While it’s true that an increase in available carbon dioxide (CO2) can increase plant growth in some conditions, it can also reduce the nutritional value of the same plants. The more CO2 is a benefit argument is an old one, but seems to be coming around again, so here are the facts.
Plants in high CO2 atmospheres produce more sugar, which isn’t good for us, and less zinc, protein, calcium, potassium and iron; which are good for us. Over the next several decades, the nutritional value of our vegetables will decrease which will cause major food related problems, especially in poorer countries.
The largest problem is the rising CO2 levels also lead to rising global temperatures, which are not always good for plants. Higher evaporation rates from plants leaves and may leave plants smaller even with additional CO2. Overall, rising CO2 levels are almost uniformly bad for humans and the food that we grow. The only real way to benefit is to lower CO2 levels in the atmosphere. This can be done in many ways, but none of them can be done quickly. It is imperative for us to start now on a wide range of reduction methods. CO2 is now at its highest level in almost 6,000,000 years and is still rising. The time for action is now; find out how you can help at: www. citizensclimatelobby.org.
Jim Sandoe, Ephrata
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