Best of 2023: 'What the World Needs Now: More CO2, Not Less,' by Peter Smith

Peter Smith11 Jan, 2024 4 Min Read
Carbo me fecit

Time on my hands, I watched a somewhat dated video of Patrick Moore, ex-president of Greenpeace, turned enlightened. He explained that it would be better if we had more CO2 in the atmosphere not less. That the current level was low by standards of the distant past. More CO2 means more plant growth; better for plants, which makes it better for us. In burning oil and gas, he said, we were simply putting back into the atmosphere what organisms with calcium carbonate shells have taken out and stored over many millions of years. He didn’t go on to describe the same picture with coal but it applies pari passu. Burning coal puts back CO2 taken out by growing trees over many millions of years. The circle of life, as it were.

I like Moore’s way of putting things. It strikes at the heart of the scary pseudo-religious prophecy that we’re all gonna perish if we put back into the atmosphere some of the CO2 that nature has previously taken out. How so? Is something you might ask climate cultists; if they were sensible, that is. They’re not. So better not your time waste. I also find interesting Moore’s implicit acceptance that the recent rise in CO2 in the atmosphere, from a pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million to a touch over 400 ppm now, is ascribable to man. That’s not universally conceded on our side of the fence, if I can put it like that. Therein lies a tale of uncertainty.

Truth matters. It goes without saying. Nevertheless, it is disconcerting that our side doesn’t have a standard script. Yes, I know, that’s not the nature of our side. Just wishing. But, again we have all heard the arguments that on an historical scale warming lags rather than leads increases in CO2. Perhaps it does, but what has that to do with the recent increase in man-made CO2 emissions and rising temperatures? It’s not clear, at least to me.

What to do, what to do?

When it comes to rising temperatures, Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy has for a number of years taken the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to task for the way it “homogenises” the temperature record, removes inconvenient past records, which makes it extremely difficult to obtain original data. A fair-minded person might conclude that the bureau has something to hide; to wit, that it is exaggerating warming. But where does that leave us? Exactly how much actual warming has there been this last 150 years or so? And what part, if any, do we concede is likely down to man-made CO2?

The other side, literally the lying side, has no regard for or interest in the truth. In fact, as their belief in God is largely absent, they have no reason to believe in or search for any ultimate truth. Their truth, built on their cockeyed pseudo-religion, is good enough for them. This gives them a grifter’s edge.

If it’s remotely possible, whatever happens in real life is shoehorned into their script. Otherwise, it’s simply ignored. Untowardly hot weather is "climate change." Untowardly cold weather, apropos the coldest Easter day in Melbourne in 80 years this year, is simply a “cold snap.” Importantly, there is no break in the ranks. In contrast, our side is all over the place. How much of the increase in CO2 is manmade? How much warming has actually occurred? How much of the warming is due to manmade CO2? How much further warming will occur if manmade CO2 goes on increasing? Various answers and opinions can be found. Personally, I think that is a major reason why they are winning the war, so to speak. Our cards are on the table. Theirs aren't.

Shrinkage probably not going to cut it.

Nothing to be done about "climate change" that we are not trying to do, starting with trying to determine whether it's really happening, and why. Truth is hard to find and pin down. Only God knows the whole of it. Those of goodwill search as best they can for it. There are bound to be a range of views and opinions. It’s why, to reiterate, that Patrick Moore’s approach appeals. It is self-evidently true that burning hydrocarbons is possible only because organisms and trees extracted CO2 from the atmosphere in the first place. Clearly, the planet prospered when this process was in its early stages. Ipso facto, it will prosper when a proportion of CO2 (and a relatively small one at that) is put back into the atmosphere. All the rest is noise.

Incidentally, while they (the climate cultists) are currently winning the war, their lackey governments are making such a pig’s ear of replacing hydrocarbons that with any luck popular revolts will undo them. Otherwise, we’ll gradually enter a twilight world of wind and sun power, with various devices to prop them up, including power rationing. The world will be poorer, despotic, miserable. But, gallingly, they will claim credit for preventing a calamity which was only ever a figment of their febrile imaginings.

After a career in economics, banking and payment-systems management, Peter Smith now blogs on the topics of the day. He writes for Quadrant, Australia’s leading conservative online site and magazine. He has written Bad Economics, of which, he notes, there is much.


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