Krugman’s corny caper

Tom Nelson observes some interesting and inconvenient data to rebut The Guardian’s Susanne Goldenberg and Paul Krugman of the New York Times: For warmists trying to convince us that carbon dioxide causes lower US corn yields, an *extremely* inconvenient graph

America’s corn farmers high and dry as hope withers with their harvest | Environment | guardian.co.uk

[Warmist Suzanne Goldenberg] …because of a brutal combination of triple-digit (40C) temperatures and prolonged drought. Scientists see both as evidence of climate change.

The Burning Land – NYTimes.com

[Warmist Paul Krugman] I’ve been searching for something useful to say about the epic heat wave and drought afflicting U.S. agriculture…

Yet with so much of the American political spectrum in fierce denial over the issue, there is no prospect whatsoever of getting action.

But the data says otherwise Ms. Goldenberg and Mr. Krugman. Have a look for yourself, one year, one drought, does not a trend make.  But Krugman is relying upon the heated hyperbolic opinion of Joe Romm, so I suppose we can understand how he was taken in.

CARPE DIEM: Corn Yields Have Increased Six Times Since 1940

Roger Pielke Jr. pulls out his handy BS button for this one, citing Krugmans passage:

In yesterday’s NYT Paul Krugman writes:

==============================================================

[R]eally extreme high temperatures, the kind of thing that used to happen very rarely in the past, have now become fairly common. Think of it as rolling two sixes, which happens less than 3 percent of the time with fair dice, but more often when the dice are loaded. And this rising incidence of extreme events, reflecting the same variability of weather that can obscure the reality of climate change, means that the costs of climate change aren’t a distant prospect, decades in the future. On the contrary, they’re already here, even though so far global temperatures are only about 1 degree Fahrenheit above their historical norms, a small fraction of their eventual rise if we don’t act.

The great Midwestern drought is a case in point. This drought has already sent corn prices to their highest level ever. If it continues, it could cause a global food crisis, because the U.S. heartland is still the world’s breadbasket. And yes, the drought is linked to climate change: such events have happened before, but they’re much more likely now than they used to be.

Now, maybe this drought will break in time to avoid the worst. But there will be more events like this. Joseph Romm, the influential climate blogger, has coined the term “Dust-Bowlification” for the prospect of extended periods of extreme drought in formerly productive agricultural areas. He has been arguing for some time that this phenomenon, with its disastrous effects on food security, is likely to be the leading edge of damage from climate change, taking place over the next few decades; the drowning of Florida by rising sea levels and all that will come later.

And here it comes.

=========================================================

Pielke Jr. writes:

Instead of looking at the musings of a “climate blogger” (as entertaining as that may be) like Krugman does, let’s instead look at scientific research that has examined trends in US droughts. A crazy idea, I know. Fortunately, scientists have examined empirical data on the frequency and severity of drought on climate time scales.

Here is Andreadis and Lettenmaier (2006) in GRL (PDF):

[D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.

Read Pielke Jr.’s full post here, and don’t forget to get a look at his great book, The Climate Fix

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86 thoughts on “Krugman’s corny caper

  1. [D]roughts have, for the most part, become shorter, less frequent, less severe, and cover a smaller portion of the country over the last century.

    Obvious evidence of human meddling! Nature has been subjugated by the jack booted thugs of Big Energy! /sarc

  2. In the UK drought used to mean 14 days without any rain. Now it means water shortage.

  3. The digging of wells, and irrigation of crops dates back to the stone age. The Romans were experts at moving water to where it was needed.

  4. If Ms. Goldenberg and Mr. Krugman are so worried about shrinking corn crops and the resulting worldwide famine, then they should be fighting against the EPA’s mandated ethanol gasoline blends.

  5. Krugman always has the conclusion before he even attempts to look at the evidence. Further, he is lazy and tends crib the work of other ideologues.

  6. Hybridization (GM) is why corn yields have increased.

    Once again, the corn starch used to make ethanol is not consumed by humans. Nor can farmers in these regions grow something that they lack the machinery for, and lack transportation to market for. What is raised around here is animal feed, and renewable feedstock for industrial processes, such as ethanol, biodiesel, plastics,fructose, etc.

    So the impact on global food is unmeasurably small. The price of meat will go down, then up, because ranchers will have to slaughter their herds if they can’t afford the feed prices, which will first glut the market, and then create scarcity. Ethanol production will go down because it won’t be profitable.

    If you are worried about food, you need to look at the global rice and wheat crops, which are generally speaking, not raised in the Midwest.

  7. Dr M.H.Nederlof, geologist says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

    “I like Krugman’s “one degree F above the historical norm” I do not think that the climate has a historical norm.”

    He meant “hysterical” norm.

  8. Why let reality intrude on the telling of a fairy tale?

    Of course this one from the “Big Book of Climate Fables” is so oft-told and awful I wouldn’t mind if it was interrupted by projectile vomiting or explosive diarrhea.

    But enough about McKibben’s and Romm’s writing styles…

  9. The huge increases in agricultural productivity are generally attributed to technological advancements. This is no doubt true, but is it possible that some fraction of the increase is due to increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Seems like it would make a good story for a reporter /hint/

  10. Corn yields have increased largely as a result of the continuing development of hybrid seeds, and since roughly 1990 greater planting density. There is some indication that the increased density has had the effect of moderating temperatures: the increased density gets the ground covered sooner and more thoroughly, intercepting more sunlight.

    Whatever the reason, 100 degree temperatures are not nearly as common as they used to be in Iowa, the current extreme temperatures are notable because it has been so long since they last occurred.

  11. Why do people listen to this guy at all again? I saw this yesterday, and couldn’t even get through the whole thing.

  12. If this trend continues (and don’t they always), Manhattan will be submerged under 300 feet of corn by the end of the century!

  13. If Krugman is only capable of reading fiction perhaps he might try “The Grapes of Wrath”.

  14. All well and good, but what i’d really like to see is some letters to the editor. Where are the letters? Where are the op-eds? I see nothing from the opposition in the NYT’s. Of course it’s possible they refuse to publish skeptical letters. And it’s very likely they do not and will not accept skeptical op-eds. But I get the feeling no one’s trying. Krugman needs to be taken to task.

    I’ve sent perhaps a dozen letters over the years, and they’ve not printed any of them. BUt I’m nobody.

  15. Just keep the $1 trillion annual deficits going on the problem and it will get better, right Dr. Krugman? Of course Greece is much closer to solving this problem than anyone else.

  16. “Krugman always has the conclusion before he even attempts to look at the evidence. Further, he is lazy and tends crib the work of other ideologues.” – Pat

    I’ve also noticed that he tends to be less than familiar with the counter arguments in any given situation. When he tries to rebut his critics, missing the point by a country mile is the norm with Krugman.

  17. Adjusting for inflation, corn prices are not at record high levels. Corn is currently around $8 per bushel. In terms of 2012 dollars, the average price of corn was over $10 per bushel from 1973 through 1976, and over $13 per bushel in 1974. The annual average price of Corn was below $7 (adjusted to 2012 dollars) in only 4 years between 1960 and 1981.

    Price of corn from a University of Illinois website for the annual average price of corn received by Illinois farmers.
    CPI from US Dept of Labor.

  18. I have seen multiple articles that the current drought and heat are not as bad as the 1950s and are much less severe than the dustbowl of the 1930s. This sort of begs the question of how can Susanne Goldenberg state: “Scientists see both as evidence of climate change.”

    Weather is weather, weather ain’t climate.

  19. Steve says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am
    Ethanol will be profitable for a long time because of government subsidies and for no other reason.

  20. Regardless of any dubious linkage to climate change, it is hot in the Missouri area and very dry. There are farmers starting to bail soybeans to try and get something for the crop. Many corn fields are looking desparate. The 70% chance of rain on Thursday is the best hope in the next week.

  21. PaulID

    Ethanol will be profitable for a long time because of government subsidies and for no other reason.

    What subsidies? The blender’s credit expired Last Dec 31. It went to the blender not to the producer.

    There are currently ethanol producers suspending production because it is not profitable at current price levels,

  22. Please, Anthony, or somebody else with clout, do a Pielke on Elizabeth Kolbert’s Krugman-esque fulminations in the July 23 issue of The New Yorker. It’s paywalled, so I cannot link you. Those New York intelligentsia are now going to be even more impossible for me to deal with.

  23. As an economist what this fool should be writing about is the horrible “unanticipated” effects from the forced use of ethanol from corn mandated by congress and how this will lead to higher food prices and could lead to deaths from starvation in some parts of the world this year. Not something that might happen in 50-100 years from “climate global changy warmification” or whatever they are calling it now.

  24. “…Think of it as rolling two sixes, which happens less than 3 percent of the time with fair dice, but more often when the dice are loaded…”

    I tried this. I loaded a pair of dice so that a seven would come up more often – and the number of 12’s went down. I also got thrown out of the casino.

    The problem with his “loaded dice” scenario is that if one number comes up more often, the other numbers should come up less often. They’re using the loaded dice story to say that EVERY weather event happens more.

  25. Steve says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hybridization (GM) is why corn yields have increased….
    _________________________
    Sorry those are two different things Hybridization is where you have two pure bred parents and cross them to produce a hybrid off spring with hybrid vigor. – goes back to the late 1800’s, early 1900’s. Hybrid corn was common by the 1930’s. In 1930 farmers were getting 100 bushels of corn from 2-1/2 acres. By 1945 it only took 2 acres and in 1975 only 1-1/8 acres to produce 100 bushels. There was no more advances. You still got 100 bushels of corn from 1-1/8 acres (1987). link

    GM or GMO is where you have genes inserted. The soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used to carry out trans-Kingdom horizontal gene transfer. The transgenic plants created by the T-DNA vector system unfortunately have a ready route for horizontal gene escape, via the same Agrobacterium.

    …Interesting then that a contributor to the FAO’s Forum, Professor El-Tayeb, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Industrial Biotechnology at Cairo University commented that: “..currently available (GMO’s) mostly contribute negatively to poverty alleviation and food security – and positively to the stock market.” http://www.warmwell.com/gm.html

    I am not ideologically against GMOs, I just want them to go through the same type of FDA testing that is required of anything new. The fact that Monsanto’s tame Lawyer in the FDA, Mike Taylor, labled GMO as G.R.A.S. or generally recognized as safe, so no further study is needed and made sure GMOs are not labeled makes me very uncomfortable.

  26. Chris, a mandate for “13.2 billion gallons of ethanol in highway fuel this year” is a distortion of the market. It will allow ethanol producers to force gasoline suppliers to keep those ethanol producers in business.

    Meat will be expensive.

  27. From Barefoot boy from Brooklyn on July 23, 2012 at 11:09 am:

    Please, Anthony, or somebody else with clout, do a Pielke on Elizabeth Kolbert’s Krugman-esque fulminations in the July 23 issue of The New Yorker. It’s paywalled, so I cannot link you.

    Paywalled? I Googled for “elizabeth kolbert new yorker july 23″ and got a straight link to the piece, “The Big Heat”:

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/07/23/120723taco_talk_kolbert

    It is now corn-sex season across the Midwest, and everything is not going well.

    Anthropogenic Climate Change now being blamed for ruining corn sex.

    ‘Nuff said.

  28. Steve says July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hybridization (GM) is why corn yields have increased.

    Once again, the corn starch used to make ethanol is not consumed by … [et al]

    Sez who? And no article or paper cites (“assertion w/o cite”) … ‘as worthless as an opinion’ if I do say so …

    .

  29. Steve says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am
    Hybridization (GM) is why corn yields have increased.

    Once again, the corn starch used to make ethanol is not consumed by humans. Nor can farmers in these regions grow something that they lack the machinery for, and lack transportation to market for. What is raised around here is animal feed, and renewable feedstock for industrial processes, such as ethanol, biodiesel, plastics,fructose, etc.

    So the impact on global food is unmeasurably small. The price of meat will go down, then up, because ranchers will have to slaughter their herds if they can’t afford the feed prices, which will first glut the market, and then create scarcity. Ethanol production will go down because it won’t be profitable.

    If you are worried about food, you need to look at the global rice and wheat crops, which are generally speaking, not raised in the Midwest.

    If we use the corn for animal feed and not human food, it still raises the price of food, at least it does for the majority of Americans who aren’t vegetarians!

    The ethanol business is unprofitable now, except for the special tax breaks, mandates and tariffs.

    And we do grow corn in Kansas, but not as much as we grow wheat.

  30. Steve R says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

    “… but is it possible that some fraction of the increase is due to increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Seems like it would make a good story for a reporter /hint/ “

    You have to do better than that. Remember these cretins are too lazy to look around. You have to actually point them in the right direction… like here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/30/memo-to-doubtersi-was-tempted-to-say-deniersco2-is-plant-food/

  31. It seems that barely a week goes by when one of the New York Times’ twin sisters of Climate-Hysteria, Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman,don’t write hectoring lectures on climate for us the unlearned masses. Even though neither Krugman nor Friedman have any expertise in this area; they abuse their prizes given in `completely different fields to make us think their opinions have any more value than those of a drunk venting in the park.They don’t. These two columnists feel that if they just beat us over the head with big lies, that we will all finally knuckle under. The Bernaysian style propaganda blitz we have seen for nearly 25 years has not converted the mass of Americans into hysterics and this makes these two self-appointed prophets angry, very angry. Krugman today calls people like myself climate deniers, throws us in the same corral as those who are called Holocaust- deniers, and says “we don’t have ‘the best will in the world”, but of course he is to be trusted implicitly despite the fact that he doesn’t know anything and that his opinions, are just that, opinions, unsupported ones at that mixed in with great greasy dollops of nastiness. It’s time these two posers were exposed, stripped of their priestly robes and auras of expertise with which they have arrayed themselves. In California, green politics and climate nonsense is putting the state into a depression. If we Americans force everyone to join the green party,we will have a Nazi-lite kind of state, This must not be. Skepticism is one one of the most important things scientists bring to the table; we cannot allow the shrill voices of unschooled fanatics to turn those of us who don’t buy the Big Lie of Climate doom, into war criminals who are committing crimes against the planet. Neither Friedman nor Krugman seem to understand the history of cycles that rule our climate.In no previous period of our history has earth ever caught a cold, in no previous period of history has the earth’s climate been out of control. The limit of our knowledge is only the frontier that science must cross and to do that, scientists must take with them the healthy skepticism that incredible claims must be met with. It’s time the Times put a muzzle on their barking dogs, Krugman and Friedman. The noise is keeping us all awake and to no good end.

  32. Many years ago; way back in the Plasticine age, when SciAm was a Scientific Magazine, instead of a political science homework assignment; they published a special edition all about world energy and food, and related subjects. One of the principal papers in the issue, was a study of food production in societies from the most primitive to the most developmentally advanced; as a function of the ENERGY INPUT to their food system.
    An example of a primitive society food system, was that of “Eskimos”, aka natives of the icy north, Inuit and their brethren. Traditionally they used dog sleds to operate their land/ice transportation system, and their animal skin canoes that they used to go out and harpoon, seals, walrusses, narwhals, and other whales for food.
    Along with “civilization” came new sources of energy for them . “Gunpowder” for their new hunting rifles, that had longer range than their spears and harpoons, and of course gasoline for their new snowmobiles. All of this energy enhancement, raised their food supplies.

    Well the upshot of this study was to show that no matter the level of technology or lack therof, worldwide, the production of food, was directly proportional to the energy input to the food system. This could be fuel for farm machinery, Chemical processing of fertilizers, and pesticides/herbicides; development of new climate tolerant crop species; you name it, the more energy input in every form to the food system, the more food, and the conversion factor is not largely dependent on the size of the operations.
    In that study, only two countries on earth exhibited a significantly greater food production versus energy efficiency, and fell well of the other waise straight line graph. Those two countries were France and New Zealand. In both cases it generally related to local weather and farmland peculiarites; not to any great special knowledge. Problem was of course, that together they don’t really matter a hill of beans in total world food supply.

    Mostly, the USA, Russia, and Canada, have plently of agricultural arable land, land in the case of Canada, and also parts of Russia (Siberia) the growing seasons may b e short.

    So basically, if the USA doesn’t get energy, the world doesn’t get food.

    All of the “green” revolutions have contributed to the food keeping up with population (so far); but the bottom line is that these are just different forms of energy expenditure.

  33. Gail Combs says July 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I am not ideologically against GMOs, I just want them to go through the same type of FDA testing that is required of anything new.

    A few questions if I may ….

    (1) Do you expect more or less allergic (human) reaction(s) from (when eating) GMO crops?

    (2) Can you explain to us what cooking does do to the proteins and carbohydrates in these GMO crops?

    As a side note, there _are_ changes that undoubtedly take place, for instance, I have a slight allergic reaction to uncooked green beans which I do not have if those same beans are cooked (just boiling even) … and unfortunately I have always lost my voice after eating watermelon …

    .

  34. Mr Krugman has demonstrated he is poor in two areas.
    1. Economics
    and now
    2. Climate

    Nough said.

  35. @ _Jim on July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am:

    I worry about two things with GMO crops.

    1. Spread from where planted to neighboring areas.

    2. Gene transfer to similar species.

    There are many “heirloom varieties” bred for specific temperature, moisture, and soil conditions, as well as ordinary plants that are native to an area. GMO crops are designed with modern agricultural practices in mind, from planting to fertilization to irrigation etc. If they would displace local varieties, or transfer genes that would render local plants less suitable for natural conditions, that could be detrimental.

  36. Steve says:
    July 23, 2012 at 9:44 am
    Hybridization (GM) is why corn yields have increased.

    Once again, the corn starch used to make ethanol is not consumed by humans.

    — That may be correct, but unlike the economy, cropland is closer to being a zero-sum game. You can plant one crop per growing period. Planting ethanol-optomized corn means you cannot use that land to grow feed-optomized or food-optomized corn, and that will drive the price of edible corn higher.

  37. Gail and Jim,

    This thread has nothing to do with GM crops, so I will be short. FDA only regulates drugs and food additives, not whole foods and certainly not new varieties of existing crops. However the pre-market review of GM foods is orders of magnitude beyond that for other new crop varieties and the voluntary pre-market consultation is followed by everyone who develops these crops (not to mention the fact that they have to be be approved by Health Canada as a Novel Food before they can be marketed in the US anyway, what with NAFTA etc.).

    GM crops can theoretically be either higher or lower in existing allergens and (since they can express proteins not present in the non-modified crop) also have new allergens. This is a major focus of the pre-market review.

    Jim, cooking alters the allergencity and toxicity of many proteins. There are lots of plants that are pretty toxic if eaten raw, but highly nutritious when cooked. Existing toxins and allergens are well-characterized and any changes in levels in a GM crop is a serious red-flag requiring quite a lot of work to show no impact on human health. In most cases, developers dump these events because it isn’t worth the effort.

    OK, back to the real story…..

  38. Krugman’s decades-long advocacy for raising taxes and committing more stimulus money to save the economy has failed. It should be interesting to see if his foray into “climate science” has the same impact on that failed ideology, too.

  39. Krugman should be ashamed of himself, since even Adam Smith studied the relation between sun spots and wheat prices, as did William Herschel.

    Here’s a good paper on it, showing that wheat is cheaper when the climate is hotter, based on sunspots numbers.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0312/0312244.pdf

    However, the paper predates the discovery that a solar cycle’s sunspot count largely determines the temperatures for the following cycle, not the current one. If the data in the paper above was adjusted to take that into account, I wonder what it would show?

  40. Krugman should be ashamed of himself because no less than Adam Smith studied the relation between sunspots and wheat prices, as did William Herschel, the astronomer who discovered Uranus. Warmth causes cheaper wheat prices.

    Here’s a very good paper on the subject: http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0312/0312244.pdf

    The paper was written before the recent discovery that sunspot counts are a predictor of temperatures during the following cycle instead of the current one, and I wonder what the data in the above paper would show if that adjustment was made?

  41. The irony is that Krugman is on record as saying that disasters constitute macroeconomic stimulus since they create jobs when one must rebuild. If Krugman could consistently apply logic (albeit consistently wrongly, he would call for us to increase our emissions to cause more warming to cause more disasters and thus stimulate the economy. He does, after all, subscribe firmly to the idea that all manner of disasters will be brought on by AGW.

  42. We had this sort of drivel flowing freely a few years ago in Australia , particularly during the latter stages of our recent drought ( which has ended with two years of deluge).

    Our Bureau of Meteorology publishes data which clearly shows about a 20% UPTREND in rainfall over the past century or so with only two small areas showing a downtrend. Our warmista’s were predicting our water supplies running dry, State Governments were spooked into building desalination plants and all the usual madness unfolded.

    And now? Dams 80 to 100% full, devastating floods and desal plants sitting idle ( but being paid for by us through our water rates/charges of course).

    Be patient America. Victory will be like summer rain on a tin roof after a long dry spell.

  43. Has any people died during this drought? I can quote recorded references to droughts where hundreds and some times thousands of people have died. I also have historical references to droughts that have effected millions through starvation, disease and famine.

    I’ve been compiling over the past year historical records on past weather extremes
    and other interesting meteorological events and related accidents etc… looking through all this data and examining individual cases closer it’s striking how often when there is a report today of drought or flood nine times out of ten there will be a recorded reference to a flood, drought or other natural disaster in the same location sometimes accompanied with high fatalities.

    I’ve also noted proponents of man made global climate change have no clue that there is a difference between natural disasters and climate, The obvious mistake that stands out is their unscientific so-called educational campaign for example “climate Impacts” which is disrespectfully aimed to distort the facts and influence young minds and promote/Impose their opinions in an attempt to gain support and as more support means more funding why let facts stand in the way.

    Here is the so-called educational campaign Curriculum. Global Warming: Early Warning Signs

    In activity 3 they encourage students to research and infer a link between disease and man made climate change, This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, when there has been a natural disaster such as months of low rain fall, in the past it has been accompanied by famine, and with the famine out breaks of disease, the spread of disease among people is affected by the close proximity of people to fatalities living under poor unhygienic conditions. But what our new global climate educators wish our students to believe is a direct “relationship between hosts” i.e Anthropogenic global warming/climate change causes a wide variety of natural weather events world wide therefor death and the spread of disease must be caused by global warming climate change.

    Source: Union of Concerned Scientists. “Global Warming Early Warning Signs”.
    “Activity 3: Climate Change and Disease. Students research the relationship between hosts, parasites, and vectors for common vector-borne diseases and evaluate how climate change could affect the spread of disease.” ttp://www.climatehotmap.org/curriculum/index.html

    And website production credits goto:
    Environmental Defense
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    Sierra Club
    Union of Concerned Scientists
    U.S. Public Interest Research Group
    World Resources Institute
    World Wildlife Fund

  44. Meh. We could liven the action by postulating chemtrails have sterilized the soil too, but we will not see any lessening in the propaganda flogging tax payable to the UN despite the untenable scientific position of claiming climate prediction as being more reliable than weather forecasting.

    http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/18115/

    One excellent example would be the fate of Denis Rancourt in Ottawa, Canada – though he triggered two separate instances of violating ‘political correctness’. http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.ca/2012/07/20-july-fraud-and-reputation-climate.html
    So we can have corrective notices until the cows come home – as long as they are not flogged to the public.

    http://weeklyintercept.blogspot.com/2012/07/ipcc-admits-its-past-reports-were-junk.html

  45. It’s simple. Since its origins, the IPCC has been open and explicit about seeking to generate a ‘scientific consensus’ around climate change and especially about the role of humans in climate change http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/18115/ I cannot for the life of me figure out why the bureaucrats at a UN agency should forward a view that they should be paid trillions annually in a tax on the use of fire….globally.
    Which is why the likes of this are ignored

    http://weeklyintercept.blogspot.com/2012/07/ipcc-admits-its-past-reports-were-junk.html

    Academics are targeted. For Example, Denis Rancourt allegedly managed to offend the sensibilities of two ‘Denier’ political correctness memes simultaneously : http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.ca/2012/07/20-july-fraud-and-reputation-climate.html
    As for GM foods – they are a product of the same company responsible for Agent Orange. Kindly Search on the parameters ‘Rumsfeld Monsanto’. At opitslinkfest.blogspot.com you should find references to ‘The Real Winner in Iraq was Monsanto’ at the Panelist on past posts on Corporate Farming ( the blog is Searchable and has a Topical Index both ) and The World According to Monsanto on YouTube ( some wag linked the video URL to Monsanto’s home website at one point )
    GMOs, a 12 year olds urgent warning to other kids

  46. The article’s comments are full of the expected demonizing of fossil fuels and blaming Koch and Exxon. Since around 97% of the world’s oil production is State-owned and controlled, we are supposed to believe these same countries representatives participated in the IPCC to find ways they could shut-down their main sources of income? Is Norway, Brazil, Saudia Arabia, Nigeria, Canada, Mexico, just to name a few, going to get out of the oil business?

    A simple research of weather events of 1988 and prior, would show some of the most extreme weather events happened at the CO2 “safe” level. Unless, it can be shown, weather has gotten worse since then, the entire CO2 debate is moot. The opposite seems to have occurred, severe events are declining.

    Krugman’s readers are also big readers of scientific journals. “For a broader understanding, read this Rolling stone article on the authoritative scientific analysis of the almost imminent catastrophe confronting humankind. Warning: It’s worse than you thought.” …..

  47. It’s my understanding that the AGW prediction of ‘more droughts’ doesn’t result from predicting less rain, but from predictions of increased evaporation and the predicted poleward migration of climate zones.

    Without evidence of either of these 2 things, the current US drought isn’t an AGW predicted drought. It’s just ordinary drought.

  48. Krugman is the next Kim Jong Il. He’s an expert on everything. Crop yields, golf, alien invasions, climate. You name it, he’s an expert. I bet he too hit 11 holes in one the first time he tried golf.

  49. …and unfortunately I have always lost my voice after eating watermelon …~ Jim

    —-

    Jim, have you tried cutting the watermelon into smaller pieces before swallowing it?
    j/k….

  50. Confounding the role of untimely high temperatures on corn, drought & rises in CO2 seems to be what article writers did. Prolonged excessively high temperature at a crucial corn time phase is related to total corn crop productivity, soil moisture always has it’s place & CO2 needs parsing out. Meanwhile, today 23 July 2012 Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service released state forecast for a record-high corn harvest, thanks to extra acreage planted out.
    In terms of CO2: the fact that corn is a C4 crop & not a C3 photosynthesizer makes a difference. Experiments in free air concentration enrichment (FACE) show C4 maize does not respond to elevated 550ppm CO2 with greater productivity than current field 376ppm CO2 levels. However once drought conditions come into play then 550ppm CO2 growing maize is decidedly better off than when same type of maize was grown at 376ppm CO2 in FACE drought conditions.(details in http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690454/ ).

  51. Otter says July 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Jim, have you tried cutting the watermelon into smaller pieces before swallowing it?
    j/k….

    I haven’t tried watermelon in decades, Otter; I’m really not that fond of it and not for the reason it takes away my voice … not a fan of melons in general …

    .

  52. oldephartte says July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    As for GM foods – they are a product of the same company responsible for Agent Orange. Kindly Search on the parameters ‘R_msf_ld M_ns_nt_’. …

    Taking up where Ga -er- someone else left off? What kind of con- spir- acy based ‘theories’ (and I use the term loosely as in n*tty) are we going to find as a result of the ‘recommended’ websearch?

    BTW no need to answer; this is a purely rhetorical question

    .

  53. That’s more b.s. Jim If I suggest you do your own research without spoon feeding particulars then you will get a feel for the topic which is not likely to be conveyed with particular links. And since mainstream media invariably dominate search returns you should have little to fear that I am the one prevaricating. You, OTOH, have no such excuse.

  54. cdquarles: “Interesting. One wonders how much redefinition of terms is going on around here.”

    The depends on how you define redefinition.

  55. oldephartte says July 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    That’s more b.s. ..

    Third hit comes back to Daily KOS webpage; 4th hit is a rense.com webpage … this tells me all I need to know and who sourced this kind of b.s.

    Thanks “old fart et”. Forewarned is forearmed; it’s nice to keep abreast of the latest con spir acy theories. You know what I say on Free Republic: “Con spir acy theories are the tools of the weak-minded.”

    .

  56. Krugman is one of the creators of the current worldwide disaster. He desperately needs something else, which looks even worse at least in his own view.

  57. Kelvin Vaughan says | July 23, 2012 at 9:03 am :
    In the UK drought used to mean 14 days without any rain. Now it means water shortage.
    ———————————

    … caused by poor planning ( no construction of storage dams ) and poor maintenance ( failure of the distribution infrastructure ). How did that government anticipate it was going to provide water for its explosion in population ?
    Never mind, here in Australia we suffer the same political expediencies of the leftists in power.

  58. What’s sad is that I, a college dropout mailman (as well as many more people here, vastly more educated than I) grasp the basic common sense, as well as the basic science involved, better than my much better Nobel Laureate, Dr. Krugman. On matters scientific or economic. What a world we live in, interesting times indeed. I give my thanks for Anthony and others for educating we laymen.

  59. George E. Smith; says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

    George, your use of commas is very strange.

    [George’s punctuation is a sign of his brilliance. Really. Serious. ~dbs, mod.]

  60. A significant additional factor on the Midwest drought this year was the very low subsoil moisture available in carryover from last year. In many areas, you can dig down six feet and not not make a ball with the dirt. It is actually amazing that any of the corn plants are still alive given the conditions of the last three weeks in most of Iowa, and the plants are using a mechanism to abort some kernels in order to save others.
    We have finally had several consecutive days in excess of 100 degrees, a fairly common occurrence in the late 50s and early 60s.
    At least you have to give little Paul Krugman credit for being consistent. He is at least as good at being a climate scientist as he is an economist.

  61. “Conspiracy theories are the tools of the weak-minded.”
    And saying that is disinformation and pejorative both. I am surprised at the Daily Kos reference. Markos is adamantly warmist to the point of banning commenters promoting ‘dissent’ on the topic of AGW, defending the concept of consencus science with ardour.
    But if you want proof I am conspiracy minded as explaining media, then one would have to go no further than ‘Leading to War’, the movie about the Bush/Blair WMD hysteria fed to Congress and the world as justification for the invasion of Iraq.
    I’ll add to that with the outing of agent Valerie Plame/Wilson, head of the CIA nuclear threat desk for the Middle East receiving intel from the blown Brewster Jennings network, as performed by Scooter Libby of Dick Cheney’s office who was jailed for that operation. This was necessary to preserve spun and fabricated intel about the danger of yellowcake importation from Nigeria…when there was lots in Iraq from which to make fertilizer.
    Conspiracy theorist. I wish. http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2010/04/politics-of-perception-foreign-policy.html http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/07/perception-alteration.html
    And is this off topic ? Not when you dig into energy politics….and Big Oil.

  62. Streetcred You are likely unaware of hydraulic warfare and its likelihood of being of being neither well covered nor understood. International Rivers first sparked my interest with their PDF of concrete in the Himalayas. I started collecting articles and soon was noting business interests acting in a common fashion in http://my.opera.com/oldephartte/blog/27-feb-end-of-an-era which was included in the more comprehensive http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.ca/2009/07/water-wealth-power.html

  63. If you’re against genetically modified foods but eat vegetables and fruits grown from cross-bred hybrid seed, I think that makes you a bit of a hypocrite. Hybridization is a high level form of genetic manipulation which has been used for thousands of years, mostly on food crops.

    Plant geneticists are working now on plants that can produce fertile diploid seeds without being pollinated. Unfortunately most of the naturally occurring ones are weeds like dandelions. The research goal is to be able to produce true-breeding hybrid food plants so that after the initial hybridization, seed for the next generation can be grown the same as any non-hybrid.

  64. Re. Rob Potter’s comment about allergens:
    Rob, be careful when talking about allergens. Allergy refers to diseases in which immune responses to environmental antigens cause tissue inflammation and organ dysfunction.
    Any foreign (i.e. non-self) substance capable of inducing an immune response is a potential allergen, so care is needed when referring to proteins expressed in GM crops as allergens.
    Allergy affects only some of the individuals who are exposed to the allergen, and is the result of a complex interaction between the chemical and physical properties of the allergen, the route and mode of exposure, and the unique genetic makeup of an individual. The propensity to develop these conditions varies among age groups, sexes and races, and the classification of these diseases depends on the immunological mechanism involved. A complex area, and off thread, so I’ll stop!

  65. _Jim says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Gail Combs says July 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I am not ideologically against GMOs, I just want them to go through the same type of FDA testing that is required of anything new.

    A few questions if I may ….

    (1) Do you expect more or less allergic (human) reaction(s) from (when eating) GMO crops?

    (2) Can you explain to us what cooking does do to the proteins and carbohydrates in these GMO crops?
    ________________________________-
    _Jim that is why I want GMOs to be tested the same way new drugs are tested and not just given a hand wave as they are now.

    Writes Dr Suzanne Wuerthele, a toxicologist with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

    “We are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences.”

    The concern is that genetic modification alters the proteins in foods in ways that researchers do not yet fully understand. Substances that have never existed before in nature are entering our food supply untested. While researchers have not yet found a “smoking gun”, which would prove that GM foods as a class are dangerous, there are troubling signs that they may be a factor in the recent epidemic of food allergies. Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, for example, soy allergies escalated by 50%….

    Rosa Rashall, a nutritionist in Garberville, California, …

    “We are all worried for a variety of reasons, from health effects to skyrocketing food sensitivities that have started to come about in the last 20 years. There has been an incredible 400% increase in food sensitivities that coincides pretty well with the unlabeled introduction of GMO food into the marketplace

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/13/california-gm-referendum-change-america-food

    I can not find my reference (several years old) but US Food Aid was shipping Starite(?) corn to third world countries. It is an animal feed corn and causes major health problems in humans. Because of the major health problems someone (Catholic Church?) did an investigation and found the problem.

    The big problem is if a farmer has that corn planted in his fields next to my “Organic” sweet corn and I practice seed saving then I can get a cross with the GMO genetic the next season. The lord knows Monsanto has been making $$$ out of that by suing farmers after Pinkerton agents trespass on the farmers land to gather the “evidence” A link with acomposite of several articles.

    This week, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.” http://www.opposingviews.com/i/genetically-modified-foods-pose-huge-health-risk#

  66. Rob Potter says:
    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Gail and Jim,

    This thread has nothing to do with GM crops, so I will be short. FDA only regulates drugs and food additives, not whole foods …
    __________________________
    I am sorry but that is incorrect. FDA stands for the FOOD and Drug Act.
    This is straight from the FDA website.

    The New FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
    The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it….

    FSMA is the most sweeping reform of FDA’s food safety authority in more than 70 years. This act gives FDA new and enhanced mandates and authorities to protect consumers and promote public health.

    Federal/State Integration
    Fees
    Inspection & Compliance
    Preventive Standards
    Product Tracing
    Reports & Studies
    Imports
    Small Business
    International Capacity Building

    http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/fsma/default.htm

    Also note that while US farmers are ignored when it comes to the new law (over 5000 comments that said HECK NO to the first try at a National Animal Identification System and a HECK NO at all the “Listening sessions” ) the FDA is going to ASK WTO and our trading partners to “Approve” the law!!!

    W.1 Has the FSMA been notified to the WTO? When was it or will it be notified?
    The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was published by the Secretariat as WTO notification G/SPS/N/USA/2156 on February 14, 2011. Please see the corresponding addendum dated March 2, 2011, G/SPS/N/USA/2156/Add.1 for an internet link to the United States official public law version of the text. FDA welcomes any comments or inquiries for this notification sent to the email address: FSMAWTO@fda.hhs.gov.

    W.2 Would any provisions of the law be considered “Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) provisions” under the WTO SPS agreement?
    The WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures provides that “any measure applied . . . to protect human . . . life or health . . . from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins, or disease-causing organisms in foods [or] beverages . . . ” is an SPS measure. Because the U.S. Congress and President approved FSMA with public health protection and food safety objectives in mind, the United States has notified FSMA to the WTO SPS Committee to allow for comprehensive review by our trading partners. As implementing regulations are drafted that have the potential to impact international trade, FDA will notify them to the WTO pursuant to our transparency obligations under the SPS agreement in order to allow for Members’ review and comment.

    But considering many people now call GMOs “Frankenfood” perhaps you are correct the FDA does not regulate (real) food because the USA no longer grows much actual real food anymore. All that is left is regulating “Frankenfood” /snicker

  67. Galane says:
    July 24, 2012 at 1:27 am

    If you’re against genetically modified foods but eat vegetables and fruits grown from cross-bred hybrid seed, I think that makes you a bit of a hypocrite. Hybridization is a high level form of genetic manipulation which has been used for thousands of years, mostly on food crops.
    ____________________________
    Apples and Orangutans.

    Humans have been doing genetic SELECTION since before they settled down to do actually farming. (my old Anthro textbook) a sort of link Genetic selection and then hybridization, the crossing of two purebred parents, is entirely different from using an agent to insert foreign genes into a plant in a laboratory. That is what GMO stands for a genetically in the laboratory modified organism.

    ge·net·i·cal·ly modified organism (j-nt-k-l)
    n. Abbr. GMO
    An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering.

    The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/genetically+modified+organism

    An example of GMO

    Monsanto GM Corn a Disaster in South Africa July 31, 2009
    …The African Center for Biosecurity’s Marian Mayet, contradicted Monsanto’s statements, explaining that farms were witnessing rates of failing crops of up to 80%. Mayet also suspects that the cause of the failures are not a result of problems in the lab processing, as Monsanto stated, but were due to failures of GM technology.

    Monsanto says they just made a mistake in the laboratory, however we say that biotechnology is a failure,” Mayet stated. “You cannot make a ‘mistake’ with three different varieties of corn. We have been warning against GM-technology for years, we have been warning Monsanto that there will be problems.”

    The African Center for Biosecurity has called for independent investigation into the crop failures and immediate restrictions on the cultivation of all GM crops in South Africa…..

    Because the use of genetic transfer is so controversial, the Spin Meisters are as usual ‘redefining’ the word to mean any manipulation of breeding stock to produce more valuable offspring and thus getting rid of the differentiation between lab manipulation and on farm breeding programs. After all how can you argue about a point whose definition just got changed? We are seeing it in the CAGW controversy as ‘Global Warming’ has morphed into ‘Climate Change’ Same propaganda strategy in both cases. – Move the playing field to confuse the issue.

    Oh and _Jim if you want a ‘Corn’ spir acy how about this letter from a professor emeritus at Purdue University, APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS) link

  68. Any day now another international group will be awarding an award for climate science to Krugman. Perhaps the biased Nobel committee will award a second medal to him.

  69. The “hockey stick” in the corn production graph corresponds to the introduction of mass amounts of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers (anhydrous ammonia being the biggest contributor currently) and hybrid/GM seeds. I think some have mentioned one or the other, but it is really the combination of both in the post-war (WWII) agricultural environment.

  70. Oh Galane,
    Don’t be disrespecting ‘dem Dandy Lion (kidding here – not attacking you, please realize). I’ll let online searching links show anyone interested in their good food value. Maybe your mentioned genetic work with dandelion will get it on the menu more.
    Since there’s no official WUWT cookbook compiled yet here’s some unsolicited suggestions:
    Dandelion Pickled Buds:
    (a) chop garlic/onion/ginger, (b) put an inch layer of that seasoning mix into quart jar, (c) add never opened dandelion buds until quart jar half full, (d) add apple cider vinegar & if want to a dash or even a shot glassful of soy sauce, (e) make sure to leave an inch of headroom in jar, (f) cover to keep out bugs & let sit at least 21 days
    Dandelion Blossom Jelly:
    (a) 1 quart packed volume of early washed dandelion blossoms (no green parts or stems), (b) bring to boil in 5 cups H20 for 1 minute of boiling, (c) strain off solids & retain liquid, (d) add 1 common size packet of pectin to the dandelion liquid as stir and heat, (e) once boils stir in 4 cups sugar, (f) simmer about an hour or until jelly sheets off of the spoon, (g) skim off anything obvious & pour into sterilized jars, (h) if not consuming right away use canning procedure of a 5 minute boil bath to seal properly

  71. The problem with the dice analogy is, if you get two or three double-sixes in a row, it doesn’t PROVE the dice are weighted. It happens, with a measurable probability, even with unweighted dice. Specifically, there’s a 0.002% chance of rolling three double-sixes in a row with fair dice. And if you give yourself enough different regions to work with, and use a loose enough definition of “drought” (for example, “drier than normal”, which is probably what Krugman used, would equate, in the dice analogy, to “any total on two rolled dice greater than 7″, which happens 42% of the time, not 3%, and happens on three consecutive rolls with a 7% probability), you’re sure to be able to find SOME region of the world that had three drought years in a row.

    But the “Great Midwestern Drought” (which as far as I can tell is a term coined by Krugman) is limited to ONE YEAR. In fact, if you look up “US drought” on Wikipedia, there were much worse droughts, extending for five to ten years, in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s, in different regions of the country. And yes, those were all before man-made global warming kicked off. I guess the “Dust Bowl” drought of the 1930s, which lasted 10 years in some areas, was the equivalent of rolling double-sixes ten times in a r0w – with a probablity of 0.000000000000027%. But the one pair of sixes rolled in 2012 was somehow “proof” that severe drought is more likely now than it was in the past. This guy must have attended the Michael Mann school of statistical analysis.

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