WE’RE all familiar with incessant warnings that global warming is putting the world’s food supply at risk. One recent study, for example, claimed that a third of global food production will be at risk by the end of the century, while the UN told us that climate change would bring floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather which would shrink the global food supply.
Back in the real world, the world’s output of food continues to grow steadily, as the UN’s own data shows. Cereal production, for instance, once again set a record in 2021.
Provisional estimates for last year suggest a slight drop of 1 per cent, entirely the result of lower production in Ukraine, but it will still be the second highest on record.
Early estimates suggest that a record will be set this year as well.
Just as importantly, the value of agricultural output keeps going up as well, even when the effects of inflation are stripped away. This is significant because it means that the world’s farmers are financially better off and don’t have to rely on subsistence farming as they might have done in the past.
The real threat to our food supply is not climate change but the obsession with Net Zero. We have already seen the disastrous effect of the ban on imported nitrogen fertiliser in Sri Lanka last year, while the Canadian Government is committed to a 30 per cent cut in emissions of nitrous oxide by 2030; Canada’s agricultural sector accounts for three-quarters of those emissions. As we know, the Dutch government has in effect declared war on its farmers in its attempt to reduce emissions.
It is not only fertilisers. High agricultural productivity is heavily dependent on mechanisation, and this too will be put at risk as fossil fuels are phased out.
Meanwhile the UK Government thinks it’s a good idea to rewild large tracts of productive farmland or cover it with forests and solar panels, at the same time marginalising dairy farmers.
Worryingly in this context the WEF published their Food Systems Initiative last year, telling us: We need to fundamentally transform our food systems to provide all humanity with affordable, nutritious and healthy food within the limits of nature by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Achieving this transformation within a decade requires us to rapidly re-think and reshape our global food systems. Success rests on millions of smallholder farmers adapting to sustainable practices, billions of people improving their diets, and an ecosystem of actors that can enable transitions. This will demand an unprecedented level of regional and country action, supported by global leadership and underpinned by multiple integrated programmes and large-scale initiatives to leverage technology, streamline value chains, and adjust market systems.’
I think we all know what ‘improving our diets’ means – less food, no meat and plenty of bugs!
BBC exploits Bologna flood tragedy to push global warming agenda
THEY had not even finished counting the bodies when the BBC disgracefully rushed to put the blame for last week’s Bologna floods on climate change.
They broadcast a video by weatherman Chris Fawkes (and even included it at the start of their weekly weather outlook in case anybody missed it) which repeatedly made reference to extreme weather, extreme rainfall and extreme drought. Fawkes stated: ‘As our planet warms up, climate scientists tell us that extreme weather is likely to become more frequent, and I think that really does fit the bill for Italy for what we’ve seen.’
Climate scientists say all sorts of stuff, much of it lies or baseless. It should not be confused with evidence.
Fawkes specifically claimed that ‘half the average annual rainfall had fallen in 36 hours’, and noted that ‘over 200mm had fallen in the mountains’. Bologna’s annual rainfall is around 800mm, so clearly his claim does not stand up to scrutiny, particularly since the rainfall over the mountains would have been much higher than over the plains.
The fact is that Northern Italy is particularly prone to floods like this. In 1951, 77 died and 180,000 were left homeless when the Po flooded, an event repeated six years later. The 1966 Florence floods killed 101 when a third of a year’s average rainfall fell in two days. In 1994, 77 lost their lives in the Piedmont flood, when a third of a year’s rain fell in the space of three days.
The root cause of all of these floods, as well as last week’s, is the position of the jet stream well to the south of its normal location. Floods are particularly catastrophic because of the combination of topography and the proximity of a warm Mediterranean. When storms cross Italy, they unload massive rainfall over the mountains, which quickly floods the densely populated plains below.
So does the historic data for Bologna back up the BBC’s claims about climate change making these things worse?
The charts below only run up to 2020, but it is clearly evident that daily rainfall used to be much more extreme in Bologna:
Clearly Fawkes’s claim does not stand up to scrutiny.
Before we finish, it is worth looking at annual rainfall, bearing in mind Fawkes’s claims of the extreme drought last year. Remembering that the data runs only to 2020, the evidence clearly shows that droughts were much worse prior to 1950. And there have always been large swings in rainfall from year to year, making a nonsense of his claims.
Of course, where climate change is concerned, the facts don’t matter to the BBC. But it is quite disgraceful for them to use a tragedy like this to push their propaganda.