Posts Tagged 'drought'

Filthy Dreamers

If you are the President’s chief scientific advisor then you have a duty to be informed and keep informed, and a duty to refrain from making indisputably false statements. Such responsibility is obviously too much for John Holdren, who has shown himself again as an inveterate liar (see earlier posts All who hate Me love Death and Growth of Crops, Weeds, CO2 and Lies). In a recent interview with New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert, Holdren repeats the litany of ‘evidences’ for anthropogenic global warming, which he must know are patently untrue if he has read any scientific literature over the past few years. Holdren said

We all talk about the acceleration of climate change in its impacts that we’re observing. One sees the incidence of wildfires going up more rapidly than people expected, the incidence of heat waves and droughts going up more rapidly, sea level is rising more rapidly… All of these indicators are moving more rapidly.

Wrong on all counts. It’s simply impossible for Holdren to be honestly mistaken here, because the data in some cases comes from US government agencies. Consider sea level rise. There is not the slightest evidence that “sea level is rising more rapidly”, that this represents an “acceleration of climate change in its impacts”. When Holdren says “One sees…” he cannot mean to ‘foresee’ as a ‘seer’ might do, since his previous statement makes it clear that this is one of the accelerating ‘impacts that we’re observing’. Well, it’s really very easy to determine Holdren’s integrity since we can simply look at the data that ‘we’re observing’. Do records show that sea level rise is accelerating, “rising more rapidly”? Not at all: sea level rise has been pretty steady over the last 100 years, except in the last few years when it has appeared to slow down significantly, even to the extent of appearing to show a declining trend since 2006. Wolfgang Scherer, Director of Australia’s National Tidal Facility correctly states

One definitive statement we can make is that there is no indication based on observations that sea level rise is accelerating.

Continue reading ‘Filthy Dreamers’

Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records

Before we get into detail about plant biology and ecology, let us see what is being said about the effect of CO2 emissions on climate. Specifically, it is said that the earth warmed during the twentieth century. In truth, taking the earth as a whole, including parts of the earth where no-one lives and where crops are not grown (i.e most of the earth), a very small amount of warming occurred, about half a degree overall, none of which can be attributed to CO2 emissions in any robust scientific way – it has all the hallmarks of natural variation. Some parts of the earth cooled and some warmed.

We are told that the effects of future warming, coupled with decreasing rainfall, will cause terrible difficulties for crop production in the tropics and equatorial areas, because many crops in those regions are already on the limits for heat damage, and are already badly stressed due to drought (we will see the evidence in later posts that the best solution for crops that are heat or drought stressed is increased atmospheric CO2). We are told that the likely future scenarios will be worst for countries in the tropics and equatorial zones. Seldom are we told that the same scenarios predict much-needed warmth to northern Canada, northern Europe and Siberia, bringing vast tracts of land into agricultural use, which with the increased atmospheric CO2 will enable greatly increased food production – and that in countries that have the infrastructure, the technology, and the capital to make the best use of it.

But is it true that trends are pointing towards impending catastrophe in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa? Not at all, if trends from the nineteenth century are anything to go by.

Continue reading ‘Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records’