August 17, 2010

Ron Johnson: Auto exhaust helps the trees grow

The candidate/BP shareholder tries his hand at the maths:
Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere "gets sucked down by trees and helps the trees grow," said Republican/Fox News candidate for United States Senate Ron Johnson.
That's a fascinating hypothesis.

Only two problems: Excess carbon dioxide, and trees.
Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increased from approximately 280 parts per million in pre-industrial times to 382 ppm in 2006 according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth Systems Research Laboratory, a 36 percent increase. Almost all of the increase is due to human activities. The current rate of increase in CO2 concentrations is about 1.9 ppmv/year. Present CO2 concentrations are higher than any time in at least the last 650,000 years.
Global deforestation sharply accelerated around 1852. It has been estimated that about half of the Earth's mature tropical forests — between 7.5 million and 8 million km2 of the original 15 million to 16 million km2 that until 1947 covered the planet — have now been cleared. Some scientists have predicted that unless significant measures are taken on a worldwide basis, by 2030 there will only be ten percent remaining, with another ten percent in a degraded condition. 80% will have been lost, and with them hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable species.
So let's see here. You got increasing carbon dioxide emissions contemporaneous with decreasing global forestation, therefore excess carbon dioxide emissions make the trees grow. And Ron Johnson has said his greatest strength is in accounting functions.
Ron Johnson described believers [sic] in manmade causes of climate change as "crazy" and the theory as "lunacy."
Insofar as the Earth's moon governs the tides, I suppose it is lunacy.

But simply mentioning some individual component of photosynthesis does not whatsoever address excess (manmade) carbon emissions.

Sunspots are behind climate change, Ron Johnson says

(That story will be a comedy goldmine for months to come.)

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