Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Plants Like Warming

A classic example of a "news" story on global warming:

The dangerous rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may be...

Already with the "dangerous." Of course "dangerous" is nowhere near established by any stretch; we're still arguing about whether the 35 parts per million is even significant. But the word "dangerous" is really there to serve one purpose only, to put "perspective" on the actual news in the news story:

Increasing exposure to carbon dioxide appears to boost crop yields, Hans-Joachim Weigel of the Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries in the central city of Brunswick told AFP.

Plants benefit from the dangerous warming. Global warming is good for nature. Why, next thing you know, these improved plants will absorb more CO2!

The researchers who have been conducting this study actually train CO2 jets on the plants, increasing the PPMs to 550. A crime against humanity? Perhaps. Then again, the researchers do pay homage to the science:

Weigel said that while the institute's findings may prove surprising to some, they are not intended to undermine the drive to slash CO2 emissions.

And, as we all know, you can pretty much do whatever you want, ecologically speaking, as long as you remember to note how concerned you are about the environment.

Bottom line on the story is increased CO2 is great for the plant kingdom, but none of the rest of us are any less screwed. What else is new?

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