Overpopulation is the fundamental underlying focus of the Club of Rome. It’s an extension of the Malthusian claim that the population would exceed the food supply. They argue it applies to all resources and is made worse by the demands of developed, industrialized nations. Solution? Reduce the population. This may occur through an unintended consequence as politics exploits science.
The full proverb says, “Give a dog a bad name and hang him.” They’ve given carbon dioxide (CO2) a bad name and it is now being hanged by draconian and completely unnecessary legislation. This exposes the philosophical and intellectual contradictions of many, but especially environmentalists. They are not alone. Consider this comment by Susan Solomon, NOAA senior scientist,
I think you have to think about this stuff (CO2) as more like nuclear waste than acid rain: the more we add, the worse off we’ll be.
An alarmist, outrageous and completely unsupportable comment, but not surprising from the co-chair of Working Group I of the IPCC 2007 report. This is not true; the more we add, the better off we are.
Reduce CO2 and we are worse off, as the plants suffer. Something must be done to protect the plants – as well as the people – from fanaticism. There is no evidence that CO2 is causing global warming or climate change, but that is the basis for the slur and the proposed actions. As usual, little thought is given to the direct and collateral damage such as the economic impacts from increased taxes and cost of doing business. No thought is given to the damage to nature. So you have the paradox of environmentalists screaming to reduce CO2 to save the planet, while putting all life in jeopardy by killing the plants. It is blind faith. But this is not surprising because the great problem of environmentalism as a religion is the failure to do full and proper cost/benefit analyses. For example, all you ever hear about are the downsides to warming when there are actually more upsides. One major downside rarely mentioned is the impact on plants of reduced CO2 levels or the benefits of higher levels.
Extreme environmentalists consider plants and animals more important than humans. Ron Arnold, Executive Vice President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, said:
Environmentalism intends to transform government, economy, and society in order to liberate nature from human exploitation.
David Graber, a research biologist with the National Park Service, said:
Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. … Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.
Graber is not alone because Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and patron of the World Wildlife Fund, said:
If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.
If he starts with Royalty, the idea has possibilities.
Getting rid of everyone permanently solves the population problem. David Foreman, former chief lobbyist for the Wilderness Society, says the optimum number is zero. Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said,
Mankind is a cancer; we’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth. … If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.
By a dramatic twist, the virus Graber awaits and the reduction to zero may be in the campaign of environmentalists, both moderate and extreme, to reduce CO2. It is a fascinating and perverse unintended consequence. According to one plant’s rights activist,
All plants have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and parental love.
I presume this includes starvation or suffocation, which happens to the plants with reduced CO2.
All climate policy is designed to reduce atmospheric CO2, but that is not what the plants would vote for. Plant producers have added CO2 to enclosed growing environments for 100 years to enhance growth. Extensive research shows the beneficial effects including a significant increase in biomass including roots, size of the plant and yields. Another benefit is a reduction in the amount of water used. As CO2 levels increase, the stomata (pores on the leaf) partially close – thus, moisture loss (transpiration) is reduced. The current atmospheric CO2 level is reportedly 380 ppm. Plant growth slows at 220 ppm and stops at 150 ppm. Most plants grow 2 to 3 times faster in 1200 to 1500 ppm, but the optimum range is 800 to 1000 ppm. This means plants are malnourished under current conditions. Reduce CO2 further and the plants suffer, but so do fauna as there is less oxygen. Thank goodness there are many natural sources of CO2 and significant reductions are not possible – otherwise humans would be eliminated, as extremists want. In another unintended consequence, so would all other species.
Environmentalists and governments have abandoned the plants in the false belief that a reduction of CO2 would stop global warming. It is time to defend the plants from these misguided people. The obvious solution is to seek power of attorney for the plants to vote on their behalf against any attempts to reduce atmospheric CO2. This way, we can satisfy another old proverb – and stop them from being killed by kindness.