Friday, August 20, 2010

This week: Science opposes reckless-endangerment "CO2 is plant food" talking point

One common talking point from the antiscience folk is that spilling more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere must be good for plants. It seems like common sense, if you're unfamiliar with ecological principles - with ecological forces & constraints, with limiting factors, with predation - and, it appears likely, with reality.

The relevant ecology, in short:
* To the extent that a warming (or destabilized) world helps those who want to eat you (or compete with you), you won't thrive. A longer growing season allows more generations of bark beetles; a warmer winter lets more of them survive until spring. The resultant population flush can have nasty consequences for forests.

* To the extent that a warming (or destabilized) world reduces other resources you need when you need them - like, say, water - you won't thrive.

And today's news on that front - "Drought-Induced Reduction in Global Terrestrial Net Primary Production from 2000 Through 2009", published (link) in Science(*) - is not reassuring:
"Global plant productivity that once was on the rise with warming temperatures and a lengthened growing season is now on the decline because of regional drought according to a new study of NASA satellite data. "
- from the NASA press release, Drought Drives Decade-Long Decline in Plant Growth
The lesson:
"Without good science you have only ideology and public relations, and the disasters those lead to."

For the global climate destabilization firehose, see H.E. Taylor's Another Week of Global Warming News.

Anyone who has a child - and anyone who's not now elderly - has a stake in the future.
And they will be choosing your nursing home...

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