The chairman of the House Science Committee praised the many “benefits” of climate change, including the development of new commercial shipping lanes as a result of melting Arctic sea ice.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), an outspoken skeptic of mainstream climate science, wrote in the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal on Monday that the “benefits of a changing climate are often ignored and under-researched.”
“Our climate is too complex and the consequences of misguided policies too harsh to discount the positive effects of carbon enrichment,” he said.
“A higher concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would aid photosynthesis, which in turn contributes to increased plant growth,” wrote Smith. “This correlates to a greater volume of food production and better quality food. Studies indicate that crops would utilize water more efficiently, requiring less water. And colder areas along the farm belt will experience longer growing seasons.”
He also celebrated the decline of “Arctic sea ice,” arguing that it would “create new commercial shipping lanes that provide faster, more convenient, and less costly routes between ports in Asia, Europe, and eastern North America. This will increase international trade and strengthen the world economy.”
Researchers have noted that any isolated benefits to global warming would be far outweighed by the overwhelming drawbacks.
The Hill notes:
For example, Jørgen E. Olesen, a professor at Denmark’s Aarhus University, has found that certain crops in areas like Denmark and Canada will likely fare better in a warmer climate.
But much of the rest of the world is expected to experience declining agricultural returns.
Even shipping would see significant problems in the Arctic, despite newly-open routes. Melting ice produces icebergs, for example.