A Modest Proposal: Triple Your Carbon Footprint

Triple your carbon footprint. Does that sound crazy? Read on. By some estimates, our increasing use of fossil fuels will raise atmospheric carbon dioxide to about 1,000ppm (versus about 390ppm currently) by the end of this century. Climate alarmists and governments have decreed that this is undesirable and even dangerous because it might lead to uncontrolled global warming, so they say. They propose various schemes to reduce our carbon footprint. I contend that more carbon dioxide will not significantly affect climate change, and that government policy to curb emissions is exactly the opposite of what we should do. Why? Because we need to increase food production for our increasing population, and to preserve habitat for wildlife. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will help do both.

Human population is about 6 billion and is projected to rise to 11 billion by the end of the century. How are we going to feed all those people? There are several methods to increase food production. One is to increase the area of cultivated land, but that would displace wildlife, and we would have to divert more water to raise the crops. Currently, agriculture uses about 75% of all freshwater resources. Other methods of increasing production include increasing crop yield per unit land area, increasing crop yield per unit of fertilizer applied, and increasing crop yield per unit of water used. But, for many crops we are reaching the genetic limit of yield per acre. Use of ever increasing amounts of fertilizer has other undesirable consequences.

The answer to all these problems is to let atmospheric carbon dioxide rise, because carbon dioxide is plant food. There are many studies which show that doubling of the air’s carbon dioxide concentration increases the productivity of earth’s herbaceous plants by 30- to 50% , and of woody plants by 50- to 80% or more. These studies also show that more carbon dioxide increases plants’ efficiency in use of nutrients and water.

But what about global warming? The fact is, there is no physical evidence which shows that carbon dioxide has a significant effect on global temperature, only computer modeling speculations. For background, see my articles: Your Carbon Footprint Doesn’t Matter, A Basic Error in Climate Models, and Natural Climate Cycles. If you are concerned about the potential for human diseases in a warming world, see these articles.

In fact, the “normal” temperature for the planet is about 18 F higher than now. By “normal,” I mean the temperature which has existed for most of the time. And, for most of the time, atmospheric carbon dioxide has been more than 1,000ppm; see the reconstruction based on geologic evidence below.

Phanerozic temp

Both temperature and carbon dioxide concentration are lower than “normal” now because the planet is in an ice age. (See the distinction between Ice ages and glacial epochs here .)

Concerns about runaway global warming and “tipping points” are unfounded. If run-away warming were possible, it would have already happened, especially since carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been more than ten times the current level for most of Earth’s history.

Run-away warming cannot happen on this planet because Earth is a water world. Warming increases evaporation. Water vapor, and its latent heat, is carried aloft by convection. Heat is lost to space when the water vapor condenses. The condensation also produces clouds which reflect incoming solar radiation. That is Earth’s negative feedback mechanism to prevent run-away warming, and it has been regulating Earth’s temperature for about 4.5 billion years.

To preserve nature and feed humanity, we must let carbon dioxide levels rise. Help it rise back to “normal” concentrations faster by tripling your carbon footprint, or at least discouraging the futile government schemes to reduce emissions.

If you are one who believes that carbon dioxide actually does have a significant effect on global temperature (please cite some evidence), then you should join the program anyway to help forestall onset of the next glacial epoch which would really impact food production.

After all, Al Gore, the charlatan of carbon, has recently increased his already enormous carbon footprint with the purchase of a mansion in California.



  1. In the past the Earth was covered with ice, right into the 30s in Latitude. It has happened several times to varying degrees. The sun has the biggest influence on the planet’s temperature. But during these ‘snowball’ earth phases the planet was a giant mirror which dramatically reduced the sun’s ability to heat the planet.
    This was a tough situation because, left unchecked, a snowball Earth would never have evolved humans. So what changed those conditions, giving us the chance to be here today? Who was our buddy way back when? It was the volcanoes. They continued to spew out all kinds of things including CO2 for many 10s of thousands of years increasing the CO2 content of the world to 1000s of ppm. There was no place for the CO2 to go … land was covered with ice and ice covered cold oceans absorb CO2 but at greatly reduced rates. They could not match the rate of volcanoes over time.
    So it turns out that CO2 was our real buddy back then. Its concentration eventually reached a level where the atmosphere retained enough heat to re-hydrate and start the melting process. The change in humidity is about 4% for every change of 1 degree F.
    CO2 was our buddy back then.
    I’m not too sure whether CO2 is our buddy today.

    I doubt your volcano – CO2 theory. Volcanoes have a tendency to cool the earth, not warm it, because of the sulfur dioxide released and the particulate matter that partially blocks sunlight. Major ice ages coincide with the solar system position relative to the galactic plane and spiral arms. Intense cosmic radiation from passage through either ionized the atmosphere and produced much more cloudiness which cools the earth by blocking sunlight.
    Svensmark (see below) presents plots of reconstructed sea surface temperature anomalies and relative cosmic ray flux over the last 550 million years, during which time the solar system experienced four passages through the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, with the climatic data showing “rhythmic cooling of the earth whenever the sun crossed the galactic midplane, where cosmic rays are locally most intense.” We have had four major ice ages in the last 550 million years. In addition, he notes that the “Snowball Earth” period of some 2.3 billion years ago “coincided with the highest star-formation rate in the Milky Way since the earth was formed, in a mini-starburst 2400-2000 million years ago,” when, of course, the cosmic ray flux would have been especially intense.
    The earth warmed again after leaving the areas of highest cosmic radiation.
    Shaviv, N. 2002. Cosmic ray diffusion from the galactic spiral arms, iron meteorites, and a possible climatic connection. Physics Review Letters 89: 051102.
    Svensmark, H. 2007. Cosmoclimatology: a new theory emerges. Astronomy & Geophysics 48: 1.18-1.24.

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