A University of Michigan professor penned a piece for The Nation website arguing that Syrian children face a “far more deadly gas” in carbon dioxide than the chemical weapons used by dictator Bashar al-Assad against them.
If President Donald Trump really cared about Syrian children “killed by noxious gases,” Juan Cole argues, he would protect them from global warming and carbon dioxide – a “far more deadly gas.”
“The gas attack in Syria on April 4 consumed the world’s attention and galvanized the Trump White House, leading to the launch of 59 cruise missiles on a small airport from which the regime of Bashar al-Assad has been bombing the fundamentalist rebels in Idlib province,” Cole wrote in the article, which was posted on Tuesday.
“The pictures of suffering children, Trump said, had touched him,” Cole wrote. “Yet the president and most of his party are committed to increasing the daily release of hundreds of thousands of tons of a far more deadly gas—carbon dioxide.”
Cole cited the claim of climate scientist James Hansen, who said CO2 emissions from the United States are like “setting off 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs each day, every day of the year.”
Cole also claims that the civil war in Syria between the barbaric Assad regime, opposition rebels, and radical Islamic terrorists that has resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people was, in part, caused by global warming or climate change.
“The severest drought in recorded modern Syrian history in 2007–10, however, made its contribution,” Cole said.
Cole also cites a paper by Professor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, which blames extreme weather — and coal miners — for the flood in 2010 in Pakistan that killed 2,000 people.
“If Trump is tenderhearted about dead children, perhaps he should consider those his beloved coal industry helped to drown at that time,” Cole said.
Cole also blamed climate change for the death of a young Syrian boy who died fleeing the country with his family by boat.
“Aylan was a Syrian refugee, not only from war, but from climate change,” Cole said, adding that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt are motivated by “profits for themselves and their cronies.”
CO2 emissions have been beneficial to the planet and its inhabitants, according to the federal National Aeronautics and Space Administration in an April 2016 post on its website:
From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.
An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.
In a 2015 paper produced for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Indur Goklany, a science and technology policy analyst who has previously represented the United States on the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere “is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally”.
“Carbon dioxide fertilizes plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10-15 percent,” Golkany said in the paper.
“This has not only been good for humankind but for the natural world too, because an acre of land that is not used for crops is an acre of land that is left for nature,” Golkany said.
Increasing crops yields has helped reduce hunger and improved human well-being, Golkany said.