Rising temperatures and CO2 is not beneficial. The agricultural industry is a big producer of carbon, so it is a byproduct rather than a beneficiary. Crops depend on certain weather patterns, and if rising temperatures are pushed to the extreme, could devastate certain crops. There is a bigger picture than just the agricultural business. Think of all the animals and plants that would go extinct because of global warming.
But don’t trees and plants consume CO2? So how can it only be a byproduct if it is essential for plants to breathe? Indeed, there’s no question that many species would go extinct due to the trauma of climate change, but the question was whether there are potential benefits at all. Based on the post below, it seems there are, although the species that would thrive may not be the kind that we like.
I think this kind of nuanced approach to environmentalism and climate change is essential if we are to approach it scientifically, and if we are to be taken seriously.
I should have been more specific. In the meat “branch” of the agricultural industry CO2 is the byproduct. Animals such as cattle are a huge contributor to the amount of CO2. It is difficult to say if the consumption of CO2 by crops balances that produced by cattle or other ag herds because of the extreme emissions worldwide. There is no question that the total amount of CO2 is dangerously high. I was also considering long term effects of CO2 and global warming. Does it matter if there are a few benefits now, or within the next ten years, when the big picture is that the world as we know it cannot survive with CO2 levels still on the rise and global warming devastating habitats worldwide? Your question seemed to imply that global warming might not be as horrible as we think if only there were a few benefits. The bottom line is that CO2 levels need to be lowered considerably, and we as a society (I’m talking worldwide here) are going to have to consciously want to change for the better of all life.
Yes there are potential agricultural benefits from rising CO2 levels. Plants breath CO2, and some plants have the ability to thrive with higher CO2 levels. The problem is that the pants which thrive on more CO2 would not necessarily benefit agriculture. Scientist have found that most noxious weeds (harmful to agricultural crops), thrive as CO2 levels increase, unfortunately killing our crops. To utilize the increase in CO2 levels, the agriculture industry would need to switch to certain crops like red rice, which significantly outperform cultivated rice in trials with elevated CO2 levels.
Any country that struggles with drought would not agree with that statement. Although it is an argument that is being made by some dissenting scientists in the climate change debate, like the phony Marshall Institute, or the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide. They are being paid by Exxon Mobile and others to turn false and misleading science into public policy.
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