Far from being a pollutant, rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations will never directly harm human health, but will indirectly benefit humans in a number of ways. Chief among these benefits is global food security. People must have sufficient food, simply to sustain themselves; and the rise in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration that has occurred since the inception of the Industrial Revolution (an increase of approximately 100 ppm) has done wonders for humanity in this regard. And, it will continue to work wonders in helping us meet the rising food consumption needs of a larger, future population.
In addition to increasing the quantity of food available for human consumption, the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is also increasing the quality of the foods we eat. It significantly increases the quantity and potency of the many beneficial substances found in their tissues (such as the vitamin C concentration of citrus fruit), which ultimately make their way onto our dinner tables and into many of the medicines we take, improving our health and helping us better contend with the multitude of diseases and other maladies that regularly afflict us. In just one species of spider lily, for example, enriching the air with CO2 has led to the production of higher concentrations of several substances that have been demonstrated to be effective in fighting a number of human maladies, including leukemia, ovary sarcoma, melanoma, and brain, colon, lung and renal cancers, as well as Japanese encephalitis and yellow, dengue, Punta Tora and Rift Valley fevers.
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