Dr. Craig Idso, Chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and a new principal at MasterResource, invites readers to join him in a new series of articles discussing the many ways in which rising atmospheric carbon dioxide benefits humanity and nature.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide: you can’t see, hear, smell or taste it. But it’s there—all around us—and it’s crucial for life. Composed of one carbon and two oxygen atoms, this simple molecule serves as the primary raw material out of which plants construct their tissues, which in turn provide the materials out of which animals construct theirs. Knowledge of the key life-giving and life-sustaining role played by carbon dioxide, or CO2, is so well established, in fact, that humans—and all the rest of the biosphere—are described in the most basic of terms as carbon-based lifeforms. We simply could not and would not exist without it.

Ironically, far too many demonize and falsely label this important atmospheric trace gas a pollutant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of being shunned like the plague, the ongoing rise in CO2 should be welcomed with open arms.

How do I know this?

During the past three decades of my professional career I have performed countless hours of research, conducted multiple experiments, published a series of professional journal articles, written several books, created videos and feature-length documentaries, and authored thousands of commentary articles exploring the effects of CO2 on the biosphere (much of that work can be found at my CO2 Science website, www.co2science.org). In all those activities I have come to know that, far from being a pollutant, this colorless, odorless, tasteless and invisible gas benefits the biosphere in a multitude of ways. And I want to share that knowledge with you!

To accomplish this objective, over the next several months I will be publishing a series of articles describing several key benefits atmospheric CO2 enrichment provides to both humanity and nature. The articles will explore topics such as the effects of CO2 on plant growth and water use efficiency, a CO2-induced greening of the planet, the monetary benefits of rising CO2 on crop yields, and much, much more. Look for the postings at a rate of about two per month.

Sadly, most of the population remains woefully unaware of the many positive impacts of CO2 on the biosphere. This is no surprise, considering the constant and steady stream of misinformation our society endures from sources dedicated to demeaning and defaming CO2. What is more, world governments, non-governmental organizations, international agencies, societal think tanks, and even respectable scientific organizations attempting to assess the potential consequences of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations have spent hundreds of millions of dollars writing and promoting large reports about it.

Yet, these endeavors have failed miserably because they have neglected to evaluate or even acknowledge the manifold real and measurable benefits of the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content.  As a result, many important and positive impacts of atmospheric CO2 enrichment remain underappreciated and largely ignored in the debate over what to do, or not do, about anthropogenic CO2 emissions. And that omission does not bode well for policy decisions.

I hope you will join me on this informative journey as we explore the many benefits of CO2 and I hope you will share what you read and learn with others. Societal change occurs as individuals become informed one by one. Together we can help make that happen!


CRAIG D. IDSO is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The Center was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public charity dedicated to discovering and disseminating scientific information pertaining to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on climate and the biosphere. The Center produces the online newsletter, CO2 Science, and maintains a massive online collection of editorials on and reviews of peer-reviewed scientific journal articles relating to global climate change.

Dr. Idso’s research has appeared many times in peer-reviewed journals, including Geophysical Research LettersEnvironmental and Experimental BotanyForest Ecology and ManagementJournal of ClimatePhysical GeographyAtmospheric EnvironmentTechnologyThe Quarterly Review of BiologyEnergy & Environment, and the Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science.