Australian Notes

CO2 notes

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. Let me say that again. This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. After the world food security crisis of 2007, which saw civil unrest in some countries, it is fantastic to see that in just 7 years we are producing record amounts of food for a growing world population. The US Department of Agriculture recently raised global crop predictions for corn, soy and wheat. Yet the World Bank indicates that over the last 10 reporting years, the percentage of agricultural land worldwide has not changed.

So what is driving this world food production boom?

Carbon dioxide. Plants are thriving on the extra CO2 in the atmosphere. A recent study showed that climate modelers over-estimated the amount of carbon dioxide that would remain in the atmosphere. Lo and behold, they have now discovered that plants are soaking up the additional carbon dioxide and growing more vigorously. Plants and trees and crops will absorb 130 billion tonnes more carbon dioxide this century than expected. It’s called the ‘carbon dioxide fertilisation effect’. This is not just a benefit to food crops – it is a boon to native vegetation, from the ancient forests to desert scrub that environmental activists have been trying to preserve for decades. Then there is the latest science on how the oceans are absorbing carbon dioxide with plankton growing faster than previously thought.

So why is the Abbott government spending billions of dollars to reduce this airborne saviour of vegetation and food crops? I am stunned by the number of politicians who are either ignorant or wilfully misleading the public on this topic. A whole political industry has developed around new arcane language to describe what we have known for centuries about producing food and improving our environment. A whole false economy has developed, fuelled by taxpayer funding through an Emissions Reduction Fund, An Emissions Trading Scheme, Renewable Energy Targets, The Renewable Energy Agency, The Climate Change Authority, Climate Change Departments and more. Greg Hunt and Clive Palmer’s newly passed Bill seeks to subsidise activities because they have so-called ‘co-benefits’ – well, if there are benefits in activities that also arguably help the environment, people should be doing them anyway without massive taxpayer subsidies – just as landfill operators have been doing for years, and I commend them for doing so over – in capturing gas emissions from landfills. Until, of course, the rent seeking, carpet-bagging, bootlegging crony capitalists jumped on the climate change bandwagon to suck money from the taxpayer.

With the carbon tax, families felt and could clearly see for the first time the direct impact on their personal budgets that comes from spending money to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This latest Emissions Reduction Fund is no different, but by sleight of hand people will be less able to see how their taxes will need to stay higher than they should be in order to pay for this scheme.

Taking money from low-income families and spending it on dodgy activities with a spurious scientific basis punishes the poor, rewards the rent-seekers and churns money in taxes, grants and rebates. Australia cannot afford this Emissions Reduction Fund; particularly during what the government has told us is a ‘budget emergency’.

While many families struggle with the cost of living, while mums and dads struggle to find jobs to make ends meet, the government spends their money appeasing high-income elites enthralled by this latest cause and championed by celebrities, self-promoting ‘experts’ and certain elements of the media.

Rent-seekers, like the wind tower companies and solar panel manufacturers, get paid handsomely and advocates in the climate change industry are living very nicely off the system flying around in private jets irrespective of whether these schemes improve the environment, or human living conditions, or not.

Now we are committing $2.5bn of taxpayers money to be spent on reducing carbon dioxide to stop so-called global warming while Arctic and Antarctic sea ice is growing. Growing, not shrinking. It’s bizarre! I am dismayed that honest, intelligent people can sit mute and watch this blatant trashing of both science and economics.

I have a science background but any high school student can tell you that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. CO2 in the atmosphere is not pollution.Now, I know there are members of parliament who agree with me on all or much of the above but feel they must toe a party line. I am not so constrained, and perhaps I speak for some of them in saying that I will not sit mute and support this nonsense.

Mathias Cormann told the Senate last week, and I quote: ‘Coal is good. Coal is good. It is at the heart of our economic prosperity here in Australia and around the world. It has helped lift living standards for people right across the world. It will continue to help lift living standards around the world.’

If that is so, if intelligent and like-minded people believe in all good conscience that the Coalition’s Emissions Reductions Fund is wrong, then I urge them to speak up, too. Don’t be scientific girlie men!

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Bob Day AO is a Family First Senator for SA

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Show comments
  • You are correct that atmospheric CO2 is good stuff and is vital for the biosphere, which includes all crops, plants, trees etc. Therefore the idea that we must curb or reduce CO2 emissions is a nonsense. However, the Coalition has to present some “Climate Change Policy” (least intrusive) to match that of Labor and so not give them a free political kick.

    • “Therefore the idea that we must curb or reduce CO2 emissions is a nonsense.”

      Since Carbon Dioxide is a COOLING molecule, we need to be careful, and it’s thanks to increased Solar activity that we can enjoy the economic fruits that Carbon Dioxide is the by-product of.

  • “CO2 in the atmosphere is not pollution.”

    In fact…

    Carbon Dioxide is a COOLING molecule. All atmospheric gasses absorb infrared radiation (IR),(1) contrary to the lies put out by some politically co-opted climate scientists,(2) otherwise the Earth’s atmosphere would be frigidly cold (if not actually a massive ice berg). The two gases that constitute more than 99% of the atmosphere’s air, Oxygen and Nitrogen,(3) must absorb IR, which both do (Compare IR absorption strengths for Nitrogen and Oxygen in graphs below with that of graphs for Carbon Dioxide as displayed in footnote 5. Absorption strengths for Nitrogen and Oxygen peak at weaker levels than for Carbon Dioxide, but peak either just below Carbon Dioxide’s strength levels in the case for Nitrogen or within Carbon Dioxide’s lower strength levels in the case of Oxygen.) and retain heat more robustly than Carbon Dioxide does.(4) The heat retention for Nitrogen is cp = 1.04, cv = 0.743; for Oxygen is cp = 0.919, cv = 0.659; while for Carbon Dioxide is an inferior cp = 0.844, cv = 0.655.(5) While it is true that Carbon Dioxide is a superior IR absorption molecule than are Nitrogen or Oxygen,(6) what is more important is an atmosphere gas molecule’s retention of the heat it generates, and Carbon Dioxide comes up short on that count when contrasted with Nitrogen and Oxygen.

    If we contrast the graph for Oxygen above* with the graphs for Carbon Dioxide in footnote 5, we notice that while Oxygen isn’t as absorbent of IR as Carbon Dioxide is, the IR absorbed by Oxygen from 0.6 to 6 µm (microns) is within the warmest area of the electromagnetic spectrum for IR(7) and interestingly enough represents the narrow window bandwidth for IR that makes it all the way to the ground,(8) meaning this bandwidth is readily absorbed directly from the atmosphere by Oxygen and Nitrogen as it travels towards the ground.

    To easily conceptualize (1) the relationship between an atmospheric gas molecule’s absorption strength: and (2) the gas’ relationship to the IR bandwidths it can absorb (IR bandwidth equaling the length of the IR wave absorbed, which is measured in microns/µm; more compact waves, which have a lower micron value, indicate a warmer IR bandwidth,(9) while longer waves, which have a higher micron value, indicate a less warm generating IR bandwidth), let’s use as an illustration the various paper towel brands one can purchase at the store. The various absorption strengths for an atmospheric gas is analogous with the different absorption capabilities for each brand of paper towel, while a particular bandwidth a gas is capable of absorbing is analogous to the fictional proposition that each paper towel brand is capable of absorbing liquids with specified temperatures.

    We now see that all gasses in the atmosphere absorb IR to varying degrees, not simply the “greenhouse gasses” such as Carbon Dioxide or Methane. In fact, the term “greenhouse gas” is a misnomer—all atmospheric gasses are “greenhouse gasses”.

    However, in the particular case of Carbon Dioxide it is known as a cooling gas. According to Professor Gert Venter, Agricultural Engineering, University of Pretoria; “You know, that’s why all I can do is laugh when these global warming monkeys tell me that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is not, and I have live, precise experimental situations in over 30 sites around the world that prove that it is not. These guys create a model in their computers, based on arbitrary assumptions, and then ignore all the experimental evidence to the contrary. My experiments show that INCREASING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IS CORRELLATED WITH A DECREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE in my agricultural environments.”(10)

    How does Carbon Dioxide act as a cooling agent rather than a heating agent? We know one means is the nature of its superior capability to re-radiate back into space the IR it absorbs in the thermosphere,(11) thereby limiting the amount of IR that reaches the ground, which in turn would have been emitted by the ground, some of which is ultimately “captured” by atmospheric gasses (and water vapor). With increasing Carbon Dioxide concentrations in the thermosphere taking place,(12) more IR is re-radiated back into space, hence less IR hits the ground, decreasing the amount of IR that would later be emitted by the ground and absorbed by gases in the atmosphere.

    Another avenue for Carbon Dioxide’s cooling effect is located in the lower atmosphere. Because Carbon Dioxide is a superior absorption agent of IR, but a relatively weak retainer of IR compared to Nitrogen and Oxygen, increasing the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the lower atmosphere “robs” Nitrogen and Oxygen of the IR it would have absorbed, and retained better than Carbon Dioxide, where the increased levels of Carbon Dioxide are now increasing the levels of IR re-emitted (due to Carbon Dioxide’s inferior retention of IR compared to Nitrogen and Oxygen), some of that IR escaping out into space.

    NASA’s discovery that Carbon Dioxide in the thermosphere is a robust re-radiator of IR verifies Professor Venter’s practical experimentation on the subject, where Carbon Dioxide is also a superior re-radiator of IR in the lower atmosphere,(13) hence the observed cooling effect it has in Professor Venter’s agricultural projects.

    As the Time magazine cover points to, climate scientists should have stuck with the man-made global cooling scare of the 1970s, because Carbon Dioxide does have a cooling effect on the atmosphere, and greater man-made concentrations would definitely provide for lower average temperatures, all other variables remaining constant, such as the cumulative effect of historically high solar activity.(14)


    *See the article, ‘Throwing Cold Water on Global Warming’, at

    • Part II

      “So what is driving this world food production boom?

      Carbon dioxide.”

      Partly. Technology also increases the quantity of food, in this case grain, with no additional land needed…

      ‘Ingredients grown using GM technology require fewer pesticides, less water and keep production costs down. In fact, GM technology helps reduce the price of crops used for food, such as corn, soybeans and sugar beets by as much as 15-30%.’