Stream: The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 is Good for the Earth


Today’s post is at The Stream: The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 is Good for the Earth.

Prostitution will increase because of global warming, a stern warning Mark Steyn passed on to his audience at the Princeton Club in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday in a talk sponsored by Roger Kimball’s The New Criterion (what? you don’t yet subscribe?) and the newly formed CO2 Coalition founded by Princeton physicist Will Happer and others.

In addition to this horrific “settled” science, Steyn reminded us that global warming was also going to cause impotence in Italian men.

This is multiplicative tragedy, because, of course, all those newly formed prostitutes won’t be able to find customers—at least, not in Italy…

Not only are things not as bad as we thought, they are much, much better. And they’re improving. Crop output is up, the world is greener, storms are down in frequency and number, life spans rise, and on and on in contradistinction to the forecasts of doom foisted on the public by politicians and the media.

But why are things better? Because of the beneficial effects of releasing carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere. Craig Idso, a bona fide scientist who also spoke at the event, cataloged the good CO2 does. Plants grow not just a little better when CO2 is increased, but they are vastly improved.

They have greater mass, more roots, better leafs, they use water more efficiently and, the biggest surprise, they react to warmer temperatures more robustly. These entirely salutary effects are so well known (to scientists) that commercial greenhouses artificially boost CO2 to levels about three times higher than are found in the atmosphere.

In times past, atmospheric CO2 levels were up to 30 times higher—pause and reflect on the number—than they are now; and indeed we are now in a historic, almost dangerous, low period. Yet even though CO2 was then so much higher than mankind can ever hope now to achieve even if we burn every drop of oil that exists, there was no runaway global warming. Why should we expect it now?…

But shouldn’t we “do something” anyway, just in case? After all, animals might suffer! Probably not, said Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace who has since come to see the light. Moore stressed that animals have much greater phenotypic plasticity than has been acknowledged. This means that animals can survive much better than previously thought, even when the environment around them changes dramatically. (Besides, the environment isn’t changing that much.)

Moore said that far from being humans being a blight on the environment, “We are the salvation of life, because we reintroduced CO2 to the atmosphere that was taken out by oceanic” life that sucked it up. Without CO2, plants die. And without plants, we die…

Go there and read the scintillating rest


  1. Nope—we’re all going to die, die, die. It is a proclamation from the annointed climate scientists and it will happen. Disagree, and we’ll jail you. How dare you commit blasphemy against the learned? If we keep repeating this long enough, you will have to agree because the climate will warm. It will. It will. It will.

  2. Anon

    What razor-sharp wit! I might be wrong, but it could be a mortal wound.

  3. Joy

    I’m just bored by your non arguments.

    I would be interested to hear your actual reasoning on this pollution subject, your favourite, and yet I’ve only heard what you think about the people who hold the opposing view.
    JMJ aren’t you so terribly bored as well?

  4. Brian H

    Steyn’s incisive wit cuts to the bone, so I don’t blame the left (including you JMJ) for disliking him. For those who don’t know, he’s being sued for libel by Michael E. Mann, the man behind the discredited AGW hockey stick graph. If you would like to help defray his defense expenses, go to and buy one of his books. All are highly recommended!

  5. Joy

    No, his wit isn’t cutting it’s just the truth, he’s hilarious!
    What really makes me laugh is he doesn’t contain his own amusement.
    The truth is stranger than fiction and funnier, it seems.

  6. Gary

    Why do politicians like our President and celebrities like Leo DiCaprio lecture us all and then hop in their private jets? Mark Steyn provided the answer at the Princeton Club Tuesday: “The great thing about professing to ‘Save the Planet’ is that it absolves you of the need to do anything.”

    True, but it’s also morality-signaling by those who can’t resolve the cognitive dissonance created by their lifestyles and their fears. Promoting a popular action has little cost while earning much approval. The swell of self-satisfaction overwhelms the suspicion of guilt enough to let them ignore the contradiction. Sometime the easiest person to lie to is yourself.

  7. Geezer

    Mark Steyn is dumb.

    I sometimes wonder if McJersey is a really a leftist trollbot algorithm.

  8. JMJ: Profound. Probably why no one cares what you say about pollution, etc. Perhaps if you used your words and actually made a coherent, useful statement…..Blitz attacks are best confined to warfare, something you seem to dislike yet use the practices therein on a regular basis. As Joy, said, how about sharing some of the reasons why you believe things? Or do you have no reasons—you just follow progressives with blind faith in the same fashion you fault religious people for doing?

  9. JH

    Why CO2 is good for the Earth?

    Crop output is up, the world is greener, storms are down in frequency and number, life spans rise, and on and on…
    Ah, all the benefits of CO2?! That simple! The world just gets greener. No water or human efforts required. I don’t deny that CO2 is indeed plant food and can enhance crop yields.

    Are you saying that lower storm frequency (where is the evidence of this claim?), life spans rise, and on and on (whatever they are) are benefits of increasing CO2 level? Well, I guess eating green vegetables does have health benefit.

    Does Roger Kimball know physics or chemistry or differential equation?

  10. JohnK

    “Scintillating.” I like that word. The indefatigable 1913 Webster’s Unabridged says of “scintillate”: [L. scintillare, scintillatum, from scintilla a spark.]
    1. To emit sparks, or fine igneous particles.
    – As the electrical globe only scintillates when rubbed against its cushion. Sir W. Scott.
    2. To sparkle, as the fixed stars.

  11. JH: NOAA says there are fewer tornadoes and hurricanes. As for winter storms, etc, there are reports of blizzards being twice as frequent as 20 years ago. However, if you go further back, there were monster storms in the 80’s, the 40’s etc in the US. Interestingly enough, some consider this due to sunspots, not global warming.

    The news tries desperately to give the impression there are more storms “3 million people in the path of the storm”, etc. This actually means over 99% of the country is not involved. A clever attempt to mislead.

    I don’t see where there was any claim Roger Kimball was a physicist. It says he sponsored the talk. Anyone can sponsor a talk.

  12. I have no idea where that video came from. It was not part of my comment. I guess the internet thought my comment needed a video……..

  13. Joy

    “Plants grow not just a little better when CO2 is increased, but they are vastly improved.
    “They have greater mass, more roots, better leaves, they use water more efficiently and, the biggest surprise, they react to warmer temperatures more robustly. These entirely salutary effects are so well known (to scientists)
    …and eleven yer olds growing runner beans in bell jars.

    According to Freeman Dyson, 35 years of study of the affects there is a measured 40% increased atmospheric CO2 and has also been a vegetation increase of 20%.
    He explains that the first climate modelling with CO2 included was carried out in the sixties. His remarks on climate models might be interesting to JMJ.
    Check him out on youtube from April2015.

    Increase in Global vegetation from increased CO2 is a topic that is often left out of discussion because of it’s clear benefit.

    It also reveals the moral argument against biofuels and transition of agricultural land from food to biofuels affecting availability of food.

    Biofuels also wreck engines which remain static for a time such as seasonal garden equipment, a small inconvenience next to being hungry. If anybody wondered why there’s white liquid appearing in the “carburettor bowl” which blocks the jets, that’s why. Perhaps that’s just the stuff we’re palmed off with.

  14. Steve E

    “Biofuels also wreck engines which remain static for a time such as seasonal garden equipment…”

    Joy, very true. I bought a brand new snow blower, used it twice during the season, stored it over the summer and had to replace the carburetor the next season for that very reason. I even took the time to drain the fuel tank, but there was no way to blow out the rest of the fuel system. The small engine repair person says carburetor replacement is now one of the most common repairs he makes on snow blowers and lawn mowers.

  15. Gary in Erko

    Car bumper sticker – “Vote yes for 500 ppm”.

  16. No, really, Mark Steyn is dumb. The data shows warming. This is just parsing numbers, or in this case, repeating the parsing of numbers.


  17. Joy

    Mark’s argument is about the hockey stick graph. The point not being whether the trend line or data shows warming but all the fiddling with the data and removal of historical climatic variability from the graph. It would be impossible to not know that the data indicates warming.

    (I have heard it argued convincingly though given the difficulty with measuring global temperature that there is not certainty about warming. The data is accepted to represent the values measured i.e. the satellites thermometers are accurate to laboratory accuracy and not reliant on human measurement. A total global reading for a given time is not possible. You wold have to be outside of the system to measure global temperature of the body of the earth.)

    So everybody accepts the data indicates warming and it’s not by much. The difference isn’t an amount that you would be able to detect with bare arms. You might sense it given two objects together to compare . So sensitivity and positive feedback is introduced to continue the story. Yet the climate has changed in the past and animals like polar bears have come through. Humans were not alive to cause warming in the past yet the historic record indicates warming so who or what causes warmth there is no reason for alarm.

    CO2 and temperature have varied in the past.

    Arguers for global warming alarm require the system to be highly sensitive to change in levels of CO2 in order to explain the need to panic. The argument really focusses on how much sensitivity there is to a doubling of CO2. The effects on cloud and water vapour most likely hide the ‘error’ of the science. …and ignoring the sun, and…
    It is a failure to accept the complexity of the system which leads to the over confidence of believers. I don’t think there are really many true believers who know the science. I really think the true belief is now within the public, some of the media and some politicians. At least some of the latter two know the truth continue to peddle, they should held accountable in the fullness of time.

    Mark’s argument makes fun of the sinanipgins of the science. There is so much material and for entertaining discussion read “don’t smooth time series you hockey puck”. Read Climate Audit’s discussions about the graph. Every time they put one down another is published to keep the story going. It’s been going on for years JMJ. The one consolation is that these discussions are all there to be seen as a historic document of how science lost it’s way, who followed and who led.
    The truth about how it happened, there will be no cover up this time.

    Mark called mann’s hockey stick graph fraudulent it is fraudulent.

  18. swordfishtrombone

    @JMJ: “No, really, Mark Steyn is dumb. The data shows warming.”

    What makes you think the Earth’s temperature should remain absolutely constant? It never has done in the past.

  19. JMJ: No, it’s “How to Lie with Statistics” Buy the book and read it. You might learn something. Even if the globe does continue warming or warms again or whatever, this in no way addresses AGW, only GW and only then if we reduce the entire globe to one number and assign it omnipotence (unless it gets cold, and then nature is more powerful). Truly problematic no matter how you look at it, unless you believe by faith.
    Joy is very good with her comment. Plus, no real scientist would take proxies and instrumental readings and tie them together. It’s ALL proxies or ALL instrumental. It’s like measuring with a yard stick and someone else measuring using the length of their shoe as a foot. Insanity at it’s worst.

  20. Doug Cotton

    As I predicted in 2011, the “pause” will continue until at least 2027 and 500 years of cooling lies ahead starting later this century. Dr Spencer’s March 2016 temperature data is now available. Note that the red line (the annual moving average that eliminates seasonal effects) is still not as high as the maximum in 1998 and the El Nino spike is past its maximum. Click the link below to see details.

    Don’t be misled by the data from ground based weather stations. Those that have not warmed get eliminated, whilst those that have not been affected by urban crawl warming have their rate of warming adjusted upwards. It is all FRAUDULENT science. Trust only Dr Spencer’s satellite data.

    Reducing carbon dioxide will not help the environment because it cools rather than warms and it enhances agricultural production and growth of everything from flowers to forests. There is no valid science supporting the radiative forcing greenhouse garbage for the gullible.

    The Second law of thermodynamics says: “In a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of the entropies of the interacting thermodynamic systems increases.”

    Hence, for the natural thermodynamic process that is a one-way pencil of radiation from a cooler system (a region of the atmosphere) to a warmer system (a region of the surface) there can be no decrease in entropy, and hence no heat transfer.

    This Second Law applies to every independent process, so a reduction in entropy cannot be excused by a subsequent larger increase in entropy. For example, water cannot flow up a mountain to a lake at the top (reducing entropy) just because it will subsequently flow down further (increase entropy more) on the other side. Net effects of two or more non-dependent processes do not excuse a violation of the law.

    Hence GH radiative forcing is FALSE. For more detail see .

  21. Doug Cotton

    Now some people say, yes we know back radiation does not warm the surface, so they agree with me that radiation from carbon dioxide cannot warm the surface. But that leaves them with no explanation for the surface temperature of Earth, let alone Venus, because the solar radiation reaching these surfaces is far too little to explain observed temperatures.

    Hence it is NOT radiation that is supplying the necessary thermal energy. Instead, the solution to the dilemma is found in a correct understanding of the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, namely maximum entropy production by the dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials.

    When, perhaps on a calm night just before dawn, we have a state that is close to maximum entropy, there is observed a non-zero temperature gradient. That is because, for there to be no unbalanced energy potentials, the mean sum of molecular (gravitational potential energy + kinetic energy) must be homogeneous. Hence there is a temperature gradient derived by equating d(KE)=-d(PE) so that m.cp.dT=-m.g.dH (where cp is specific heat) and thus the gradient dT/dH=-g/cp. This is then reduced in magnitude by the temperature leveling effect of intermolecular radiation between GH gases, which thus cause the plot of temperature against altitude to rotate downwards at the surface end, cooling the surface.

    Finally, the way the required thermal energy gets into the surface from where it is absorbed from solar radiation in the troposphere and ozone layers is by the process of maximum entropy production that is repairing the temperature gradient and raising the whole plot of temperature against altitude to a higher but parallel position. It thus intersects the surface at a higher temperature and you just need to come to grips with the fact that the old Clausius (hot to cold) corollary of the Second Law only always applies in a horizontal plane. In a force field, as also seen in a vortex tube, there CAN be heat from cold to hot.

  22. Doug Cotton

    There is no doubt that modern science is driven by the desire for research grants and fame. The days (a century ago) when individuals put forward new science and were heeded are long gone. Now it is “group think” and personal competition that rule the nest – or should I say nest egg?

    If anything is to change it will be a long term process, probably ruled more by public opinion influencing political voting than by the whims of journal editors who know what would put them out of a job if published. An example:

    The following scientists have supported the hypothesis that planetary surface temperatures are primarily determined by the gravitationally induced temperature gradient and not by direct solar radiation (if any) reaching the base of the troposphere and any solid surface there:

    1. Josef Loschmidt, a 19th century physicists who was first to estimate realistically the size of air molecules, thus leading to the Kinetic Theory of Gases from which the Ideal Gas Law and Loschmidt’s gravito-thermal effect are each derived.

    2. James R. Holton who wrote the book “An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology” (second edition), Academic Press, New York, 1979.

    3. Dr Hans Jelbring (with a PhD in climatology) who had a peer-reviewed paper on this published in “Energy and Environment” in 2003.

    4. Drs Nikolov and Zeller who wrote a paper on the “Unified Theory of Climate” in 2011.

    5. Douglas Cotton and many who have agreed with the hypothesis in his 2013 paper and book, such as John Turner (retired physics educator), professional members of a climate group he addressed and presumably most of over 70 who have “liked” his comments on LinkedIn, the world’s largest network of professionals. This hypothesis extends the work of the above scientists in that it uses the Second Law of Thermodynamics to explain the required thermal energy transfer mechanisms.

    Data from Venus, Uranus, Neptune and other planets, as well as Earth support the hypothesis overwhelmingly.

    The hypothesis is documented in the paper linked at which has been subjected to peer-review in open media for over three years without any correct refutation. Also in that paper is a study supporting the hypothesis which explains why water vapor cools rather than warms the surface of Earth.

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