To the Editor:
Pope Francis may be being “overquoted” (Is there such a word?) as stated in a letter in last week’s Islander. Admittedly, I haven’t read the whole encyclical, but what I did read didn’t seem to spell out that we should specifically “act now to reduce carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.” Perhaps the Pope did say that. However, it is obvious he did not have a chance to hear from those with an opposing view.
In fact, one of his advisors, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, made a major effort to exclude skeptics from participating in drafting it. Apparently, when a differing view was to be presented, the official time for comment submission was moved up so as to cut off any contribution. Now that’s outrageous!
In my email to the pontiff, I recommended that he or his advisors study Alex Epstein’s book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” But obviously, that suggestion was not considered.
We need more CO2 in the atmosphere, not less.
In a recent referenced article, it was stated that “[A]s the world’s population continues to climb, there is increasing concern about the sustainability or carrying capacity of the earth.” Back in 2000, a supply-and-demand scenario was developed for food in the year 2050. The authors identified the plants that currently supply 95 percent of the world’s food need. And for the sake of numbers, determined the population would be 51 percent greater than in 1998, but that world food production will only be 37 percent greater from enhanced productivity efforts without the benefits of increased CO2.
Without the benefits of CO2 enrichment, some 67 percent of future population will experience some water stress.
We need to produce much more food per unit of available water. To do that, we need to dramatically increase plant water use efficiency. Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have shown the way to do that is through elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 levels to reduce plant water loss by transpiration while simultaneously enhancing plant photosynthesis.