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
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 →
by Matt Ridley
It is a great honour to be asked to deliver the Angus Millar lecture.
I have no idea whether Angus Millar ever saw himself as a heretic, but I have a soft spot for heresy. One of my ancestral relations, Nicholas Ridley* the Oxford martyr, was burned at the stake for heresy.
My topic today is scientific heresy. When are scientific heretics right and when are they mad? How do you tell the difference between science and pseudoscience?
Let us run through some issues, starting with the easy ones.
Astronomy is a science; astrology is a pseudoscience.
Evolution is science; creationism is pseudoscience.
Molecular biology is science; homeopathy is pseudoscience.
Vaccination is science; the MMR scare is pseudoscience.
Oxygen is science; phlogiston was pseudoscience.
Chemistry is science; alchemy was pseudoscience.
Are you with me so far? Continue Reading →
After years of darkness, there are signs of light returning both to climate science and the mainstream media! What is instinctively unacceptable in one (uncontaminated) scientific realm is at last observed as being practically the rule in the (deeply flawed) realm of climate science. (How NZ climate scientists can continue to pretend that the practice of their science has not been besmirched and remains beyond reproach is a mystery.) In this story we hear that a scientific inquiry actually does its job properly, The Times begins to stir and a real journalist concludes we don’t need a neck tourniquet for a nose bleed. Fascinating!
– Richard Treadgold
Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →