World agricultural output continues to rise, despite dire predictions of decline

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Guest essay by Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times

The year 2013 has been a great year for global agriculture. Record world production of rice and healthy production of wheat and corn produced strong harvests across the world. These gains were achieved despite continuing predictions that world agricultural output is headed for a decline.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that world rice harvests for 2012/2013 were a record 469 million metric tons. Corn and wheat harvests were also strong, following record harvests for both grains during the 2011/2012 season. The USDA is now projecting world record harvests for corn, wheat, and rice for 2013/2014.

See this graph:

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These numbers cap a 50-year trend of remarkable growth in world grain production. Since 1960, global wheat and rice production has tripled, and corn production is almost five times higher.

For decades, doomsayers predicted that food production would fail to keep up with the needs of humanity. In 1972, Donella Meadows and others of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published The Limits to Growth, which asked the question, “Do these rather dismal statistics mean that the limits of food production on the earth have already been reached?” Paul Ehrlich wrote in The End of Affluence in 1974, “Due to a combination of ignorance, greed and callousness, a situation has been created that could lead to a billion or more people starving to death.”

But Norman Borlaug’s development of disease-resistant, high-yield strains of wheat and rice had already revolutionized twentieth century agriculture. A few years before Meadows and Ehrlich warned about coming famines, Borlaug’s wheat and rice were introduced into Latin America and Asia with astounding results. Mexico’s wheat production soared six-fold by 1970 from levels in the 1940s. India’s wheat production jumped from a huge deficit in 1965 to a surplus only five years later.

Food production continues to grow faster than population. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations shows a 30 percent gain in the per capita agricultural production index from 1980 to 2010. World citizens have access to more grain, meat, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. Even fish production is climbing with large gains in aquaculture fish farming.

The increased availability of food reduced the undernourished portion of the world’s population from 18.6 percent in 1990 to 12.5 percent in 2010, according to the FAO. A total of 868 million people are still classified as undernourished.

Today’s leading agriculture alarmists are proponents of the ideology of Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate. Earlier this month, a leaked draft report from Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that man-made climate change would reduce global agricultural production yields by up to two percent per decade throughout the twenty-first century.

Lester Brown’s Earth Policy Institute has long been a predictor of agricultural collapse. His website states, “…climate change is heightening the likelihood of weather extremes, like heat waves, droughts, and flooding, that can so easily decimate harvests.” Even the USDA warns that man-made climate change threatens US agriculture.

Yet, one must wonder when the climate-damaging effects on agriculture will appear. The IPCC states that 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period in the Northern Hemisphere of the last 1,400 years. Certainly we should have seen some negative agricultural impact by now?

Maybe rising agricultural production is like rising polar bear populations―the decline begins tomorrow.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

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94 thoughts on “World agricultural output continues to rise, despite dire predictions of decline

  1. This is the benefit of a warming world with rising CO2 concentrations. If the climate cools, things can go badly very quickly. The only thing that would help in a cooling climate is more CO2.

  2. Fine post, Mr. Goreham.

    And many of us will soon be using some of this bounty to celebrate!!

    !*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!
    HAPPY CHANNUKAH, EVERYONE!

    The holiday that celebrates the fact God does miracles.

    ***********************************************
    And on Thursday, we Americans (wherever we are – you can count on it!)
    will celebrate the miracle that is our beloved country, “the Land of the Free.”

    To celebrate Freedom in Science, some quotes from one of the finest Jews to ever grace our shores, Albert Einstein, who possessed what distinguishes the great from the merely accomplished:
    humility.

    The amazing thing about Albert Einstein was not his intellect;
    it was the fact that
    someone that intelligent
    also had
    a loving heart.
    And his heart was the key to his genius.
    The brain is the means to knowledge,
    but the heart is the source of wisdom.

    *****************************************

    Thanksgiving. The day we give thanks to God for all our blessings.
    And among the most treasured is: our “sweet land of liberty… .”

    I love my country so MUCH!!

    A prayer of gratitude written by another gifted Jewish immigrant, Irving Berlin,

    “God, Bless America”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident… .”

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

    ********************************************
    And, thanking God for you, A-th-y, and for this fine site dedicated to truth.

  3. I would encourage readers to think about Karl Marx’ lament that American workers had become too prosperous to support communism. Prosperity is the greatest threat to green central planning, AKA sustainable development. Thus, advocates of green central planning have to keep coming up with doomsday scenarios. Otherwise, they will never be able to convince people to give up there freedoms.

  4. I’m sure a lot of factors come into play for increased food production, but it would be interesting to see how much came from increased CO2. As a wild guess, I’ll say maybe only a slight amount and it’s due to other factors, but it would be fun to know how much form CO2.

  5. It has been a long time since I took Econ 101 but I think there were graphs about price, supply, and demand. At about the same time as the class, the USSR seemed to be having trouble producing wheat. The reasons for that, I think, were covered in the 2nd semester class. It’s Thanksgiving Time. I’ll drink to everyone that has ever grown a food plant. Go farmers!

  6. The increased availability of food reduced the undernourished portion of the world’s population from 18.6 percent in 1990 to 12.5 percent in 2010
    =========================
    50 years ago we had huge problems feeding 3 billion people. today we feed 7 billion with much less hunger and starvation. An accomplishment that many believed impossible 50 years ago. 50 years ago we had huge problems worldwide. In many respects much more serious than today. We had out pessimists, our prophets of doom. And yet we muddled through and prospered.

    Isn’t it time to throw aside the Al Gore’s of the world, the prophets of doom that prey on people’s fears. The “wrong stuff” that said it was impossible. The “right stuff” made it happen.

  7. Today’s increased levels of CO2 have increased the chlorophyll production rate of ALL green plants (plankton, algae, earth-bound, or sea-bound) by various amounts – the increase depends on the plants type, but averages between 12% and 23% HIGHER productivity of food, fuel, fodder for farming, forests, forage, and foliage.

    And, best of all, this extra CO2 is “free” for all plants to grow. No fertilizers needed!

  8. Nice post but ? . . . can we please put this into perspective. Last year, Global Warming Alarmists sensationalised the fact that “during the last 40 years, CO2 levels have increased from 314 parts per million to 400 parts per million.

    314 parts per million is 0.0314% of our atmosphere.
    400 parts per million is 0.040% of our atmosphere.
    An insignificant increase of just 0.0086%

    I do not believe for one minute that increased global agricultural yield has got anything to do with an incy wincy increase in CO2. There are a huge amount of other reasons to take into account (improved transport, machinery, irrigation, fertilisation, bulk-storage, etc.).

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving Janice. xx

    [0.040 percent? Or 0.400 percent, right? Mod]

  9. Human innovation has lead to more efficient use of natural resources and more abundance of everything. Linear extrapolations of short term trends always fail to account for human’s ability to adapt and overcome challenges.

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest some of the reason for greater grain production is increased demand because for the first time in human history our machines are consuming nearly as much food as humans are. And they seem to get fed even if people don’t. I would never have thought it possible my Buick could be better fed than the people of the Sudan. I don’t know that the demand for this is all that great, but the unintended consequence of government mandates are what they are.

  11. RoHa says:
    November 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm
    Whoo hoo! More corn to make ethanol!
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    dp;
    I would never have thought it possible my Buick could be better fed than the people of the Sudan.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Genius, isn’t it? Governments used to be roundly criticized for subsidizing farmers by paying them to not grow food. Now they instead subsidize them by paying them to grow food, and simply burning it afterward. A quantum leap in perception management.

  12. Sorry Mod, left a zero out. Well spotted. Should be:

    314 parts per million is 0.0314% of our atmosphere.
    400 parts per million is 0.040% of our atmosphere.
    An insignificant increase of just 0.0086%

  13. “Earlier this month, a leaked draft report from Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that man-made climate change would reduce global agricultural production yields by up to two percent per decade throughout the twenty-first century.”

    What they actually said was:
    ” With or without adaptation, climate change will reduce median yields by 0 to 2% per decade for the rest of the century, as compared to a baseline without climate change. These projected impacts will occur in the context of rising crop demand, projected to increase by about 14% per decade until 2050. See Figure SPM.7 for a summary of projected changes in crop yields over the 21st century.”

    Fig 7 shows equally divided between rise and fall for 2010 to 2029, but the range of anticipated rises are much greater than the falls.

  14. This was a very informative post. I was surprised by the fact that 868 million people are still classified as being undernourished. I wasn’t expecting the number to be that high. I would also like to know how much of the increased food production came from CO2.

    mysmalltownroots.wordpress.com

  15. This does not suit the Marxist/ Common Purpose agenda at all. Prosperity, plenty, what will the bureaucrats do?

  16. Nick Stokes;
    With or without adaptation, climate change will reduce median yields by 0 to 2% per decade for the rest of the century, as compared to a baseline without climate change.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Clever wording. So if adaptation results in a 4% increase, they can say yeah, but without climate change it would have been a 6% increase.

    They’ll still be wrong though because they didn’t include crops production from areas of the world where we have no data. All the need to do is apply that kriging method to interpolate crop data for those areas, and we’ll discover that we’re growing even more food than we thought.

  17. Whilst this maybe true, one shouldn’t forget that despite that 80% of the worlds population lives at a subsistence level. So it may be very well so ‘we’ can feed 7 billion or more, that doesn’t mean those people live a humane live by any standard. Also by no stretch of the imagination is it ever possible to even up their living standards to the lowest level of the western world now. Let alone if indeed the population mounts to 12 billion.
    Dry statistics hide a lot of suffering

  18. Dear Gee Jam,

    Thanks! (and for caring enough to say so)

    Well, (blush) I don’t even know you so, I’m afraid this All American woman can’t bring herself to “xx” you back (“xoxo” = “hugs and kisses” to me). But, I send you a hearty handshake!

    Gratefully,

    Janice

  19. And here is a wonderful bit of news regarding a growing middle class. “According to McKinsey’s Global Population Report prepared for the UN in 2012, by the year 2030, in just over 16 years, there will be 2.2 billion more middle class consumers in the world than now, with 1.7 billion of that additional number being in Asia. We are talking here of lifting close to a quarter of the world’s population from the tyranny of poverty, through economic growth, in the short space of less than 20 years.

    It is hard to conceive of a more exciting prospect; one that should engage policy makers to ensure that it comes to fruition.” Former PM John Howard

    – See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2013/11/18/australias-john-howard-one-religion-is-enough/#sthash.NyyfyDFY.dpuf

  20. According to World Bank’s Annual Crop Yield report, US grain crop yields have increased 80% from 1980 to 2010….

    Much of this is due to technological improvements in irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid/GMO seed development, better land management, improved crop rotation, etc., but a large portion of this can also be attributed to CO2 fertilization, which CAGW grant whores refuse to acknowledge.

    I’ve read some estimates that C3 crop yields could increase by 40% just from CO2 fertilization alone when CO2 levels reach 560ppm… Oh, the humanity…. a 40% increase in crop yields…

    How long can this stupid CAGW hoax last with such overwhelming empirical evidence disconfirming virtually ALL of IPCC’s outrageous Warmageddon claims?

    I give this puppy 5 more years and then it won’t past the giggle test. Taxpayers will revolt against this CAGW scam and follow Australia’s lead in abandoning this absurd Gloooooobal Waaaaarming silliness.

    It’s becoming insane….

  21. “GeeJam says:
    I do not believe for one minute that increased global agricultural yield has got anything to do with an incy wincy increase in CO2. ”

    YES going from 314 to 400 ppm is a Big deal if you are a plant.

    Plant Growth chart shows with the rise in C02 from 300 ppm to 400 ppm is about 50% higher growth rate and that would equal to about 25% higher yields. Yes better technology in farming has helped the rest of %
    Take a look at the simple chart in the link below.

    Older good info on C02 and Plant growth but I do not agree about the global warming BS in articl with C02.

    http://www.hydrofarm.com/resources/articles/co2_enrichment.php

    Happy Thanks Giving to All

  22. “A total of 868 million people are still classified as undernourished.” Steve Goreham

    The development of Golden Rice is a potential life-saving crop, especially for children because it provides the micronutrients that their developing bodies need. This is important because some people still live on a rice diet. Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, talks about Golden Rice:

    Norman Borlaug was intrigued by the potentials of these kinds of modification, and did not see it as much different from what people have been doing with grains for the last 10,000 years. He is someone we should listen to!

  23. Quick reference C02 and plant growth chart.
    More C02 the more the more food we will all have to eat. When you are eating thanksgiving Dinner remember everything you eat has been grown better because of more C02 in the atmosphere..

  24. CO2 is good for plants and warmt is good for plants otherways why would there bee greenhouses? But something els now. The cahrt shows at te ent a down line ecept for rice. Is that good? It looks to mee the steep downline is bad. Or is this the new IPCC way of thinking?

  25. At Rothamstead Research Station, in the uk, they have a field (Broadbalk Field) that has grown wheat continuously for over 150 years. The ‘control’ plots have received no fertiliser of any sort during that period, and yield on average about 1.5 tonnes of wheat per hectare. The fertilised plots yield considerably more, as would be expected, yet when shown round the plots a couple of years ago the demonstrator said that the control plots gave the average world yield of wheat! No wonder there is plenty of scope for improvement in crop yields.

  26. Africa: Continent of Plenty – IEEE Spectrum
    spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/innovation/africa-continent-of-plenty
    6 Jun 2013 – Africa: Continent of Plenty. Ten reasons why Africa can feed itself—and help feed the rest of the world too.

  27. All this news about wheat production may be wonderful – but just gives the merchants an excuse to pay farmers below the cost of production.

  28. @njsnowfan says:
    November 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    “GeeJam says:
    I do not believe for one minute that increased global agricultural yield has got anything to do with an incy wincy increase in CO2. ”

    YES going from 314 to 400 ppm is a Big deal if you are a plant.
    ************************************************************************************************************
    I read an article some time ago that in the early morning the CO2 concentration above a cornfield was between 500-700ppm. By lunchtime it is sucked below 200ppm. I would take those measurements from Mauna Lea with a grain of salt.

  29. And still people starve to death on this planet. It is the worse tragedy. There is so much food, but we have organised ourselves in such a way that people still starve to death. What? We can move 100,000 troops into Iraq and feed them but we can’t move some Wheat and Corn to starving children? What the hell are we doing?

  30. Adam says:
    November 27, 2013 at 1:23 am
    “We can move 100,000 troops into Iraq and feed them but we can’t move some Wheat and Corn to starving children? What the hell are we doing?”

    And what about the adults who are starving?

  31. The issue is not one of food production. As I understand it, we globally produce enough food to feed around 9 billion people, the issue is one of distribution!

  32. Could somebody point me to where the 1960-2013 World Grain Production graph came from. I have looked through the links provided, and can`t find it.

  33. Nick Stokes – you quote from the IPCC: ”With or without adaptation, [man-made] climate change will reduce median yields by 0 to 2% per decade for the rest of the century, as compared to a baseline without climate change.”.

    Blind Freddie can see that this is absurd. The man-made climate change predicted by the IPCC includes increased temperatures and increased precipitation (not as much increase in precipitation as would theoretically occur, but an increase nonetheless). That would open up vast areas of Siberia and N Canada to agricultural production. The increased food production capacity would be enormous.

    It is rather depressing that warmists seem to seek depressing angles on everything.

  34. Adam says:
    November 27, 2013 at 1:23 am

    And still people starve to death on this planet. It is the worse tragedy. There is so much food, but we have organised ourselves in such a way that people still starve to death. What? We can move 100,000 troops into Iraq and feed them but we can’t move some Wheat and Corn to starving children? What the hell are we doing?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Your compassion does you great credit.
    And it is sometimes necessary to move large amounts of food/supplies around in emergencies.

    But the bigger question is, why haven’t we moved the knowledge and technology around to let people get out of the hand-to-mouth subsistence farming that keeps so many people on the knife edge of starvation?
    We need to do better as a civilization . It isn’t a transfer of wealth that the third world needs, it is a transfer of knowledge ,knowledge that will let them build their own countries up,without tearing others down.

  35. New report lays climate change blame with fossil fuels industry. Ninety companies, including BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil, have been blamed for causing the climate change crisis. But can we really blame climate change on fossil fuel providers alone – aren’t the public and government responsible too?

  36. Lets look at a few present day Australian wheat prices compared to the Wheat prices of past eras.

    The prices received by farmers generally reflect the availability of food grains around the world although this relation ship is breaking down as more and more commercial organisations force their way into the international and domestic grain trade and between grower and consumer. All of course intent on making a substantial profit and constantly demanding that the farmers, the food growers get more “efficient” and reduce prices, something those same organisations don’t seem to bother to do themselves.
    They just push the lower cost demands ever downwards onto the actual producers of that food while they invent ever newer ways of processing and labelling food products to give the appearance of being essential part of the food chain from producers to consumers

    All the following prices are Australian dollar denomination except for the period before the decimal dollar which was introduced on the 14th Feb 1966.

    To set the scene, Australia’s current 2013 National Minimum Wage as set by the Fair Work Commission at $606 / week

    The Australian full time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings in November 2012 was around $1,400 / week, say about $73,000 / year of which tax takes a very large lump out of.

    In 1932 in the depths of Australia’s Great Depression, the minimum wage as set by the various then state wage setting commissions was about Three pounds a week although a large percentage of the those still working during the years of the Great Depression didn’t get this minimum wage.

    In 1932 Wheat prices dropped to one shilling and sixpence a bushell, equivalent to Two pounds sixteen shillings a tonne [ 20 shillings to the Pound] or just a bit below the minimum wage.

    So even under the extreme financial stress of those times wheat prices per tonne, still remained about the same as the weekly wage.

    In 1948 following the devastation of WW2 there was some starvation in Europe as world food stocks were so depleted and the production of food in Europe was still to get underway so my father received an astonishing 25 pounds / tonne for his wheat and that was in his pocket after freight and all costs were deducted.

    The minimum wage in 1948 was about seven pounds to seven pounds ten shillings a week.

    Most workers took home probably nine pounds a week or more.

    Therefore, one tonne of wheat in 1948 was worth over two week’s wages.

    Those late 1940 ‘s and early 1950’s really were the glory days for agriculture in Australia and a period where Australian agriculture had the money and resources to go from a near peasant animal dependent [ horses ] farming system to a modern advanced machinery, herbicide and fertilizer based farming technology.

    1968 was also the year when there was a huge apparent excess and build up of wheat stocks in the world so Wheat Delivery Quota’s were brought in by the Australian wheat Board, the monopoly wheat buying organisation which allowed a grain grower to only deliver a percentage of the average amount of his delivered wheat from a period of years past.

    What we did with any other wheat that we had produced over our delivery quota was our problem and as there was only one legal delivery point the Australian Wheat Board, there were huge effects on farmers and the grain industry arising from this wheat quota delivery impost.

    Quota wheat was paid for by the AWB at an end price of $62 /tonne.
    Non quota wheat generally went for about $40 to $45 /tonne in the over border trade which was deemed legal by the High Court under the Constitution’s Freedom of Interstate Trade .

    A tradesman’s wages in 1968 was about $55 / week.
    So even during what was apparently a very bad period for wheat prices, quota wheat per tonne, in the late 1960’s was still selling for more than a tradesman’s weekly wage.

    In October 1972, unbeknown to the rest of the world, the Russian Soviets after a series of very bad harvests which were carefully hidden from the rest of the world, had literally run out of grain so they embarked on a carefully planned buy up of some 6 million tonnes of still cheap wheat across the world, most buying of which was done over a period of about 5 days.
    It is known as the Great Grain Robbery.

    Wheat went from about $65 / tonne on the friday night of the GGR to about $150 / tonne in the following mid week and stayed there for the next couple of years. It was another period of great prosperity for the grains industry in Australia

    Today wheat is priced both here in Australia and currently on the Chicago market at around the $280/ tonne at port so freight and handling and etc of some $50 plus / tonne have to be deducted from this to arrive at the price the farmer gets, a price of about $230 / tonne for his year’s work and risk and thats if the farmer is lucky.

    So to ask a question often asked by farmers. If the price of wheat had kept up with Australia’s long term inflation figure what would the true price of wheat per tonne today?

    Well the Reserve Bank of Australia has a very interesting calculator where you can work that out for yourself which can be found by googling for; “RBA Inflation Calculator”

    So if I enter those very low prices of the Wheat Quota years of the late 1960’s at non quota wheat prices of say $45 / tonne in 1968 then the RBA inflation calculator gives a price for the same wheat today, after inflation is taken into account, of $496 / tonne.
    Of course if we used the really good grain prices of 1973 of $150 / tonne then today that same wheat would be worth $1263 / tonne.

    The farmers of the world are just too damn good at their job as those prices reflect that after some 80 years there is arguably a greater amount of food grains in the world for each of those 7.2 billion of earth’s inhabitants than there has ever been down through any time in mankind’s past history.
    This fact is reinforced by the fact that there has been NO major famines due to actual global grain shortages since the great East Bengal famine of 1948.
    All recent famines such as the one created by Mao’s Great Leap Forward where an estimated 40 to 50 million Chinese starved to death, have been what I classify as political famines, those created either inadvertently or deliberately by mankind himself.

    As a 75 year old now retired Australian grain grower and farmer;

    1 / If the world warms some more and CO2 continues to increase we can feed the 9 or 10 billions that will inhabit this earth by about 2050 after which the global population will most likely start to decline.

    2 / If the world starts to cool but CO2 continues to rise then we can possibly feed those numbers, perhaps and maybe, just!

    3 / If somehow the alarmist science find some way of reducing CO2 AND the world starts to cool then all bets are off as to if we can feed those predicted numbers of humans by 2050.
    And THAT God forbid, implies the possibility of short periods of mass starvation somewhere on this planet by 2050.

    Pray for a warming world and CO2 increasing to double it’s current levels and your children will always have enough to eat for far into the future

  37. There is no way possible with 1 planet worth of resources to keep a population of billions at even the lowest level of western civilization. Being not hungry doesn’t mean you live a good life. There will be always more people having ,much less & less people having more. The only thing that can change is the distribution over the world,who will be the next top dog. Anything else is pure fantasy lalaland.

  38. Borlaug offered his new wheat to Africa free of charge but this was refused by the UN Secretary General on grounds that wheat was not the correct food for Africa. As a result Africa continued to starve and still does in many places.

  39. Mike Jonas says: November 27, 2013 at 2:03 am
    ” That would open up vast areas of Siberia and N Canada to agricultural production. The increased food production capacity would be enormous.
    It is rather depressing that warmists seem to seek depressing angles on everything.”

    Well, their preceding sentence said, in bold:
    “Without adaptation, local temperature increases of 1°C or more above preindustrial levels are projected to negatively impact yields for the major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, although individual locations may benefit (medium confidence).”

    I don’t myself have a firm view on how that would work out. But I think they should not be misquoted.

  40. Petrossa says:
    November 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm
    “…by no stretch of the imagination is it ever possible to even-up their living standards to the lowest level of the western world now. Let alone if indeed the population mounts (sic) to 12 billion.”

    Zeke reports:
    November 26, 2013 at 11:49 pm
    “According to McKinsey’s Global Population Report…We are talking here of lifting close to a quarter of the world’s population from the tyranny of poverty, through economic growth, in the short space of less than 20 years.

    Richard says:
    November 27, 2013 at 1:11 am
    spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/innovation/africa-continent-of-plenty
    6 Jun 2013 – Africa: Continent of Plenty. Ten reasons why Africa can feed itself—and help feed the rest of the world too.

    Perhaps Petrossa needs to stretch that imagination a little further!

    It’s kind of fun doing the impossible.

  41. Just checked an inflation adjusted graph of corn prices. Prices have continuously moved lower until the ethanol rules of 2007. However, in the last year, prices have halfed, and are heading toward the all-time lows of the beginning of the millenium. Seems the markets, after some adjustments, are finding their equilibrium point.

  42. Felflames says:

    “We need to do better as a civilization . It isn’t a transfer of wealth that the third world needs, it is a transfer of knowledge ,knowledge that will let them build their own countries up,without tearing others down.”

    The knowledge you are speaking of is not hidden from anyone. In fact, British, French and German colonialists demonstrated and taught it around the world even a hundred years ago. As we know, it didn’t catch on everywhere back then. Since these times, Europe went through two devastating wars, large parts of it were suppressed by Nazi and Commie regimes for considerable periods, and still, the agricultural techniques improved more than in countries that “suffered” nothing worse than being released into “freedom” from the colonial powers that were. Why is that so? The facts *look like* not all varieties of Homo sapiens are equally capable in terms of industriousness and intelligence, just as they *look like* that CO2 increase has little damaging effect on Earth’s wellbeing. Now who did come up with the idea that all races are equal? And who promotes that CO2 is evil? Dare I say “UNITED NATIONS” – likely the ugliest bunch of bastards to disgrace the planet, as eternal suppressors of the productive, healthy and industrious, by promoting and supporting everything weak, sick, and inferior… [Snip. Please don't single out specific races. ~ mod.]

  43. Petrossa says:
    [quote]Whilst this maybe true, one shouldn’t forget that despite that 80% of the worlds population lives at a subsistence level.[end quote]

    According to the media, there is so much suffering in the world, that I can not understand how Petrossa can get through the day without going crazy from worrying about the suffering people.

    Do people really care about all that suffering going on in distant lands? Personally I worry, first and foremost, about my suffering and that of my family, and then about friends and neighbors, and about people of my own race and culture. After that, I am pretty much empathized-out.

  44. @njsnowfan says: November 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm
    “GeeJam says:

    Firstly, a huge thank you njsnowfan for the link to Hydrofarm.com. Like many here, refuting that CAGW even exists or is linked to CO2 emissions from fossil fuel has been an obsession of mine for about four years. Many WUWT regulars know that when I post a comment, it’s nearly always about CO2. Your link gives me loads of percentage figures that I have been searching endlessly for – particularly the ‘fermentation’ method of increasing CO2 for plants “A pound of sugar will ferment into approximately half a pound of ethyl alcohol (C2H5OH) and half a pound of CO2. One pound of CO2 makes 8.7 cubic feet of CO2 gas at normal atmospheric conditions.” This is brilliant. From this, I have calculated the following . . . . (please bear with me)

    1 tsp of sugar (weighing 0.2 oz) added to 0.5 oz fresh yeast, 15 fl oz warm water and 1.5 lbs strong white flour produces 2 x standard size white loaves of bread.
    Therefore 5 tsp of sugar (weighing 1 oz) are needed for 10 x loaves of bread.
    There are 16 oz in 1 lb.
    Therefore 80 tsp of sugar (weighing 1 lb.) are needed for 160 white loaves.
    160 x loaves of bread produce half a pound of CO2 (see from above hydrofarm quote).
    In the UK, we consume 8,800,000 loaves each day (220M slices).
    If 160 x loaves produce half a pound of CO2, then 8.8M loaves will produce 27,500 lbs of CO2.
    If there are 2,000 lbs in a ton, UK bread production alone produces 13.75 tons of CO2 every day.
    This means that annual UK ‘CO2 emissions’ just from man-made bread production is 5,018.75 tons.
    Assume that out of the 193 countries in the world, 60% of them consume the same amount of bread as the UK.
    This means that 116 countries (60%) collectively emit 582,175 tons of man-made CO2 every year from making bread.
    In comparison, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 5.1 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

    Secondly, your point about my comment “I do not believe for one minute that increased global agricultural yield has got anything to do with an incy wincy increase in CO2.”. Whilst I agree with your 50% higher growth rate, surely this applies to plants where the 400 ppm of CO2 is concentrated (eg sealed polytunnels) and only during the optimum growth cycle of a plant (springtime). The insignificant 0.0086% rise in global CO2 levels (from 314 ppm to 400 ppm) is so small that with atmospheric dilution (even at the lower regions of the troposphere), the time span (incl. when deciduous plants lie dormant in winter) and the seasonal differences between the earth’s northern and southern hemispheres, plant life would not benefit noticeably any more than when CO2 was at 314 ppm 40 years ago. So, I’ll stick by guns on this one.

  45. Ah – but have we reached ‘peak’ corn/wheat/rice – in the same way that we’ve reached – er – ‘peak oil’…?

    Nah – thought not – MORE CO2, please..!

  46. prkralex says:
    November 27, 2013 at 2:11 am
    New report lays climate change blame with fossil fuels industry. Ninety companies, including BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil, have been blamed for causing the climate change crisis. But can we really blame climate change on fossil fuel providers alone – aren’t the public and government responsible too?

    Well, except there is no crisis and the positive aspects of the “changed climate” are enough that we should change the words “blame/blamed” to “credit/credited”.

    Ok, maybe we can still blame government for something for sure.

  47. Good news for man; bad news for climatists, who thrive on death and destruction, which is their meat and potatoes.

  48. I’ll put my two cents worth in. Part of the increased production is the infrastructure improvements in producing nations. Better transportation networks have enabled more producers to ship their output elsewhere (expand their markets), therefore they are encouraged to increased production.

  49. John F. Hultquist says:
    November 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Also, remember that the cereal grains that the Russians produced rotted in the fields due to the facts that the Russians neither had the equipment to harvest nor the supply chain to move it to market.

    With the interconnected world we live in moving foodstuff around the globe is no longer a problem.

  50. Nick, you do realize that the 0 to 2% AGW-induced statistic you quote is buried in the unfiltered production variation data that occurs for other reasons, yes? It is similar to temperature. Unfiltered temperature variation buries the AGW trend. This means that you have not made a point at all, unless you unwittingly wish to be seen as a person who is unfamiliar with “statistical significance”.

    Why is it that little ol’ me, this one-hit wonder in the science world, far less notorious than you and the rest of the AGW rent seeking gang of scientists, understands the glaringly obvious and you apparently do not?

  51. Petrossa says:
    November 27, 2013 at 2:23 am
    There is no way possible with 1 planet worth of resources to keep a population of billions at even the lowest level of western civilization.
    =================
    nonsense. we already have 1+ billion people living at that level and above. if what you say was true, if resources were truly finite, then prices of resources would be increasing. but they are not, they are decreasing in real dollar terms. get out and travel the world. you will be surprised at how well people are doing in many, many countries.

    the problem is lack of imagination. people don’t see how the problems will be solved, so they think they cannot be solved. however, we forget. We also have billions of people working on solving the problems. And from those billions have come some pretty good answers.

  52. If it’s too warm in the USA for wheat then grow it in Canada, Siberia etc The USA can then grow crops that do better in warmer conditions. Warmists seem to think that humans just can’t adapt. Humans have been adapting and changing the land for thousands of years and are prone to migrate and switch crops.

    Sorry to repeat this but the past few decades has see the greening biosphere with pasture lands doing well too. The greening has been projected to increase in future.

    After the “HOTTEST DECADE ON THE RECORD!” yields are up. Hmmmmm!

    Surely the Medieval Warm Period shows us that things were really, really bad? Here are the signs from Dr. Michael Mann.

    Medieval Climatic Optimum
    Michael E Mann – University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

    It is evident that Europe experienced, on the whole, relatively mild climate conditions during the earliest centuries of the second millennium (i.e., the early Medieval period). Agriculture was possible at higher latitudes (and higher elevations in the mountains) than is currently possible in many regions, and there are numerous anecdotal reports of especially bountiful harvests (e.g., documented yields of grain) throughout Europe during this interval of time. Grapes were grown in England several hundred kilometers north of their current limits of growth, and subtropical flora such as fig trees and olive trees grew in regions of Europe (northern Italy and parts of Germany) well north of their current range. Geological evidence indicates that mountain glaciers throughout Europe retreated substantially at this time, relative to the glacial advances of later centuries (Grove and Switsur, 1994). A host of historical documentary proxy information such as records of frost dates, freezing of water bodies, duration of snowcover, and phenological evidence (e.g., the dates of flowering of plants) indicates that severe winters were less frequent and less extreme at times during the period from about 900 – 1300 AD in central Europe……………………

    Some of the most dramatic evidence for Medieval warmth has been argued to come from Iceland and Greenland (see Ogilvie, 1991). In Greenland, the Norse settlers, arriving around AD 1000, maintained a settlement, raising dairy cattle and sheep. Greenland existed, in effect, as a thriving European colony for several centuries. While a deteriorating climate and the onset of the Little Ice Age are broadly blamed for the demise of these settlements around AD 1400,

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/medclimopt.pdf

    That last paragraph is the hint as to what really damages crops. :-) Don’t worry, be happy.

  53. Nick Stokes says:
    November 27, 2013 at 3:30 am
    I don’t myself have a firm view on how that would work out. But I think they should not be misquoted.
    ============
    Nick, the answer is in their quote:
    “Without adaptation”

    That is the nonsense of their argument. Doom and gloom is based on the assumption that people will not plant different crops in response to changing climate. That completely ignores what has made humans successful world-wide. We adapt. Climate changes, we plant different crops. Or we invent new ones.

    Humans prosper when there is change, because we are so adaptable. Not genetically, rather we adapt via society and technology. If you neighbor plants wheat and you plant corn and at the end of the year one of you does better than the other, by next year you will both be planting the crop that did better. This process goes on all over the world, everyone using the experience of their neighbor to improve their own lot in life. With change come opportunity.

  54. Some farmers are able to grow 1000kg pumpkins every year, I’d say we haven’t even scratched the surface regarding how much more food we can produce. I can’t wait to see a 100kg beefsteak tomato or a 20kg carrot.

  55. We are at 400ppm (disputed) and it’s turning out to be a calamity. At 450ppm it will be the end of veggie as we know it. At 800ppm the world will EXPLODE!

    Here are the results of a future co2 of 1,270ppm on the delicate Vigna unguiculata (Cowpea.) We must act NOW!!!

  56. Global warming could open certain regions to new crops. Now how about that!? Do these nutters always suffer from logic bypasses. Furthermore, warmer arid regions could have crops that are suited to those areas as new crops. Recent years has seen a greening of these warm arid areas too.

    Here are the results after the dangerous warming of the last few decades. It looks like it will soon be over. NICK STOKES look at the last paper. They use models so I think you will like. No?

    Abstract – 31 May, 2013
    CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments

    [1] Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. …….Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analysed to remove the effect of variations in rainfall, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%.…..

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract

    _____________________________

    Abstract – May 2013
    A Global Assessment of Long-Term Greening and Browning Trends in Pasture Lands Using the GIMMS LAI3g Dataset

    Our results suggest that degradation of pasture lands is not a globally widespread phenomenon and, consistent with much of the terrestrial biosphere, there have been widespread increases in pasture productivity over the last 30 years.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/5/5/2492

    _____________________________

    Abstract – 10 April 2013
    Analysis of trends in fused AVHRR and MODIS NDVI data for 1982–2006: Indication for a CO2 fertilization effect in global vegetation

    …..The effect of climate variations and CO2 fertilization on the land CO2 sink, as manifested in the RVI, is explored with the Carnegie Ames Stanford Assimilation (CASA) model. Climate (temperature and precipitation) and CO2 fertilization each explain approximately 40% of the observed global trend in NDVI for 1982–2006……

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gbc.20027/abstract

    _____________________________

    Abstract – May 2013
    The causes, effects and challenges of Sahelian droughts: a critical review
    …….However, this study hypothesizes that the increase in CO2 might be responsible for the increase in greening and rainfall observed. This can be explained by an increased aerial fertilization effect of CO2 that triggers plant productivity and water management efficiency through reduced transpiration. Also, the increase greening can be attributed to rural–urban migration which reduces the pressure of the population on the land…….
    doi: 10.1007/s10113-013-0473-z
    _____________________________

    Abstract – 2013
    A model-based constraint on CO2 fertilisation
    ……Using output from a 671-member ensemble of transient GENIE simulations, we build an emulator of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration change since the preindustrial period. We use this emulator to sample the 28-dimensional input parameter space. A Bayesian calibration of the emulator output suggests that the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%. It is important to note that we do not represent all of the possible contributing mechanisms to the terrestrial sink. The missing processes are subsumed into our calibration of CO2 fertilisation, which therefore represents the combined effect of CO2 fertilisation and additional missing processes……
    doi:10.5194/bg-10-339-2013

    It’s worse than we thought! The IPCC must be right. Observations during the warming has shown us once and for all. We are doomed.

  57. What if the doom mongers are right? What options do we have?

    Look to formerly colder lands and grow suited crops there.
    Desert farming.
    Dryland farming.
    Vertical farms.
    Biotechnology / genetically modified foods.
    Precision agriculture technologies.
    New innovations / inventions yet to happen during this century.
    Or try the 20 technologies changing agriculture.

    I suspect that unless we get thermageddon we will be OK. There is plenty of farm land NOT IN USE. 100 million (2008) in Russia alone. I hear there’s lots and lots in Africa too.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7528850.stm

  58. Did you know that in the European Union some farmers were paid NOT to grow food? There used to be a huge problem with food mountains – the CAP was TOO successful. Imagine in a warmer world if they had to. The potential is mindboggling. Even if yeilds went down the potential for new production is all around us.

    Do not listen to these pessimistic, Warmist fools. They are just a pack of liars, and deceivers who need to keep their snouts in the global warming trough or drive their agendas forward through fear.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11216061

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/farmer-earns-pounds-19000-a-year-for-growing-nothing-for-five-years-the-only-crop-on-215-highquality-arable-acres-has-been-grass-nicholas-schoon-reports-1429787.html

  59. Adam says:

    November 27, 2013 at 1:23 am
    And still people starve to death on this planet. It is the worse tragedy. There is so much food, but we have organised ourselves in such a way that people still starve to death. What? We can move 100,000 troops into Iraq and feed them but we can’t move some Wheat and Corn to starving children? What the hell are we doing?
    ==========

    Please define “we”.

  60. Petrossa says:
    November 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Whilst this maybe true, one shouldn’t forget that despite that 80% of the worlds population lives at a subsistence level. So it may be very well so ‘we’ can feed 7 billion or more, that doesn’t mean those people live a humane live by any standard. Also by no stretch of the imagination is it ever possible to even up their living standards to the lowest level of the western world now. Let alone if indeed the population mounts to 12 billion.
    Dry statistics hide a lot of suffering

    I would rather be malnourished than starving. What do you propose we do about the “80% of the worlds population lives at a subsistence level.”? Get rid of them? Let me tell you a little dirty secret. All over the world it has been noticed that the higher the standard of living of people the fewer, better educated kids they have. This wealth comes through fossil fuels. The poorer people are the more kids they have. And finally don’t panic.

    YaleGlobal, 26 October 2011
    Global Population of 10 Billion by 2100? – Not So Fast
    With urbanization and education, global fertility rates could dip below replacement level by 2100
    ………………….
    The demographic patterns observed throughout Europe, East Asia and numerous other places during the past half century as well as the continuing decline in birth rates in other nations strongly points to one conclusion: The downward global trend in fertility may likely converge to below-replacement levels during this century. The implications of such a change in the assumptions regarding future fertility, affecting as it will consumption of food and energy, would be far reaching for climate change, biodiversity, the environment, water supplies and international migration. Most notably, the world population could peak sooner and begin declining well below the 10 billion currently projected for the close of the 21st century.

    Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division,
    is research director at the Center for Migration Studies.

    http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/global-population-10-billion-not-so-fast

    The Breakthrough Institute – May 8, 2013 – Martin Lewis
    “In a recent exercise, most of my students believed that India’s total fertility rate (TFR) was twice that of the United States. Many of my colleagues believed the same. In actuality, it is only 2.5, barely above the estimated U.S. rate of 2.1 in 2011, and essentially the replacement level. (A more recent study now pegs U.S. fertility at 1.93.)…..

    …In today’s world, high fertility rates are increasingly confined to tropical Africa…..

    …fertility rates are persistently declining in almost every country in Africa, albeit slowly. Many African states, moreover, are still sparsely settled and can accommodate significantly larger populations. The Central African Republic, for example, has a population of less than 4.5 million in an area almost the size of France……

    …As it turns out, the map of female literacy in India does exhibit striking similarities with the map of fertility. States with educated women, such as Kerala and Goa, have smaller families than those with widespread female illiteracy,…..

    …Thus while the education of women is no doubt significant in reducing fertility levels, it is not the only factor at play……

    That television viewing would help generate demographic stabilization would have come as a shock to those who warned of the ticking global population bomb in the 1960s…..

    To return to our first map, fertility rates remain stubbornly high across tropical Africa. The analysis presented here would suggest that the best way to bring them down would be a three-pronged effort: female education, broad-based economic and social development, and mass electrification followed by the dissemination of soap-opera-heavy television……”

    http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/conservation-and-development/population-bomb-so-wrong/

  61. Petrossa says:
    November 27, 2013 at 2:23 am

    There is no way possible with 1 planet worth of resources to keep a population of billions at even the lowest level of western civilization. Being not hungry doesn’t mean you live a good life. There will be always more people having ,much less & less people having more. The only thing that can change is the distribution over the world,who will be the next top dog. Anything else is pure fantasy lalaland.

    All I want is for people to have a better standard of living. I am not saying that someone living in Cambodia should have the standard of living of someone in Switzerland. Understand that first. Secondly, your claim might be correct today regarding lowest level of western civilization, but it might be shown to be utter horseshit in the future. Do some research on Dr. Paul Ehrlich who is an expert on population matters. Read about the things he predicted in the 1960s and 1970s then look at yourself in the mirror.

    I will ask you again Petrossa, what do you propose to do about the mass of the world’s poor? I hear complaint but what is your solution? I can whine all day about the hot sun but what to do?

  62. Ohhh Petrossa,
    You might have missed this about that basket case called Africa. It really has no future and is performing terribly. A sure sign for the future. A sure sign for the year 2100 when they will be eating dirt and twigs. As for farm land there is a nasty, vicious rumor that it’s under-utilized. All ye hope is lost.

    The Economist online – Jan 6th 2011
    “Africa is now one of the world’s fastest-growing regions
    But an analysis by The Economist finds that over the ten years to 2010, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa.”

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/01/daily_chart

    ———————————————-
    BBC – 11 July 2013
    Africa’s economy ‘seeing fastest growth
    Middle income countries now account for nearly half of African states

    Africa’s economy is growing faster than any other continent, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB)……

    The share of the population living below the poverty line in Africa has fallen from 51% in 2005 to 39% in 2012………..”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23267647

    ———————————————-
    The Economist – Nov 2nd 2013
    No need to dig
    Many of Africa’s fastest-growing economies have not relied on oil or mining
    …..Progress was not restricted to economic policy. The six countries in the IMF study are far better governed than they were in the mid-1990s. Based on indicators compiled by the World Bank, they are less corrupt, have better bureaucrats, enjoy more stable politics and are better regulated……

    http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21588849-many-africas-fastest-growing-economies-have-not-relied-oil-or-mining-no-need

  63. Arable land in the land of the DOOMED!

    Current and potential arable land use in Africa. Out of the total land area in Africa, only a fraction is used for arable land. Using soil, land cover and climatic characteristics a FAO study has estimated the potential land area for rainfed crops, excluding built up areas and forests – neither of which would be available for agriculture. According to the study, the potential – if realised – would mean an increase ranging from 150 – 700% percent per region, with a total potential for the whole of Africa in 300 million hectares. Note that the actual arable land in 2003 is higher than the potential in a few countries, like Egypt, due to irrigation…

    http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/current-and-potential-arable-land-use-in-africa_a9fd

    There simply won’t be enough food as Malthusian nuts like to say. They just can’t see the land for the trees (greened by co2). :)

    Did I say water? I hear there is about 100 times more water in the newly discovered aquifers than is on the surface Africa.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17775211

    Dooooom and glooooom is their mantra. But they always fail in their population predictions of doooooom

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/25/the-simon-erlich-wager-at-seven-billion-people/

  64. And lifelong parasite, Paul Ehrlich, still has a job and the respect of his peers. Academia will be tainted, at the least, until Ehrlich gets a major and widely accepted slap down. He had his acolytes have wormed their way into the deceision making process for decades and have infested policy making and popular thought for far too long.

  65. Say, Moderator, I second Zeke (re: Thorsten the bigot at 4:56am today).

    (Objectionable comment snipped. ~ mod)

  66. ANTHONY /MODS: Thorsten at 4:56 is TOTALLY out of line. Racist posts do not belong here.
    The last three sentences are repulsive! Please consider a “snip”

    [Last sentence snipped. We try not to censor too heavily. Comments critical of the UN do not violate site Policy. — mod.]

  67. GeeJam, it would be correct to say that atmospheric CO2 has increased by 86 ten thousandths of a percentage point.

    But going from 314 ppm to 400 ppm is actually about a 27% increase.

    400-314 = 86. 86/314 = 0.27 or 27%

    An increase of 86 ppm in CO2 isn’t much when compared to the 999,914 ppm of the atmosphere that is not CO2 but for a plant, a 27%~ increase in avaiable CO2 is not an insignificant change.

  68. Thorsten,
    Do you believe in freedom of speech? Then go and stand outside the House of Congress, use a loud speaker and repeat what you just wrote here. You are despicable.

  69. Dear United States,
    Whilst you are enjoying your Thanksgiving feasts please lend a thought to the average African in sub-Saharan Africa. He/she can expect to go to bed, in the dark, hungry tonight and every night. As was said by Steve.B above, you can send 100,000 men to the Middle East, equip, feed and sustain them with little apparent effort, yet the distribution of the mountain of food being produced globally cannot be achieved.
    Here’s a tiny example that I know of. My Mother, then aged 91, left Zambia last year to go and live with my sister in Johannesburg. She ‘employed’ 5 able-bodied African men. She officially employed only two, the other three worked for the food she gave. She also made up food parcels for the ‘unofficial’ workers to take home. I am in regular correspondence with a Zambian who I have known forty years and who knew my Mother very well (he drove her down to the Kafue River where she went fishing regularly up to the age of ninety!). He has informed me that three of the men who worked for my Mother are now dead and the other two have become widowers.
    I have no idea as to the causes of the deaths; AIDS, malnutrition, malaria? Who knows. All I know is that any improvement in food supply, medical treatment, education, access to cheap, reliable electricity and having a less corrupt Government would bring untold benefits to millions. And that is in only one country, Zambia.

  70. Janice Moore says:
    November 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm
    As others have indicated – excellent post.

    Albert Einstein – paraphrased – the finest product of the human mind is Compound Interest

    Nearly nine million people across the UK are living with serious debt problems, according to a new report.
    The Money Advice Service (MAS) also said very few people were making any attempt to get professional help.

    If you know anyone in need of help – guide them, please.

    Thanks.
    Auto.

  71. To counter Thorsten at 4:56, I have seen Zambian farmers driven into penury by the actions/inactions of a vastly corrupt political clique. In Zambia they are called wapamwamba, in Tanzania they are called the wa-Benzi after the cars they always ride in.
    Zambian farmers could prosper, given proper governance but that is something they have not got. Their biggest threat right now comes from the massive rise in the immigration of Chinese nationals setting up agricultural concerns with Chinese Government backing, undercutting the local farmers in every way possible. Even Zambia’s copper mines are now mostly Chinese owned.

  72. The biggest issue holding back growth in Africa is political and economic concentration. It has been clearly demonstrated that economic growth depends on pluralistic eocnomic and political systems being in place. Africa being the classic example, as you have a number of countries that have significantly higher prosperity than others and the difference is basically whether the government has a power base spread over the wider population, and whether property rights are strong. I nthe countries with oppressive regimes and few property rights tehre are no incentives for growth/capital accumlation and what little exists is taken by the few at the top. Until oppressive regimes change there is no solution for Africa, and that can only be done by the will of the people (it cannot be imposed by external powers). Food production is not even close to being a limiting factor.

    GeeJam, why would you need CO2 to be concentrated for plant growth if 400ppm is the broad concentration in the atmosphere? You do understand that ppm stands for “parts per million” right? If you concentrate it further then you go up the growth curve. It will make no different whether that 400ppm is enclosed or whether it is in the open atmosphere; the concentration is the same and the effect on plant growth is the same (BTW, naturally the plants grow during growing season, but these vary across the planet in timing. I dont know what you are getting at there). Time to take off your blinkers and accept what the data tells you. BTW in greenhouses the concentration is typically more like 1200ppm.

  73. In Africa, there are countries which have growing economies and are actually asking to join the Commonwealth. Nigel Farage remarks on this potential benefits of trade with these Commonwealth countries:

    “The Commonwealth isn’t a relic of empire, it’s become something modern and new. And there are actually African countries which were never part of the British Empire who are considering joining it. So people do see it as having some value. And it’s got some things that it shares: English language, Common Law, shared sense of history – and I think we under-use it massively….2 billion people live inside the Commonwealth, and some of those countries have some of the most dynamic, booming economies in the world, and what I would like to see is the Commonwealth turned into something that would be a free trade club. And that would not just benefit the rich, it would help black Africa to sell it’s agricultural produce to countries like ours without the massive tariffs that the EU puts on their products.”

    ref: ITV Nigel Farage – Unblock EU trade and open up to the commonwealth, Nov 2013
    Nigel Farage begin 2:28

  74. Dear Auto,

    Thank you, so much for your generous compliment. So glad to hear that someone thought that post was “excellent.” I suspect you may be a lot like Einstein. Over the past 7 months or so I’ve seen your super-sharp mind at work and your comment to me shows that you also have a caring heart.

    Grateful for your fine science insights and for your kindness,

    Janice

    P.S. If I had to pick an “auto” to represent you, it would be that fine combination of beauty and performance, the Chevrolet Corvette. #(:))

  75. cbrtxus says:
    November 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    GeeJam, it would be correct to say that . . . .

    pete says:
    November 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    “GeeJam, why would you need . . . .

    Hey guys, I’ll eat humble pie on this issue. I am neither a horticulturist or botanist and stand corrected. Thankyou both for putting me right. I now know that a tiny increase in CO2 can have a dramatic effect on plant growth.

  76. http://www.plantsneedco2.org

    Living in the grain belt, also near railroad tracks, I have noticed an increase in traffic on those tracks. The extra noise is tolerable knowing most of it goes towards food and this Thanksgiving will be better than the pilgrims had.

  77. Dear Gee Jam,

    Good for you to acknowledge a mistake about the effect of CO2 on plant growth. Your underlying message, however (if I am not mistaken as to your intended meaning) is accurate. Human CO2 is outweighed by a magnitude of 3 by NATURAL CO2. While the AGW cult loudly asserts that human CO2 does mighty things, they have yet to prove that human CO2 is a significant causation of global plant growth. That is, the net rise in CO2 over the past 20 years or so may be entirely natural. You were on your way (just a bit of a bump in the road) to making an excellent point!

    I hope you only ate a small bite of that humble pie, for I would like to send you a generous slice of virtual apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Enjoy!

    And watch this video for some excellent instruction about CO2, both human and natural.

    On Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for Dr. Murry Salby!

    #(:))

    Your WUWT pal,

    Janice

  78. Dear Janice,

    Your lovely words are very much appreciated – and thank you for the link to Dr Salby’s presentation. As you probably have already worked out, my personal obsession with the miniscule volume of anthropogenic CO2 (versus natural CO2) frequently takes over my life, when in truth, I should really be mowing the lawn, redecorating the lounge, taking ‘Will’ (our retriever for a walk) or filling in my tax return! There are probably a few other loyal WUWT commenters who’s lives are very much similar. I’ve been known to sit in our kitchen conservatory at ‘stupid o’clock’ in the morning researching the subject – and by 2.00 pm, I’m still in my dressing gown. Being a semi-retired graphic designer, I just want to reach out to those naïve enough to have been hoodwinked by warmist propaganda and give them a common-sense unscientific case that allows their stubborn minds to see sense. Frequently, it is the science that bamboozles them – and I think a lay persons viewpoint is often the only way to win them over. You may have seen my ‘list’ on another recent WUWT post (link below). Via e.mail, I have also asked A-t-ony if he would like the muti-page Pdf version of the ‘list’ to publish for new visitors to his excellent site. The Pdf is professionally visual (that’s what I do), light-hearted and thought-provoking.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/26/open-letter-to-lewis-black-and-george-clooney/#comment-1485207

    Finally, I can also relate to Richard Dreyfus’s character in Speilberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. Whilst being totally obsessed with finding the truth, he found solace in other people who shared the same goal, the same vision and same experience.

    Best regards, your WUWT pal from across the ‘pond’.

    GeeJam

  79. The utter lack of cyclone preparedness in the Philippines ought to make everyone think.

    They have the money to develop infrastructure, including disaster preparedness, medical care, roads, and so on.

    What are we Westerners doing over there, rather than encouraging their development of such infrastructure?

    http://reproductiverights.org/en/feature/a-right-to-contraception-in-the-philippines

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/01/food-for-9-billion.html

    http://pcij.org/stories/2005/pills.html

    Instead of us Westerners striving to help the Philippines build infrastructure, we are trying to convince them that the path to prosperity is to throw out their religious values and start reducing their reproduction.

    They can help themselves by having fewer of themselves.

    My conclusion is we in the West do not want so many of these dark-skinned developing-nation peoples – because they will upset our world.

    We need an acceptable front to hide our racist agenda. “Over-population,” especially due to those Catholics, works just great.

    Many of us WUWT readers have internalized the disdain for religion, especially Catholicism, that the Marxists have been feeding us.

    There is plenty of food.

    There is plenty of wealth to develop infrastructure, and support local independence.

    That would require us overlords to be promoting autonomy, rather than dependence.

  80. Hi, Gee Jam (re: 4:48am today),

    Thanks, so much, for responding. Your communication skills (and courtesy) are refreshing! Good for you to try as hard as you do to find and get the truth out about science (“stupid o’clock” — good one). Thanks for sharing your excellent list (link to post above). No, I had not seen it. Glad to know that I was RIGHT about you and your CO2 message (temporarily gone just a tiny bit awry). And, lol, I certainly did not need to tell you any of what I did above — you are VERY WELL INFORMED.

    I hope A-th-y does post your list with your graphics (I’m sure they are well done). If you’d like someone to look over it for typos and clarity (since I am a non-scientist), just ask. I’d be happy to (fyi: “refrigeration” may need fixing, perhaps a Britishism?)

    Riley (my German Shepherd) says, “Tell Will ‘Hello.’ And tell him to have a fun walk. And tell him to stop paying so much attention to birds and more to his owners,” — German Shepherds are quite verbose and take their work very seriously, but boy are they sweet.)

    Yours,

    Janice

  81. Re: “refrigeration” — Yes, in America, we shorten “refrigerator” to “fridge.” I — do — not — know — why, except that it better makes it rhyme with “bridge” instead of “fig.”

    When I was a little kid, we still alternated calling it a refrigerator and a frigidaire (sp?) (from the brand name… unlike Kleenex, it now largely resides in the quiet land of Archaism ….).

    And, this one’s for you, Tom G. Ologist! frac’ing! Good luck with that.
    #(:))

  82. population growth has already outran the ability of oil based civilization to cope, at least by a factor of two, perhaps by a factor of three. US, with 5% of world population is using 25% of oil production. Do the math.

    I do not know where the “ultimate” carrying capacity is. What I do know is that the population growth is a huge problem already, likely to lead to war and mayhem in a very near future. Having said this, population growth is a natural phenomenon of sorts, a collision of reduced mortality of the young with patriarchal cultures that enforce high fertility which was once necessary to maintain population levels at the time of very high mortality. The world has to cope, but coping will be neither easy nor pleasant and may still end in a nuclear blowout. Complete technological restructuring of western civilization is already necessary and baked into the cake. If it does not happen, the world will be an extremely unhappy place.

    Calling those who point these rather obvious facts (grade school math) “Malthusians” is really a form of sticking your head into the sand and repeating “all will be ok, it always has been”, or “so far so good”.

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