From the start, let me explain that I am not a scientist and I know nothing about global warming. However, I am concerned we may be spending money in the wrong places and these funds could be better used elsewhere.
It cannot be disputed that wherever man settles there must be a micro climate change by the simple fact that, once he had progressed beyond the hunter/gatherer stage in order to grow food crops, he had to destroy the forest tree climax. As the population grew, he progressively killed off more and more forest cover. This was no problem for Gaia provided the availability of forested land was not a limiting factor. This was the case up until comparatively recent times but there are indications that the present level of world population is now too great for the natural resources of this planet.
Most of the world’s agro-socio-economic woes can be laid at the doors of ‘world over-population’. Strangely, most of the developed world’s leaders, both scientific and political, have ignored this issue and diverted themselves into considering what are simply symptoms. In particular, the main distractions are Global Warming or Climate Change. Undoubtedly, this is a major issue for the world’s ecological stability but there seems to be little understanding that this is a symptom and not the cause, which is leading politicians into massive expenditures on attempting to control carbon dioxide emissions.
This expenditure may well end up being a complete waste of funds when money and time could be used better elsewhere. To pinpoint carbon dioxide emissions as the sole cause of all the world’s environmental woes is also a waste of time. It is not only carbon dioxide that is the problem. Indeed, high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are actually beneficial for plant growth and it should be remembered that carbon dioxide is only 340 parts per million in the atmosphere whilst nitrogen is more like 700,000.
More than a few people are now coming round to the thought that a lot of the global warming is due to the removal of the rainforest cover. Politicians and even some scientists do not seem to appreciate the critical role of trees in the world’s ecology. Some do not even understand why it is cool if one walks in a forest and hot if one comes out into the sunlight. They think that the forest is cool because it provides shade and some reduction in temperature. This is true in the same way that a corrugated iron roof will give shade and reduce the temperature. However, the tree is an entirely different matter. The tree during daylight carries our photosynthesis on a grand scale, converting carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll to carbohydrates (timber), using vast amounts of incoming solar energy. This is what takes the heat out of the surrounding atmosphere and is, in reality, the tree’s immediate micro climate. It also uses up tremendous energy in transporting water from the soil and evaporating it into the atmosphere.
Let me re-state that I am not of a scientific bent and nobody with a modicum of scientific knowledge will deny that mankind is the cause of climate change – every time a family cuts down trees to grow annual crops they inevitably change the micro climate. The natural ecology of the Earth is a tree climax which creates a sustainable macro climate. If the tree cover is removed, as is happening all over the planet, then the ecological stability is endangered. The cause of this instability, and rising temperature, is entirely due to population pressure on a finite resource – that is cultivable land. The real problem is entirely due to the amount of people in the world and not carbon dioxide emissions – air pollutants are obviously creators of social problems, such as pea-soup fogs, smoke, nuclear waste, etc., but these are normally micro climate changes and not macro ones.
It is critical in the management of the world’s ecology that the relationship between man and plants is understood. The most important element in the world is carbon – for both plants and mankind. Life is not based on silica or nitrogen or any other element – though they are all involved in organic chemistry. The world is actually a carbon based environment.
Another simple fact is that mankind and animals cannot live or survive without plants but plants can survive quite happily without animals. The next important fact which must be understood is that mankind needs oxygen and plants (including trees) need carbon dioxide. To put it another way, man cannot survive without oxygen and plants will die without carbon dioxide. I apologise for the repetition but it seems to me that these simple facts of the world’s nature are not completely understood or appreciated.
However, it is the tree that is the most important factor in all this. Thousands of years ago, the ecology of the earth was predominantly a tree climax, with upper storey and lower storey environments. With the unstoppable increase in the population of man the tree has been removed simply because it does not allow man to cultivate the soil and grow food crops.
Despite this, the tree, and other green plants, remains an important part of the world’s natural cover and without its natural biology man would find it next to impossible to survive on this planet.
To be continued…
The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please contact Graham Macdonald on [email protected]