Newsmax host John Bachman demonstrated on Friday that he has no clue how trees work. The commentator for the right-wing network said that President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions would deprive trees of their source of energy – CO2 – which plants convert into oxygen and glucose (food) through photosynthesis.
Bachman was triggered by remarks made by Climate Czar John Kerry, who said at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate that “even if we get to net zero” carbon emissions, “we still have to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. So this is a bigger challenge than a lot of people have really grabbed onto yet,” referring to the extraction of excess atmospheric CO2 resulting from human industrial activity.
CO2 exists in Earth’s atmosphere in trace amounts naturally and absolutely no one is suggesting that it be eliminated entirely. Rather, combating climate change requires that the greenhouse gas return to pre-industrial levels.
All of this was lost on Bachman.
“It sounds like a big challenge because if we take all the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, what’re the trees gonna turn into oxygen?” a bewildered Bachman wondered.
“That’s the Biden Administration’s Climate Czar John Kerry speaking at the White House’s climate summit virtually. Those comments came after the Administration announced that it would seek a 50 to 52 percent in US carbon emissions by 2030. Environmentalists say we should focus on reducing carbon emissions and not pulling carbon out of the atmosphere,” Bachman said. “I don’t even know how you do that, uh, maybe you can start by stop taking these private planes.”
In fact, one of the more effective means of filtering CO2 out of the atmosphere is to plant more trees.
Additionally, according to Julio Friedmann, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Global Energy Policy, there are 43 carbon capture technology facilities around the world that have seen varying degrees of success.
“To put it briefly: Yes, it does work,” Friedmann said in the organization’s September 2019 State of the Planet newsletter.
The publication explained that carbon capture and storage methods are safe and effective:
The good news is that, over the years, the technology has evolved to a level where there are no technical barriers to effectively storing CO2 permanently on a large scale. If used more widely, experts claim it could go a long way toward meeting the ambitious climate targets that were set in the Paris Agreement.
Based on data collected over the last several decades, there is a wide consensus among experts, engineers, and geologists alike that it is safe to permanently inject and store carbon dioxide. As of today, five more carbon capture and storage facilities are being constructed and another 20 are in ‘various stages of development’ globally.
The United States is the world’s leader in this space, hosting the highest number of large-scale carbon capture and storage facilities in the world. Out of the 18 facilities, 10 are in the U.S. Texas boasts of the largest facility, which is known as the Century Natural Gas plant. With access to such state-of-the-art carbon capture and storage technology, the U.S. has the potential to capture over 27 million tons every year — roughly equivalent to taking 5.4 million cars off the roads. That is if policies and incentives could keep pace with the technology.
Watch below via Media Matters for America’s Jason Campbell:
Newsmax host: "If we take all the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, what're the trees gonna turn into oxygen?" pic.twitter.com/PzslVApzi7
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) April 23, 2021
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.