In 2005 I blogged about a trial balloon released by the formerly esteemed, but now very in-the-tank pro global warming magazine Science. They called their new idea "global dimming." The idea was that pollution, rather than causing global warming—as they had always asserted—both caused and reduced it. Their contention was that the particles of pollution in the air blocked some of the Sun's light from reaching the Earth, thereby reducing the warming effect and reducing the effects of Global Warming.
Draw your own conclusions from the fact that the post has been removed from their site.
Now we have a new approach to the same "dim" idea. From the AFP:
Through photosynthesis, vegetation transforms sunlight, CO2 and water into sugar nutrients.
Common sense would suggest that air pollution in the form of microscopic particles that obstruct the Sun's rays -- a phenomenon called "global dimming" -- would hamper this process, but the new study shows the opposite is true.
"Surprisingly, the effects of atmospheric pollution seem to have enhanced global plant productivity by as much as a quarter from 1960 to 1999," said Linda Mercado, a researcher at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Britain, and the study's lead author.
"This resulted in a net ten percent increase in the amount of carbon stored by the land," she said in a statement.
What does this mean?
The findings underline a cruel dilemma: to the extent we succeed in reducing aerosol pollution in coming decades, we will need to slash global carbon dioxide emissions even more than we would have otherwise.
"Aerosols offset approximately 50 percent of the greenhouse gas warming," Knut Alfsen, research director at the Centre for International Environmental Research in Oslo, Norway, said by phone.
Without this particle pollution, he said, average global surface temperatures would have increased by 1.0 to 1.1 Celsius (1.8 to 2.0 Fahrenheit) since the start of industrialisation, rather than 0.7 C (1.25 F).
Let's recap. Pollution, which is bad, causes global warming, which is reduced by pollution, which is bad. And aerosols, which are so bad that we banned a whole bunch of them, are reducing greenhouse gas warming (bad) by 50% (good?).
This self-contradictory mess is typical of the mental gymnastics required by those who would have you believe that carbon dioxide, which you are breathing out right now, is a pollutant that is causing the world to heat up and become uninhabitable. Despite the fact that their hypothesized connection between carbon and global temperature is contradicted by the the temperature record itself.
Don't think about it too much, you'll sprain something.