Written by Robert D. Brinsmead
May 26, 2009
By: Robert D. Brinsmead
The evidence is piling up every day that the world is now getting cooler instead of warmer, the oceans are now cooling instead of warming, the ice is returning to the Arctic rather than receding, the sea ice in the Antarctic is at record levels, and that rising sea levels have moderated. The sun has recently gone into a less active phase of fewer sun-spots, and the ocean decadal currents have changed from a warming to a cooling phase.
Before too long the global warming scare will be as dead as the scares about the Y2 bug or acid rain. Already some of the global warming alarmists, anticipating this may soon happen, are re-inventing their alarmism into the scare about the oceans becoming acidified by our CO2 emissions - even though the oceans already contains 90 times more CO2 than the atmosphere (Chilingar, et.al.) Beyond all these things, however, we need to get to what this debate and this climate change alarmism is really all about.
Beyond all this alarmism about global warming or ocean acidification, we need to see that on a deeper level it is a debate about carbon, and when we dig into that level of the debate we will finally see that behind the demonization of carbon and CO2, it is all about an attack on humanity itself.
Global warming alarmism is not a science, but a religio/political movement. This paper will show why it a dangerous totalitarian ideology and a more serious threat to human freedom than Communism or Nazism. It is also like a bad joke, because carbon just happens to be the most wonderful of all the elements in the periodic table because of its ability to make so many organic compounds that are fundamental to the formation of life. Yet here is a movement that is all about demonizing carbon.
The Wonders of Carbon
Nearly every new product that human ingenuity has devised on the road of human progress is a carbon-based product. Steel, for instance, is made by blending carbon with iron. There would be no construction industry without carbon. Nearly every product in a modern house, including most of the surfaces, with the exception of the glass and the bricks, is a carbon-based product.
If our clothes are not made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton or silk (all of which are carbonbased), then they will be made from synthetic fibers, all of which are carbon based too. All plastics and polyethylene products are carbon-based materials. All the foods we produce and eat are carbon products - and that not only includes our carbo(n)hydrates, but all the fats and proteins in our food are made of carbon compounds too.
Not just the petrol and oil that run our autos, but the cars themselves, right down to their brake linings, are made of substances that would not exist without carbon. There could be no aviation or space industries apart from a whole plethora of carbon-based products. There are ten million naturally occurring carbon compounds (more than all the other elements of the periodic table combined), and beyond these, man is finding that there are almost limitless opportunities to come up with new products using carbon - from fantastic nanotubes composed of the toughest stuff known to making better tennis racquets. This never-ending variety of new products is all due to the amazing and unique features of the carbon molecule that is so adaptable and so flexible that there is no end to what new products might be made with it - from the hardest to the softest substances known. Carbon is not just the fourth most common element in the universe, but through its millions of compounds it is as ubiquitous and as necessary to life as oxygen and water.
Carbon is the Basis of Life
This brings me to my main point. Human ingenuity, as I have pointed out, can make an astounding array of new products that are carbon- based, including products that play a vital role in taking man into space. But, for all that, we cannot make living things with carbon because we can't solve the mystery of replicating life. But when the time came for the good Lord (or Gaia or Lady Luck if you insist) to make a world of living things, whether amazing plants that live and reproduce, or animals that can live and reproduce, or the human brain that can actually think creatively, what do you suppose this life-generating power used? Carbon, of course! Any good biology text book will tell you that life is carbon-based. All living things, starting at the cellular level which is common to all life, is based on carbon compounds, including the DNA that carry the gene sequences of the genetic codes. Of the trillions of cells in the human body, there is not a one of them that is not made of carbon.
Think of giant Cedars, Californian Redwoods and Tasmanian Mountain Ash - they are all made of carbon. Every blade of grass, every delicate orchid, every kind of fruit (there are ten thousand known varieties) is made of carbon. Think of all those tantalizing flavors in fantastic variety - juicy mangoes, buttery avocados and versatile limes, all filled with fruit sugars so varied and in such abundance - they are all made of a carbon/hydrogen combinations. Ordinary pure sugar is made up of ten atoms of carbon compounded with sixteen atoms of hydrogen. There are eight kinds of sugars essential to the human body and vital in cell to cell communication. Glucose, fructose, lactose and mannose are the more common ones. Sugar is fundamental to brain function. Every diabetic knows that.
When we turn to the animal kingdom, including mankind itself, we find too that leaping deer, frolicking seals, lumbering rhinos or thinking humans are all forms of animated carbon. In the human species we have thinking carbon through which the universe actually becomes conscious of itself. The human brain is the most complex and intricate piece of equipment in the universe. This is the organ of the human mind through which carbon not only becomes thinking carbon, but reaches the sublime heights of becoming caring, sharing, loving carbon.
So who is going to tell me that carbon is just some black old ugly stuff that deserves to be demonized as the world's great pollutant?
Stand back, and let your mind take into this whole wondrous biosphere - the living earth - and what you are surveying is the awesome wonder that carbon has come alive in the great dance of life.
What is made of carbon must be fuelled by carbon
Now consider too that this great dance of living things is not just made of carbon, but it has to be fuelled by carbon. It needs to feed on carbon to grow and reproduce. Yet we have people who call themselves scientists or leaders of society who are so deluded with a disease called carbophobia (an irrational fear of carbon), that they label carbon a dangerous pollutant which has to be regulated and sequestered to the nether regions of the earth. For pity's sake, how can their carbon-thinking brains reach such anti-carbon conclusions? This is not just madness; it is madness gone mad. Mad science. Mad politicians. Mad anti-carbon activists on a mankind-hating, lifehating crusade of self destruction. In the entire history of civilization, no mass hysteria has ever come close to being such a monstrous threat to civilization at this!
Where do animals, including mankind, get their carbon-based fuel? All animal food has to originate from plants, of course. Plants start this food chain by making carbo(n)hydrates for the animal kingdom. No plants = no food chain = no animals = no mankind. So where do the plants source their carbon so that they can make all this carbon- based food to sustain all creatures great and small? The only gateway through which carbon can enter the food chain to enable the biosphere to exist is through the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There is no other way. It all starts with CO2 in the atmosphere. The entire chain of life starts with plants absorbing this entirely natural, colorless, odorless, absolutely non-toxic aerial gas called CO2.
They used to teach these simple facts to primary school kids, but nowadays teachers who are way off with the environmental fairies are scaring the daylights out of our children with hobgoblin stories about the evils of CO2.
This insanity must stop. It's time to teach the kids again and to remind the adults of this world that CO2 is the primary plant food that ends up feeding them too. They need to be told again the simple fact that the leaves on a plants have stomata through which they absorb or breathe in C02, and by a process of photosynthesis, the plants turn this CO2 into carbo(n)hydrate food for animals and man. They need reminding that more than 90% of the dry matter of plants is simply processed C02. Whether it is a cow eating the grass or humans eating the cow, all are eating -and being fuelled - by processed CO2.
CO2 is as natural and as necessary to life as water and oxygen. It is not a poison. It is not a pollutant. It feeds the whole world, Stupid!
Unless the soil gave off carbon emissions into the atmosphere, unless the sea (which contains 90 times the amount of CO2 than the atmosphere) gave off carbon emissions, unless the microorganisms which comprise more than two-thirds of the world's biomass gave off their carbon emissions, unless the termites gave off their carbon emissions, unless cattle gave off their carbon emissions (their belching and flatulence actually give off more carbon emissions than the entire human transport system), and unless we as part of this tapestry of life gave off carbon emissions, then life could not go on for the simple reason that the plants would have no food by which to grow, and then no creature on earth would have anything to eat. For life to go on, the carbon used to make all living things and to feed all living things, must be circulated back from whence it came to start the life-cycle all over again. Every form of life simply borrows the carbon by which it lives only to give it back again. We give some of it back when we breathe, we give some of it back in our bodily wastes and we give the last bit of it back when the shovel thumps the ground on top of us.
Demonizing Carbon is a Dangerous Nonsense
In the light of all this, it is a sheer nonsense of the highest and most dangerous order to put forward the notion that carbon or carbon dioxide is a pollutant. It is double nonsense to say that the carbon emissions of either humans or cattle is a threat to the earth anymore than the much more abundant carbon emissions of the soil micro- organisms or the carbon emissions of the oceans that outdo our human carbon emissions in an order of magnitude many times to one are a threat to the earth.
Be warned: this dangerous eco-Taliban wants to subject us to a carbon taxing, carbon regulating police state. It surely has to stand to reason that you can't regulate human carbon emissions without regulating every aspect of human existence - and that would be more totalitarian than anything the world has ever known. This is a religio/political ideology masquerading as science. Their plans to decarbonize our footprint and to decarbonize our economy will reduce our civilization to a weakened and impoverished state of carbo-anorexia. Does that sound like a lot of fun?
People need to be told the plain truth that much higher carbon emissions and much higher levels of atmospheric CO2 than we see at present would mean more plant food, more plant growth and more food for man and animals to eat. Carbon is the greenest stuff on the planet.
I speak now as a horticulturist. Plant nursery operators know that CO2 enrichment of the air in the nursery house means that the plants grow quicker, have bigger roots and get by on less water. Certainly every indoor tomato grower in New Zealand, Australia, Holland or anywhere for that matter knows that he can increase the yield of tomatoes 40% simply by increasing the CO2 content of the air by about 300%. What's good for plants is good for animals because animals and plants evolved together and share a common basis in life based on cells.
A great leap forward in world agricultural productivity took place in the 1920's when they learned to take nitrogen out of the air and put it into the soil where it could stimulate plant growth. Our highly populated world could not feed itself today without recourse to synthetic nitrogen. The second leap forward is staring us in the face. It is to take the carbon out of the earth and put it into the air where it can benefit plant life and so enhance food productivity. The technology has already been proven and demonstrated thousands of times. It is estimated that the agricultural industry today enjoys a 15% increase of food productivity due to the modest rise of atmospheric CO2 levels of the last 100 years from 280 ppm to 385 ppm.
More and more evidence accumulates that in an ideal world we would have 1000 to 1500 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere instead of a mere 385 ppm as we have now, or a 280 ppm that the carbophobics would take us back to if they have their way. That level of CO2 happens to be only a tad higher than the point at which plants suffocate for lack of CO2. (See the Wikipedia article on CO2) 300% to 400% higher levels of CO2 will have no adverse impact on humans or animals. In evolutionary history, the explosion of life-forms took place during the Cambrian Age when there were many times more CO2 in the atmosphere than we have today. Besides, humans work in indoor tomato-growing facilities and indoor offices where the CO2 levels are around 1,000 ppm.
As for world temperatures, more and more evidence piles up every day, especially over the last five years, that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 have no catastrophic effect on climate.
In the theory of the global warming alarmists, CO2 has heat-trapping properties, meaning that the more CO2 builds up in the atmosphere, the warmer the world will become.
There are some inconvenient facts, however, that destroy this theory:
(1) CO2 is only a small player when it comes to greenhouse gas, more than 90% of which is water vapour - and who gets paranoid about water vapour?
(2) The earth and her systems - including the very complex climate system - are robust, resilient and self-regulating. Apparently, they easily adjust to a bit more CO2 just as easily as all the plants and animals do.
(3) The proof of any scientific theory is in observing and measuring what takes place in the real world irrespective of what computer modeling might indicate. Whilst CO2 levels have continued to rise over the last decade, world temperatures have begun a downward trend. If the current behavior of the sun with its diminished sun-spots and magnetic strength is any guide, and if the recent changes of the Atlantic and Pacific Decadal Currents are any guide, then this cooling trend will continue for a least another 20-30 years - all proving that C02 never was and never can be a primary driver of climate.
Carbophobia - the irrational fear of carbon - has become the disease of our age, the religious myth of our time and the apocalyptic delusion of this moment of history. It can be cured, however, with a good dose of common sense.
Why then worry about the size our carbon footprint? - the bigger the better if the aim is to green the earth and to feed the world. As for pollutants, let's direct our attention to the real pollutants in our environment like the sulphurs, the nitric oxides and real chemical pollutants. CO2 is not one of them. Before we get too morbidly obsessed about the size of our carbon footprint, it might help to remind ourselves that the termites and the micro-organisms have a very much larger carbon footprint than we do. As for the oceans, their carbon emissions are so massive that they make human carbon emissions appear about as significant as some flatulence in a hurricane.
Carbon is good for you, good for every living thing, and good for the earth. So relax and enjoy your good portion of carbon under the sun, especially if it happens to be a carbonated cold one.
The fear of carbon is the fear of life. The love of carbon is the love of life. Humans are animated carbon. Everything we consume and emit is carbon-based. Everything we make or purchase causes carbon emissions. It is not possible to control and regulate carbon without controlling and regulating every aspect of human existence. To be anti-carbon is to be anti-human freedom.
The war on carbon is an ill-disguised war on humanity, a war on human freedom. Carbon and carbon emissions are simply a proxy for human activity. This whole movement to demonize carbon is driven by a world-denying, man-hating worldview. It is time to rip away the mask and expose the movement whose real aim is to put the human race in chains to a system that controls every aspect of human existence. It is time to stand up and say, "You take your jackboots off my carbon and off my life."
It is heartening to see that more and more scientists are waking up to the junk science of man-made global warming alarmism and that they are now coming out of the woodwork to say so. The movement to shut down our energy sources by a beat-up against CO2, if successful, would turn off the lights of civilization. It is fitting that the symbolism of the recent Earth Hour was darkness rather than light.
There has never been more than a small coterie of pseudo-science activists and social engineers driving this global warming alarmism cart. They have been remarkably successful in closing down the debate and silencing opposition by their big lie about their enjoying an overwhelming scientific consensus. They have intimidated a lot of scientists with the fear of losing academic funding if they should open their mouths with a contrary opinion.
As for the Media that refused to obey their own credo of rigorous investigative journalism, that ducked from asking the hard questions, that forgot they were supposed to be independent journalists instead of advocates for the popular hysteria, its integrity and credibility has been trashed by its own hand. Long live the free spirits of the Internet, the indefatigable bloggers who would not be silenced.
*Robert D. Brinsmead is a Horticulturist and a free-lance Writer.