CLAIM: There is a viral Facebook video shared by one Gabriel Lucas that shows a man who says life on earth depends on carbon. Hence he spends the majority of his time on the farm trying to increase his carbon footprint.
The man, who was walking and speaking in front of a large heap of composite, said “Behind me is a big steaming pile of carbon that’s currently composting and releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“All life on Earth is carbon-based and I spend the majority of time on the farm trying to increase my carbon footprint, which simply means increasing all life,” he said in the video posted on May 24, 2023.
In the end, the speaker added, “There’s plenty of problems in the world and carbon definitely isn’t one of them.”
The video, which is now flagged as false information by Facebook has notwithstanding, attracted 25,400 likes, 1,200 comments, and shared over 23,000 times as of June 12, 2023. The post was originally made on Tiktok.
Carbon dioxide, also known as CO2 is a colourless and non-flammable gas at normal temperature and pressure. Although much less abundant than nitrogen and oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere, the UCR, a research organisation, noted that CO2 is an important component of the planet’s air. A molecule of CO2, according to the centre, made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.
On the other hand, NASA, a US centre agency in space exploration, described carbon dioxide (CO2) as an important heat-trapping gas, or greenhouse gas, that comes from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, from wildfires, and from natural processes like volcanic eruptions.
Science Direct averred that earth would be inhospitably cold without CO2, but noted as well that an increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere is causing average global temperatures to rise, disrupting other aspects of Earth’s climate.
Why is CO2 harmful?
The JBL, a research website, agreed that carbon dioxide is useful to the earth as it serves the nutritional basis for aquatic plants which is supplemented through micro and macronutrients and light. The balance between all these elements, it explained, however, that it is necessary for thriving plant growth in the aquarium.
For instance, with about 40 per cent rise in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution, it has raised global temperature, said NASA. Meanwhile, higher temperatures are worsening many types of disasters, including storms, heat waves, floods, and droughts, which invariably lead to loss of lives.
Similarly, Lewis Ziska in a research “Rising Carbon Dioxide and Global Nutrition: Evidence and Action Needed“, found that though CO2 is widely recognised for its role in stimulating photosynthesis and growth for multiple plant species, including crops, the effect is, however, also likely to alter plant chemistry in ways that will denigrate plant nutrition.
Consequently, Ziska warned it should not be seen as uniformly beneficial since it serves as a nutrient to plant. Rather, the benefits for plants, according to him, do not outweigh the physical disruptions associated with anthropogenic climate change.
“That role is also of tremendous importance, not only from a human health viewpoint but also from a global food–web perspective, ” said the climate scientist.
CONCLUSION: A claim that carbon is not harmful because all life on Earth is carbon-based is FALSE. Studies have shown that the rising level of carbon dioxide poses a serious threat to human lives.
This content was produced with support from the Independent Media Response Fund, an initiative of the Check Global Program at Meedan to respond to global challenges through hyperlocal initiatives. The fund is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).