Free Markets, Free People

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.



57 Responses to Krugman–food shortage caused by weather caused by global warming, of course

  • My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning.

    I blame global warming.

  • Paul is sort of right but for the wrong reasons.
    It seems that AGW triggered among other things the “need for bio-fuels” which had created a demand for the products of the world’s farmland.   I blame Al Gore for casting the deciding “tie breaking” vote in the Senate for ethanol.

    • The Spanish and Germans are doing it. So are the French. The British might have to do it. Austerity-whacked Europe is rolling back subsidies for renewable energy as economic sanity makes a tentative comeback. Green energy is becoming unaffordable and may cost as many jobs as it creates. But the real victims are the investors who bought into the dream of endless, clean energy financed by the taxpayer. They forgot that governments often change their minds.

      • Obama is so far behind on the “Euro-Curve.”  He is  .. so yesterday.

      • That is so awesome. I hope the guys in Silicon Valley who bankroll the state propositions that fund / create demand for their products while driving other industries out get a taste of this medicine.

    • I was listening to a report that said that Great Britain’s “green energy” infrastructure produced essentially NO net electricity over the last several months.
      Actually, that could be optimistic, as many of the wind generators had to be heated to keep them turning during icing conditions.
      Color me unimpressed…  Also, color me pissed off, as I was without power for about 12 hours last week…here in Texas, where we savvy natural gas for power.  Now, I have to figure a way to have my own generating capacity, since being cold in the dark is really sucky.

      • The idea of TEXAS, of all places, being without power… Unbelievable.

      • I thought last week in Dallas would be a break from cold elsewhere and help get past this dreary winter.

        Talk about having a wrong number. It was warmer back home in Tennessee. And the elegant little B&B had wonderful food for breakfast, but not much insulation to keep out nine degree cold. (Had to stay there instead of a regular hotel because it was so hard to find a room. Something about a game happening between some steel workers and some meat packers.)

        I had the same reaction – rolling blackouts in Texas?

        • Hey, its hard to produce electricity using wind power without the high speed rails system in place to deliver the engineers who come from China to install and maintain the windmills.

    Five-year curse
    The main reason to question an upbeat prediction was that Russia appeared overdue for a season plagued by weather setbacks.
    “Typically we have had pretty bad crop years every five years,” Mr Sizov said, pegging the crop at 90m-97m.
    “The crop in 1998 was pretty bad, and there were problems in 2003. But that’s the last difficult year we had.”

    Bad crop weather in Russia… cyclical? Naaa, that would spoil the narrative.

  • … but their crediblity is impeccable …

    A CONSERVATION group has admitted it botched a highly publicised report which claimed New Zealand’s forests were the second most threatened in the world – when it actually meant New Caledonia.
    Conservation International, a US-based charity, released figures last week which said New Zealand’s forests housed only five per cent of their original habitat – second only to Indo-Burma.
    However, the organisation has now admitted it got confused between New Zealand and New Caledonia.

    Close but no cigar

  • Science isn’t about consensus?   So you’d teach creationism in biology class, the steady state universe in astronomy, and Chemistry departments will start offering courses in alchemy.  Scientific consensus happens when there is such an overwhelming agreement between theory and evidence that most people believe that the theory is valid.   That does not eliminate skepticism — there are skeptics about the expanding universe, evolution, and global warming.  Most of the global warming aren’t skeptics but politically motivated and funded folk who don’t care about the science and want to cherry pick any “skeptical” story and blow it out proportion while being silent on the vast majority of work done by climate scientists.   They used to deny global warming was occurring.  One propaganda tactic was that when 1998 spiked way up, and then the pattern went back to its normal pattern people said “the earth has been cooling since 1998.”  But any look at the pattern shows a continued increase, with 2010 a record year in terms of average global temperature.   That’s why the political arguments, even Krugman’s, shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone wanting to understand the science.  Throw out the political blogs, they are worthless, showing bias one way or the other.  The key is to look at the science, the scientific journals, and the studies.  Not just cherry picking ones that agree with one owns’ bias, but the most respected peer reviewed work.  If you do, it’s clear there is a consensus.  If you’re a propagandist, you’ll just cherry pick  and obfuscate and come up with bizarre theories like “shifting magnetic poles” are causing the problem, even though CO2 growth and temperature growth are directly correlated:

    • “Science isn’t about consensus?   So you’d teach creationism in biology class, the steady state universe in astronomy, and Chemistry departments will start offering courses in alchemy.”

      Why not? They were all the products of scientific ‘consensus’ at one time or another. And don’t forget Ptolemaic astronomy and the flat earth, two more ‘consensus’ scientific theories. 

      • Helicobacter pylori was first discovered in the stomachs of patients with gastritis and stomach ulcers in 1982 by Dr. Barry Marshall and Dr. Robin Warren of Perth, Western Australia. At the time, the conventional thinking was that no bacterium can live in the human stomach, as the stomach produced extensive amounts of acid of a strength similar to the acid found in a car battery. Marshall and Warren rewrote the textbooks with reference to what causes gastritis and gastric ulcers. In recognition of their discovery, they were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

        Marshall and Warren were physically thrown out of medical seminars before the consensus was overthrown.

    • “even though CO2 growth and temperature growth are directly correlated”
      Yes, lagging, not leading.  Dork.

    • Bizarre theories?   You are aware of the geologic record on the poles shifting, yes?  It’s an accepted matter of ‘scientific consensus’ that it occurs and affects the global climate when it happens.

      • Well, yeah, AND it is demonstrable, measurable, and HAS been supported by that EVIDENCE thingy…
        But, hey, when you are a “political scientist” (ha!), you get to pronounce what you don’t understand “bizarre”…

        • New form of evidence. Any scientific facts that aren’t within the last 6000 years or so OR don’t fit the AGW theory are best and safely ignored.
          See, if it didn’t happen in recorded history (and sometimes, even if it did) we’re allowed to ignore it.  The only REAL information that matters is pretty much what occurred from the advent of the Industrial Revolution till today (and the institution, coincidentally, of modern capitalism and nasty old Western money grubbing philosophies…).
          See, we can use that 230 odd years to know EXACTLY what is climatically correct for the entire earth for it’s entire span of time!!!!
          Okay, so really only the human span, well, really only the last 250 years, but hey!  I’m tellin ya!  The geologic records fro the last 250 years, where we actually have them, and where we selectively use the right data,  shows it’s ALL caused by man….
          and we can stop it if we’ll just…. give them enough money and authority… do…..something or other….to prevent the….uh…thingies…..that cause it to happen, which are ALL caused, conveniently….. or at least MOSTLY…….by CO2 produced in the West, see?  It’s sooooo simple!

          • Gee, when you explain like THAT…

          • I know!  I mean, I had a lot of help from Al Gore, clearly I’m a little bit fuzzy on what we’re going to do to stop it, but it’s a freight train headed our way, and…you know their plan to reduce stuff over the next 40 years by penalizing retooling western countries and shifting their wealth to third world countries, will save us all from terrible climate in 2012!
            Oh, okay, well, it won’t save us that soon, but trust me, enough money and sacrifice on our parts will save us!  We just have to believe and sacrifice!   Charlie Manson will show us the way! Rev Jones will teach us President Obama will save us!

      • “You are aware of the geologic record on the poles shifting, yes?”

        Geology is just one of many scientific disciplines of which Erp is ignorant. 

    • Scientific consensus happens when there is such an overwhelming agreement between theory and evidence that most people believe that the theory is valid.

      Funny, you seem to have missed that word’s meaning…EVIDENCE…altogether.  But you also missed the part (intentionally, IMNHO) where a theory has to be falsifiable, and whatever EVIDENCE you suggest has to be REPEATABLE and TESTABLE.
      What an idiot.

    • You are simply wrong, completely about this subject. You fell hard for the bogus AGW hoax while the rest of us remained healthy sceptics.

    • Scott, you do not know a thing about this subject.

      I could probably randomly stop people on the street who have a better understanding of it.

      • But you’d also make a lot of them REALLY jolly when you tried to make them understand that Gorebal warming was causing really COLD freaking weather…
        That one ALWAYS kills me…!!!

    • with 2010 a record year in terms of average global temperature

      OMG, CRU reported that 2010 was .001 degrees warmer. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
      Wait… Mr. Jones, what was that you said? What do you mean there’s been no statistically significant warming since 1998. What about all those record years? What about the 0.2 degree warming per decade?
      Oh, I see. There was almost significant warming.
      Wait… Almost significant? Isn’t that like being almost pregnant?
      Wait Mr Jones, Come back I have a few more questions.
      Hello ? Mr.  Jones?

      • It was actuall 0.166 degree warming per decade. At least, from 1975 to 1998.

        Also, the period 2002 — 2009 cooled at a rate of -0.12/decade.

    • No. Science is NOT about consensus.  It is about applying the scientific method.  Science isn’t about what someone else believes.  It is about what you can prove.  Belief is religion, not science.
      Jeez what an idiot.

      • Indeed.

      • Well, there has to be a consensus around certain paradigms, like Newton’s laws and Einstein’s relativistic amendments thereto.

        But ongoing science is not a matter of consensus, it is a matter of testable hypotheses and reproducible results.

        As to the claim that there is a consensus about global warming on the basis of testable hypotheses and reproducible results, that is false. See Richard Lindzen et al. on that issue. The claim that there is a consensus is false, and the status of warming/CO2 within climate science has no claim to being a paradigm, not even close.

        Warming, as it stands, is about 95% hoax, and that remaining 5% is the observation of a trend that is completely within the scope of normal trends seen in the Holocene (the app. 10,000 year old interglacial period that the Earth is in). Recall that warming was sold as a dramatic and unprecedented uptick in global temperature. It was neither.

    • “even though CO2 growth and temperature growth are directly correlated: ”

      A little elementary statistics for the mathematically illiterate: Correlation is not causation. 

      • Given that CO2 rise FOLLOWS temperature increases, there is a further correlation:
        1) Solar activity increases causing temperature increases (correlation: damn near 1.0:1.0)
        2) Higher temps cause release of CO2 stores.
        3) Algore doesn’t do an overlay comparison of the charts and the left/media wet themselves. (Another 1:1 correlation)

    • Science isn’t about consensus?

      No Erp, science is about theories backed by repeatable experiements. The consensus doesn’t fu*king matter.

    • Science isn’t about consensus?

      No.  It isn’t.  Science is the pursuit of fact, via a rigorous methodology, which includes skepticism of what is popularly accepted as fact by testing the “common wisdom”.  In cases such as geocentric vs. heliocentric, steady state vs. plate tectonics, steady state vs. “big bang”, the people who were correct were ridiculed, even excommunicated and imprisoned.  But eventually, the truth won out.  The “consensus” did not come about because political appointees at a UN conference gave their harrumphs to information derived from computer models followed by harrumph echoes from grant-whoring catastrophic AGW alarmists and the lame-stream media and entertainment industry (who realized that catastrophe sold more magazines and movies).  In these historical cases, the “consensus” came from irrefutable arguments being put forth, tested, re-tested, and tested hundreds of times.
      Scientists put their eyeballs up to telescopes, charted the planetary orbits, and did the math.  They took the shifting magnetic alignment of the seabed floors, put them on an overlay with charts of the undersea topography, performed minute measurements of the actual movement of land masses, and did the math.  They measured the spectral shifts of galaxies of differing distances, measured background radiation, and did the math.  Despite the initial “consensus” in the respective fields that the people offering such theories were crackpots, the facts won out.
      With CAGW predictions, the numbers aren’t fitting the dire predictions of a decade ago.  We’re told that AGW causes more snow, less snow, more storms, less storms, more food, less food.  Every damned thing that happens, even earthquakes!, we’re told is a natural result.  But instead of publicizing full data sets, instead of approaching the CAGW hypotheses in the properly scientific manner (testable theories), we get decrees of “settled science” and even disgusting propaganda videos of blowing up children who don’t march in lockstep with the collectivist programs.

      So you’d teach creationism in biology class, the steady state universe in astronomy, and Chemistry departments will start offering courses in alchemy.

      Strawman.  Each of those wrong ideas were once in the domain of “consensus”, as I’ve explained.  They were debunked by evidence and testing, testing, testing.  Modern Chemists don’t keep their data sets a secret.  They need not point to “consensus” to debunk an alchemist who purports to be able to create gold from a potion.  They point to hard data, to mountains of experiments.  Most effectively, however, they simply challenge the alchemist to do his own test to try to falsify their ideas.  They are confident not because of popularity or political clout, but because they know the crackpot will never be able to produce gold in a real laboratory setting.
      Not so the CAGW alarmists.  They must accuse the skeptics (you know, skepticism is one of the foundations of the scientific method of inquiry) of being paid by corporate or political interests, when the exact opposite turns out to be the case.  They must use statistical tricks to hide unfavorable results.  They must imply, over and over, that CO2 increases precede temperature increases, when the data shows the opposite.  They must use tainted data from temperature stations positioned near urban heat islands to inflate temperatures.
      But most of all, they must base the majority of their work on computer models, and continuously build into those models assumptions which presume their intended conclusions.  I’ve watched a few presentations by scientists who explain how they used computer simulations to predict hurricanes, future precipitation patterns (droughts or increases), etc. and, over and over, they build their computer models with the assumption that the IPCC predictions (based upon computer simulations over a decade old) are fact.  Here’s how the game goes: (1) you assume (based upon the IPCC predictions) that the temperature will rise x°C in a given time frame, (2) you include x in your formulas for your simulation, (3) you run simulations on parallel computers using those formulas in your models, and (4) lo-and-behold, the results of your simulation show some extreme result.  This gets reported in the media not as predictions based upon old predictions, but as new predictions which support the old predictions.

      Most of the global warming [skeptics] aren’t skeptics but politically motivated and funded folk who don’t care about the science and want to cherry pick any “skeptical” story and blow it out proportion while being silent on the vast majority of work done by climate scientists.

      That’s a lie.  There are billions of dollars in grants doled out to scientists each year.  Those who toe the CAGW line get funding.  Those who dare to question the orthodoxy don’t.  The political motivations of the alarmists are well documented.  The “solutions” to the purported problems of CAGW are, not surprisingly, the same “solutions” proposed by socialists.  In fact, many of the leaders in the alarmist community have a history of promoting socialist agendas which are, by and large, fit the same agenda as the more ardent CAGW alarmists today.

      They used to deny global warming was occurring.

      Who are “they”?  The fact is that there are plenty of people who agree that the climate is not a stable system and never has been.  They agree that there has been warming over the past century (though there is a leveling off in the past decade which belies the more dire predictions).  But they also point out that the climate, throughout history, has been fluctuating up and down continuously.  They agree that human industry contributes to changes in the climate, but don’t accept the decrees of alarmists that most of the “climate change” is man-made.  They are skeptical of the numbers and look for all possible explanations, instead of calling it “settled science” and walking away (which is a highly anti-Science attitude).
      Warren Meyer has a presentation and a layman’s guide you should look at.  To start with, explain the CAGW alarmist’s universal assumption that positive feedback will dominate climate change, unlike every other observable phenomenon in nature.  Explain how that assumption doesn’t fit the data if you work backwards from today, either.
      Face it, the CAGW alarmist community is filled with people who are anti-Science, who fantasize about blowing up people who don’t conform, instead of using evidence and sound scientific methodology to demonstrate the accuracy of their predictions.  You fell for it.  Considering your lack of intelligence in matters of science and logic and your political leanings, it’s not surprising.

  • Most of the global warming aren’t skeptics but politically motivated and funded folk who don’t care about the science and want to cherry pick any “skeptical” story and blow it out proportion while being silent on the vast majority of work done by climate scientists.

    OK Scott .. how many “skeptics” do you know personally that you are able to come up with this sage generalization ?

    • He doesn’t know any, but the consensus among knowledgeable observers is that all the skeptics are politically motivated.

      • I especially liked that “… and funded folk …” reference.  I suppose the Koch Brothers or “Big Oil” are funding millions of “skeptics” around the world, just like Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” is sending a paycheck to each and every Left-wing supporter.   I’m sure there are people who fall into this category of minion but they are few and far between.

    • I dunno guys…  I DO get pretty skeptical…INCREDULOUS actually…when the witch-doctors behind this mess “lose” all their data just at the time they were compelled by LAW to produce it.
      That sorta does it for me…

      • Sheer coincidence Rags!  Sheer coincidence!
        I would be happy if Dr. Erb would elighten us and produce the ‘correct’ temperature charts for the globe.  You know, the ones that show what the temperatures SHOULD BE world wide based on millions of years of scientific evidence.
        Pretty sure he thinks it should be, you know, more like when he liked the temperatures and climate, rather than whatever it is we have now (caused by BOOOOOSSSSHHHH).   Now, some people would think this demonstrates that “good old days” sort of thinking that people wistfully have as they recall times passed.  But we both know, he’s a scientist, and would never participate in such folly.

      • Maybe you could look into getting me on the Koch Brothers or “Big Oil” (or Flat Earth Society) payroll.
        Hey, if I’m going to be skeptical, why not get paid to do it ?

        • Nah, I’ll be skeptical gratis.  It’s part of that whole “how to be a scientist” thing my professors taught me in college: it’s just what we do.

  • When I read several weeks ago that 2010 was declared the hottest on record, I automatically was (shall we say?) suspicious.  Given that we KNOW from the ClimateGate e-mails and other sources that the Gorebots are cooking the books and that MiniTru* will uncritically – indeed, enthusiastically – trumpet what they claim, such a headline immediately produced skepticism.  Further, the claims ran head-on into my own experiences.  Frankly, while I have some recollection of a warm spring last year, overall it was quite a pleasant year, about normal or perhaps even a little cooler than normal for North Carolina.  It was certainly cooler this past summer than earlier in the decade, when we had lengthy periods in mid-summer where the temperatures stayed in the high 90s / low 100s for days on end.

    At Watt’s Up With That, Dr. David White looks at five different temperature records… and finds that 2010 was not appreciably different than the other years of the previous decade.

    “Contrary to press reports the evidence is that 2010 was a year no different from all of the years 2001-2009 with the exception of a moderate to strong El Nino that elevated temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere’s Spring, and a cooling La Nina later in the year. The standstill seen in global temperatures since 2001 continues.”

    Something should also be said about the numbers game being played.  The con artists running this scam are declaring this year or that to be “hotter” based on statistically insigificant differences in temperature.  They are aware that they are doing this.  Dr. Ryan Maue points out the glaring problem with NASA’s own story: different temperature records do not agree with each other, and so it is meaningless to claim that any given year is “the hottest”:

    “Well, then stop issuing press releases which tout the rankings, which are subject to change ex post facto.  You never know what year is number 1 due to those “subtle differences”, which apparently aren’t that important anyways.”

    Finally, Crazy Paulie adds to my skepticism by his heavy use of conditional statements and frequent admission that there are other explanations for the global food shortage (which, as I recall, “skeptics” warned about years ago: if you start turning food into fuel, this will drive up the cost of food).  Like the rest of the Gorebots, he’s floundering, clinging desperately to a bogus “theory” that was cooked up by a pack of charlatans to coin money and political power out of people’s fears that the summer is warm and the winter is cold.

    McQ[A]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.

    I disagree: it is EXACTLY a vast leftist conspiracy, organized and led by witch doctors like Hansen and Jones with politicos like Algore serving as their front men and MiniTru as their mouthpieces.  The MiniTru people may be too stupid to know what they are doing (I don’t expect a J-school grad to understand science above the level of “fire is hot and ice is cold”), but Hansen, Jones et al certainly aren’t.


    (*) I have recently seen folks over at AoSHQ refer to them as the MBM: Make-Believe Media.  Not a bad moniker.

    • Here in SoCal we had the coolest summer I can recall.

      People’s experience is part of the reason AGW is losing traction. After 30 odd years of “warming” we have been experiencing cool weather. The bad thing about AGW is that it is supposed to represent warming that increases over time, and when that prediction fails faith in the predictors fails.

      Now, they can argue that this is a special year, and we really would have been freezing our asses off if it wasn’t for AGW. But that’s not real convincing. Or they can argue that it really was a very hot year, it was just hot . . . someplace else. But that isn’t all that convincing, particularly for those of us that recall the global map of weather stations that feed data for the AGW crowd (as posted on this site, and very north hemisphere centric).

  • Roger Pielke Jr. handles the disposal work on Krugman’s ridiculous column.

    “Such tenuous claims of attribution have about as much scientific standing as Pat Robertson saying that Hurricane Katrina was the result of the vengeful wrath of God.”

  • To solve food shortage:

    1. Eliminate tariffs on imported ethanol made from sugar cane
    2. Stop turning corn into ethanol
    3. Break for lunch

    • Then there’s the ethanol scam using 40% of the corn crop. 

      If that corn wasn’t used for ethanol, farmers would grow nearly 40% less corn the following year.

      • Whoops, that wasn’t meant to be specifically directed at TheOldMan.

      • That makes a batch of assumptions you can’t make, seems to me…

        • Assuming Corn Producers will continue to grow corn that will probably rot most years on the off chance of an export demand spike might hit is the Queen Mother of assumptions. 

  • You really have to sympathize with the Russians. After seventy years of bad weather causing agricultural problems they now have global warming causing agricultural problems.

    • As opposed to what one MIGHT suspect, that the, uh, Russians are causing agricultural problems.  But no that can’t be it.

  • Good article about how the GOP is like the Catholic church in refusing to accept science when it comes to climate change.   How shamelessly you spread propaganda and lies makes me wonder if you actually have been fooled yourself and really believe your anti-climate change line, or if you are willfully trying to spread disinformation in order to achieve ideological ends.  In any event, you’re harming future generations and your ilk will be remembered much like those who tried to deny Galileo — or worse:

    • What is the “anti-climate change line”?  (Your hyphen makes that grammatically nonsensical, but that’s just a nitpick.)  Who denies that the climate changes?  The climate ranges between “Snowball Earth“, “icehouse Earth”, and “hothouse Earth”.  For over 4 billion years, it has never been stable.  So, you’re basically beating up a strawman to accuse people of obstinately insisting that the climate is not now changing.
      Now, since it has changed for the entire Earth’s history, and human influence could only possibly be a micro percent of geological time, then clearly and obviously these changes in climate have been natural, i.e., not anthropogenic.  So, the hypothesis that the climate change in the past century is mostly due to anthropogenic causes is rather stupid, blindly ignoring the past and making all sorts of assumptions about what would have been.
      In my experience, only a handful of people seriously argue that human industry has no influence on the climate.  So quit pretending that’s what you’re arguing against.  Greenhouse gases obviously cause warming.  The crux of the contention between alarmists and the bulk of skeptics is (1) how much of climate change is anthropogenic and what are the possible alternative influences, (2) what sorts of feedbacks (positive and negative) can influence the changes, and (3) how accurately can we predict future temperatures?
      (1) The alarmist guesses about the amount of anthropogenic contributions to climate change are tainted by political agendas and the political influence of grant money.  Additionally, press reporting of the science tends to be sensational, because that sells more papers.  Similarly, Hollywood loves a good catastrophe film and entertainers tend to be arrogant (thinking they are smarter on matters of science than they really are) and collectivist (choosing to go with fads to appear more sympathetic to their audience and having the “limousine liberal” attitudes), so they’re on the sensational bandwagon, too.  Because of these influences, we get declarations of “settled science” and other such anti-Science attitudes.  SCIENCE IS NOT ABOUT CONSENSUS.  SCIENCE IS ABOUT TESTING AND RE-TESTING, BEING SKEPTICAL AND NOT DECLARING SOMETHING “SETTLED”. Again, the attacks on skeptics show the alarmists to be rejecting some of the basic tenets of the Scientific Method of Inquiry.  That means that reality is 180 degrees from your assertions that the skeptics are the anti-Science people.
      (2) In nature, a positive feedback is very rare.  Negative feedbacks tend to dominate any complex system, so that particular quantities tend to oscillate, to cycle.  If positive feedbacks were so easy to occur in the Earth’s climate, then millions or billions of years before human beings walked the Earth, it would have turned into a greenhouse hell like Venus or a frozen snowball and stayed that way.  That’s what positive feedbacks mean.  If we accept the predictions of the anthropogenic contributions of CO2 into the atmosphere, without any sort of assumptions about feedbacks, the fact is that the increase in global temperature is a logarithmic function.  That means that for every degree C you increase the temperature, you have to double the amount of CO2.  (See figure from this source.)  Maybe your math is weak, but the long and the short of it is that without any feedbacks or other influences, global temperatures will increase about 0.5C to 1.5C, far less than the catastrophic forecasts of alarmists.  The reason is that the alarmists assume all sorts of positive feedbacks.  Considering the history of the Earth never being in a stable state, it’s completely nonsensical to make such an assumption.  Throughout history, negative feedbacks have made the climate oscillate.  Extrapolating backwards through time, the various theoretical positive feedbacks don’t match the data.  In other words, if you express your feedback as a function and use that to predict catastrophic changes, you can get people scared and worried.  But if the function doesn’t fit the data we have on record, then it’s wrong.
      (3) This past decade, with relatively flat temperatures, shows that most of the models which made predictions in the 1990s were just wrong.  The climate is extremely complex, which means the programmers must come up with greatly simplified simulations.  In order to run these programs in a reasonable amount of time, even on the fastest computers, they must fix certain assumptions into their formulas.  Like, for example, the amount of influence of CO2.  Clearly, when you control such basic assumptions, you control the numbers that the program spits out.  It’s the old garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) problem.  Warren Meyer does a good job explaining it more.

      In any event, you’re harming future generations and your ilk will be remembered much like those who tried to deny Galileo…

      In fact, the opposite is true.  Galileo challenged the prevailing political doctrine, what was at the time popularly considered “settled science”.  Despite the risks, he questioned the assumptions and looked at the evidence as a skeptic.
      Scientists are skeptics, not alarmists.
      And, making ridiculously emotional appeals about “harming future generations” simply by being scientific and challenging “conventional wisdom” (skepticism), you’re actually trying to make an appeal to sentiment to squash real scientific skepticism.  You’re trying to frighten people into not believing the modern day Galileos.
      All of the radical “solutions” which keep being offered up at UN conventions or by “green” activists are socialistic (punish productive, modern nations or companies and take money from them to give to the “less fortunate”) and tend towards the Luddite position.
      Let’s assume that the alarmist predictions are correct.  Now, how do we save “future generations” from the catastrophe?  The only way to do that would be to tear down modern industry and force people to live like our pre-industrial ancestors.  You’d have to eliminate nearly all power plants or switch to nuclear.  You’d have to stop producing products if their manufacturing process added CO2 to the atmosphere.  And, since the world’s population relies heavily on carbon-belching farms to feed all the billions of people, you’d have to let a good chunk of the world die of starvation.
      Get that through your head: even if you’re right about the science, you cannot avoid the consequences.  It’s simply not going to work because China and other countries won’t follow your orders and chances are, Americans and Europeans will eventually balk at the draconian changes when they figure out what they have to lose.  Any efforts you make to “save the planet” will be virtually pointless, like cutting a few million here and there about of a multi-trillion dollar budget.