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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Myth Deconstruction - Plant (EN)

Reference

Deconstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors
Cook, J., Ellerton, P., & Kinkead, D. (2018). Deconstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors. Environmental Research Letters, 13(2), 024018. Link to PDF & Link to Supplement

Step-by-step deconstruction

The table below is inspired by the simplified supplement and may differ slightly from what is shown in the GIF. This is mostly due to make the text fit into the available space which made it necessary to reword some of it.

1 Identify claim CO2 is plant food.
2 Argument structure Premise 1: Plants need CO2 to grow.
Conclusion: CO2 is good for plants.
3 Inferential Intent

Deduction

4 Validity INVALID
Fails to take into account negative impacts of global warming on plant growth.
4a Hidden premises Premise 1: Plants need CO2 to grow.
Premise 2: Greenhouse warming has no negative impacts on plants.
Conclusion: CO2 is good for plants.
5 Check premises Premise 1 is true.
Premise 2 is false and slothful induction. CO2 fertilisation is just one factor affecting plant growth. Climate change impacts agriculture through increased heat stress and flooding. The full picture shows that negative impacts outweigh benefits.
6 Status of claim FALSE
The argument is made valid with an extra premise but the premise is false.
7 Summary of fallacies Slothful induction: Ignores the ways that climate change impacts agriculture through increased heat stress and flooding. CO2 fertilisation is just one factor affecting plant growth. The full picture shows that negative impacts outweigh benefits.

Related material

Plants cannot live on CO2 alone

Blog post with background information about the myth deconstructions: Myth deconstructions as animated gifs

To learn more about the fallacies used in the myth deconstructions: A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial


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