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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Science lesson: "Our Mr. Sun," CO2, and the Germans

Bigger picture, Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Going Green

One of the benefits of being a homeschool mom is that essentially I had a refresher course on grades 1-12. (English skills are still rough!) It's been 39 years since I graduated from high school, but even without homeschooling, one thing I never forgot were the basics of photosynthesis. Seems like some of the Global Warmingists could use a refresher course too.

I still remember the 16mm educational film entitled, "Our Mr. Sun." It was quite entertaining and featured a very young Eddie Albert and a scientist. Coincidentally, I was able to show that same movie to my son for our science class. One of the things they discussed was photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is still a mystery today, but we do know the basic ingredients needed for plants to create food from sunlight: H20 + CO2.

I drew this copy of the cartoon animation featured in Our Mr. Sun so my son and I could refer to it during science class.

The FOOD ENERGY STORAGE shelf features jars of GLUCOSE (sugar) and STARCH. Without photosynthesis filling the jars, life for us would be impossible.

All of the calories we consume come either from plants or animals that consume plant products.

The bi-product of photosynthesis is the "garbage" in the cartoon: O2 or Oxygen. 

The plant supplies the water through its vascular system. The CO2 enters the leaf through the STOMAS or openings in the underside. This is also how the O2 leaves the leaf. The glucose and starch is found in the leaves, stem, roots, and fruit of the plant. (The little green chef is a personification of the chloroplasts in the plant.)
There are many things I don't understand about the global warming argument, one being that CO2 is a pollutant. To me, CO2 is a necessary gas--especially if you are a plant! I don't seem to be alone in that idea. German scientists did some research on the impact of CO2 on plants. Higher CO2 levels may be good for plants: German Scientists :

The dangerous rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may be troubling scientists and world leaders but it could prove to be a boon for plants, German researchers said Tuesday.

Increasing exposure to carbon dioxide appears to boost crop yields, Hans-Joachim Weigel of the Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute for rural areas, forestry and fisheries in the central city of Brunswick told AFP.

"Output increased by about 10 percent for barley, beets and wheat" when the plants were subjected to higher levels of carbon dioxide, Weigel said.

The Thuenen Institute, which has been monitoring the phenomenon in fields since 1999, trains CO2 jets on the plants so the gas reaches 550 parts per million in the air around them -- the level expected in the atmosphere by 2050...

He said the next step in the study would be to evaluate the effect of higher temperatures on plant growth -- which scientists cite as another consequence of higher CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

Wouldn't that be interesting?

"This research is not intended as an argument for doing nothing to curb the rise of CO2 levels," he said. "It is to find out what the effects would be."

What a coincidence that plants breathe in CO2, exhale O2, produce the only source of food there is, and people do just the opposite? What a lucky bit of evolution! Of course, being a Creationist, I don't find that bit of symbiosis coincidental at all, but that will have to wait for another day.

We hear a lot about reducing our carbon footprint and purchasing carbon credits, but not so much about increasing trees (large CO2 users.) Since plants "consume"  CO2 from the atmosphere and return O2, wouldn't you think we would be urged to plant as many trees etc. as possible, instead of cutting them down to make way for ethanol crops?  

Hope you enjoyed Chef Photosynthesis. Did you see Our Mr. Sun when you were in school? 

 

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