How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic

An Affront to All That Is Logical
Volume 3, Number 4: 15 February 2000

"It's one thing working out whether, how and why the Earth's climate is changing.  It's quite another to work out what to do about it.  Decisions have to be taken before all the evidence is in to forestall possible disasters - such as massive crop failure."

So begins Franz-Josef Radermacher's review of The Kyoto Protocol: International Climate Policy for the 21st Century in the 15 January issue of New Scientist.  And so is repeated one of the great affronts to logic that drives the machinations, in the words of Radermacher, of "thousands of people worldwide from governments, science and lobbying groups" who are hell-bent on "building a sustainable global governance system."

Think about it.  Before all the evidence is in.  Before we know whether the planet's climate is changing.  Before we know how the planet's climate is changing.  Before we know why the planet's climate is changing.  Before we know any of these things, we are told that "decisions have to be taken."

Does it make you sleep well at night, knowing that we have such dedicated and concerned environmental stewards looking out for us?  Do you rest easy knowing that they are tackling the difficult problems that are too complex for you and I to figure out?  And that they have divined what to do even before it is known that there is a need to do it?

Do you think that the reason for their shrill call to action is really a concern for dear old Mother Earth and her many and varied biotic offspring?  Or do you have a gnawing doubt, somewhere in the back of your mind, that it may have more to do with the "building of a sustainable global governance system," as suggested by Radermacher?

If you're not sure, think about it some more.  What kind of logic tells someone to do something about something that he is not even sure is happening?  What kind of logic tells someone to do something about something that he doesn't understand?  What kind of logic tells someone to do something about something whose purpose eludes him?  And what kind of logic would lead one to conclude that all of these unknowns must combine to produce "disasters - such as massive crop failure?"

The answer is so pitifully obvious that it pains one to even have to state it.  There is simply no logical basis for any action whatsoever to curtail the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 concentration; there are only appeals to fear (predictions of massive crop failures), irrationality (taking draconian actions to confront a phenomenon that may not be real, whose mode of operation is unknown, and the cause of which has not been identified) plus a false sense of nobility in doing right by the planet (as defined by those who call for the draconian actions).

This latter strategy of the anti-CO2 establishment is very significant, for it can move us to surrender that most treasured of all human rights - individual freedom.  So highly prized is this inalienable right that most people would defend to the death their right to possess it; yet they can be persuaded to relinquish it willingly if the cause to which they are called is deemed righteous enough.  And that's why religious appeals are now beginning to be made in the Not-So-Holy War to abolish anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Back in October of last year, for example, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches launched an interfaith campaign urging elected officials to support public policies designed to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases believed to be responsible for global warming, including ratification of the Kyoto Protocol that targets CO2 as the prime offender.  According to the PRNewswire of 7 October, the Rev. Brenda Brooks of the Presbyterian Synod of the Trinity stated that "global climate change is destroying people's lives and health, as well as our habitat," and that "in these circumstances, failure to act would be truly immoral."

Oh, really?  The last time we checked there was no cannon of scripture where Deity even hints at the possibility that global climate change is destroying people's lives, health and habitat.  Nor is there any passage of Holy Writ that points to CO2 as being the culprit behind the supposed crime.  Hence, in order to conclude that "failure to act would be truly immoral," one would have to be able to prove that global climate change was indeed destroying people's lives, health and habitat and that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content was responsible for the global climate change.

When we investigate these claims, however, we find just the opposite to be true.  The ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content is enriching people's lives, health and habitat via its powerful aerial fertilization effect, which increases the efficiencies of nearly all plant physiological processes and stimulates vegetative growth and productivity the world over, thereby providing more of what we need to feed, clothe and shelter the human population, as well as provide for the rest of God's creations.  And didn't Deity suggest - or maybe even command - that these are the very things we are to do: feed the hungry, clothe the naked and give shelter to the poor?  And would not working at cross purposes to that divine injunction therefore be more likely to be viewed as "truly immoral" in the eyes of that Providence that gave us the liberty to choose for ourselves whether we would follow his dictums or pursue a less enlightened course of our own making?

Truly, the claims of the anti-CO2 establishment are an affront to all logic, even within the context of things spiritual.  Thank God that in his wisdom he gave us minds as well as hearts; let us use them both!

Dr. Craig D. Idso
Dr. Keith E. Idso
Vice President

Radermacher, F.-J.  2000.  It's a dirty old world.  New Scientist 165 (2221): 44.