Dr. Patrick Moore’s remarkable journey began with a Ph.D. in ecology in 1971. Over the next fifteen years, he transitioned into a fervent environmental activist within Greenpeace, where he tackled several crucial global issues.
Years ago, he gave a lecture called “Should we celebrate carbon dioxide?” for the The Global Warming Policy Foundation.
This is a summation of the 45 minute lecture which has a 15 page transcript. The full transcript link is at the end of this article.
He began his lecture with this statement.....
“Thank you for the opportunity to set out my views on climate change. As I have stated publicly on many occasions, there is no definitive scientific proof, through real-world observation, that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming of the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little IceAge.”
“If therewere such a proof, through testing and replication, it would have been written down for all to see. The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in the scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that ‘the science is settled’ and ‘the debate is over.”
“But there is certainty beyond any doubt that carbon dioxide is the building block for all life on Earth and that without its presence in the global atmosphere at a sufficient concentration this would be a dead planet. Yet today our children and our publics are taught that carbon dioxide is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees. Tonight I hope to turn this dangerous human-caused propaganda on its head.”
“Tonight I will demonstrate that human emissions of carbon dioxide have already saved life on our planet from a very untimely end. That in the absence of our emitting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere from whence it came in the first place, most or perhaps all life on Earthwould begin to die less than two million years from today.”
Dr. Moore took a prominent stand against U.S. underground nuclear weapons testing, highlighted the environmental and public health risks associated with these tests, and campaigned against French atmospheric nuclear testing.
He was instrumental in Greenpeace’s work to protect whales and their habitats and played a role in campaigns against the clubbing of baby seals.
His work within Greenpeace not only addressed these issues but also created a platform for media and public involvement. By confronting the Soviet whaling fleet, he drew global attention to these critical matters.
Greenpeace created a focal point for the media to report on public opposition to nuclear tests and to stopping killing whales. They succeeded. Good work!
But, he was the only director of Greenpeace with a formal education in science. He left the organization due to their anti-human stance, a belief that humans are the enemies of the earth and began promoting science-based environmental policies and supports GMO Golden Rice to combat vitamin A deficiency in Africa.
He said “NASA tells us that ‘Carbon dioxide controls Earth’s temperature’, in child-like denial of the many other factors involved in climate change.”
He reminds us that NASA and some scientists benefit from climate change fears. He acknowledges that most of the rise of CO2 from 280 to 400 ppm is caused by human CO2 emissions.
The G7 plan to “end extreme poverty and hunger” by phasing out 85% of the world’s energy supply including 98% of the energy used to transport people and goods, including food is Ridiculous, he implies.
Because of volcanism, CO2 was many times higher for the first 4 billion years of Earth’s history than it has been since the Cambrian Period (450 M years ago) until today. After the Cambrian he says temperature and CO2 are in an inverse correlation as often as not.
In the Devonian Period (400 million years back) beginning plants evolved to produce lignin, which in combination with cellulose, created wood which in turn for the first time allowed plants to grow tall for sunlight. Forests pulled down carbon as CO2 from the atmosphere to make wood. Lignin is very difficult to break down and no decomposer species possessed the enzymes to digest it.
Trees died atop one another until they were 100 metres or more in depth. This was the making of the great coal beds around the world as this huge store of sequestered carbon continued to build for 90 million years.
Then, fortunately for the future of life, white rot fungi evolved to produce the enzymes that can digest lignin and so the coal-making era came to an end. If it had not, CO2, which had already been drawn down for the first time in Earth’s history to levels similar to today’s, would have continued to decline until CO2 approached the threshold of 150 ppm below which plants begin first to starve, then stop growing altogether, and then die. Not just woody plants but all plants.
This would bring about the extinction of most, if not all, terrestrial species, as animals, insects, and other invertebrates starved for lack of food. And that would be that. The human species would never have existed. This was merely the first time that there was a distinct possibility that life would come close to extinguishing itself due to a shortage of CO2.
A well-documented record of global temperature shows that we have been in a major cooling period since the Eocene 50 million years ago. The Earth was an average 16C warmer then. Antarctica was ice free and covered in forest. The ancestors of every species on Earth today survived through what may have been the warmest time in the history of life. But today we hear predictions of disaster with a 2C rise! Glaciers began to form in Antarctica 30 million years ago and in the northern hemisphere 3 million years ago.
Today, even in this interglacial period of the Pleistocene Ice Age, we are experiencing one of the coldest climates in Earth history.
Plants, including trees and all our food crops, are capable of growing much faster at higher levels of CO2 than present in the atmosphere today.
Even at today’s concentration of 400 ppm plants are relatively starved for nutrition. The optimum level of CO2 for plant growth is about 5 times higher. CO2 is the giver of life. We should celebrate CO2 rather than denigrate it as is the fashion today.
The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was reduced by about 90% during the last 150 million years. If this trend continues CO2 will inevitably fall to levels that threaten the survival of plants, which require a minimum of 150 ppm to survive. If plants die all the animals, insects, and other invertebrates that depend on plants for their survival will also die.
How long will it be at the present level of CO2 depletion until most or all of life on Earth is threatened with extinction by lack of CO2 in the atmosphere? If humans had not begun to unlock some of the carbon stored as fossil fuels, less than 2 million years from today!
Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from inevitable starvation and extinction due to lack of CO2.
Let us have no hominem arguments about “deniers”. I submit that much of society has been collectively misled into believing that global CO2 and temperature are too high when the opposite is true for both.
Even when the fossil fuels have become scarce, we have the quadrillion tons of carbon in carbonaceous rocks, which we can transform into lime and CO2 for the manufacture of cement using solar energy or nuclear energy.
The human species has made it possible to prolong the survival of life on Earth for more than 100 million years. We are not the enemy of nature but its salvation!
This is a small part of the great lecture and does not do it justice, PLEASE search youtube ‘Should we celebrate carbon dioxide’ for full lecture video or to read the full transcript of lecture go to: https://www.thegwpf.org/content/ uploads/2016/10/Moore-2.pdf
Dr. Patrick Moore