Krugman–food shortage caused by weather caused by global warming, of course
Paul Krugman has suddenly discovered the food shortage in the world. And, he’s come to the conclusion that it has mostly been caused by all the bad weather we’ve been having. Of course that bad weather only be caused by man-made global warming (although there are other scientists claiming otherwise).
While several factors have contributed to soaring food prices, what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing we’d expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climate — which means that the current food price surge may be just the beginning.
Well he’s right about one thing – “these severe weather events” are certainly blamed on man-made global warming, although a body of evidence is developing saying that’s simply not true. But being able to now tie it all to food shortages is a new venue for using scare tactics in an effort to enable government to control and tax something that is absolutely natural.
Krugman knows he’s on shaky ground as can be seen here – but he forges ahead anyway:
It’s true that growth in emerging nations like China leads to rising meat consumption, and hence rising demand for animal feed. It’s also true that agricultural raw materials, especially cotton, compete for land and other resources with food crops — as does the subsidized production of ethanol, which consumes a lot of corn. So both economic growth and bad energy policy have played some role in the food price surge.
Still, food prices lagged behind the prices of other commodities until last summer. Then the weather struck.
Consider the case of wheat, whose price has almost doubled since the summer. The immediate cause of the wheat price spike is obvious: world production is down sharply. The bulk of that production decline, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, reflects a sharp plunge in the former Soviet Union. And we know what that’s about: a record heat wave and drought, which pushed Moscow temperatures above 100 degrees for the first time ever.
Yes, it is true that emerging nations are demanding more meat and that means more crops go to feed. Then there’s the ethanol scam using 40% of the corn crop. I guess, in an oblique way, you can blame ethanol on “global warming” too.
Naturally an unusual heat wave is a result of man-made global warming (AGW). So, apparently are monster blizzards (just ask Al Gore). But don’t believe him, let Paul Krugman, global warming expert fill you in:
To some extent we’re seeing the results of a natural phenomenon, La Niña — a periodic event in which water in the equatorial Pacific becomes cooler than normal. And La Niña events have historically been associated with global food crises, including the crisis of 2007-8.
But that’s not the whole story. Don’t let the snow fool you: globally, 2010 was tied with 2005 for warmest year on record, even though we were at a solar minimum and La Niña was a cooling factor in the second half of the year. Temperature records were set not just in Russia but in no fewer than 19 countries, covering a fifth of the world’s land area. And both droughts and floods are natural consequences of a warming world: droughts because it’s hotter, floods because warm oceans release more water vapor.
Yeah, uh, they’re also “natural consequences” of a cooling world, or a world in which the magnetic poles are going to flip, or a world that is experiencing the effects of sun spots, or as mentioned, regional weather patterns.
As always, you can’t attribute any one weather event to greenhouse gases. But the pattern we’re seeing, with extreme highs and extreme weather in general becoming much more common, is just what you’d expect from climate change.
Really – you can’t? But that’s precisely what happens daily, Mr. Krugman. Here’s your crowd on the Moscow heat wave:
According to environmentalists, the heat wave in Russia has been caused by man-made global warming.
Al Gore – after telling us the warmer weather meant less snow in our future is now explaining this winter of humongous snow falls, some of which fell in 49 of the 50 states, as a result of … global warming.
Most folks realize that when you explain something one way, you can’t have it the other way, no matter how convenient it might be to your argument. And yes, that’s an “inconvenient truth”. That also brings us to Krugman’s attempt to wave off critics:
The usual suspects will, of course, go wild over suggestions that global warming has something to do with the food crisis; those who insist that Ben Bernanke has blood on his hands tend to be more or less the same people who insist that the scientific consensus on climate reflects a vast leftist conspiracy.
See, when you use “scientific consensus” you loose all credibility, Mr. Krugman – science isn’t about “consensus”, it’s about skepticism.
And all of this has little to do with believing in a “vast leftist conspiracy” – that’s your strawman. It has to do with bad science and the hacks who push it.
That would include you, sir.