The Wall Street Journal posted an article Thursday titled “Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In defence of Carbon Dioxide” in which they claim that raising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will actually help agriculture.
They say, “contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.”
The article is causing a kerfluffle in the science community. In response, author Shauna Theel, of Media Matters, has an epic take down of the “facts” presented. Her post starts off:
The Wall Street Journal once again published an op-ed disputing climate science by authors with no peer-reviewed papers on the topic and ties to groups funded by the oil industry. The op-ed argues that we should be “clamoring for more” carbon dioxide because it is a “boon to plant life,” ignoring scientific research establishing that our excessive carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly changing the climate, which will have significant negative impacts for plants and humans.
Theel then goes on to eviscerate everything about the post, from the authors’ one-sided view of carbon dioxide to their ties to industry. Her main points:
- CO2 might be good for plants in a controlled environment, but Earth isn’t a controlled environment.
- The authors ignore negative impacts of increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
- The authors portray current CO2 levels as “low” compared to 65 million years ago, but very few species alive today were alive when CO2 levels were “high.” In truth, CO2 levels are higher now than they have ever been during human history.
- Contrary to the authors’ claims, CO2 levels are actually highly correlated to warming.
- Neither of the WSJ authors have written a peer-reviewed paper about climate.
- Both authors have had ties to the oil industry, a fact not disclosed by the Wall Street Journal.
- The WSJ has a pattern of slanted coverage of climate change issues — 81% of their op-ed coverage of climate science has been misleading.
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