Over in another social media, an executive of a major corporation responded to me that his company “like Apple, Google, Walmart, P&G and others”… “reaffirm our Act on Climate Pledge” based in part on the Precautionary Principle. The Precautionary Principle is a false premise in this context and must be discarded. The Precautionary Principle requires that you do no harm or less harm. In other words, he and his company presume that reducing CO2 emissions does no harm or less harm than doing nothing about CO2. But that is categorically false.
The ONLY vector for carbon to enter the biological food chain is via CO2 in the atmosphere which is used by plants in photosynthesis. Animals, bacteria, etc then metabolize the carbon containing molecules produced in plants and thus progressively that carbon is passed up the food chain where it becomes part of your body.
In other words, for his company or for the world to decide to reduce CO2 emissions is a decision to reduce the growth of plant life which will consequently reduce all life on this planet. Therefore that decision contradicts the principle to do no harm. Removing or reducing CO2 emissions is NOT a harmless decision, and you can easily prove that for yourself.
Here is a simple and inexpensive experiment to prove that more CO2 is better. Make two terrariums with the same mix of various plants and fish, frogs etc if you wish in both terrariums, both with glass plates on top to seal them. Put them both in normal sunshine side by side. In one terrarium have only normal tap water. In the other terrarium replace some of the tap water with some seltzer water or add a small amount of dry ice to increase the CO2 concentration in that terrarium. You can then watch the terrarium with higher CO2 become greener and more abundant. And after that, to further prove it, add some seltzer water or dry ice to the terrarium which previously had only tap water. You will then see the growth of that terrarium improve. This is the reason CO2 is used widely in commercial greenhouses to increase the growth of green plants.
In summary, reducing the emissions of CO2 harms all life by reducing the growth of plants in the oceans and lands of earth, which in turn will reduce all life on earth. Removing CO2 is not harmless.
In the last 600 million years, only the last part of the Carboniferous Period and in the ice age and in our present age have CO2 levels been less than 400 ppm. Plant life is starving for more CO2 today at only 400 ppm. Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 20° C (68° F), then cooling over millions of years to about 12° C (54° F), which is about average global temperature today. CO2 concentration in the early Carboniferous Period was about 1500 ppm, almost 4 times higher than today, declining to about 350 ppm CO2 by the middle of the Carboniferous. The explosion of abundant plant growth and coal beds that formed in the swamps occurred 286 – 360 million years ago and is the reason for the name, “Carboniferous Period.” This was still 30 million years before dinosaurs lived, and as far as we know there were no humans, factories or SUVs. The Carboniferous was a time when Earth was ruled by giant plants and insects in vast jungles and swamps, and glaciers grew and melted. It is a period well worth studying since there were many similarities to today in climate changes and environmental conditions. It is interesting to read about it as you observe your terrarium experiment.
We’ll see whether this executive accepts my proposal to debate. (This is an illustration of the Carboniferous period.)