Patrick Moore: We Need More Carbon Dioxide, Not Less

Posted: November 27, 2014 by tallbloke in alarmism, Big Green, Carbon cycle, government, ideology, Natural Variation, Philosophy, radiative theory, Uncertainty

My thanks to Patrick Moore, co-founder and ex Greenpeace leader, and since 1986 ‘the sensible environmentalist’, for his permission to repost this article printed in the Australian recently. The name of Patrick’s own venture – Ecosense reflects his logical and humanist approach to the climate debate.

Patrick Moore: We Need More Carbon Dioxide, Not Less


Australian politics has been more influenced by the climate debate than any other country. Yet Australia is responsible for only 1.5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Perhaps this speaks of Australia’s extraordinary commitment to the international community. Yet Australia has threatened to hobble its own economy while much larger ­nations take a pass while making pious pronouncements.

I am sceptical that humans are the main cause of climate change, and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over”, the “science is settled”.

My scepticism begins with the warmists’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis that increased CO2 due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unliveable temperatures.

In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonised Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionised civilisation.

Looking back over millennia, today the Earth is colder, and has a lower level of atmospheric CO2 than during nearly all the history of modern life. The idea that it would be catastrophic if CO2 were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.

Recently, the IPCC announced for the umpteenth time that we are doomed unless we reduce CO2 emissions to zero. ­Effectively this means either reducing the population to zero, or going back 10,000 years before humans began clearing forests for agriculture. This proposed cure is worse than adapting to a warmer world, if it comes about.

By its constitution, the IPCC has a hopeless conflict of interest. Its mandate is to consider only the human causes of global warming, not the many natural causes changing the climate for billions of years. We don’t understand the precise workings of the natural causes of climate change any more than we know if humans are part of the cause at present. But if the IPCC did not find that ­humans were the cause of warming, or if it found that warming would be more positive than negative, there would be no need for the IPCC under its present mandate. To survive, it must find on the side of the apocalypse. ­Either the IPCC should be reconstituted with a larger membership of UN bodies (it is now a partnership between the World Meteorological Organisation and the UN Environment Program), and its mandate expanded to include all causes of climate change, or it should be dismantled.

Climate change has become a powerful political force for many reasons. First, it is universal; we are told everything on Earth is threatened. Second, it invokes the two most powerful human motivators: fear and guilt. We fear driving our car will kill our grandchildren and feel guilty. Third, a powerful convergence of interests among key elites support the climate “narrative”. Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and engage in a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as large wind farms and solar arrays. Fourth, the Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.

So we are told CO2 is a “toxic” “pollutant” that must be curtailed when in fact it is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, gas present at 400 parts per million of the global atmosphere and the most important food for life on earth. Without CO2 above 150 parts per million, all plants would die.

Over the past 150 million years, CO2 had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the industrial revolution. If this trend had continued, CO2 would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human use of fossil fuels and clearing land for crops have boosted CO2 from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.

At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for CO2. While one wing of CSIRO promotes the IPCC line, another is demonstrating the positive impact of the small increase in CO2 over the past 50 years due primarily to fossil fuel use — a 10 per cent to 30 per cent increase in plant growth in many regions. Australia is benefiting more than most because its vegetation evolved for dry conditions. Increased CO2 means plants don’t need as much water, so our deserts are lusher.

The optimum level of CO2 for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Glasshouse growers inject CO2 to increase yields of 50 to 100 per cent. Farms and forests will be much more productive if CO2 keeps rising.

We have no proof increased CO2 is responsible for the slight warming over the past 300 years. There has been no significant warming for 18 years while we have emitted 25 per cent of all the CO2 ever emitted. Yet we have absolute proof CO2 is vital for life on Earth and plants would like more of it. Which should we emphasise to our children?

The IPCC’s followers have given us a vision of a dying world due to CO2 emissions. I say the Earth would be a lot deader with no CO2 and more of it will be a very positive factor in feeding the world. Let’s celebrate CO2.


Patrick Moore was a co-founder, and leader of Greenpeace for 15 years is now an independent ecologist and environmentalist based in Vancouver, Canada. You can follow him on twitter @EcoSenseNow

  1. Jazznick says:

    An excellent post that needs to be spread more widely.

    However, we must all be aware that the ‘warmist’ view has nothing to do with the science as discussion of this is stifled at every opportunity and shouted down by vested interests; as it cannot be defended by open debate.

    Instead the voices behind this climate deception for political and ideological world governmental control speak for themselves:-(


    ”We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
    Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
    Maurice Strong,
    Founder of the UN Environmental Program

    ”We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
    Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    Lead author of many IPCC reports

    “…the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.” ~ David Rockefeller, June, 1991, Bilderberg Conference, Baden, Germany.

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation.
    All we need is the right major crisis…”
    – David Rockefeller,
    Club of Rome executive member

    This Mr Moore, is what we are up against.

  2. Steve Borodin says:

    Thanks for posting this. As a previous student of Geology, I have been aware of the climate and CO2 changes in Geological time and astonished that more has not been made of it. They are very largely unexplained and provide, in my view, a flat denial (sorry to use the D-word) of idiotic statements like ‘The science is settled’. I note, for example that the highest levels of CO2 have generally been accompanied by falling temperatures.

  3. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction News Blog and commented:
    Excellent read.

  4. The worst part of the global warming alarm is that it is not attached to any scientific fact. “Greenhouse gas” is an oxymoron; greenhouses allow radiation and impede convection, and any gas that impedes convection is not a gas by definition. CO2 tracks temperature (not vice-versa), because warm weather allows for more plants. Scientists have used that fact for decades to determine the temperature of the Earth thousands of years ago. Patrick is correct. Cities that were port cities at the time of Jesus Christ or Julius Caesar, and now 20 to miles inland which indicates that the world was warmer at that time. No scientific fact supports global warming.

  5. Kon Dealer says:

    “Fear and guilt” over climate change? Only the humanities graduates, who unfortunately run this country.

    Me I don’t give a flying f***, since it is all b******s.

    And sooner or later the above cretins, the pseudoscientists and the rent-seekers who have cashed on this scam are going to get theirs.

  6. Patrick Moore works to improve the environment as we all should.

    My understanding is that he was one of the founders of Greenpeace but resigned when the organization developed neo-Luddite tendencies. If that is so I applaud his principled stand.

    One of the greatest threats to human prosperity and perhaps even to our survival are Malthusian elitists who want to deny the fruits of science, such as electricity to the “have nots”.

    Jazznick (November 27, 2014 at 10:16 am) lists some quotes from the dismal Malthusian pantheon that includes lunatics like Maurice Strong, Timothy Wirth, Stephen Schneider and David Rockefeller. Most of us could add many more in positions of power and influence…..Al Gore, Barack Obama, Prince Charles, David Suzuki….the list goes on and on.

    The fate of all species on Earrth is extinction. If Mankind wants to improve the odds it must get off this planet. We need to colonize the Moon, Mars, asteroids and any other bodies we can reach. That will improve our chances of survival. After that, colonizing exo-planets with “Goldilocks Zones” will improve our chances still further. Even if we colonize most of our galaxy we will still be vulnerable to Gamma Ray Bursters so we should start thinking seriously about inter galactic travel.

    There are some who say that inter-stellar travel is not practical owing to Einstein’s theory of relativity that depends on the idea that nothing can travel faster than light. That is a facile judgement by folks who did not bother to study the full implications of Relativity. Without exceeding the speed of light or suffering bone crushing acceleration it may be possible to travel 27,000 light years in less than 11 years. You might call that a “Warp Factor” of 2,500.

    People like Maurice Strong are afraid of what Mankind might do with abundant energy so they impede the development of new energy sources while wasting money on “Renewables”. While Leonardo da Vinci had the imagination to invent flying machines he lacked an engine powerful enough to propel them. Today we have flying machines. We also have the imagination to design inter-stellar vehicles but we lack the engines to propel them.

  7. Curt Zingula says:

    In his own words, from a speech he made about six years ago, Dr. Moore left Greenpeace when the other Directors voted to ban chlorinated water. Moore commented he realized then that Greenpeace wasn’t as much pro-environment as they were “anti-society”.

  8. […] Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace has a dramatically different take on atmospheric CO2 and its impacts on the environment. […]

  9. linneamogren says:

    I was just reading from Real Climate and I noticed they were declaring without any real evidence (that I could see) that C02 caused additional warming after the 200-800 year lag of C02 to temp.

    In other posts by them they use MAY HAVE, COULD HAVE increased warming referring to C02 levels.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Linnea: I had a couple of comments on their latest post deleted this morning.
    Here they are:

    Roger Tattersall says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    8 Dec 2014 at 8:56 AM
    More than 95% of the 5yr running mean of the surface temperature change since 1850 can be replicated by an integration of the sunspot data (as a proxy for ocean heat content), departing from the average value over the period of the sunspot record (~40SSN), plus the superimposition of a ~60yr sinusoid representing the observed oceanic oscillations.

    Change in CO2 lags behind change in temperature at all time scales, so we need to consider cause and effect as well as correlation.

    Roger Tattersall says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    8 Dec 2014 at 9:14 AM
    Censorship is a quick way to oblivion, as your site stats show. SKS is headed the same way.

  11. oldbrew says:

    gallopingcamel says ‘We need to colonize the Moon, Mars, asteroids and any other bodies we can reach. That will improve our chances of survival.’

    Will it? They are all highly hostile environments to humans, lack water and warmth and travel there inevitably leads to high doses of radiation. Don’t fancy it myself😉

  12. linneamogren says:


    I’m not shocked they would delete your post because you know what you are talking about. Facts get in the way of their nonsense. They seem obsessed with insisting the lag of C02 to temperature does not disprove their hypothesis regarding increased C02 levels causing increased temps. Mostly they claim the lag was predicted 17 years ago. Still, I fail to see their evidence that after the lag the remaining warming was caused by C02 amplification.

    Is there any evidence from the ice cores that suggest after the 200-800 year lag C02 increased the warming? I read their article several times and I fail to see their proof.

  13. tallbloke says:

    Linnea: if it did, then why would the temperature start to fall again at the end of an interglacial while co2 was still rising? It must logically be due to the Milankovitch cycle providing more of a negative forcing than co2 provides a positive feedback. And if that’s so, then since the Milankovitch forcing is sinusoidal and symmetric, it must provide even more of a forcing at the start of interglacials due to Planck and the 4th power relationship between temperature and radiation. Less energy required to raise a cold thing 1C than a warm thing 1C.

    Schmidt and co need their thinkers oiling.

  14. linneamogren says:


    That’s an excellent point. It takes much less energy to raise a cold element than a warm one.

    The Milankovitch forcing must have a stronger influence than first thought which accounts for the increased warming rather than any C02 amplification since temps drop and C02 rises.

    Another nail in their coffin is the recent discovery that C02 amplification is much weaker than they ever assumed.

    According to Nature:

    “The researchers conclude that the recent estimates of 40 p.p.m.v. CO2 per degree Celsius can be excluded with 95% confidence, suggesting significantly less amplification of current warming.”

  15. tallbloke says:

    The other amplifying mechanism is from the sun chasing cloud forming GCRs out of inner solar system when it’s more active. Cosmoclimate theory of Svensmark meshes with talkshop solar-planetary theory.

  16. linneamogren says:


    Just thinking, one reason we see temps fall slower towards the end of an interglacial could also be the slow release of energy from the oceans due to thermal expansion rather than C02 amplification slowing the temperature fall. This seems much more logical than rising C02 levels slowing any drop when the opposite should be occurring according to their hypothesis.

  17. Brian H says:

    CO2 facilitates OLR. OLR increases with surface temps. It’s a very powerful “governor”. Balls to the wall.

  18. hellsbells1 says:

    I was just thinking that if the sea levels are rising; why don’t we use the Desal plants that we have spent so much money on and put water in the heart of Australia so that we can grow more food – furthermore what about osmosis from the oceans. Could this not also be a positive that we can reuse the water that is rising and threatening small island communities and reinvest the water elsewhere?

  19. tallbloke says:

    You need to understand the relative volumes of water involved in natural processes and the water shifted by humans – a drop in the ocean, or out of it.

  20. CO2 is a pollutant only to politicians and bureaucrats. In fact, Carbon dioxide is a trace gas that makes up only 0.039% of the atmosphere, accounts for only 3.6% of the greenhouse effect, and has increased by only 0.009% since 1950. By itself, it is incapable of warming the climate by more than a fraction of a degree. CO2 is an essential gas, without which there would be no life on earth. CO2 is plant food.

    Sadly global warming has never been a scientific argument from the get-go. It has always been — and always will be — a political argument dressed up in the language of science. Al Gore is a very impressive politician, but he is not a scientist. His pitch on global warming took on the attributes of a new religion where belief not doubt is the touchstone.

    Politics has a short time line unlike climate science so Al Gore and his followers needed to convince the world’s populations that doomsday was coming if they didn’t reduce carbon dioxide emissions now. But in order to pull this off, these operatives first needed to demonize carbon dioxide, the single most important nutrient on the planet for reforestation, plant growth, food production and “greening” the planet.

    Carbon dioxide is so important to plants that greenhouse operators buy and install carbon dioxide generators to provide extra nutrients to their plants which are starving from the low levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    “The benefits of carbon dioxide supplementation on plant growth and production within the greenhouse environment have been well understood for many years,” says the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

    “CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour. Some ways in which productivity is increased by CO2 include earlier flowering, higher fruit yields, reduced bud abortion in roses, improved stem strength and flower size. Growers should regard CO2 as a nutrient… increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels.”

    The attempted demonization of carbon dioxide, in other words, falls apart once you embrace the simple scientific reality that plants use CO2 like a nutrient. Carbon dioxide is “atmospheric fertilizer” for nearly all plants. Thus, the higher CO2 is in the atmosphere, the more quickly land areas of the plant can be reforested or restored from near-desert-like conditions.
    Thanks to propaganda brainwashing efforts conducted on the public, most people today wrongly believe that CO2 is a dastardly pollutant.

    Once people were convinced that CO2 was bad, they could be “guilt-tripped” into supporting restrictions on CO2 emissions that ultimately allow government to control virtually every industry imaginable: agriculture, transportation, energy and even human reproduction and population (since humans exhale CO2 when they breathe).

    CO2 became the leverage point by which the global economy could be enslaved to an anti-science control agenda called “global warming.” That lie was sold to the public with a long list of bizarre claims and deceptions including the claim that polar bears can’t swim and were drowning because all the floating ice was disappearing. As part of the global warming propaganda deception, American children across the country were found tearfully sobbing over depressing images that attempted to depict polar bears as drowning.

    But it turns out polar bears are powerful swimmers. This is common knowledge among arctic biologists, of course. Even Sea World knows this and publishes it openly on their website:

    “Polar bears are strong swimmers; they swim across bays or wide leads without hesitation. They can swim for several hours at a time over long distances. They’ve been tracked swimming continuously for 100 km (62 mi.). Polar bears can obtain a swimming speed of 10 kph (6.2 mph)…

    “The absurd claim that polar bears can’t swim is the biological equivalent to claiming that humans can’t walk. The entire polar-bear-global-warming hoax was based on the single observation of just four polar bears floating in the ocean after being apparently killed in an arctic storm. The scientists who claimed these bears were killed by global warming were later reprimanded, reports a Huffpost story.”
    Further the polar bears are not endangered by retreating polar ice. Arctic ice expanded by 50% from 2012 to 2013 and is stable today while antarctic ice has broken all records for expansion.