Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Opinion

Voice of the People 07/10/18

More to story of carbon dioxide

This is in regard to an author’s letter to the editor on June 17 touting the “benefits” of increased CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels in the atmosphere.

The argument presented was increased atmospheric CO2 levels result in more photosynthesis and will stimulate plant growth. Thus food supplies will increase.

But there are many more factors related to crop production. A thorough and unbiased discussion of this can be found in a Jan. 23 article in “Scientific American.” Many of the following facts are from that article.

Yes, increased CO2 levels can promote increased plant growth, but sustainable increased production will depend on nitrogen levels. Fertilizer will remain the key to crop production levels. Any benefits from higher CO2 levels would be offset by negative impacts of a warming climate.

Warmer temperatures can cause heat stress in plants, and more frequent droughts and floods will result in an increased frequency of crop loss. The University of Illinois is studying how higher levels of CO2 cause the stomata of plants to open further, stimulating loss of water from the roots. This would worsen the effects of drought.

Warmer air temperatures and drier soil moisture will also promote weed growth, the leading competitors for food crops. Lastly, research has found that the nutritional level drops in crops grown at increased CO2 concentrations. Food crops lose iron and zinc, and grains lose protein. It is predicted that CO2 levels by mid-century could cause protein deficiencies in 150 million people, and a zinc deficiency in 150 million more.

There is no reason to rejoice in increasing CO2 levels. As the author suggested, policymakers need to know both sides of the issue, but the information provided must be complete and scientifically accurate.

STEVE REUSSER

Eau Claire

Veterans merit our best efforts

I believe the tiny homes for veterans came about from hearts full of respect, honor and compassion.

Maybe there were financial and zoning issues that limited what could be built. So, tiny homes without running water is what is currently possible? I think our veterans deserve better.

Our veterans, of all generations, did not give tiny service to this country. Because of their service, we enjoy many liberties and can pursue happiness and prosperity without the fears people in some countries face every day.

Are tiny homes without running water the best we can offer our veterans?

KIM KELLY

Eau Claire


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