Greening the planet with fossil fuels

It’s widely agreed that burning petroleum and other hydrocarbons is steadily increasing the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide. There are suspicions there could be other causes, because the rise in CO2 doesn’t reflect the hydrocarbon usage curve, which shows a lot more variability. But, still, the conventional opinion deprecates the use of “fossil” fuels because increased CO2 will cause dangerous climatic changes (global warming). However one also reads that more CO2 is making the Earth greener — more CO2 means plants are growing faster and larger. This article by Matt Ridley in the WSJ a week ago (rerun at GWPF) mentions two further reasons to thank the use of hydrocarbons — it saves trees and gentle warming boosts plant growth. — Richard Treadgold

How Fossil Fuels Have Greened The Planet

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This is an adopted article.

Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? Satellites are now confirming that the amount of green vegetation on the planet has been increasing for three decades. This will be news to those accustomed to alarming tales about deforestation, over-development and ecosystem destruction.

This possibility was first suspected in 1985 by Charles Keeling, the scientist whose meticulous record of the content of the air atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii first alerted the world to the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Continue Reading →