A state legislator Wednesday criticized rejection of two coal-fired power plants in western Kansas, saying carbon dioxide emissions were good for crops.Ideally, CO2 will increase agricultural yield, which'll increase earth's carrying capacity, which'll increase earth's population, which'll increase CO2 emissions, which'll increase agricultural yield. World without end, amen!
“One of the really good things about CO2 is that plants perform better under stress (drought, etc.) with increased levels of CO2,” Rep. Larry Powell, R-Garden City, said in a letter disseminated to the media.
Powell's information comes from a report by Craig and Keith Idso, who've been singing this tune for many years now (with a little help from ExxonMobil and the rabidly pro-coal Western Fuels Association).
All their huffing and puffing will come to nothing, though. Coal is the fuel of the past; the fuel of the future is low-grade synthetic crude extracted from oil shale with "portable" nuclear reactors that may or may not actually work:
Though it would produce 27 megawatts worth of thermal energy, Hyperion doesn’t like to think of its product as a “reactor.” It’s self-contained, involves no moving parts and, therefore, doesn’t require a human operator....Oil shale extraction is thirsty work. But since increasing CO2 emissions will make crops more drought resistant, it seems logical that this'll free up water for the oil shale boom.
“The lab is doing a lot of work on oil shales and oil sands, but there’s no way to get power to those facilities,” Blackwell says. “So, this nuclear battery would be brought in and that would provide the power to run a small city of industrial use.”
All things considered, I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.
(Photo: Mid-day dust storm in Garden City, Kansas, 1935.)