. Also, by not allowing logging of burned trees, which was previously allowed, more fuel is made available for the next fire. Thinning, though not historically natural, is still a helpful practice to reduce fire hazard.

        • JimG1 ==> You point is valid and if I had a house nestled in the conifer forests of Southern California, I would clear all the brush out under the trees, collect and get rid of all the downed branches, thin the woods to be park-like and make sure I had a good 50 yard buffer of cleared land around my house.
          I toured the country by car two years ago, NY to Oregon and back, taking the northern route out and the middle route back, and was impressed by the rapid regrowth of burned over areas.
          In Oregon, near Crater Lake, much of the forest floor has been cleaned up by some sort of massive human effort, with down-wood being gathered and piled in cleared areas by the forest service, at least in sight of the major roads. I supposed that the intention was to return and do controlled burns of the piles at a later date….but I never found anyone to ask.
          any Oregon residents out there to fill us in?

          • I’m in Wyoming but in the 25 years I’ve been here I would note that the smoke from forest fires has become worse and worse. Right now you can cut it with a knife. And it is not very “local” in origin, Montana, Utah, Idaho, and even some from California. Depends upon which way the wind is blowing. Bad enough that we have to put up with California tourists, now we get their smoke too. As far as piled up trimmings/leavings goes, if it’s still there in hunting season, it’s been there too long. And allowing thinning logging is also an economic benefit around here. The more the better. I understand why the greenies want old stand forests as once you have been in one you’ll never forget it. But there are places for those and places for more manicured areas.

          • I understand about old growth forests but whether they are new or old does not matter much to Fire. If they are not allowed to have the natural or, manmade types of thinning, it is going to be very bad for them in the end.

  18. I have a question about the statement: “plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years”. If so, then we are talking a period of several ice ages and a plethora of temperature, humidity, CO2 etc. levels. If plant growth has reached new heights through these VERY variable conditions, then couldn’t it be that either plants have evolved or the claim of higher growth levels may be overly appreciated ?

    • “If so, then we are talking a period of several ice ages ”

      No, 54,000 years would be in the middle to latter half of the last glaciation. Less than one glacial cycle.

    • Anders ==> Jeff Alberts is correct — you have the time scale wrong. Campbell is talking of the time period that is the present interglacial — and the increase in photosynthesis is truly astounding. See the NASA image in the essay.

  19. “Extra Carbon Dioxide Can Make Plants Less Nutritious” Applies to grasses I believe, such as wheat. They produce more starch per kilo, hence their proportion of nutrients reduces.

    Of course since most of us dont eat wholemeal bread or pasta it wont be less nutritious.

    So another lie dressed as truth.

    • MattS

      I eat wholemeal bread all the time. It doesn’t, however, mean I rely on it as a staple diet. It contributes to a well balanced diet including pasta.

      Thankfully, I have a balanced diet unlike the 1,000,000 or so people who are blinded or die every year from vitamin A deficiency because their staple diet is almost exclusively white rice. But of course the murderous greens won’t allow golden rice to be used because its genetically modified, basically a clever tweak to include a gene from corn I believe which adds vital vitamin A.

      But of course the greens tell us it’s an insignificant amount of vitamin A, which it is, to those of us with a balanced diet, but to those with almost zero vitamin A in their diet it is life saving.

      PS Most go blind before they die and children as particularly susceptible. The patent for golden rice has been donated by its inventor and seed manufacturers are willing to sell it at cost price to farmers with an annual turnover of less than $10,000, which is most of them. Golden rice costs subsistence farmers no more than white rice.

      • Organ meats like liver also provide some vitamin A, depending on the animal. Of course, meat is very much a luxury in those same parts of the world, even the offal.

        • drednicolson

          Plenty of rats in the paddy fields. Westerners wouldn’t eat them of course, but the vitamin deficient are welcome to them.

          Not a go at you dred, I just find it utterly depressing that people in developing nations still die whilst the Western world subsidises wind turbines that produce nothing and these folks can’t even get electricity.

          I sound like a green, but just allow these people cheap, dispatchable energy and half the worlds problems will be solved. Is that greenish?

          • HotScot, rats are eaten in the Western world. Venezuelans ran out of pets and zoo animals and are eating rats, now. That’s better than the prisoners who have eaten cadavers. I assume, but do not know, that their fellow prisoners ate them after they died of natural causes as opposed to killing them to eat.
            Venezuela has more oil resources than Saudi Arabia. Ain’t Socialism grand?

      • The carotenoid production capability of golden rice was increased 23-fold in 2005 by adding a gene from maize, to make Golden Rice 2. The original version was created by the addition to the rice genome of two beta-carotene biosynthesis genes from the daffodil and the soil bacterium Erwinia uredovora.

        Earlier this year, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US approved golden rice for cultivation.

        • Theo

          Thank you for that.

          Also interesting to note that wealthy westernised countries get the nod to grow it.

          • HS,

            You’re welcome.

            It’s being trialed in such places as Bangladesh and the PhI.

            Rice rats however are often sold to city restaurants rather than consumed by farm families. Also, not sure how much vitamin A rat liver provides.

    • MattS and HotScott ==> I will be covering “2. “Extra Carbon Dioxide Can Make Plants Less Nutritious”” in the next installment. It is an interesting topic and related to the modern myths of “superfoods” — and a major misunderstanding of nutritionists and food faddists.

  20. Very interesting, watching someone desperately trying to turn a silk purse into a sow’s ear. And not doing a very good job of it.

  21. “…models project that plants will suffer as temperatures rise and rainfall patterns shift. Despite the extra carbon dioxide…”
    — Well, if you’re looking for positive forcings, you can’t have too many variables with negative forcings or the model won’t show your predetermined result. You have to tweak your model until it’s within the range of where everyone else’s models come out at.

    At least they’re not denying the existence of the greening.

  22. We really need to start a campaign of soil management, ground cover maintenance, natural environmentalism and proper husbandry called “Terraform Earth”. We’ve fucked her over by nearly 50% total at this point and need to get with it.

  23. that global greening perhaps caused that one tree to have odd growth rings spawning a whole industry of fools.

  24. The carbon cycle includes both plant and ANIMAL respiration. What is painfully absent from the discussion is that animal life eats live plants and plant remains. Just termites alone emit more GHG than human activity but the biggest emitter is soil microbe activity chomping away at the left-overs. What we have done is bought time for life on earth, maybe a few million more years, before extinction by CO2 starvation at some point in a glacial cycle in the future. Hooray for us!

  25. When the last desert cactus dies and not a plant remains, then I’ll worry: cactus survive in hot and dry climates but never on glacial ice.

  26. Not only does greening provide food for the consumers of the world, not all of which are humans, but that which is not consumed provides organic content to the soil. In brief, global greening makes it less expensive to make use of green manure to build soil and make it less susceptible to wind erosion and more productive. It’s a win-win.

  27. 2. “Extra Carbon Dioxide Can Make Plants Less Nutritious”

    3. “More Plants Won’t Prevent Climate Change”

    4. “Global Greening Won’t Last Forever”

    Let us demolish the last 3 points.

    No 2 was taken care of by a study reported 2 months ago on WUWT. Yes the researchers did find slightly less nutrition in some species of plants, but that can be negated by certain fertilizers when you grow the crops.

    No. 3 is completely ridiculous. The 2 have no connection anyway and if he means global warming, nothing can prevent any warming or cooling to the planet since the CO2 theory of global warming has been proven to be false..

    No. 4 Does this argument matter in the grand scheme of things? And if there is a finite limit to global greening so what?

  28. One could guess Zimmer couldn’t stand the heat, or maybe even the threats (veiled or otherwise), and turned. In the Age of Lies, truth becomes revolutionary (dangerous).

  29. The crabgrass in my yard is loving the increase in CO2, which means I have to burn more fossil fuels to cut it more often, which creates more CO2 and more fast growing crabgrass. I’m caught in this endless little shop of horrors cycle. Help!

    • Covering the ground won’t kill the seeds. To be sure you’d better apply a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer and go through a growing season to make sure you’ve rid yourself of crabgrass.

      I’m serious. I’ve been struggling with it for 15 years, and I still get plants from seeds that drift in. I spot treat these plants with Roundup, which leaves small hole in your yard, but you know that plant is history.

  30. I took note of this non-sequitur in Zimmer’s July 2018 piece; “And the carbon dioxide we’ve injected into the atmosphere is already having major impacts across the planet. The six warmest years on record all occurred after 2010. ” On a planet emerging from a ‘little ice age’ it would be expected that at any point after the emergence began that ‘six of the hottest years on record’ would have happened during the last decade or so. The second sentence quoted doesn’t justify the conclusion stated in the first sentence.

  31. “Recently I talked Dr. Campbell and …. Here are four reasons he believes nobody should be celebrating “global greening.””:

    1. The inquisition
    2. The inquisition
    3. The inquisition
    4. The inquisition

    Nobody expects the carbon inquisition.

  32. “‘Global Greening’ Sounds Good. In the Long Run, It’s Terrible.”

    Socialist eco-fascism and cognitive inversion sound good. In the long run, they’re terrible.

  33. Let’s look at #1 — “More Photosynthesis Doesn’t Mean More Food”.

    Zimmer quotes Campbell saying “Yes, we now get far more food from each acre of farmland than we did a century ago. But extra carbon dioxide only accounts for a small fraction of the increase.” “A 30 percent increase in photosynthesis does not translate into a 30 percent increase in strawberries off the land,” said Dr. Campbell.” This is, of course, trivially true — the increase in photosynthesis doesn’t all go into production of food for humans — it does translate into an equal increase in food for the living things of Earth.

    This is true given that the Fruit of the berry doesn’t photosynthesize at all.
    It isn’t true for Leafy Veggies,
    Green Onions
    These leafy greens is where the photosynthesis occurs and production of these food types does increase.
    Root Vegetables do increase in mass with increased photosynthesis as well.
    As well as legumes and Corn

  34. I have noticed that any scientific study which might contradict the global warming agenda seems to be required to have a section which essentially states that the study does not contradict global warming with some kind of rationalization.

  35. Kip,
    Having seen the annual increase in CO2 as measured on a Hawaii mountaintop, I wonder if that continual rise does not make the CO2 greening effect into a sideshow. The real question then becomes: what’s the harm of 500 or 600 PPM in a hundred years or so?

    • Andre ==> There is no harm from the simple fact that there might be 500- 600 PPM CO2 in the atmosphere. No one has even suggested that there might be. Increased CO2 at that level will be a benefit to all life on Earth.
      This essay notes that the Climate Consensus attempts to conflate benefits of rising CO2 now with the possibility of a high-sensitivity climate scenario causing problems in 100 years. The imagined problems are 5-8 degree general warming, various weather problems caused by the imagined warming and what is incorrectly called “ocean acidification” (which is not now and will never be a problem).
      The state of climate science this decade is that the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 is very unlikely to be high although it will certainly not be “nothing”. Without the high warming, the other fears disappear. That’s it in a nutshell.

    • And given technological increases, who says that CO2 will continue to increase as in the past?

      If you believe that CO2 greening is a “sideshow,” then you don’t understand the full benefits of such greening. Read more, B.S. less.

      • Dave, I may not have expressed myself well enough. All the greening effect so far is already incorporated in the annual readings in Hawaii, as it will be in the future. At the very least, there is no obvious reason why the increases should stop at any time in the future on account of the greening effect. i.e. the greening effect cannot be seen as a self-regulating factor. By the way, your final sentence is less than constructive.

        • Andre ==> Thank you for contributing here — and please forgive those who don’t recognize that English is not your native tongue.
          No one has suggested, not even the CO2 IS LIFE folks, that Global Greening will absorb all or even most of the CO2 that modern society is putting into the atmosphere.
          Zimmer and Campbell do try to use this point as an attack on Global Greening and turn this obviously trivially true fact, through the process of cognitive transmogrification, into Global Greening Is Terrible.

  36. Global greening is bad simply because it takes the wind out of the ‘catastrophic nightmarish planetary emergency so we need to switch to socialism’ cause.

    You can bet dollars to doughnuts that anything good that skeptics note that comes out of the extra plant and tree food in the atmosphere is going to have at least one ‘science study’ done on it and the results will almost certainly be ‘found’ to be bad.

  37. It’s not like greenhouse farmers use concentrations of CO2 around 1000ppm to help with their crops . . . wait, they do? Uhhh.

    • Yes, that kills their argument immediately. Patrick Moore made the same point when he tweeted about the NYT article:
      “Try to tell a greenhouse grower that the effect of higher CO2 is “small”. They will laugh you out of the room with their 25-80% gain in yield. The @nytimes has become a bad joke. 800-1200 ppm CO2 is optimal. It has been lower during Pleistocene than any time in Earth history.”

  38. Here is an interesting study from 1994:
    “This paper presents a detailed analysis of several hundred plant carbon exchange rates and dry weight responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment determined over the past 10 years. It demonstrates that the percentage increase in plant growth produced by raising the Air´s CO2 content is generally not reduced by less than optimal levels of light, water or soil nutrients, nor by high temperatures, salinity or gaseous air pollution. More often than not, in fact, the data show the relative growth enhancing effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment to be the greatest when resource limitations and environmental stresses are most severe.

  39. Since plants take in CO2 during the day and emit it at night, I’m surprised no one at the IPCC or NYT has proposed the obvious solution yet: Simply cut down all of the plants at night and plant new seeds. Repeat daily!

    • Tsk Tsk ==> In China, they could just decree that the Chinese people should only inhale, and forbid exhaling…..

  40. ” “Recently I talked Dr. Campbell, and as it turns out, he feels people like Mr. Bast are drawing the wrong lessons from his research.” Let me translate that for you…just guessing of course, but roughly this means….”

    Yes, you are just guessing. You are inserting your own ideas into someone else’s writing. That is not good journalism, it is propaganda.

    I see no reason not to take what Dr. Campbell says literally. I see no evidence that Zimmer has flip-flopped; he is just reporting.

    ” “Yes, we now get far more food from each acre of farmland than we did a century ago. But extra carbon dioxide only accounts for a small fraction of the increase.” “A 30 percent increase in photosynthesis does not translate into a 30 percent increase in strawberries off the land,” said Dr. Campbell.” This is, of course, trivially true — the increase in photosynthesis doesn’t all go into production of food for humans — it does translate into an equal increase in food for the living things of Earth.”

    No, this is poor reasoning. The point I believe they were trying to make is that the increase is mostly due to changes in farming practices. If all the 30% increase were due to CO2, there’s no reason you would expect most of it to be in plant parts that are not edible by humans. Even if that were the case, it still supports the idea that the greening doesn’t necessarily lead to greater food for humans.

    Of course, to some extent, it probably does – but how much is unknown. There are many limitations on plant growth. Even an increase in water use efficiency is not necessarily going to increase crop yields, since the temperature and amount and timing of precipitation may limit the beneficial effects. A nice, moist spring could lead to so much growth that the greater biomass could be unsupportable during a normal summer hot spell, for example. Weeds may be a bigger problem, since they would be expected to increase growth at least as much as crops. Nitrogen demands could escalate. Higher nighttime temperatures could lead to greater respiration rates. The point is, it’s not simply a matter of more CO2 = more food, always and under all circumstances.

    Schipani quotes real science, yes – but you ignore the parts of the fact check you don’t want to deal with, like “Hatfield, who was also part of the IPCC process that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and who currently serves on an IPCC special committee, also explained to us that the positive impacts of CO2 may “reach a point of diminishing return,” or “saturation,” in the future.” In other words, all your IFs may be immaterial once a certain level of CO2 is reached unless we can engineer plants to make use of it.

    “This question is, you guessed it, a Modern Scientific Controversy — in which there is a Consensus View (informed and dictated by the Climate Consensus) and a Contrarian or Pragmatic View — which is based on real world, on the farm results. ” Oh, please! As if scientists don’t deal with the “real world,” and only do research that will support a particular agenda! I’m so sick of this insipid, baseless assertion, offered without any evidence.

    “The lame attempt to paint it as a bad thing mocks a huge part of the Green Movement’s efforts to stop deforestation and encourage reforestation and afforestation, all which are carried out in the name of bio-sequestration.”

    Who paints it as a bad thing??? This is nothing but a lame attempt to portray scientists as idiots through a simplistic approach to a complex issue involving not only crops, but the ecosystems in which they are grown.

    • Ecofascism is becoming so perverse that now even photosynthesis is painted in republican red and has become the enemy. As your convoluted narrative clearly shows. I guess you won’t look at your back garden in the same way ever again – now that it’s full of hiding demons and goblins.

      • Exactly how does her narrative show that photosynthesis is pained in republican red and has become the enemy?

        Please, do explain that.

        • Philip
          See Kip’s answer below – both Zimmer and Campbell calling CO2 global greening “terrible”. What is more terrible than Donald the Terrible?

          • What happened to the bit where you explain how Kristi’s narrative clearly shows that ecofascism has become so perverse that now even photosynthesis is painted in republican red, and has become the enemy?

            Exactly how did Krist’s narrative show that?

            You do have an answer, don’t you?

    • Kristi ==> You would be well served to read beyond the sentences that you object to. In your first complaint, I go on to cover all your objections in the essay, expand on Campbell’s point, discuss farming practices, better seeds and crop varieties, modern fertilizers, and when and where they make the major differences — It seems silly to have you object, then say the exact same things things I’ve already said in the essay as examples of how wrong I am.

      Skipping to your last point: Zimmer says in his headline “Global Greening ….it’s Terrible” — you can’t argue that he doesn’t say it’s a bad thing. I make the point that Global Greening IS the evidence of increased biosequestration, which is a good thing, and not terrible.

      Who paints this as a bad thing? Zimmer and Campbell — Zimmer says “it’s Terrible”.

      I’ve tried to help you to get established here as one of the readers whose comments are worth reading — but screeds like the above, high on emotion, but which lack any logical argument (not already included and explained in the essay by the author) and no science are not the way to do that.

  41. Kip, thanks.

    a greater impact on wheat and rice, than on corn and sugarcane.

    Regarding sugar, true or not, about CO2:
    Sugar price on world markets (not the rigged US cost) has gone south as demand drops and supplies increase. Now at a 3 year low.

    • John ==> Sugarcane is a C4 plant, like corn. C4 plants do not benefit as much from CO2 enhancement as C3 plants — so — True.

      Some of the drop in the price of sugar (cane sugar) is due to the War on Sugar in general, and the replacement of cane sugar with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) as a general sweetener in food manufacture. I think…..

      Commodity prices are very difficult to follow and predict, despite the simplistic “supply and demand” framework.

  42. Recently I talked Dr. Campbell and …. Here are four reasons he believes nobody should be celebrating “global greening.”

    The ecofascists are Gish-galloping again like creationists.

    At least God looked upon the world in its natural greenness and saw that it was good.

    The ecofascists looked upon the world in its natural greenness and saw that it was bad.

    • Kevin ==> Thanks for the links — the second is a good summary list of papers supporting CO2 Fertilization effects (which have never really been in doubt in the world of biology).

  43. Thanks for this very important piece Kip !
    It is always fun and a bit sad to see to what extend do warmist try to downplay or even negate the CO2 greening effect.
    I’ve seen the same thing any time I tried to explain that due to CO2 we have more food for more then 1 billion people. I think I encountered the calculation at Freeman Dyson, but it is a simple thought: if we consider only 15% (!) increase in food due to CO2 at 7 billion people 15% is over 1 billion.
    It is thus very important to have this point again highlighted!

    “Part of the story is that photosynthesis is going up, and part of the story is that so is respiration,”
    Sure respiration also increases when the biosphere increases but that is not a bad thing and anyhow photosynthesis increase trumps respiration increase.

  44. The whole issue of global greening has already been debunked. Plants green for a short-term period but then cannot continue to absorb increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Why doesn’t this author concentrate more on how to mitigate the effects of climate change. Much better use of his time and resources. This article by The Guardian’s Economics Editor is a good place to start:

    [???? .mod]

    • Ivan,

      Sorry, but clearly, you’re an idiot and ignoramus.

      How does one debunk a fact?

      C3 plants enjoy more and more CO2 up until around 1300 ppm. That’s a scientific fact.

      Any attempt to mitigate “climate change” would invite disaster.

      More CO2 is a good thing. Please follow the science, not the politics.

    • ivan, do you want to be mocked? because this is how you get mocked.
      dopesplaining and huffposting is like wearing a ‘kickme’ sign.

    • Thank you Kip for a very good essay.
      And then the trolls come out from under their rocks and we all waste so much space trying to talk some sense to them.
      Take Ivan above , he posts an interview that the BBC undertook with a scientist and the scientist agreed that the world has greened in the last 30 years by an enormous amount but in the scientists opinion it some how is bad and they actually have proved nothing .
      It is pure speculation that because they believe that CO2 is BAD so that any benefits must also be bad .
      Then look at all the time spent educating Kristi S and all the others like her that are duped by the propaganda that is constantly poured out of the press and TV channels .
      The 1930s were as warm if not warmer than present and the Medieval and the Roman optimums were warmer than present but these facts are suppressed with climate temperature reconstructions sliced and diced and no one has explained how the Vikings farmed in Greenland 800 years ago and never since .
      I suppose that we might have some influence on those people and they might even begin to have doubt’s about what the main stream media are telling them .
      Here’s hoping

  45. Epilogue:

    We have had a lot of interesting comments — and a lot of off-topic general Climate Wars sparring (which may be fun for the participants, but detracts from the conversation.)

    For those of you who think that Carl Zimmer just suddenly, a year later, woke up one morning and decided that Global Greening was terrible and that he’d better go back and correct the impression he might have made with his April 2017 article, let me remind you of the flack that Andy Revkin (NY Times, Dot Earth columnist) got from the Climate Team — all documented in the ClimateGate emails. The basic story is that the core Climate Team (essentially those involved with the web site discussed shunning Revkin, refusing to respond to his scientific queries, because “He’s not as predictable as we’d like.” He even published one of my essays for which he got a fair amount of heat.

    As always, thanks for reading.

    • oh, kip!
      i guess you may propose a topic, but when the global warming hoax was never a scientific matter and when the talking points are all reruns for people who’ve now been visiting with the same cohort, here, for many years- it’s nothing new and to that extent is boring.
      it was a frumpy premise with a very large dowry.
      i’m here for the schadenfreude- hoping to see, one day, the discussion end and the trials begin.
      mockery is an appropriate way to deal with abject stupidity; not ‘discussion on the merits’ because there is no merit.
      if you have some evangelical fervor you need to express, fine. but i am really bored with evangelism too.
      the disrespect that comes in truckloads of exhortation, activism, consciousness elevation and fervent wokeness is more than mere trespass on a person’s right to operate his own mind without interference – so preaching, per se, has a market exclusively among the desperately dumb. are you sad that we are not that market? pivot.
      nobody ever has to take them seriously. anybody who argues that one must- is also not to be taken seriously. they are all to be mocked irreverently.
      or do you think you are the idiot whisperer? shall i turn on subtitles to see what i’ve missed?

      • gnomish ==> There are blogs where the readers waste everyone’s time prattling along playing Junior Climate Warriors (consensus side) vs. Junior Climate Warriors (skeptic side).
        This is not intended to be one of those — silly gamesters are invited to take that kind of thing elsewhere.
        The TOPIC of the comment section is ALWAYS the topic of the essay to which it is attached.

  46. Scientists announced today that a core drilled in Antarctica has yielded 2.7-million-year-old ice:

    1. Bubbles in the ice contain greenhouse gases from Earth’s atmosphere at a time when the planet’s cycles of glacial advance and retreat were just beginning

    – potentially offering clues to what triggered the ice ages.

    – the ice revealed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that did not exceed 300 parts per million, well below today’s levels. Some models of ancient climate predict that

    2. such relatively low levels would be needed to tip Earth into a series of ice ages.

    3. Brook says, that the next attempt could come back with ice 5 million years old—a time when temperatures are thought to resemble what Earth is heading toward with human-driven warming.

    sciencemag’s messages / or is it an offer to debate:

    1. greenhouse gasses trigger ice ages

    2. low levels of greenhouse gasses trigger ice ages

    3. bevore 5 mil. years is the “time when temperatures are thought to resemble what Earth is heading toward with human-driven warming.”

    Good, not that good, debatable.

Comments are closed.