Two Competing Narratives on Carbon Dioxide

Watts Up With That?

Is carbon dioxide our friend or our foe?

Guest essay by Iain Aitken

Here is a dossier of key facts about carbon dioxide (and its role in global warming):

· It is an incombustible, colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-toxic gas

· It is a plant nutrient and, as the ‘fuel’ of photosynthesis and the creation of oxygen, it is absolutely essential to the existence of life on Earth

· Its fertilisation effect has meant that, thanks to our anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions increasing concentrations in the atmosphere, crop yields have improved dramatically to date and will continue to improve in the future

· It is a weak greenhouse gas

· Global warming precedes, and then causes, increases in carbon dioxide emissions

· Most global warming experienced since 1950 can be attributed to natural climate variability, rather than enhanced greenhouse gas warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore the rate of…

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