Free Markets, Free People
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.
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.
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:
Then prices (inflation adjusted):
You’d think a Nobel laureate economist could at least manage that, right? Research inflation adjusted pricing on a commodity?
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.