14 November 2013

Nitrogen: It's Plant Food

Tuesday I randomly picked up a Minnesota daily, and noticed a letter to the editor entitled, "CO2: It's plant food." Yeah, it is a denialist letter. Which led me to submit the a sarcastic response. It is appearing in the Minnesota Daily as, "Nitrogen: It's plant food."

It did get cut down a bit for space concerns. If you are curious what I submitted before the editting (they called me to approve the editting just fyi), it is the following:

In response to Rolf Westfard’s piece, “CO2: It’s plant food.”
Regardless of what the eutrophication alarmists think, I can simply note that Nitrogen is plant food, and thus it is obviously great for us to just allow tons of excess Nitrogen from fertilizer to run off into the environment. Sure, that ignores rate limiting resources, changes in the ecology of a system due to changes in relative resource abundances,  the scientific literature, the observance of dead zones in certain bodies of water, and the fact that we live on a planet that has been fundamentally changed by human land use, but it is a great catch phrase, isn’t it? Just to be safe I will toss in something like the stock market has generally trended upward throughout history to support my point. In order to add another societal problem to distract from the one at hand, I will note that women in some states are being robbed of their ability to utilize their constitutionally protected reproductive rights due to trap laws. Oh, and it also must be okay to let huge amounts of Nitrogen run off into the environment because there is Nitrogen in human excrement.

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