Close your eyes and imagine a world without Rupert Murdoch. Ahhhhhhhh. OK, you can open your eyes now. Sorry. Murdoch still exists. He owns everything. And he still doesn’t know dick about climate science. In fact, he now thinks increased carbon dioxide is good for the planet.
This week, Murdoch tweeted: “World growing greener with increased carbon. Thirty years of satellite evidence. Forests growing faster and thicker.” OK! You got us, Mr. Murdoch! We are all freaking out for nothing. If only we were all predatory cretinous pieces of vileness like you, we too would understand that the planet is ACTUALLY GETTING HEALTHIER!
This new wrongheadedness comes courtesy of climate change naysayer Matt Ridley. This Ridley dude looked at one satellite map of the world and was like, “Looks like there’s a lot of foliage on the trees, that’s got to be good.” And Murdoch was like, “Hey, this guy is a scientist. He says everything is fine!” Of course, most climate scientists don’t think much of Ridley — they tend to say things like “Matt Ridley’s climate science [is] based on weak foundations.” The way we might put it is to say that, like Murdoch, Matt Ridley is kind of a dick, and P.S. he also writes for the Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch owns.
Anyway. There is in fact a phenomenon called CO2 fertilization — simply put, the world’s trees are getting more leafy because there’s more CO2 in the air, which means that more of the energy of the sun is trapped in the atmosphere, where trees can absorb it and thus grow with more robustness, much like they’re in a greenhouse. A kind of greenhouse effect, if you will. Because more leaves means more oxygen, there is some offset of the increase in Co2.
But it’s not like it’s all going to just work out fine. The greenhouse effect that’s making plants thicker is also making the planet hotter, and soon there’s going to be this whole scientific concept at play that I like to refer to as diminishing returns (look it up, Rupert!), where the effect of the extra oxygen created by lusher trees is not going to outweigh the effect of the CO2 that made them lusher. Which, if you thought about the whole thing for a longer time than it takes to shit into your hand, wipe it on a piece of paper, and call it a media empire, anyone would get.