Watching a child grow is seeing carbon dioxide in action. Plants turn CO2 into the food we eat to live and grow on. “You can’t live on air” is a common saying but that is just what we do; we live on air and water.
Few people appreciate this amazing fact, that CO2 in the air is the global food supply. Our meat, fruit and veggies, also our candy and ice cream, milk and wine, are built almost entirely from carbon dioxide and water. Everything we eat and drink.
There is also a bit of nitrogen, to make protein, plus a bunch of trace minerals and vitamins, but you and I are basically composed of processed H2O and CO2.
We should be very thankful that this CO2 food supply is increasing every year, along with our hungry mouths. Instead the climate alarmists want to reduce it, supposedly to make the weather better. This is truly stupid. Carbon dioxide is feeding the world, more every year. The last thing we want to do is reduce the global food supply.
The chemistry is complex but the facts are simple (and miraculous). Plants use the energy of sunlight to transform CO2 and water into their food. They both live and grow on this food, just as we do. Animals eat the plants and each other, then we eat both. Thus we all live on processed carbon dioxide.
It is no accident that we exhale water and carbon dioxide. We are simply completing what is called the carbon cycle when we do this. Our bodies use some of the CO2 based food for the energy they need to live and this returns the carbon dioxide and water to their original form. All living things exist this way.
Carbon cycle: CO2 (+ water) in —> Life—> CO2 (+ water) out.
Life is a CO2 based miracle.
It is a tragedy of ignorance that almost no one knows about this miracle. I have seen school lessons that actually teach the carbon cycle without mentioning carbon dioxide. They talk as though plants get their food from the ground, not the air.
Even worse, CO2 is demonized as air pollution. The world’s food supply cannot be pollution. How stupid is that!
To correct this ignorance it might be useful to label our foods with the amount of carbon dioxide they embody. We already label them for calories, fat, vitamins and such. People should learn how much CO2 they eat every day and be thankful for it.
Water is plentiful in most places, but carbon dioxide is scarce everywhere. For every million molecules of air only about 400 are CO2. That plants can actually find and consume these scarce molecules is amazing in itself. That all life ultimately feeds on these molecules is even more amazing.
A hundred years ago there were less than 300 molecules per million but happily that number has increased steadily. Plant productivity has increased accordingly, helping to feed our growing population. This is called the greening of planet Earth.
The climate alarmists have people calculating their so-called “carbon footprint” which is how much CO2 they cause to be generated. Everyone should be proud of their carbon footprint; it is helping feed the world. Make it bigger, not smaller.
David Wojick Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see
For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see
Available for confidential research and consulting.