by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The New York Times published an article claiming unequivocally that “global greening” from carbon dioxide emissions would be “terrible” in the long run.
Times reporter Carl Zimmer wrote on July 30 that “[r]ising carbon dioxide levels are making the world greener” by making plants for efficient and able to thrive where they once struggled, “[b]ut that’s nothing to celebrate,” Zimmer warned.
Zimmer disputes the benefits of global greening touted by global warming “denialists,” interviewing Elliott Campbell, the author of a recent study that found plants grew at a faster rate in the last century than at any point in the last 54,000 years — because of CO2.
But because “denialists” were excited by the results, Zimmer had to write a piece minimizing the benefits human-emitted CO2 could have on plants. A fair point, but not exactly evidence it would be “terrible” for the planet.
It wasn’t long before former New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin called out Zimmer’s claim. Revkin noted that while there are a “[h]ost of questions, for sure, indicating risks as well as benefits,” however “not a single word merits ‘Terrible’ headline word choice.” …
… Former Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore took issue with the substance of Zimmer’s article. Moore is an optimist when it comes to global greening, arguing the world is currently CO2-deficient compared to past geological epochs.
Moore said The Times “has become a bad joke. 800-1200 ppm CO2 is optimal. It has been lower during Pleistocene than any time in Earth history.”