401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Greening of the planet is due to increased CO2

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Dear Editor:

I am responding to the out and out falsehoods in last week's DCI "We must demand climate action." The author repeats the usual fear-mongering panic-stricken claims to get people to vote to hurt themselves.

Instead of drought starvation and advancing deserts, in the last few years worldwide there has been record harvest after record harvest. In the Ukraine the rail system can't handle the harvest it is so big. Do you remember last year here in Delta County? Record harvests of peaches, cherries, apricots and wine grapes. We had a record wine grape crop as did others so much so that the price dropped from $2,000 per ton to $660 per ton due to the glut.

Commercial greenhouse experience shows these results are directly due to increased CO2 levels. In other words we are responsible for the greening of the planet. Commercial greenhouse data shows that increased CO2 can cause a doubling of growth rate (that's why they do it) and simultaneous increased drought resistance. It also shows that if CO2 levels fall to 200ppm, half of what they are today and what they were in the last Ice Age, plants stop growing. It is no coincidence that all of human history has occurred in an interglacial warm period. In addition, 2016 was a strong El Niño year that temporarily doubled the measured 1880 to present (137 years) global warming (GW) of 1 degree F to 2.2F only for a year giving us a preview of future GW. Longer growing seasons and higher yields are what actually happened worldwide.

I invite you to look at Google Earth and compare present views of earth to views taken in the 1980s via their historical imagery. What is obvious is that both the Sahara and Gobi deserts are retreating not advancing and that the edges are much greener today than in even the 1980s. These results are all due to more not less CO2. Higher CO2 levels mean that plants are open for shorter periods to get the necessary CO2 for them to grow. Being open for shorter periods means less evaporation and therefore much better ability to use the existing moisture. That is why the deserts are retreating.

So keep mining coal, striving for energy independence and driving those SUVs -- you're helping the planet. Just as a postscript the planet in the Eocene era has handled up to 10 times the CO2 we presently have.

Mike Mason

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