Alarmists have claimed climate change is nothing to sneeze at, but once again the narrative flip-flops. Now researchers say we will be sneezing more because (wait for it): Rising CO2 will cause more weeds and allergies, increasing human suffering.
A brave reporter from the Weekly Standard has the story:
The terrible and terrifying news of impending climate-change doom continues to roll in. This week it was a study led by researchers at Britain’s University of East Anglia: “Climate Change and Future Pollen Allergy in Europe.” The scientists project that, because of rising temperatures and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, “sensitization to ragweed will more than double in Europe, from 33 to 77 million people, by 2041-2060.” So go ahead and add allergy sufferers to polar bears and small island nations on the list of global warming victims.
And not just pollinating weeds. Watch out for poison ivy, too. For a decade, scientists have been warning that climate change will mean a more menacing three-leaved menace—bigger plants, with bigger leaves, and perhaps even with higher concentrations of poisonous oil.
But why all the negativity? If ragweed is spreading, it isn’t because climate change is creating conditions that exclusively benefit weeds. An atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide can have a “fertilizer effect.” Warmer temperatures can extend the growing season in cool climes. These are assumptions that are built into studies such as the new ragweed report. It’s also what goes into the poison ivy predictions—grow the stuff in greenhouse conditions and (surprise, surprise) it flourishes. Those same effects, however, will benefit a wide range of plants. Longer growing seasons and higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have benefited Canadian farmers, who have been able to dramatically expand the acreage they devote to growing corn, soybeans, and other crops that used to flourish only south of the border.
We are constantly being told that when it comes to questions of climate we must obey Science. Could it be that scientists would enjoy greater credibility if they made a better effort to give a complete picture of the consequences of a warming world, rather than just nurturing the negatives in their own little intellectual hothouses?
For more on Agriculture and climate change see Adapting Works! Mitigating Fails.
Farmers care a lot about the weather–predictions from climate models or animal entrails, not so much.