While we were away in early August another important climate-related story was that the obesity crisis ended. Or at least computer models say it will happen when widespread crop failure occurs because plants hate CO2 and warmth. Though as we’ve shown before, the government has been predicting this for a long time and harvests just keep going up. When ordered to wither, apparently plants don’t listen.
The supposed food/land use crisis reflects a tendency of all progressive causes to converge, often in an overwhelming Puritan impulse to take away everything normal people like including meat and travel. But the food crisis just isn’t happening. Humans may be encroaching on ecosystems with harmful effects on many animals including tigers, and indeed on our own mental health as we lose contact with nature. But plants didn’t get the memo and wilt on cue. As a result, global malnourishment has fallen by half since 1980.
Scientific American is all atwitter that the inconvenient “greening” of the planet over the last half-century secretly stopped 20 years ago and plants are now declining because global warming is reducing air moisture (even while increasing rainfall and flooding as well as droughts). But we say “secretly” because NASA, which monitors such things with sophisticated satellites, missed it, declaring instead this February that “The world is literally a greener place than it was 20 years ago, and data from NASA satellites has revealed a counterintuitive source for much of this new foliage: China and India.” Which you’d think would be good news given how many people in those two countries have long struggled to feed themselves adequately.
Also don’t tell Scientific American about the IPCC reporting on August 7 (paragraph A2.3) that “Satellite observations have shown vegetation greening over the last three decades in parts of Asia, Europe, South America, central North America, and southeast Australia. Causes of greening include combinations of an extended growing season, nitrogen deposition, CO2 fertilisation, and land management (high confidence). Vegetation browning has been observed in some regions including northern Eurasia, parts of North America, Central Asia and the Congo Basin, largely as a result of water stress (medium confidence). Globally, vegetation greening has occurred over a larger area than vegetation browning (high confidence).” (Of course the IPCC turned this finding into a land use emergency driven by climate change. But then they would.)
And schtum on the India Times just reporting that “The rebound in monsoon rainfall has created ideal conditions for agriculture for the rest of the year with accelerated planting and much more water in reservoirs, which officials said would lead to record food production this year…. This completes the turnaround of the farm situation that looked grim in June when authorities were planning drought-relief measures…” See, there’s less atmospheric moisture so…
No wait. There’s more atmospheric moisture. At least NBC says so, warning that “Longer heat waves and more intense downpours could prompt global food crisis, U.N. panel warns.” Now as usual everything bad is due to climate change and was predicted by the alarmists albeit only after the fact. But the real issue in the American Midwest was a cold, wet spring. Yes, cold. And David Archibald, who has been a lonely voice tracking this issue warns that while the USDA is still optimistic about the U.S. corn crop, the big issue now is “when the first killing frost hits.” You see, the crops are about 2.5 weeks behind the average for 2014-18 which pushes into dangerous territory for achieving maturity. (Not having received the memo about there being no Medieval Warm Period, Archibald even says the situation “reminds us of the Medieval Warm Period to Little Ice Age transition in the Corn Belt” before drawing a scary map showing the “Limit of the Corn Belt” in the two periods with much of Michigan and Wisconsin lying between them.)
It takes some mental gymnastics for NBC to ascribe a poor crop due to a cold spring and a frosty autumn to global warming, and more rain to less atmospheric moisture. Or rather the sort of intellectual inertia that prevents you from thinking even about what you are saying, let alone what others are.
Strangely, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada boasts of handing out hundreds of thousands of dollars “through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support projects identified in the Bulkley-Nechako & Fraser-Fort George Regional Adaptation Strategies” that will help some BC farmers adapt to climate change in “four priority impact areas” namely “increasing wildfire risk, increasing variability and shifting crop suitability, warmer and drier summer conditions, and changing pest dynamics.” Wait a minute? Drier or wetter? Warmer or colder? Aaaaaah, it’s both at once. (Also, the concept of farmers adapting to climate change instead of passively folding up matters more than some predictions seem to think.)
The New York Times managed to give the IPCC study story the usual “World ends, minorities hardest hit” spin, saying that “Some authors [of the IPCC report] also suggested that food shortages are likely to affect poorer parts of the world far more than richer ones.” But if so, surely the appropriate policy response is to help poorer parts of the world become rich so they are more resilient in the face of challenges, which will not be achieved by curtailing their access to reliable energy.
Food Secure Canada does the time warp (again, as alarmists frequently play fast and loose with what’s going to happen versus what already did) with its chair Melana Roberts saying “This report has clearly shown that climate change has already had devastating impacts.” Like, we suppose, cutting global malnourishment in half over the past 40 years. Should we thank climate change for that?
Time for a dose of common sense. Crops aren’t failing, plants don’t choke on CO2 and if 10 per cent of humanity is malnourished it’s a huge improvement on the figure before we discovered fossil fuels.