Apologies, there’s just one story today and its that pesky Carbon dioxide again

Due to seemingly insuperable technical difficulties we are completely unable to bring you our weekly round up of stories. We are even struggling with the usual montage of pictures. The most likely long term solution will be a trial of this computer. It will be fair; but will undoubtedly be followed by a guilty verdict and execution.

We have only one thing for you to consider. A while ago (LSS 2 Nov 2020) we published a short piece called Is Global warming the new Passive Smoking? The gist of which was

-high levels of carbon dioxide are like, bad for you or something, huh, right?

-Okay we’re talking above 700ppm, in short doses-agreed!

-But what happens if you are breathing higher than normal levels all the time? Could you get health problems, like those poor devils who were exposed to passive smoking used to back in the last century?

And, gentle readers,Is it not true that levels of CO2 rose from a background of about 265 ppm before the industrial revolution to about 370 ppm now?

We even cited a reputable scientific paper from Nature[1] as proof of our bona fides!

We weren’t so much saying that we were right as that more research was needed. We contacted political parties, environmental organisations, national newspapers, scientific magazines…..with no result. We got one column in a local newspaper, which we wrote ourselves, But everywhere else, barely a couple of lukewarm nods. It was like being a sun tan oil salesman in Spitzbergen.

Okay, okay you can’t always get what you want, as the Rolling Stones once memorably observed. Maybe it is safe to breathe all that extra CO2. But recently we saw a piece in The Conversation by Marcus Byrne and Claudia Tocco [2]which suggests that rising CO2 is having some sort of effect on the everyday lives of some animals. The piece intrigues rather than defines. Apparently something is happening in the lives of humble dung beetles as CO2 levels rise around them. Maybe it’s affecting the bacteria they live alongside, rather than the insects themselves. Which again underlines our point-can someone do some more research, please?

Because the question is there. Is carbon dioxide a poison at low levels? Is global warming making it worse? We think we should be told.

Once more apologies that we cannot bring you direct hyperlinks to our references this week

[1] Direct human health risks of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide Tyler a Jacobsen et al Nature Sustainability 2 691-701 2019

[2] Dung beetle experiment suggests carbon dioxide is bad for insects too Marcus Byrne Claudia Tocco The Conversation September 2021

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