By JR on Saturday, May 28, 2011
But by his name (Omar) he is a Muslim so we can't expect much of him. A Muslim U.N. official: That sounds like two strikes and you are out to me. Just five of many things he leaves out of his "calculations":
1). Since China has switched from a command economy to a market economy, it has moved from being a food importer to a major food EXPORTER -- showing that economic systems are the real key to food production.
2). The recent rise in CO2 levels is a huge fertilizer that has increased food output per acre and expanded arable areas.
3). Warmer oceans would give off more evaporation and hence INCREASE rainfall overall. Maybe someone should tell Omar that crops like that.
4). Crop failure in some areas is a normal result of the weather cycle but tends to be fairly local. Where some areas are having poor crops others tend to do well. Some areas of Australia, for instance, are at the moment expecting bumper wheat harvests. Australia is a significant wheat exporter.
5). Food prices have risen lately but that is largely due to a large part of the huge U.S. corn crop being diverted into the production of "biofool". The high prices are a result of Congressional stupidity, not the climate. It's true that Congressional stupidity is about as hard to budge as the climate but we can hope.
And what he DOES base his calculations on -- More extreme weather -- is a pure myth. There was just as much extreme weather a century ago.
Global food output may be hurt as climate change brings more extreme weather over the next decade, with China likely set for harsher droughts and North America getting heavier rain, said the World Meteorological Organization.
“Extreme events will become more intense in the future, especially the heat waves and extreme precipitations,” Omar Baddour, a division chief at the United Nations’ agency, said in a phone interview from Geneva. “That, combined with less rainfall in some regions like the Mediterranean region and China, will affect crop production and agriculture.”
The more extreme weather -- including in the U.S., the world’s largest agricultural exporter -- may disrupt harvests, possibly cutting production of grains, livestock and cooking oils and boosting prices. Global food costs reached a record in February, stoking inflation and pushing millions into poverty.
“We foresee with high confidence in climate projections that intense precipitation in some parts of the world will be more intense, and drought will be more intense,” said Baddour, who’s tracked the subject for more than two decades. Extreme heat waves “will also be more intense and more frequent.”
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s World Food Price Index, which tracks 55 food-commodity items, rose nine times in the past 10 months, with the gauge peaking at 237.24 in February. The index climbed to 232.07 last month.