Climate Change Weekly #152
Environmentalists delivered a dire report this Christmas season: Human-caused global warming is causing wheat harvests to fall. The message was repeated uncritically by much of the mainstream media.
Had they bothered to check the facts, the media would have discovered climate alarmists were lying once again. Wheat yields are rising dramatically in the U.S. and internationally – due in part, no doubt, to the fertilizing effect of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
In his regular column at Forbes.com, James M. Taylor – a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute, which distributes Climate Change Weekly – refutes alarmists’ claims concerning wheat production by going directly to the data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports global wheat yields have risen by 33 percent since 1994. In addition, there has been a 4 percent increase in land acreage growing wheat. Combined, the 33 percent increase in per-acre wheat yield and the 4 percent increase in land harvested for wheat equal an almost 40 percent increase in the global wheat harvest since 1994. Rather than slowing, yields set records in 2013 and again in 2014.
Alarmists and media lied both about general wheat trends and wheat production in specific countries and continents. For instance, Reuters cited a single report to claim wheat yields had fallen in hotter regions such as in Africa, Australia, Brazil, and India. The real data, highlighted by Taylor, tell a quite different story:
- Wheat production in Egypt, the only significant producer of wheat in Africa, has quadrupled during the past 30 years, “with the past 10 years producing the 10 highest wheat crops in Egyptian history.”
- In addition, “Africa’s second largest wheat producing country, Morocco, produced its highest wheat crop in history in 2013,” and South Africa produced record wheat yields in 2014.
- Brazil also produced consecutive years of record wheat yields in 2013 and 2014, 2014’s wheat crop being 30 percent larger than 2013’s record yield.
- India appears likely in 2014 to surpass its previous wheat production record, set in 2012.
- Of the countries cited by Reuters as having falling wheat production, only Australia failed to produce a record crop in 2013 or 2014. However, as Taylor points out, “its 2014 wheat crop was the eighth largest in its history,” with the record yield set just three years ago in 2011. Australia’s wheat production has risen steadily for four decades, with 2014’s wheat crop being four times larger than the yield in 1972.
For far too long, environmentalists and their willing dupes in the media have been allowed to make false claims unchallenged. Once the facts are checked, global warming-related food fears should fade, like darkness before the light of day.
IN THIS ISSUE …
Climate alarmists in denial … Google drinks warming Kool-Aid … Logic needed for climate policy … Climate models invalid even if rising temperatures return … Disaster payouts down
CLIMATE ALARMISTS IN DENIAL
Columnist Debra Saunders recently noted people are increasingly ignoring climate alarmists because rather than arguing facts, they resort to name-calling. She writes, “I have a theory as to why Americans don’t worry all that much about global warming: High-profile purveyors of climate change don’t push for reductions in greenhouse gases so much as focus on berating people who do not agree with their opinions. They call themselves champions of ‘the science’ — yet focus on ideology more than tangible results.” As Tom Harris noted in a speech to the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, global warming true believers revert to rhetoric rather than rational argument when they discuss the science and policies of climate change. Rather than debate or refute points made by climate realists, true believers revert to logical fallacies including, ad hominem, fallacy of appeal to authority, fallacy of appeal to majority, affirming the antecedent, etc., and in doing so, show their arguments are weak and can’t be defended using evidence.
SOURCES: San Francisco Chronicle; Tom Harris
GOOGLE DRINKS WARMING KOOL-AID
In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, declared the climate change debate over, saying “… the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. We should not be aligned with such people. They’re just literally lying.” As Paul Driessen and Chris Skates note at Watts Up With That, that statement demeans the work of climate realists, including the climate scientists who wrote and reviewed the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Change Reconsidered reports and the hundreds of scientists who have participated in The Heartland Institute’s nine international climate conferences. Rather than “lying,” as Schmidt accuses, climate realists acknowledge Earth’s climate and weather are constantly in flux. Environmental alarmists and their fellow travelers like Schmidt are the ones who deny reality: They seem to believe Earth’s climate was and should remain static and unchanging; they refuse to recognize natural forces dictate weather and climate events; and they cling to computer model predictions that fail to accurately reflect past or present temperature and weather trends.
SOURCE: Watts Up With That
LOGIC NEEDED FOR CLIMATE POLICY
In a lengthy, insightful, and wide-ranging essay for The American Interest, economist Richard Tol concludes “climate change is a problem that must be tackled” but says “we should not lose our sense of proportion or advocate solutions that would do more harm than good. Unfortunately,” he notes, “common sense is sometimes hard to find in the climate debate.” Tol argues there is no reason to believe climate change is new or to assume past or present climate conditions are somehow “better” than what future climate conditions may be. Unfortunately, says Tol, climatologists and economists who’ve tried to lead rational discussions about the relative benefits and costs of climate change and policy responses have seen their efforts overshadowed by fear mongers and the efforts of lobbyists with politically connected companies seeking subsidies and other government hand-outs.
SOURCE: The American Interest
CLIMATE MODELS INVALID EVEN IF RISING TEMPERATURES RETURN
Writing at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. blog, astrophysicist Donald Morton, former director general of the Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics of the National Research Council of Canada, contends even if temperatures begin rising again, that fact will not validate climate models. He writes, “Indefinite time scales, natural contributions, many adjustable parameters, uncertain response to CO2, averaging of model outputs, non linearity, chaos and the absence of successful predictions are all reasons to continue to challenge the present models.”
SOURCE: Climate etc.com
DISASTER PAYOUTS DOWN
Pierre L. Gosselin, manager of the No Tricks Zone website, reports preliminary estimates from Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, show losses from natural catastrophes were down considerably in 2014. Swiss Re estimates economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were $113 billion in 2014, down from $135 billion in 2013, with both 2013 and 2014 being considerably lower than the annual average of $188 billion for the past decade. And the good news keeps coming: Due to what Swiss Re referred to as “the mild hurricane season,” the number of deaths related to weather disasters fell nearly 60 percent, from 27,000 in 2013 to 11,000 in 2014. Most of the losses in 2014 were due to extreme winter conditions rather than extreme heat.
SOURCE: No Trick Zone
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