Letter: Climate change

July 6, 2014 

My eternal quest for knowledge utilizes, among other things, the Statesman's editorial page. Only there could I have "learned," at least according to serial climate denialist Joseph Dewey of June 19, that CO2 is "plant fertilizer."

I went to Zamzows to buy some CO2-enriched fertilizer for my flower garden. No such thing, they said.

As a matter of fact, not a single farm supply store carries fertilizer with added CO2.

"Could Dewey be misinformed," I asked myself? I quickly consulted "Professor Webster" (Professor Google wasn't even necessary for this one), and here's what I learned.

Fertilizer enriches dirt. CO2 from the air is taken in by plants for photosynthesis. In short, CO2 is most definitely not fertilizer (except possibly for the ravings of climate denialists). As a matter of fact, a recent study from University of California at Davis (Arnold Bloom et al) demonstrates that excessive CO2 reduces crop yields by interfering with plant nitrate assimilation.

Finally, I was wondering, given Mr. Dewey's acute alarmism regarding asteroids, solar flares and nuclear-generated magnetic pulses, if he had managed to resolve that "bad radio reception" problem in time. I hope he didn't go over that cliff, as I do enjoy his letters.


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