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Infovojna manipuluje pomocou cherry-pickingu: CO2 spôsobuje „ozelenenie“ Zeme, jeho negatíva sú však väčšie


Author(s): Katarína Drevená,

Infovojna published a manipulative article in which it reported on the “greening” effect due to the higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Although carbon dioxide causes an increase in vegetation on Earth, it has far-reaching negative impacts. They cannot eliminate those plants.

On August 23, 2023, the Infovojna portal published a manipulative article entitled ” VIDEO that crushes all climate propaganda: Thanks to higher CO2 values ​​in the air, there was a 30% increase in vegetation on our planet “. The post was taken from the conspiracy site Uncensored Truth .

The unknown author of the article writes about a 2016 study that was published in the scientific journal Nature . According to her, thanks to the greater concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), there is an increase in green vegetation on Earth. The author of the article took the results from this study, which he published without a wider context, and drew simplistic and erroneous conclusions. In 2016, the authors of the scientific study themselves objected to the same interpretation as was used in the posts on the portals Infovojna and Uncensored Truth . 

Based on the results of a scientific study, Infovojna came to the following conclusion: ” All those who believe the propaganda of nonsense about climate change caused by CO2, which is produced due to human activity, must be considered uneducated fools who do not know the basic laws of nature.”

According to this article, the more CO2 in the air, the better the environment for plants. This should lead to more food for people and animals. Based on this logic, the author of the article came to believe that all those who demand effective solutions to reduce the carbon footprint are actually promoting an ” extremely harmful agenda ” for nature and the planet.

CO2 causes a “greening” effect, but its negatives outweigh the positives

The mentioned study, published in 2016 by a team of 32 authors from 24 institutions from eight countries, concluded that increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere leads to an increase in the amount of green plants.

According to the authors of the study , the main factor in the increased amount of vegetation on Earth is the additional supply of CO2 from human activity, which plants use for fertilization. Green leaves use energy from the sun and use CO2, water and nutrients from the soil during their growth. Other factors, such as more nitrogen in the environment, warming or changes in land management, also contribute to the growth of plants to some extent.

However, the authors of the study in one breath refute the claims of climate skeptics, who try to convince, based on their findings, that a greater amount of CO2 is actually beneficial for the planet. According to scientists, the negatives of CO2 outweigh the positives.

Professor Ranga Myneni from Boston University, head of the mentioned study, told the BBC in 2016 that additional tree growth will not compensate for global warming, extreme weather events (such as droughts, heat waves and floods), rising sea levels, melting glaciers, acidification of oceans , the decline of Arctic sea ice and predictions of stronger tropical storms.

The increasing concentration of CO2 in the air can thus be beneficial for plants, but it is the main culprit of climate change. The amount of this heat-trapping gas in the Earth’s atmosphere has been increasing rapidly since the industrial era due to human activity.

According to scientists, the positive effect of higher CO2 concentration on plants decreases over time

Green leaves use the energy of sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide from the air with water and nutrients. So plants need CO2 for their growth. Its increased concentration in the atmosphere due to human activity has a fertilizing effect on them, thanks to which they thrive.

Plants also play an important role in keeping the Earth a habitable place. By pumping CO2 out of the atmosphere, they slow down climate change to some extent. However, this does not mean that this gas is also beneficial in other aspects.

Dr. Philippe Ciais of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, who is also a co-author of the study, said : ” The argument of the opponents (of measures to reduce carbon emissions) is flawed for two reasons. First, they do not take into account the many negative aspects of climate change. Second, studies have shown that plants acclimate to increasing CO2 concentrations and the fertilizing effect decreases over time.

So it is not clear how long this greening trend will continue. The concentration of CO2 will reach its peak, while the delayed global warming caused by it will continue for several more decades. This is shown, for example, by a study from 2021, according to which greening trends have slowed down and, on the contrary, negative trends in the browning of vegetation have strengthened, especially in tropical rainforests.

At the same time, further plant growth is limited by other factors, such as lack of water or nutrients.

More plants on Earth will not prevent climate change and the associated negative consequences

Climate skeptics also fail to consider other reasons why this “greening” of the Earth should not be celebrated without context.

The article published on the Infovojna portal tries to convince its readers that the more CO2 there is in the air, the better the environment will be for plants and the more food will be produced. However, according to University of California at Santa Cruz environmental scientist Elliott Campbell, this is not true. An increased amount of photosynthesis does not directly lead to a larger volume of food.

In addition, more CO2 in the air can cause plants to be of lower quality and nutrition. Several studies indicate that vegetation growing in an environment with a higher concentration of CO2 contains less important nutrients, such as nitrogen, copper and potassium. These are necessary for the healthy development of individuals. If we consume foods with a lack of nutrients, we become more susceptible to many diseases.

Last but not least, it should be remembered that more plants on Earth will not prevent climate change. Plants currently absorb approximately 30% of all CO2 that humans release into the atmosphere annually. However, they remove the same part of CO2 even at a time when our emissions are growing rapidly. Despite the phenomenon of the “greening” of the Earth, CO2 levels have risen to levels not seen in millions of years over the past two centuries. This already has serious consequences for the entire planet today, and the situation will worsen.

Infovojna spreads toxic content, including climate nonsense

The Infovojna portal is one of the most famous disinformation actors in Slovakia. It is included in the list of sites with questionable content based on the evaluation of an independent commission within the Konspirá project .

At the same time, it appears on the list of sources that spread Kremlin propaganda in Slovakia and represent a major threat to society in the information space. It was built by the analytical company Gerulata Technologies .

In addition to Russian propaganda, conspiracy theories or hate speech, Infowar spreads a considerable amount of climate-related nonsense. In the past, for example, she tried to convince her readers that the information about climate change is a fraud on the part of the World Economic Forum.

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