Sunday, August 25, 2019

CCW #333: U.N. Lies About Food Supplies and Climate Change - H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.


by H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.

The ongoing record crop production perfectly illustrates the difference between the Climate Delusion perpetrated by IPCC and other government-funded alarmists and what is happening in the real world.



In the run-up to the United Nations’ 68th Civil Society Conference, where the “climate crisis” and sustainable development will dominate discussions, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report in its ever-growing “Alarming Climate Crisis of the Week” series: “Climate Change and Land.”

IPCC’s new report paints a dark, disturbing picture about the current and future state of crop production and food availability. “Climate change, including increases in frequency and intensity of extremes, has adversely impacted food security and terrestrial ecosystems as well as contributed to desertification and land degradation in many regions,” the report claims.

“Warming compounded by drying has caused yield declines in parts of Southern Europe. Based on indigenous and local knowledge, climate change is affecting food security in drylands, particularly those in Africa, and high mountain regions of Asia and South America,” the report continues.

The fake news media eagerly hyped the alarmist report. For example, an August 8 NBC News headline reads, “Climate change could trigger a global food crisis, new U.N. report says.” Other major media outlets published similar stories.

There’s just one little problem with this report: its thesis and the facts. (Okay, we admit that’s two problems and they are both big.)

Evidently IPCC missed the fact the U.N.’s own data shows farmers throughout the world are setting new production records virtually every year. For example, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reports new records were set in each of the past five years for global cereal production—the Big Three food staples of corn, wheat, and rice.

Indeed, CCW 324, a special issue devoted to agriculture and climate change, pointed out World-Grain.com reports in 2016 world cereal production broke records for the third straight year, exceeding the previous record yield, recorded in 2015, by 1.2 percent and topping the prior record yield recorded in 2014 by 1.5 percent. In addition, government data from India (2017 through 2018) and Bangladesh (2016), show rice and coarse cereal production set new record highs. The subcontinent’s growth in food production is part of a long-term trend as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased. And Honduras also set new records in recent years for its production of staple and commercial crops, coffee, maize, rice, and wheat.

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change has documented hundreds of studies and experiments conclusively demonstrating plants, including cereal grains and fruits, generally thrive under conditions of higher carbon dioxide and modestly warmer temperatures.

The ongoing record crop production perfectly illustrates the difference between the Climate Delusion perpetrated by IPCC and other government-funded alarmists and what is happening in the real world.

To make the news gloomy, to fit the narrative humans are causing a dangerous climate crisis, IPCC’s report nefariously parses words and engages in semantic tricks to give readers a false impression of declining global crop production. The report refers to declining yields in “parts” of Southern Europe, ignoring data showing crop yields are rising throughout the world as a whole and across Southern Europe as well. Instead of highlighting this welcome development, IPCC focuses on what it claims are yield reductions in some small, isolated regions of Southern Europe. Readers who are not paying close attention will be led to believe, incorrectly, that crop yields are declining throughout Southern Europe. They are not.

Even if yields were declining in Southern Europe, it would be inappropriate to blame crop reductions in a small portion of the planet on global warming when study after study shows increasing carbon dioxide levels and the recent century’s modest warming are responsible for record yield increases globally and for a general greening of the Earth as forests, grasslands, and vegetation-cover expand even into marginal areas such as desert edges.

IPCC claims “indigenous and local knowledge” supports claims of declining food production “in drylands” in Africa, Asia, and South America. Such anecdotal evidence does not trump objective data, readily available to IPCC’s authors, showing crop yields are increasing throughout Africa, Asia, and South America as a whole, including on their drylands on average.

The irony of IPCC’s misleading claims and semantic tricks is that people who point out real data shows crop production continues to set new records almost every year are accused of “denying” climate change and attacking science. Point out facts about the increase of carbon dioxide having incontrovertible positive effects on plant growth and more efficient water use and contributing to increasing crop yields and a greening of the earth, and alarmists respond with the trite, derisive reply: “Climate change is real.” Yes, climate change is real, and record crop production is in fact consistent with and is partly explained by it.

Unfortunately, many people, having never examined actual crop production data, will believe the false claims of a food production crisis made by IPCC and other politically driven organizations. This is just the latest example of the ongoing Climate Delusion, as radical environmental activists, government bureaucrats, socialists, and a biased news media, looking to transform American society, continue to make ridiculous climate claims lacking any basis in actual climate and environmental conditions. Their hope is a constant drumbeat of authoritative-sounding claims will stampede people and politicians in the United States and elsewhere to give governments more power over the economy to combat the false climate crisis.

Fortunately, we can avoid that fate. Factual data, showing the truth about global food supplies and other climate conditions, is readily available to anyone willing to search the internet for it. Concerning climate and crops, a good place to start for a thorough presentation of the facts is the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change’s study Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts. In addition, as the UN’s Civil Society Conference starts in Salt Lake City, The Heartland Institute is hosting a livestreamed event online presenting the alternative view of the state of the planet, at which a number of notable climate experts will present good news about food supplies and global sustainability. Watch and learn.
  • James Taylor, guest essayist, with contributions from H. Sterling Burnett

SOURCES: United Nations; Climate Change Weekly 324; IPCC; The Heartland Institute; Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts; CO2 Science; YouTube
 

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.

Source: https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/newsletters/climate-change-weekly

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