To The Daily Sun,
In his climate letter of March 14, Russ Wiles cites Ari Halperin as stating, "the natural sciences tell us that the alarmists got everything wrong." Maybe someone should inform Russ and Ari that climatology is a natural science and climatologists are the most qualified to teach it. Ari Halperin also thinks Google is conspiring with climate change scientists to hide the truth so tinfoil-clad Ari has developed a customized Google search tool that only brings up denier sites and articles. Wow!
Mr Halperin claims more CO2 will do no harm. In the last two decades, field tests around the world have found that high levels of CO2 significantly reduce levels of protein, iron, zinc, and other nutrients in crops. According to a 2014 study published in Nature, CO2 emissions are slowly making the world's staple food crops less nutritious. (1) Harmless!
There are two billion people worldwide with nutritional deficiencies so more atmospheric CO2 is not a bright idea. According to WHO and NIH, "Iron deficiency ranked ninth among 26 risk factors included in the global burden of disease study, and accounted for 841,000 deaths and 35,057,000 disability adjusted life years lost.(2) They also reported that "zinc deficiency was estimated to cause 176,000 diarrhea deaths, 406,000 pneumonia deaths and 207,000 malaria deaths. The associated loss of disability-adjusted life years attributable to zinc deficiency amounts to more than 28 million".(3) So let's pump some more CO2 into the atmosphere and make it worse! Harmless! Bring on the food riots, water wars and mass migrations!
While high CO2 levels grows bigger crops in some species, the extra growth is in fattening sugars and starches, not nutrients. Higher CO2 also favors invasive species and weeds, not crops and trees. And insect pests. But even those extra growth predictions have problems. In 2002, after a three year field test, "researchers concluded that elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide 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".(4) New Scientist's Climate Myths section states, "while experiments on natural ecosystems have also found initial elevations in the rate of plant growth, these have tended to level off within a few years." Oh, there's that.
Russ also mentions climate misinformer Richard Lindzen of MIT, who claims the Earth has not warmed any since 1997. This myth only lives in the denier-sphere because in the real world, 15 of the 16 hottest years have been in the 21st century according to NOAA.(5) To keep tabs on what the tinfoil hat crowd is up to, check out Hotwhopper or DeSmog Blogs. For an interesting look into the crazy train, check out Stephan Lewandowski's peer reviewed paper, "The role of conspiracist ideation in climate denial." I will address more of Mr Wiles' letters in the future. I wanted to begin with the harmful affects of CO2 on our food supply.