Theory: Climate change to affect food safety

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I suppose it’s a toss up between “do you want fries with that?” and all the food content danger it implies, or the chance that you’ll get moldy or infected food. Our society has made great advances in food safety in the last century, I don’t expect a few tenths of a degree temperature rise in the last century to change that much. In fact, a sweeping change to food safety laws has just been passed.

Climate change affecting food safety

Unless action taken, the world’s food supply could be endangered by climate change

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Climate change is already having an effect on the safety of the world’s food supplies and unless action is taken it’s only going to get worse, a Michigan State University professor told a symposium at this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ewen Todd, an MSU professor of advertising, public relations and retailing, organized a session titled “How Climate Change Affects the Safety of the World’s Food Supply” at which several nationally known experts warned that food safety is already an issue and will worsen unless climate change is confronted.

“Accelerating climate change is inevitable with implications for animal products and crops,” said Todd, who also is an AAAS Fellow. “At this point, the effects of climate change on food safety are poorly understood.”

However, Todd said there are already a number of examples of climate change taking its toll on the world’s food supply. One is Vibrio, a pathogen typically found in warm ocean water which is now becoming more common in the north as water temperatures rise.

“It’s been moving further up the coast these past few years,” he said. “There was an outbreak of it near Alaska in 2005 when water temperature reached 15 degrees Celsius.”

Todd also said that extreme weather – droughts and heavy rains – is having an impact on the world’s food supply. In some areas crops are being wiped out, resulting in higher prices and other issues.

“Mycotoxins are molds that can sometimes cause illness in humans, and where you have drought and starvation there can be a mycotoxin problem,” he said. “That’s because people will store their meager resources of crops for longer than they should.”


Speakers at the symposium included Raymond Knighton of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; Sandra Hoffman of the USDA’s Economic Research Service; and Cristina Tirado from the University of California, Los Angeles.

77 thoughts on “Theory: Climate change to affect food safety

  1. “Unless action taken, the world’s food supply could be endangered by climate change”
    Could be affected by (Assuming AGW driven climage change) climate change? What about IS being affected by bad Govn’t policy?

  2. Oddly, we have a pamphlet from 1947 that tells us to plant potatoes on Feb 15th at the earliest to avoid dieback from frost here in southern Louisiana. Current publications say that we need to wait until tomorrow (Feb 23). You’d think global warming would cause that to be the other way around, wouldn’t you?
    Regardless, everyone plant potatoes! They’re easy to grow, fairly pretty, and extremely bountiful. Fun for the kids too.

  3. Somebody please send me an urgent message the day when we discover something negative, anything at all, that isn’t down to “climate change”.

  4. Unless action taken, the world’s food supply could be endangered by faked climate change hysteria. Bio fuels to double food prices.

  5. This is such appaling garbage. Even after staing the implicatins are unknown, the piece still implies we are all in peril.
    The simpe fact is that crops do very well with increased CO2. Even supporting drier conditions, should they arise, which so far has not ben bourne out in the real world.

  6. It’s difficult to remain calm when real people die in Christchurch from a natural disaster (although there are quite a few seismologists who claim that “earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings toppled by earthquakes kill people”) when yet another study shows that things could get worse if the global temperature increases by a fraction of a degree.
    Some people really need to get out more.

  7. I suppose using one who is a Professor of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing to spread bogus information about climate change is appropriate. After all, isn’t advertising, public relations and retailing all about getting people to buy something without regard to its value or need?

  8. It’s difficult to equate the conclusions when temperatures can fluctuate between 100 degree C in the summer and -20 in the winter in many populated areas of the world. This seems to be another case of ‘we’ve been given money for research so we have to come up with a negative conclusion at all costs otherwise we won’t get any more research money’.

  9. “At this point, the effects of climate change on food safety are poorly understood”
    “poorly understood” ???? Sorry, but a vague claim like that doesn’t give me any any reason to start panicking. Tell me again, why I am supposed to believe so called “experts” when this is the best they can do?

  10. “Climate change is already having an effect on the safety of the world’s food supplies.”
    Yep. Absolutely true.
    Firstly, increased warmth since the L.I.A. (to say nothing of increased C02, which is an entirely separate matter) has increased productivity of agricultural thereby improving the safety of world’s food supplies.
    Unfortunately, at the same time alarmism about the future effects of climate change has prompted the conversion of much of the worlds grain production from food to fossil fuel replacement thereby reducing basic food availability, increasing its price drastically with a consequent negative effect on the safety of the world’s food supplies.

  11. Ewen Todd, an MSU professor of advertising, public relations and retailing, organized a session titled “How Climate Change Affects the Safety of the World’s Food Supply”
    A professor of advertising, public relations and retailing? Would you buy a used car from this man? But, it gets better:
    “several nationally known experts warned that food safety is already an issue and will worsen unless climate change is confronted.”
    It’s hard to know where to begin. But thanks, Anthony, for a glorious piece of satire, even though it is inadvertent.
    I would pay money to see these guys ‘confronting’ climate change, mano a mano. I know how my bets would be laid.
    ‘Nationally known experts’ – snort/cough/chuckle. Tee hee.

  12. The man said: “At this point, the effects of climate change on food safety are poorly understood.”
    Then he starts speculating.
    There is something wrong with this picture.

  13. Does this vicious lashing out at everything reasonable about food, agriculture, floods, pathogens, claiming warmth when it is cold, begin to sound a little like the anarchistic disorder in the Middle East and North Africa. Are our academics like Ewen Todd from Michigan State, Cristina Tirado, UCLA and our public servants Raymond Knighton and Sandra Hoffman from the US Department of Agriculture flailing away hysterically because of a failing, non-scientific cause, or are they being funded and supported by a President who has had more than one-country loyalty from birth? Are these academics and public servants more like pirates and stealth terrorists whose mission is funded from abroad? We know that Science, the once-esteemed publication of the AAAS, has been taken over by these destructive, anti-science folks. If conferences like this were only funded from within, no doubt they will eventually fail; the science is overwhelming. But if their funding comes from bountiful sources from abroad…..

  14. Ach, phooey! This is a PR exercise to cover their buts on the loss of food productive land to the growing of biofuels which feed neither man nor cattle. We used to buy straw at £1.50 a bale to feed the horses and yesterday I saw on TV straw being auctioned £36.00 a bale!!!!!!
    The world food situation is already bad, not hit the people yet, but it will, and soon.

  15. So, we have opinion stated as fact (“Accelerating climate change is inevitable”) and business-as-usual painted as something new (“extreme weather – droughts and heavy rains – is having an impact on the world’s food supply”).
    Just another day at the MSU department of advertising and public relations…

  16. I do not see why climate would have any effect on food because if cooked that is that. It is cooking temperature that is important. Food transportation is under refrigerated control. at least here in the UK, so that is safe from climate as well.
    Warmer climates grow more food!!

  17. Unless action taken, the world’s food supply could be endangered by climate change
    Totally agree with this statement.
    Unless action is taken to stop the increase in biofuel cultivation, that limits the available land for food crops, and the upward trend in green taxation, on forms of energy used in production and transportation, that is passed through to the consumer then stable items of food will be priced out of the market and shortages will occur.
    People will starve as an outcome of green policy and it won’t be the developed countries that suffer deaths as the prices of wheat and meat spiral upwards. It will be the developing nations whose population will be priced out of the markets.

  18. And what, pray tell, does turning perfectly good grain into ethanol to burn in “eco friendly” transport do for food security?

  19. the new food safety laws are skewed to BIG agri.mass production.
    funny thing is less people get sick from small scale production.
    cattle in feedlots under stress actually produce more toxins, now they are vaccinating them 2 weeks before slaughter to knock out the e-coli, never mind what the cows gut feels like to the cow. all to suit the insane mass production/processing to save a millicent a kilo.
    suport LOCAL farmers buy direct.
    mass production means mass illness when something goes wrong.
    the new laws are slanted to stop people using natural manures, they want chem fertilisers to be the option, not good for man or beast or soils.
    someone better tell em mould and other issues just wont happen cos the poor wont Have the food to store to begin with.

  20. Pardon me for being confused. I thought that all that “excess” CO2 in the atsmosphere actually increased the food supply through plant growth and, thereby, added to food safety. Other human interventions such as bio fuels do the opposite. It looks to me as if they cannot see the overall picture of plusses outweighing any minuses apart from the fact that human intervention in “climate change” is unlikely to have any effect anyway other than making most of us poorer. I would like to see a major article here discussing if in actual fact increased CO2 had a cooling rather than warming effect. I have seen that proposition aired by several individuals lately. I think a lot of “scientists” are worried that the Republican House of Representatives will set in train a snowball effect by cutting funding for GISS/NASA, EPA and IPCC for a start and other countries may feel encouraged to follow as their revenue runs out. Interesting times indeed. They are pumping out an ever increasing number of alarmist papers just now.

  21. Sounds like the usual bilge. A small percentage change in temperature of 1C is unlikely to change much is it really. Watermelons will scream you don’t know— but yes we do know without spending billions on research. Here in the UK we can see a temperature variation of say 36C ( Minus 6C winter low, and 30C peak summer)— do we all fall down and die — no.
    Likewise with cooking food most ovens are imprecise to the level of 1C, and again we don’t all die.

  22. The world now has more people afflicted by obesity than afflicted by starvation.
    We have more food abundance and resources than ever. We also have a lot of tillable lands that have never been touched.

  23. The world’s food safety is going to be endangered when there’s a critical shortage of fuel for the machines needed to plant and harvest it. How could this possibly happen? Oh, say if some angry rebels choose to take revenge on the Libyan government by blowing up the oil pipelines that are responsible for much of the European supply.
    Isn’t this nothing but fantasy? Actually, they threatened to do this *Yesterday*. But do they have the military hardware to do this? Why yes, they do. They got it from defecting members of the Libyan military, who object to being told to target civilians.
    Some fears which may seem real, ie “climate change”, are nothing but fantasy. But some fears which may seem like fantasy – ie, the Libyan oil infrastructure getting blowed up – may turn out to be very real indeed.
    And then we’re going to find out who really prepared for the worst.

  24. Hmmm – a professor of advertising, public relations and retailing!
    Well, whoopee do – he must therefore be an expert on health, horticulture, agriculture, visiculture, farming and biochemistry. Otherwise he might be tempted to cherry-pick one or two pathogens that thrive in warmer conditions and imply that their increased numbers will produce a food safety crisis, in order to fund a nice little talkfest junket that could recommend more funding and be quoted as authoritative support for increased taxes to fight climate change.
    OK, /sarc off.
    Funny how many spin doctors are involved in AGW publicity, isn’t it?

  25. @Dave Ward:
    “At this point, the effects of climate change on food safety are poorly understood”
    is code for “feed me more grant money”.

  26. I am to assume that Alaska is planting wine grapes then? What’s funny about that assumption is that there is some food scientist somewhere currently working on that.

  27. wws says:
    February 22, 2011 at 5:34 am
    The world’s food safety is going to be endangered when there’s a critical shortage of fuel for the machines needed to plant and harvest it.
    Almost everything to do with food, is petroleum based.
    Not just the obvious, gas for transportation….
    …fertilizer, bug spray, weed killer…….

  28. I was going to make a few well reasoned comments on improving food and grain storage in third world countries as a way to prevent the food they produce from going to waste and lost in storage. And comment that gm corn bred to resist root worms has lower levels of mold but. I think my comments will be lost in the yelling match going on.

  29. If warming is the problem, why did Mexico suffer a big crop failure do to unprecedented freezing earlier this year.
    And the weather men missed that warning by almost 10 degrees.

  30. Robert E. Phelan says:
    February 22, 2011 at 5:24 am
    It’s been moving further up the coast these past few years,” he said. “There was an outbreak of it near Alaska in 2005
    Oh, yeah, it’s unusual, it’s never happened before…..
    Do you want to know what REALLY makes me sick?
    The article says the oysters came from Puget Sound, which is in Washington State. Not to say that I think the “Diseases moving North theory” is valid, however.

  31. Using agricultural land for fuel directly increases food prices:

    The history of ethanol in the United States shows that the ethanol
    market is not self-propelled and it is dependant on federal regulations to survive. . . .
    The turn of the century had a favorable mix of low corn prices, high gas prices, technological improvements, and lucrative policy bundles, which combined to make ethanol profitable. . . .
    Unfortunately, the ethanol potential of our country is not large enough to eliminate our oil dependency; therefore, the energy security benefits of ethanol are limited. . . . The actual net environmental impact from using ethanol as a substitute to gasoline is actually closer to neutral than is commonly reported (Hahn and Cecot, 2008). . . .
    The legislation has created billions of dollars in annual government spending along with creating inefficiencies in the fuel and crop markets. . . .
    Of those 300 million acres, 220 million are dedicated to growing corn, wheat, or soybeans. This shows that if farmers need more land for corn, they will most likely take land from wheat or soybeans. . . .
    Corn prices are by far the most influenced because they are directly affected by the increase in ethanol demand. Wheat and soybean prices will increase as well, but only through substitution effects. . . .
    A 30 percent increase in corn prices, a 9.4 percent increase in wheat prices, and a 6.4 percent increase in soy prices is anything but minuscule. . . .
    The most shocking results are that corn prices would not have increased from 2004 to 2008 if the VEETC and RFS were not implemented, all else equal. . . .
    The rising crop prices imply that the ethanol policies also effect common food goods, such as bread and cereal, which millions of people buy from the grocery store everyday. . . .
    There are many debates as to whether or not ethanol has environmental benefits over refined gasoline, but it is hard to argue the benefits of becoming less reliant on foreign energy sources. The new version of the RFS sets the consumption quota at 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022 (RFAb, 2009).

    4-1-2010 Are Ethanol Policies Affecting Crop Prices? An Empirical Analysis of US Ethanol Policies
    A much better policy is to use desert land to make thermochemical solar fuels and use agricultural land for food.
    Don’t buy votes at the expense of starving the poor.

  32. Frost can more easily wipe out crops than drought or flood. It just takes one sufficiently cold night, and all the crops for a huge region can be destroyed… not just places subject to flooding or areas without recourse to irrigation. Citrus is most subject to this.
    These last few years have brought a lot of early and late frosts, and freezing where it normally never occurs (Mexico was ravaged a few weeks ago).
    Anyone here ever grow crops for a living, or live with those who do?

  33. The Los Angeles times had an article up this weekend blaming the prevalence of breathing-related disorders, asthma, etc… on Climate Change.
    I laughed.

  34. “Ewen Todd, an MSU professor of advertising, public relations and retailing….”
    Just another professor in a totally unrelated field climbing aboard the federally funded, AGW gravy train.

  35. “Mycotoxins are molds that can sometimes cause illness in humans, and where you have drought and starvation there can be a mycotoxin problem,” he said. “That’s because people will store their meager resources of crops for longer than they should.”
    Mycotoxins are the endangered species during a drought.

  36. I would think that AGW Alarmists would positively welcome food shortages and mass starvation since
    “The common enemy of humanity is man”.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself.
    – Club of Rome,
    premier environmental think-tank,
    consultants to the United Nations
    See this and other ravings from politicians and Climate “scientists” alike at

  37. “At this point, the effects of climate change on food safety are poorly understood.”
    The prof needs to get with the extortion program. What follows the above is always: “MUCH more research is needed.”

  38. Having been exposed as frauds they now intend to shotgun the issue by overwhelming the argument with volumes of claims of impending disaster in all areas imaginable.
    Never before has a theory been used to predict impending disaster that repeatedly fails to happen with so flagrant a use of the word could. Such an operation takes money and the source should be known. A WAG would be tax dollars.

  39. Food pathogen temperature criticality is much wider, often 5 to 10 degrees F. Depends upon the beasty. Though toxins once produced cannot be neutered by cooking, the amount of projected rise due to AGW should have no appreciable impact. Besides our food storage folks who routinely monitor and adjust food environments for atmospheric variability have more than enough savy, even in the third world, to deal with the supposid gradual increases over the time frames projected. A tenth of a degree increase has no significance when you are routinely correcting for five or ten. This is all about ‘more study is needed’.

  40. At a more basic level as things are currently going I anticipate future pronouncements, at least in the UK, approx. as follows:
    Government Health Warning.
    Due to the continued increase in mass outbreaks of food-poisoning, householders are advised to check their freezers after each and every power cut, and discard any contents that have gone soggy/misshapen.If the power cut is known to have lasted more than 24 hours it is advised that the entire contents be discarded.
    By command: Chief (Eco Friendly) Scientific Officer Beddington.

  41. #
    mcfarmer says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:02 am (Edit)
    One of the drawbacks here in Africa is the fierce, and rather perverse, hatred the governments have for GM crops. The argument used is that the local farmer will be tied into Monsanto or the like and they would rather plant grain kept back from previous harvests to save money.
    It is rather an empty argument as here in Zimbabwe the farmers all buy a locally produced hybrid seed anyway. I suppose in really bad times when the farmer can’t afford to buy seed it makes some sort of sense but in that situation he would have eaten all of his grain anyway.
    The stiff stance may be driven by NGO’s of course. They are staffed with left wing activists who lecture against the evils of capitalist multi-nationals and so are able to run their own experiments in social and economic engineering.
    As for the yelling match. You can just keep your squelch button turned up and give me your opinion on the above.

  42. I tried to post a comment on this story on Pointed out the problems with the story and added this is why some of us don’t believe in AGW. I got moderated

  43. Catastrophic Global Alarmism drove politicians to promote “biofuels” as “green”.
    The catastrophic consequences are competition for prime agricultural land, driving up food prices – and starving the poor.
    Maternal and Young Child Nutrition Adversely Affected by External Shocks Such As Increasing Global Food Prices Ian Darnton-Hill and Bruce Cogill, J. Nutr. January 2010 vol. 140 no. 1 162S-169S

    Rising food prices, resulting from the ongoing global economic crisis, fuel price volatility, and climate change, have an adverse impact upon the poor, especially those in food-importing, resource-limited countries. The conventional approach by large organizations has been to advocate for increased staple crop yields of mainly cereals. High food prices are predicted to continue to at least 2015. Past shocks and their known impacts upon nutrition were reviewed. Price instability and increases have long been an existing global problem, which has been exacerbated by recent macroeconomic shocks such as acute emergencies due to war and civil strife, acute climatic events, increase in food prices, fuel price volatility, dysfunction of the global financial systems, long-term climate change, and the emergence of failed states. The FAO estimated that there were 815 million “hungry” people in 2006, with a now additional 75–135 million with increased vulnerability, and currently it is estimated that there are one billion people at risk of food insecurity. The shocks initially compromise maternal and child nutrition, mainly through a reduction in dietary quality and an increase in micronutrient deficiencies and concomitant increases in infectious disease morbidity and mortality. A further reduction in the quantity of diet may follow with greater underweight and wasting. Recent macroeconomic shocks have greatly increased the number of people who are vulnerable to hunger in developing countries. Nutritional surveillance systems need to be strengthened and expanded to inform policy decisions.

    Promote sensible fuel policies that do NOT starve the poor.
    Goal – develop solar thermochemical fuels on desert lands cheaper than petroleum.

  44. A positive note for once: Here’s a piece of HONEST research in the area of climate as related to the NW part of US. Research that pays attention to baselines, takes account of cycles, and doesn’t make any religious assumptions. Conclusion: most of the 20th century was abnormally wet, but now it’s returning to a more normal dry phase.
    I shouldn’t have been so surprised by this research, since it was done by geologists. They’ve remained honest, stubbornly resisted the Gaia infection.

  45. In a world that is currently awash in corn and wheat I would like to know exactly where the crop shortages are? Because of the weak dollar, and large amount of debt the US and Europe are incurring, one cannot get a decent price signal from commodities. Supply and Demand issues are being distorted by hedge fund managers looking for safer harbors. That is, the recent spike in food prices around the gobe have nothing to do with shortages brought on by weather extremes.
    In other cases, citing an example of Alaskan SSTs from 6 years ago does not make the Alarmist’s point. The classical ENSO signatures in the Pacific have areas of high SST anomalies that are regional. That is, if the extreme Northwest Pacific is seeing warmer than normal SSTs, it is probably because a La Nina conditions is occuring, which brings on colder than normal temps worldwide. Alarmists seem to be ignorant of the fact that in a warming or cooling globe, not all areas warm or cool. That is why I always insist that Climate is mainly a human construct, as humans statisticaly define the terms, parameters and metrics of Climate. Weather, on the other hand, is what is.
    Our food supplies are just fine for now. And if anything, a warming world creates better crop yields (ask the Mexican farmers who this month saw thier entire produce crop die off due to record low temperatures). Of course, the Alarmists cannot say whether we are warming or cooling anymore. Hence the terms, Climate Change or Climate Disruption.

  46. Olen says:
    February 22, 2011 at 7:24 am
    “Such an operation takes money and the source should be known. A WAG would be tax dollars.”
    You are correct; it takes a lot of money going to a lot of people. Tax dollars are part of it. The UN is another (essentially tax dollars too). But it is the lesser known sources that are the real problem and many of us continue to unknowingly build up those who are funding these things. The lesser known (or more accurately lesser exposed) list contains names like George Soros, Google, GE, WMF, big oil, etc.
    The most appalling aspect of it all is that those who believe this junk science (if it even rises to that level) is that groups like the NEA and the heads of once esteemed scientific institutions like the NAS and AAAS support this nonsense, too, entirely because of political views. This is not by chance and did not just happen overnight. These groups took over the institutions of higher learning in the US and moved on to the high schools and grade schools in order to brainwash the last several generations of American youths. I cannot speak to their counterparts in other parts of the world, but I’m sure, if anything, the only difference is that they had a jump start on America.
    Everywhere you go this stuff is out there prophesizing and brainwashing our children. You can’t go to a zoo or aquarium without being beaten over the head with it. You can’t even send your kids to school without it being pushed as undeniable fact by non-thinking teachers who are told exactly what to say about it by the NEA.
    And here’s where I really get labeled a whacko – It can all be traced back to the Communist revolution of the mid 20th century. Khrushchev said that democracy would slowly be replaced by communist ideals so subtly and slowly that no one would even notice the change to a democracy in name only. The absurd adherence to the AGW mantra and unrelenting storm of propaganda being spewed at us is the final phase of Khrushchev’s prophecy coming true. It is a power grab and a political shift and nothing more. Those who are doing their part to help bring it about think they will be rewarded once the change is complete. Unfortunately for them, they will be powerless to do anything about it when they realize they, too, are nothing more than pawns in the game of the new elite.
    I fear many of us are fighting the wrong fight on the AGW train. We need to continue to point out the flaws in the supposed science. But more importantly we need to take on the political wing that is driving it. The first step was just taken this past election in the States. But that’s just the first step. This path has been followed for decades and many millions more steps need to be taken to return to the fork in the road where we made our initial wrong turn.
    OK, I’ll stop my rant now. Thanks for letting me vent. Dr. Watts, my check for this session of therapy is in the mail…

  47. So
    Price of corn is going up due to use as ethanol fuel. Mexican crops 80-100% failure. US Senate passes more food regulations (that will apply to small farmers too). Add all this up, what happens to the price of food?

  48. When these “experts” speak of “climate events”, the term that should be used is “weather events”. Late spring soggy ground makes it impossible to plow the soil.
    When I was a lad on a farm 1938 through the summer of 1949 (near Sioux City, IA), 90 bushels of corn per acre was a bumper crop. Now, 140 bushels of corn per acre is mediocre. This is due to the increased levels of CO2.
    Adding ethanol to gasoline reduces performance so much that in total, more gallons of gasoline must be used. Mostly coal is used to distill the ethanol from the fermented mash. Corn is the choice for ethanol, as corn produces the highest yield per acre.
    Excessive moisture causes mold to grow, and storing moist grain will cause toxic levels of mold to grow. Excessive moisture on grass will cause so much mold to grow that animals feeding on the grass will be sickened and die. Drying grain requires carbon based fuel, as does controlling humidity and temperature in grain storage buildings require electricity.
    Increases in fuel prices causes increases in prices of everything we buy or consume, and transportation costs increase with increases in the price of fuel.
    We have embarked on a ship of madness. Famine can occur due to prices of food so high that the masses can’t afford the purchase of food. From famine comes revolution, and revolutions are always violent, with much blood spilled.

  49. chris b says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:36 am
    Goes to show that one should never get snarky before finishing one’s morning coffee. Thank you. I suspect that the disease was up there well prior to 2005… when I get a bit more time, I’ll Look again.

  50. Mark Twang [February 22, 2011 at 4:28 am] says:
    “Somebody please send me an urgent message the day when we discover something negative, anything at all, that isn’t down to “climate change”.”

    Ain’t that the truth! Looking at the warmlist …
    … I see the total is now 851 linked items attributed to AGW and its relations. Clearly it would be in everyone’s best interest if Gavin, Romm, MM, or Grant Foster would simply create a Coldlist or Anti-Warmlist where they can enumerate the 3 or 4 items NOT attributed to AGW.
    As to what those couple of things happen to be, well, I got nuthin’.

  51. OK, finally something that I am an expert in!!
    Here’s the symposia abstracts:
    Would a warmer planet have some food safety tradeoffs? Well, certainly! It is to be expected that certain fungi and bacteria would grow at faster rates. However, these pests are relatively easy to control….most food contamination events are from fecal contamination from human or animal hosts, and we are getting better at controlling that all the time.
    The balance would be that a warmer planet would have greater food productivity, so overall, the amount of food fit for human consumption will rise. This will lead to less famine…it’s hard to worry about foodborne pathogens when you have to eat dirt just to feel as if you have something in your stomach (common in Africa).
    The stuff about “more vibrio” is nonsense, this primarily comes from animal or human fecal contamination into drinking water or some seafoods (especially bivalves). The world needs more affordable sewage treatment, soap & education, and less scary bedtime stories.

  52. I want to be an expert too. What and where should I study to gain that appellation?
    I am not very fussy (fussy enough of course not to disqualify me from my ambition at the outset) and I would be happy to be recognised as expert in any matter of affairs at all. Shall I be awarded a certificate; a diploma? Who shall award it? Can I expect to be addressed by my fellow man (and all of those of little significance)
    as Expert Kenneth Harvey? Once I have the desired qualification, shall I be able to pontificate on my chosen subject, or indeed on any other subject that may take my fancy, without fear of gainsay by men at large? The more that I think about it the more that I like it. I want to be able to tell the powers that be what taxes should be collected and how they should be spent.
    One thing is sure. When the time comes I shall shun such statements as, “the science is poorly understood”. What sort of expert admits to that level of a lack of expertise? No. Once I have pronounced my findings I shall be ready to sue any gainsayer for defaming my professional reputation. A real expert is what I want to be.

  53. Everyone needs to calm down and take a deep breath about biofuels. Not all biofuels are created equal! Biofuel from important food crops (like soy, corn, sugar beets, and sugar cane) is a boondoggle but biofuel from genetically modified algae that grow in seawater, brackish water, and munipical wastewater on land that isn’t suitable for growing traditional food crops does not threaten food supplies.

  54. Oh, good grief! We would have a very boring diet here in the UK if we didn’t import quite a lot of our food from warmer, drier countries. A bit more warmth in the UK wouldn’t go amiss.
    More food would be available for the world’s hungry people without crazy Biofuel production.

  55. Hey, climate affects food production! Who would have thunk that?
    But then so does growing biofuels, and the price of foodstuffs is then further affected by hedge funds et al who view food as just another commodity rather than a basic necessity for life.
    Maybe we should try tackling the last two to achieve a faster resolution of the problem!

  56. Any more doom and gloom?
    Wonder when this bubble of woe is going to burst?
    What is it with people today, why they constant search for negatives?
    What or who, has created this deficit culture in, so called, educated people?

  57. David says:
    February 14, 2011 at 4:31 am
    Experimental and Real World results for 300 ppm increase from ambient in hundreds of studies of rice, wheat, corn and soy…
    Triticum aestivum L. [Common Wheat]
    300 ppm
    Number of Results 235
    Arithmetic Mean 32.1%
    Standard Error 1.8%
    Glycine max (L.) Merr. [Soybean]
    300 ppm
    Number of Results 179
    Arithmetic Mean 46.5%
    Standard Error 2.8%
    Zea mays L. [Corn]
    300 ppm
    Number of Results 20
    Arithmetic Mean 21.3%
    Standard Error 4.9%
    Triticum aestivum L. [Common Wheat]
    300 ppm
    Number of Results 235
    Arithmetic Mean 32.1%
    Standard Error 1.8%
    corn, soy wheat and rice all grow significantly quicker, produce greater bio-mass. endure heat cold and drought better, when exposed to 300 ppm increase in CO2.

  58. A dalton minimum like event would also be a threat to food security, perhaps Ewen Todd would like to discuss that at some point in time.

  59. Is there some research or are there articles on the changes in arable land — positive as well as negative — that the GW models predict? I’d love to see some maps, and net estimates of increase/decrease.

  60. “Josh Grella says:
    February 22, 2011 at 9:26 am”
    Maybe a revolution, middle eastern style, is in order. It seems voting does nothing to alter the thinking of the political elite.

  61. Ken Harvey says:
    February 22, 2011 at 11:58 am
    I want to be an expert too. What and where should I study to gain that appellation?
    REPLY: Do as I did….obtain three degrees in infectious disease epidemiology, work in the food processing industry for 30+ years, win awards and recognition from both your clients and US/UK governments, publish original results and papers, obtain patents, work with the FBI on food and water infrastructure protection, and keep doing it until you eventually die. Good luck.

  62. CRS, Dr.P.H.,
    Or get a degree in geography, call yourself a climatologist, and make friends with Michael Mann.

  63. @Smokey says:
    February 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    CRS, Dr.P.H.,
    Or get a degree in geography, call yourself a climatologist, and make friends with Michael Mann.
    Reply ROTFLMAO! Touche, Smokey!
    IS there a scientific discipline that is properly called “climatology”? I’ve never figured that one out. Seems to be sort of a catch-all description vs. a precise field of science.
    BTW, I’m not sure that Mann is making many friends in that community these days:
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise… Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise.
Cheers, Phil
    Mann replied the same day as follows:
    Hi Phil,
… I’ll contact Gene [Wahl] about this ASAP. His new email is: generwahl@xxx
talk to you later,

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