Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: July 23, 2012


Paul Krugman–climate alarmist

Not content to be a political hack, Krugman expands his field of hackery into climate alarmism. 

Commenting on the hot summer, corn and the drought, Krugman says:

But that’s not all: really extreme high temperatures, the kind of thing that used to happen very rarely in the past, have now become fairly common. Think of it as rolling two sixes, which happens less than 3 percent of the time with fair dice, but more often when the dice are loaded. And this rising incidence of extreme events, reflecting the same variability of weather that can obscure the reality of climate change, means that the costs of climate change aren’t a distant prospect, decades in the future. On the contrary, they’re already here, even though so far global temperatures are only about 1 degree Fahrenheit above their historical norms, a small fraction of their eventual rise if we don’t act.

The great Midwestern drought is a case in point. This drought has already sent corn prices to their highest level ever. If it continues, it could cause a global food crisis, because the U.S. heartland is still the world’s breadbasket. And yes, the drought is linked to climate change: such events have happened before, but they’re much more likely now than they used to be.

Sigh.

Facts are indeed an “inconvenient truth” when considering these alarmist screeds.

First, droughts in general, these findings from actual scientists:

Here is Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) in GRL (PDF):

[D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.

Oh.

Well never mind. 

But those corn prices!  Highest level ever!  And, and … people are going to starve!  We just aren’t going to have enough!

Economist Mark Perry disposes of that nonsense:

First, yields:

corn1

 

Then prices (inflation adjusted):

 

cornprice

 

You’d think a Nobel laureate economist could at least manage that, right?  Research inflation adjusted pricing on a commodity?

No?

Well it depends, I guess, on which hat you’re wearing that day.  Hack or economist.  Krugman continues to wear the first much more often than the second these days.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Poll: The economy belongs to Obama and it’s not good

Apparently the voters (likely voters) believe, according to this poll, that the economy is bad and, despite all his finger pointing to the contrary, it’s Obama’s fault:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

That’s a pretty significant split between those blamed, with GW Bush down to a low of 18%.  And note the reason cited: bad policy.

This is another of those indicator polls.  I point them out because they are a temperature check for the moment.  But what this particular poll indicates is all of the finger pointing, blame shifting and distraction aren’t working.  Voters, and again, I want to emphasize these are likely voters, aren’t or haven’t bought into that nonsense.

If indeed these likely voters actually believe the economy to be suffering from bad policy choices by Obama, it means his chance of winning, with 66% believing he’s the reason we’re suffering economically, are not good.

Again, an indicator – one in a long list of indicators to be considered with all the others. 

This one, like many of the others, aren’t at all favorable for the incumbent President.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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