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Climate Emergency Declaration

Are we, as the IET, declaring a climate emergency? 

It's really that simple a topic, should we be adding our professional voice to the growing number of countries and organisations declaring such an event, to bring better awareness of the threat of the climate crisis and to encourage more discussion in addressing it! 

  • More people need more food, meat, houses, hot water, cars all of which need fuel. 

    The planet has many different types of fuels but nearly all concentrated fuels are hydrocarbons and emit CO2.

    The planets answer is to defrost the tundra and icecaps so more vegetation can absorb the CO2

    Gods very sensible solution and one we must live with.. 

  • It's not about the guardian. It literally references a scientific study. That's your source. 

  • Not alot of talk about the oceans which far outweighs the land when it comes to co2 absorption and immision.

    We do know the planet is greening.

  • Aaron ,

    Do you actually read the documents you link? Some appear to contradict what you are saying.

    You start with some NASA quotes without references:

    “Available CO2 is not the limiting factor for plant growth outside of a greenhouse”

    Why does CO2 work inside a greenhouse but not outside? A level of 1000 ppm is suggested as an optimum:


    " the warming properties of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are well-established and scientifically uncontroversial.” The actual effect may be non-controversial but the magnitude certainly is not settled.

    From NASA Earth Observatory:

    “As Arrhenius predicted, both carbon dioxide levels and temperatures increased from 1900–1999. However, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased much more quickly than he expected, but the Earth hasn't warmed as much as he thought it would. (Graphs by Robert Simmon, based on data from NOAA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies)”


    Looking at the Ainsworth and Long 2020 abstract (the full article is paywalled):

    “Here, we summarize the results of now almost 250 observations, spanning 14 sites and five continents. Across 186 independent studies of 18 C3 crops, elevation of [CO2] by ca. 200 ppm caused a ca. 18% increase in yield under non-stress conditions. Legumes and root crops showed a greater increase and cereals less.”

    This rather contradicts your previous debunking of CO2 enhancing plant growth.

  • Why does CO2 work inside a greenhouse but not outside?

    Plants inside greenhouses are normally pampered.  It's warm.  They get regularly fed and watered.  So the limiting factor (for some typed os plant) may be the CO2.

    Outside, they live in dirt, get whatever rain falls on them, and whatever fertiliser the farmer could afford.  CO2 may well not be the limiting factor there.

    And if the plant is being hit by drought, heatwave, storms or floods, then a bit of extra CO2 certainly isn't going to do a lot of good.

  • Hey, 

    the original NASA post speaks for itself, the sources are in the link shared.

    For the other bits, it sounds like you're still promoting the CO2 is good for plant growth angle (correct me if I'm wrong). 

    So let's break this down again using the post I previously shared (I've streamlined it a bit).

    Here's the negative aspects to what's currently happening. 

    Nutritional Value Changes

    "Though rising CO2 stimulates plant growth and carbohydrate production, it reduces the nutritional value (protein and minerals) of most food crops. This direct effect of rising CO2 on the nutritional value of crops represents a potential threat to human health."


    As CO2 increases, plants need less protein for photosynthesis, resulting in an overall decline in protein concentration in plant tissues. This trend for declining protein levels is evident for wheat flour derived from multiple wheat varieties when grown under laboratory conditions simulating the observed increase in global atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1900. When grown at the CO2 levels projected for 2100 (540–958 ppm), major food crops, such as barley, wheat, rice, and potato, exhibit 6% to 15% lower protein concentrations relative to ambient levels (315–400 ppm). In contrast, protein content is not anticipated to decline significantly for corn or sorghum.

    While protein is an essential aspect of human dietary needs, the projected human health impacts of a diet including plants with reduced protein concentration from increasing CO2 are not well understood and may not be of considerable threat in the United States, where dietary protein deficiencies are uncommon.


    First, rising CO2 increases carbohydrate accumulation in plant tissues, which can, in turn, dilute the content of other nutrients, including minerals. Second, high CO2 concentrations reduce plant demands for water, resulting in fewer nutrients being drawn into plant roots.

    The ongoing increase in CO2 concentrations reduces the amount of essential minerals per calorie in most crops, thus reducing nutrient density. Such a reduction in crop quality may aggravate existing nutritional deficiencies, particularly for populations with pre-existing health conditions.

    Carbohydrate-to-Protein Ratio:

    Elevated CO2 tends to increase the concentrations of carbohydrates (starch and sugars) and reduce the concentrations of protein. There is growing evidence that a dietary increase in this ratio can adversely affect human metabolism and body composition.

    Carbon speeds crop growth but often for little gain:

    "In “real world” conditions, any gains from carbon fertilisation are lost − because of the stress caused to crops by the 2°C temperature rise that the gas causes in the atmosphere.

    Even worse, the fact that crops grow faster does not mean that their nutritional value is greater – many showed lower mineral nutrients and protein content.

    “Lots of people have presumed that rising CO2 is largely a good thing for crops, assuming more CO2 will make the world’s forests greener and increase crop yields,” Ainsworth said.

    “The more recent studies challenge that assumption a bit. We’re finding that when you have other stresses, you don’t always get a benefit of elevated CO2. The last 15 years have taught us to account more for the complex interactions from other factors like drought, temperature, nutrients and pests.”

    Land becomes less efficient at absorbing CO2

    86% of land ecosystems globally are becoming progressively less efficient at absorbing the increasing levels of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Wang et al 2020 - Recent global decline of CO2 fertilization effects on vegetation photosynthesis

    Soil Vs Plants

    Soils or plants will absorb more CO2 as carbon levels rise—but not both

    "When elevated carbon dioxide levels drive increased plant growth, it takes a surprisingly steep toll on another big carbon sink: the soil.

    The research suggests grasslands may absorb unexpectedly large amounts of carbon in the coming decades. Under a scenario where atmospheric CO2 doubles pre-industrial levels the researchers estimate carbon uptake in grassland soils will increase 8 percent, while carbon uptake by forest soils will remain roughly flat. That's in spite of CO2 enrichment giving a greater boost to biomass in forests (23 percent) than in grasslands (9 percent), partly because trees allocate belowground a relatively small portion of the carbon they absorb."

    Terrer et al 2021 - A trade-off between plant and soil carbon storage under elevated CO2


    The realisation is climate change is occurring, and it can't be ignored. 

    More over the longer we discuss this and don't move towards acting together as a collective body, the more the scales tip ever further from our favour. 

    We should be coming together to discuss this and push forward with solutions.

    Look at the news, ordinary people are rising up and taking direct action to raise awareness, but there are also more and more professional groups joining the mix. 

    I'm not saying we need to engage in activism, but as some of the brightest and innovative minds this country has, everyone will look to us to define the path forward and solutioneer a way out of this. 

  • Indeed, the CO2 isn't the be all and end all factor, it's a combination of factors, some of which are triggered BY the increase in CO2 and other particulates as we can see in this thread. 

  • Ok let's talk ocean. 

    "Coastal flooding will increase significantly over the next 30 years because of sea level rise, according to a new report by an interagency sea level rise task force that includes NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other federal agencies. Titled Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States, the Feb. 15 report concludes that sea level along U.S. coastlines will rise between 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) on average above today’s levels by 2050.

    The report – an update to a 2017 report – forecasts sea level to the year 2150 and, for the first time, offers near-term projections for the next 30 years. Agencies at the federal, state, and local levels use these reports to inform their plans on anticipating and coping with the effects of sea level rise.

    “This report supports previous studies and confirms what we have long known: Sea levels are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, endangering communities around the world. Science is indisputable and urgent action is required to mitigate a climate crisis that is well underway,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “NASA is steadfast in our commitment to protecting our home planet by expanding our monitoring capabilities and continuing to ensure our climate data is not only accessible but understandable.”

    Sea Level to Rise up to a Foot by 2050, Interagency Report Finds – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet (

    The rise in sea level is currently 101.2mm since 1993

    Sea Level | Vital Signs – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet (

    "The ocean absorbs around 30% of carbon dioxide (CO2) released to the atmosphere as a result of human activities. As CO2 dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, decreasing the ocean’s pH. This is called ocean acidification. The acidity of the ocean has increased by 26% since the beginning of the industrial era.

    Ocean acidification is also changing other aspects of seawater carbonate chemistry. The saturation of calcium carbonate minerals, such as calcite and aragonite, is lowered, reducing the availability of these minerals. Organisms using calcium carbonates as the main building blocks of their shells and skeletal structures, such as mussels, crustaceans and corals, are struggling or unable to form and maintain the shells and carapaces they need.

    Ocean acidification has been shown to affect organisms and ecosystems, impacting ecosystem services such as food security, by endangering fisheries and aquaculture. It also impacts coastal protection (for example by weakening coral reefs shielding the coastline), transportation and tourism. The ocean’s capacity to store carbon dioxide and help regulate the climate will be affected, as the capacity of the ocean to absorb CO2 decreases as ocean acidification increases. Regular observations and measurements of ocean acidification in open oceans and coastal areas are necessary to improve our understanding of the effects, enable modelling and predictions and help inform mitigation and adaptation strategies."

    Ocean acidification (

  •  I am amused to see that you are no longer quoting Ainsworth and Long 2020.


    As stated therein from 250 observations around the world under non stress conditions 200ppm increase in CO2 caused an average 18% increase in yield.

    If there are other limits on growth, temperature, water, nutrients etc then higher CO2 levels may not make an improvement and may result in other problems.

    If you look at the trajectory the world is supposed to be on, higher temperatures, higher rainfall and more CO2 will all be beneficial to crop growth.


    Sea level is another interesting series of data sets. Here is one from NOAA:


    This shows very little acceleration in the rate of rise and has a rise of a little over 80mm since 1993. The NASA source you quote has a rise of 101mm since 1993.

    If we look at the longer term view from the NASA source the rate of rise varies considerably and the current rate is similar to the rate between 1935 and 1950. Is the quote “Sea levels are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, endangering communities around the world” really valid.


    All in all a problem not an emergency.

    So what do we do? The IET declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ is pointless. The problem needs well thought out technical solutions.

    Where will we get the most benefits? What are the resources required?

    Should we focus on transport electrification? Is electric public transport, trams, trains and trolley buses better than personal EVs (for a given value of better)? How do you deal with agricultural and construction transport where there is no infrastructure?

    Is replacing the inefficient housing stock more sensible than retrofitting insulation and heat pump systems? There is an interesting selection of very energy efficient ‘flat pack’ houses available.  

    Is it better to invest in wind and PV together with large storage systems or in new nuclear generation with load following capabilities?

    What do you propose should be done?

  • Here's some factual stuff on CO2

    Facts Archive - CO2 Coalition

  • The oceans are Alkaline not Acidic. Anyway they're unlikely be acidic because most the ocean base is mostly Limestone.

    Regarding Sea level rise

    Please read this. (and comment)

    Data Disproves BBC's Claim of ‘Sea Level Rise Speeding Up' - ClimateRealism

Reply Children

  • Nice straight line in the graph. Again no drama there.

    I do wonder how they measured tide height in victorian times. But then the victorians new a thing or two about engineering, our Norfolk coast they installed groyne systems to prevent the promenades from falling into the sea. Nowadays due to the green madness the groynes are left to ruin. No maintenance. With the increase of 30cm in sea level since Victoria times  you would have thought that the Environment Agency would build then higher and repair the missing planks between the uprights,but no.

  • There's a fundamental problem with the EA - I think that's well known now considering the issues they're having with Walleys Quarry in Newcastle Under Lyme which continues to make national news. 

  • Climate realism? Not really the most reputable source. 

    You can't argue that climate change doesn't exist considering the amount of nations and groups that have already declared such an emergency - if the collective consensus is that it's happening, how is Jon Steward suddenly seeing something that the whole of the scientific community has missed? 

    Look at the summer we had this year. And the expectation is that's going to get worse year on year - that's not normal. 

  • Lol.

    You need a broader read Aaron. Don't believe the hype!

    Of course, the climate is changing. So does the weather. There is a difference between the two.

    The hot summer was lovely.. usually a colder winter follows.. so wrap up warm and don't use any energy..

  • There's no Hype Jon, just science here.

    With over 11000 scientists coming to the same conclusion I ask again Where's your empirical proof that all 11000 are wrong?

    Have you got in touch and asked them to retract their works based on your findings? 

    Were here to discuss the climate emergency and whether a declaration should be made by the iet.

    If you want to contribute to solutions by all means let's create sub topics and begin deliberating, but I don't feel like that's why your here?