Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Papers in One!

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal online's often runs a feature called "Two Papers in One" where the same paper run articles making the opposite points. We have one today about 'global warming.'

Two McPapers in One!
  • "Study: Crop Failures to Increase With Climate Change"--headline, USA Today website, Oct. 8
  • "Warmer, Wetter Weather Helping U.S. Farmers Grow More Crops"--headline, USA Today, Oct. 8

If you read the first article, you learn that 'global warming' is bad. The second says it is good.

One thing is clear, the worst thing that could happen is major cooling. I wrote about this on September 26thA longer growing season and more CO2 in the atmosphere mean more food for a growing world population.

When I do one of my global warming speeches, I show this slide which shows record weather events in the U.S. versus world temperatures (using the British CRU and NASA GISS data) from 1850 to 2000.

Does anyone believe that if a hurricane hit San Diego week after next it wouldn't be blamed on global warming? The graph demonstrates that major U.S. disasters can and have occurred with little correlation to world temperatures.

I also show a graph that depicts the world's severe famine problem from about 1965 to the late 1970's. Those of us who lived through that period remember the Russian Grain Robbery, the horrible crop failures, and starvation in many parts of the world.

Note that those are correlated to cooler world temperatures!  Also, the worst storm in recorded history, the Bhola Hurricane, which killed somewhere between 500,000 and 1,500,000 people occurred with cooler temperatures. Books like the "Population Bomb" were written. Its opening sentence is, "The Battle to Feed All of Humanity is Over. In the 1970's hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Of course, the situation was not that dire then and has improved since.

With the Green Revolution and warmer temperatures, per capita food production is up. That is not to say there are not hungry people in the world. Of course there are. But much hunger today is primarily due to political and distribution problems rather than a shortage of food as existed in the early 1960's and 1970's.

One of the questions that pro-AGW people consistently fail to answer (and I have posed the question many, many times) is "what is the optimal temperature for the earth?"  They don't know. As long as that is true, spending huge sums to battle 'global warming' seems futile. It may be that the optimal temperature for the earth is higher than today. We just don't know.

We do know: Major cooling would be an unmitigated disaster given the world's current population.

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