"Well the younger advising the old."
"Absolutely. Well Greta at Davos as we mentioned on Monday. `Let`s be clear," she said, "We don`t need a low-carbon economy. We don`t need to lower emissions; our emissions have to stop and to stay if we are to have a chance to stay below the 1.5 °C target`."
"So our emissions have to stop. We`ve got to stop breathing, Brian, is basically what it`s all about. Right?"
"Right. And this young lady is trained in climate change and she`s trained in economics as well, presumably."
"Well at the age of 16, 17, yeah incredible. She said. `Until we have the technologies that, at scale, can put our emissions to minus, then we must forget about net zero - we need real zero`."
"So I can`t imagine what that means other than no humanity at all. So there you go. That was her position. Well Mark [Carney] was there as well, although impossible to find him on the World Economic Forum website, or the YouTube channel. But he was reiterating once again the things that he`d been saying in the run-up to this. Basically you need to change [and have regard to carbon emissions] if you`re a business or in the financial sector, or else. `At the core of the system these questions are being asked, if you`re on the right side or the wrong side, and if you`re on the wrong side, what are you going to do about it?` So this is his position."
Brian Gerrish: "So no more discussion; it`s you`re either in or you`re out. If you`re out we`re going to deal with you. You will fail."
"Yes, you will fail. .. So this is becoming the question: what`s your plan to get to net zero carbon emissions? That will determine where capital is flowing, obviously influenced by public opinion, pressure and government policy as well. So government policy comes last. Public opinion comes first. Pressure in the meantime."
"So, you know, as I say, Mark Carney`s contribution wasn`t really highlighted terribly strongly on the World Economic Forum website or on the YouTube channel. So I had a look in the mainstream media to see what they were saying about it... Well there was a little report in the Telegraph and there was a little report on Yahoo News but other than that, there was only an interview with him from Bloomberg, because Bloomberg has now set up a green section on its website and as you can see there it tells us down the left-hand side how naughty we are being. So, you know, it tells us about carbon emissions ... But it`s a scrolling sidebar at the left there all coloured green, all about how many billion tons of CO2 we`re pushing into the atmosphere. It tells us how many soccer fields of forests that we`re cutting down. So it is really good. As you can see the numbers change. So it`s fantastic. I`m really impressed with that."
"So anyway... it was doom and gloom at Davos with I have to say... with one exception and that was Donald Trump who in typically Trumpian style - I leave it to everybody to decide for themselves what everybody thinks about this - but while everybody was saying, you know, the world is ending and we`ve got to stop breathing, this is what Trump had to say:"
"So that was his position. I don`t know what you think about that."
Brian Gerrish: "It`s very interesting, Mike, because just when you get to the point where you think that Trump is completely off the rails he comes in and what comes out of his mouth makes common sense. What he`s talking about is real. We`ve got special interests; we`ve got all of these gloom and doom merchants who predicted that we`re going to be wiped off the face of the earth. It was HIV at one stage... Millions of people were going to be dying and, of course, we haven`t seen it because it`s fake news. And he`s highlighting it in front of these very dangerous people ...who are the special interest group he`s just been talking about. But is he just playing to the world stage or does he actually believe what he`s saying? "
Mike Robinson: "Oh, if he`s playing to any stage, it`s a domestic stage. He is, of course, heading into an election year and that`s a key part of everything he says, I suppose... but, you know, it was a pretty strong message that would find itself at 180 degrees to everything else that Greta and Mark Carney and the rest were saying."
"So we`ll see what the response to that is. I know that BBC did a big section on... whether there [were any facts] in his speech."
Politics aside, there are benefits for plants from increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Do we want a greener earth?
Nature achieves a balance
Humans and other animals breathe in oxygen for respiration and breathe out carbon dioxide as a waste product.
Plants use carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for photosynthesis and give off oxygen as a by-product.
It was plants that put oxygen into the earth`s atmosphere in the first place so that life as we know it has evolved.