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Letter: Carbon dioxide serves a vital purpose

Letter: Carbon dioxide serves a vital purpose


A few says ago, on TV, I heard John Kerry say; "We need to get carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere." As a retired teacher of biology, this made me wonder if he ever took a biology class and if he did, does he remember learning about the process known as photosynthesis.

Most people in this country probably took biology in high school. Therefore, let me refresh your memory about photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process carried on by green plants that produces most of our food. As simply as I can, I will tell you how is takes place.

Green plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by way of little holes in their leaves. They absorb water from the soil through their roots. The plant, in its leaves, then splits the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released back into the atmosphere to be used by oxygen breathing organisms. Then in the leaves of these green plants, the hydrogen is combined with the carbon dioxide. This produces simple sugar (glucose) which the plant can then combine two or more glucose molecules into complex sugars and starches ... yes, our food. Some plants (legumes) can add in nitrogen, which produces proteins.

As you can see, photosynthesis is the great accomplishment of nature and it produces our food, If we get rid of carbon dioxide, we could starve due to the lack of food. Maybe John Kerry would rather starve than have carbon dioxide be abundant in our atmosphere. To reduce carbon dioxide, I have a suggestion, plant green plants.

Nancy Lincoln



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