Consider Paul Krugman, writing breathlessly in The New York Times about the “rising incidence of extreme events” and how “large-scale damage from climate change is happening now”.
He claims that global warming caused the current drought in the US midwest and that supposedly record-high corn prices could cause a global food crisis.
But the UN climate panel’s latest assessment tells us precisely the opposite: for “North America, there is medium confidence that there has been an overall slight tendency toward less dryness (wetting trend with more soil moisture and runoff)”.
Moreover, there is no way Krugman could have identified this drought as being caused by global warming without a time machine: climate models estimate that such detection will be possible by 2048, at the earliest.
And, fortunately, this year’s drought appears unlikely to cause a food crisis. According to The Economist, “price increases in corn and soybeans are not thought likely to trigger a food crisis, as they did in 2007-08, as global rice and wheat supplies remain plentiful”.
Moreover, Krugman overlooks inflation: prices have increased sixfold since 1969 so, while corn futures did set a record of about $US8 ($7.60) a bushel last month, the inflation-adjusted price of corn was higher throughout most of the 1970s, reaching a whopping $US16 in 1974.
Finally, Krugman conveniently forgets that concerns about global warming are the main reason that corn prices have skyrocketed since 2005. Nowadays 40 per cent of corn grown in the US is used to produce ethanol, which does absolutely nothing for the climate but certainly distorts the price of corn at the expense of many of the world’s poorest people.
It takes meteorologist Professor Roger Pielke Jr a single graph to demonstrate Krugman is a Nobel idiot.
But Melbourne’s Greens swallow Krugman’s rubbish gladly.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.