Claim: 500,000 extra deaths per Year from Malnutrition by 2050


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A study in The Lancet claims that by 2050, climate change could cause 500,000 extra deaths per year, due to reduced food production. However the study is model based – where is the supporting evidence?

The abstract of the study;

Global and regional health effects of future food production under climate change: a modelling study


One of the most important consequences of climate change could be its effects on agriculture. Although much research has focused on questions of food security, less has been devoted to assessing the wider health impacts of future changes in agricultural production. In this modelling study, we estimate excess mortality attributable to agriculturally mediated changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors by cause of death for 155 world regions in the year 2050.

For this modelling study, we linked a detailed agricultural modelling framework, the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), to a comparative risk assessment of changes in fruit and vegetable consumption, red meat consumption, and bodyweight for deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and an aggregate of other causes. We calculated the change in the number of deaths attributable to climate-related changes in weight and diets for the combination of four emissions pathways (a high emissions pathway, two medium emissions pathways, and a low emissions pathway) and three socioeconomic pathways (sustainable development, middle of the road, and more fragmented development), which each included six scenarios with variable climatic inputs.

The model projects that by 2050, climate change will lead to per-person reductions of 3·2% (SD 0·4%) in global food availability, 4·0% (0·7%) in fruit and vegetable consumption, and 0·7% (0·1%) in red meat consumption. These changes will be associated with 529 000 climate-related deaths worldwide (95% CI 314 000–736 000), representing a 28% (95% CI 26–33) reduction in the number of deaths that would be avoided because of changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors between 2010 and 2050. Twice as many climate-related deaths were associated with reductions in fruit and vegetable consumption than with climate-related increases in the prevalence of underweight, and most climate-related deaths were projected to occur in south and east Asia. Adoption of climate-stabilisation pathways would reduce the number of climate-related deaths by 29–71%, depending on their stringency.

The health effects of climate change from changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors could be substantial, and exceed other climate-related health impacts that have been estimated. Climate change mitigation could prevent many climate-related deaths. Strengthening of public health programmes aimed at preventing and treating diet and weight-related risk factors could be a suitable climate change adaptation strategy.

Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.

Read more:

Sadly the full study is paywalled, but like a lot of model based studies, in my opinion this one doesn’t pass the smell test.

For starters, global warming, or more likely CO2 greening and improved agricultural techniques, are causing agricultural production to soar. There is no reason to think this trend will end anytime soon.

If substantial global warming occurs, vast regions of Canada, Siberia, Northern Europe, even Greenland, which are currently too cold for reliable grain production, will become more agriculturally viable.

Even if global warming causes an increase in extreme weather (note there are substantial thermodynamic limits to this possibility), the increased land surface available for agriculture, combined with 34 years of genetic research and agricultural science, would surely ensure there was plenty for everyone.

Assuming some staples for whatever reason are no longer viable, genetic engineering will ensure proper nutrition. A lot of work has been performed producing nutrition enhanced crops such as golden rice. There is every reason to think this promising line of research will continue to improve the nutritional content of staple foods.

If all else fails, we could simply grow extra food in storm proof greenhouses. Greenhouses are already used extensively in Northern Europe, to produce year round crops of tomatoes and other vegetables, which require a warm growing environment. In 34 years, even at a modest global annual growth rate of 2%, the global economy will still be almost twice as productive as today’s economy – more than enough spare capacity to produce whatever agricultural infrastructure we need, to ensure food production keeps up with demand.

(1 + 0.02) ^ 34 = 1.96

Finally, there is simple experience. I’ve grown vegetables in Britain, on the cool Southern coast of Australia, and on the edge of the tropics. The occasional severe tropical storm does damage my veggie patch, say by knocking some of the fruit off my pepper plants. Yet the tropics are still far more productive than any other region I’ve tried; despite occasional storm damage, the growing season lasts longer, and produces a much greater quantity of produce, for a given area of land. Tropical land experiences ridiculous plant growth rates – you literally have to mow your lawn every few days at the height of wet season, as soon as you get a break in the rain. If more of the world experiences a tropical climate, simple common sense dictates that more agricultural land will be able to sustain tropical levels of food production.

144 thoughts on “Claim: 500,000 extra deaths per Year from Malnutrition by 2050

  1. Q) How many CAGW The Lancet articles can dance on the head of a pin?
    A) As many as it takes.

    I’ll draft Norman Borlaug for my team over the Lancet every time.

      • I like to remind people that in the 1960’s the US put a man on the moon with slide rules. Today, we can’t seem to repeat the feat, much less take the next step, with super computers in everyone’s pocket.

        Norman is credited with saving more lives than any person in history. Most important, he did this before GMO. Today, people don’t necessarily starve because of a lack of food. They starve because corruption, economic policy and poverty. Necessity breeds innovation. When we need food, agronomists and farmers will produce it. Production of food crops has historically increased to match global population. It’s simple economics…supply and demand, only backwards. Produce excess and prices are depressed. The US, and much of the world, has been paying farmers not to farm for nearly a century in an effort to control food prices. Seed manufactures have not produced super-yielding varieties of corn, wheat, rice, etc. because doing so would put farmers out of business and destroy their market.

        Commenters on this site don’t necesssarily like the ethanol industry, but it does provide a valuable lesson. In the past 15 years the annual capacity of the US ethanol industry has grown from 1.6 to 14.8 billion gallons. During this time period the US average corn yield has increased from 130 to 170 bushels per acre, with 200 bushels per acre US averages predicted in the near future. Today, ethanol production consumes approximately 40% of the corn crop, yet we are still able to keep the market supplied with hogs, poultry and beef. (FYI – people don’t eat much No. 2 yellow dent corn. We eat things that eat corn.)

        So, “if you build it they will come.” When the demand for more food arises, technology will supply the demand.

      • Despite what Wikipedia thinks, the Apollo on-board computer in the capsule was only a four-function basic calculator. Those I saw in the capsule were about 9 inch x 9 inch by 12 inch! Some of the biggest gains from the space program were in the “how to build computers” and “how to program computers”. But they did go to the moon on slide rules. Only the most critical aerodynamic/orbital/cryogenic gas flow problems were approximated by computers. And even then, testing proved most of the time that the initial calculations and initial assumptions used in the calculations were badly wrong.

        The flight control box in the photo is a simple pre-programmed ROM-type box: signals in + time = signals out.

      • Spot on Dam 1953.
        The only way you stop the advancing yield trend is to get the epa involved, regulate how the private farmer uses his private land and stifle agricultural innovation and progress. Think Zimbabwe. Government redistribution of land from whites to blacks resulted in the production of wheat dropping by 2/3 in 2 years and the wheat production now stands at 7% of what it did before government involvement.
        I am not suggesting that the EPA is that stupid (there are shades of grey between black and white), but their policies to date have them not many shades away from riding the short bus.

    • So (1.02)^34 =1.96(0676)

      And 1.001 ^ 1000 = 2.7169

      and 1.0001 ^ 10,000 = 2.71846

      I think I have discovered a pattern here ! mebbe not.

  2. Seems that they haven’t learned from the Club of Rome debacle: they predicted millions of hunger deaths at the year 2000. Only to have less hunger deaths at that year, because crop yields increased faster than population increased…

    • Agreed, Ferdinand. And, there would have been even few deaths if food was not used as a political weapon in some 3rd world areas. (and the wars did not help any)

      • Well in this case they may be right.

        If the current (interrupted) pause finally turns down to a colder future, then Canada and Siberia could be removed from the food producing regions of the world, and the mid USA could also be reduced in capacity.

        The reduction in snow fall, that a northern Finland resident told me yesterday (at a lighting conference in Santa Clara) is a consequence of insufficient evaporation, not a lack of cold Temperatures. It’s the Snows of Kilimanjaro all over again, but at lower altitudes.


    • There are lots of nations that can’t produce enough food to feed their populations and rely on carbon intensive industries of fertilizer, processing, and especially transportation, etc. If the Greens are all in on carbon reduction by 2050, they’ll need to account for all the ones starved to death by their policies. Under their plans, by 2050 all the nations populations will have shrunk to “sustainable”. For example, Egypt’s population will shrink by half.

      • cedar old soul,
        I read – over many moons – that the watermelons’ plans involve a Global population of 500-700 million.
        For our own benefit.
        To a simple sailor, it looks like some 90% (+) of our present global population needs to expire, pretty quickly.

        And the watermelons are pretty happy with that.
        I guess they guess they and theirs’ will (not will probably) be in the ‘lucky eleventh;


    • In natural systems, when food supply falls, population falls off proportionately. And this is a bad thing, why? The absurdity of trying to link CAGW to the weight-loss meme (“obesity” is 100% culturally constructed) shows just how far they’re reaching. Plain nonsense all the way.

    • I was looking forward to digging up my North Eastern England garden and planting vines 15 years ago. I am afraid i am still buying my wine from the supermarket and the plans for my vineyard are on hold at least until the snow and frozen soil thaws.
      As for UK doctors they are still telling us that saturated fat is bad for us and there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, one glass of wine a day can do untold damage.
      The misery intensifies!!!!

      • “As for UK doctors they are still telling us that saturated fat is bad for us and there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, one glass of wine a day can do untold damage.”

        I think you’ll find it’s UK Government “scientists” – an oxymoron if ever there was one.

        Here is a far more credible paper on Alcohol Dosing and Total Mortality in Men and Women covering 1,015,835 subjects and 94,533 deaths.

        Results A J-shaped relationship between alcohol and total mortality was confirmed in adjusted studies, in both men and women. Consumption of alcohol, up to 4 drinks per day in men and 2 drinks per day in women, was inversely associated with total mortality, maximum protection being 18% in women (99% confidence interval, 13%-22%) and 17% in men (99% confidence interval, 15%-19%). Higher doses of alcohol were associated with increased mortality. The inverse association in women disappeared at doses lower than in men. When adjusted and unadjusted data were compared, the maximum protection was only reduced from 19% to 16%. The degree of association in men was lower in the United States than in Europe.

        Figure 1 is particularly informative, it seems Saint Paul had it right.


    • Exactly. Club of Rome using sophisticated MIT and Harvard professor created models of the ecoomy and future predicted unless we immediately all went on communist like rations and drastically changed our society that in 20 years we would be either polluted and all die, be starving from overpopulation or suffer from massive resource shortages and face financial collapse. They predicted this in 1980. By 2000 the world was cleaner, more populous, had more resources, fewer starving and in general vastly better off than ever before in history by following the exact OPPOSITE policies the global warming,…ugggh i mean club of rome models predicted. These models simply are a reflection of what the authors of them want to happen. The same is true of climate models. You have to understand these models are agenda driven build specifically to achieve a policy end result. They have no correspondence to anything in the real world which is proven in study after study.

      In this report they suggested all kinds of things could be done to prevent the disaster but they all involved reducing fossill fuels or simply adapting to more deaths and starvation. It never occurs that things might get better or that there are simple solutions to everything they think might happen which won’t happen anyway. These are bogus models built on bogus models. It’s not worth spending time on stuff like this ot the money unless you are talking about a political party who wants to push an agenda.

  3. This silly CAGW model-driven propaganda asserting increasing CO2 will have an adverse effect on food availability is the complete opposite of reality…

    First of all, according to World Bank’s crop yield/country data, global crop yields have increased by 60%+ in most countries just since 1980!

    A lot of this is from GMO advancements (which Leftist hate), increased use of cheap petrochemical fertilizers (which Leftist hate) and increased CO2 levels (which Leftist hate) leading to beneficial CO2 fertilization effects.

    It’s estimated that crop yields and forest growth have increased 25% just from CO2 increasing from 280ppm to 400ppm. Additionally, higher CO2 levels make plants more drought resistant by shrinking leaf stomata, which reduces plant water loss.

    Think of overwhelming positive benefits higher CO2 levels have has had in helping feed the 2.8 BILLION people that try to survive on less than $2/day…. How the Left can demonize CO2 is completely insane and unfounded by the empirical evidence.

    Even IPCC’s 2013 AR5 report admits NO discernible increasing global trends of severe weather frequency or intensity over the past 50~100 years (depending on weather phenomenon): hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, droughts, floods, tornadoes, thunderstorms, tropical storms, sub-tropical storms, etc…

    Although the jury is still out, there has perhaps been some increase in global precipitation from CO2’s tiny GHG forcing effect, but, again, this is a good thing….

    How much longer with these highly inaccurate and bogus CAGW models be taken seriously?

    They are absurd and don’t come close to reflecting reality.

    • This article is very disturbing because public money seemed to be used in its preparation. This paper is of so low quality I cannot believe we american and british taxpayers pay for this crap. There should be a revolt. The two big firings of global climate change researchers in the last couple months should be accelerated massively. This study shows that the vast majority of the researchers are incredibly stupid and politically driven drivel that the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for.

      • They also produced those absurd articles that first claimed that the sanctions against Iraq (prior to the 2nd half of the Gulf war) were killing thousands of children per month, then after war managed to claim that everyone in Iraq had been killed twice by the bombing.

  4. These authors should read their own journal.

    Far greater mortality is associated with cool and cold weather than warm and hot weather. Excess Winter Deaths total about 100.000 per year in the USA, up to 50,000 in the UK and several million worlwide.

    See this Lancet study for details:
    or our paper below:

    Cold Weather Kills 20 Times as Many People as Hot Weather
    September 4, 2015
    By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae


    Cold weather kills. Throughout history and in modern times, many more people succumb to cold exposure than to hot weather, as evidenced in a wide range of cold and warm climates.

    Evidence is provided from a study of 74 million deaths in thirteen cold and warm countries including Thailand and Brazil, and studies of the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada.

    Contrary to popular belief, Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival. A warmer world, such as was experienced during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period, is expected to lower winter deaths and a colder world like the Little Ice Age will increase winter mortality, absent adaptive measures. These conclusions have been known for many decades, based on national mortality statistics.

    Canada has lower Excess Winter Mortality Rates than the USA (~100,000 Excess Winter Deaths per year) and much lower than the UK (up to ~50,000 Excess Winter Deaths per year). This is attributed to our better adaptation to cold weather, including better home insulation and home heating systems, and much lower energy costs than the UK, as a result of low-cost natural gas due to shale fracking and our lower implementation of inefficient and costly green energy schemes.

    When misinformed politicians fool with energy systems, innocent people suffer and die.


    • Allan
      Your quote
      ” When misinformed politicians . . . . . . . .” could serve as a requiem for a generation.

      Thank you.


    • Lower implementation of inefficient and costly “Green” energy schemes? Your obviously not from Ontario where electricity prices have increased by 70% over the last 10 years and are forecast (by the Liberal government) to increase another 40% over the next 5 years. From the lowest electricity prices in Canada to the highest was primarily due to windmills and solar. Another cost has been the building of 19 additional gas-fired generating plants, mainly “peaker” plants, designed to “kick in” when the wind doesn’t blow or the Sun doesn’t shine. In other words if there were no windmills most of these gas-fired plants wouldn’t exist. However, consumption is down from 10 years ago mainly because of the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Heinz, Kellogg and Caterpillar, all longtime residents of Ontario, have either left the province or have severly curtailed production. We will see what happens when these fools implement their “Carbon” tax. Yet the Liberal government plans to build more of these white Elephants (215m tall) even though the province already has 10,000 MW of unused capacity from Nuclear, Gas and Hydro.

      • No argument 3¢worth.

        Ontario energy policies have been a disaster. Similar to the UK and Germany. Fortunately the rest of Canada has not been so foolish, but that may soon change with the new governments in Ottawa and Edmonton.

        There is no good solution for the intermittency of wind power, unless you have lots of spare hydro. Gas-fired “peaker” plants to augment wind power are unlikely to be economic. Better to just run the gas plants and never build the wind farms..

  5. A study in The Lancet claims that by 2050, climate change could cause 500,000 extra deaths per year, due to reduced food production. However the study is model based – where is the supporting evidence?

    Well I believe that at least 500,000 might die from climate change. If the average temperature drops back to that of the little ice age we could all be in danger of a food shortage. Cold Kills is just knowledge of human experience. (I don’t have data or evidence to pick exactly 1/2 million people, but with over 7 billion souls on the planet now it seems reasonable in a cold catastrophe.

    Wait. What? They are talking warming?!? Holy Cow, warming is good. We should all pray for another 4 degrees of warming at least, maybe more. How warm was it in the days of the dinosaur? I have been told that the temperature varied, but it was hotter than today, with only a little snow in some polar places once in a while. Growing wheat in Canada! Damn that sounds good to me.

    • Someone here touched briefly on the use of greenhouses to produce vegetables in Northern Europe. Actually, greenhouses are being brought on line all over the world in places you wouldn’t expect. The reason is simple: they can produce vegetables year round at competitive prices that are as good or better than traditionally grown veggies, even in the United States. Yields are typically six to ten times that of growing them out in the dirt. Most of the varieties are non-GMO. Most of them are experiments on what happens with elevated CO2 levels.

    • Agree Mark – and I think we are due for global cooling, probably starting before 2020. I hope to be wrong..

      The one possible mitigating factor is the ~40% of the USA corn crop devoted to biofuels and the ~36% devoted to animal feed – one assumes this land could be seeded in sweet corn suitable for human consumption.

  6. in the next 35 years, if UN supported fiefdoms in Africa continue to withhold food from their peoples, like they have done since the dawn of time, then there will be more government sanctioned democide megadeaths.

    sociaism = hunger and tyranny eg Ethiopia, Rwanda, Darfur, South Africa etc etc

    • Russian famine of 1921/1922 6 million. The Bolsheviks believed peasants were actively trying to undermine the war effort. The Black Book of Communism claims that Lenin ordered the seizure of the food peasants had grown for their own subsistence and their seed grain in retaliation for this “sabotage,”

      Soviet Union in the Ukraine, 1933/1934 “The Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомо́р, “Extermination by hunger” or “Hunger-extermination”, about 4 million.”

      Communist China, 1958/1962, “The Great Leap (forward)….tens of millions of deaths,[3] estimated from 18 million to 32.5[4] or 45 million”

      Ethiopia between 1961 and 1985, 400,000 were in large part created by (Communist) government policies,

      The North Korean famine, 1994 to 1998.[5] Economic mismanagement and the loss of Soviet support caused food production and imports to decline rapidly. . Out of a total population of approximately 22 million, somewhere between 240,000 and 3,500,000 North Koreans died from starvation or hunger-related

      (Quotes from Wikipedia.}

  7. How many extra deaths will occur this year because we are funneling so much of our grain production into ethanol production to replace fossil fuels, which are, by the way, then used in the production of ethanol. Net gain in energy = 0. Net gain in $$$ for the alarmists = BILLIONS.

    • The last time I saw the maths worked out on that, the “net gain in energy” was more like negative 200 percent. It actually takes more energy to grow, harvest, and process the grain into fuel than you get out of said fuel by nearly a factor of two.

  8. Bah, the greening from AnthroCO2 is already feeding an extra billion people. These people are so intent on sustaining the alarm that they’ve completely lost their minds.

  9. I have run a model with the same data.

    Mine shows that, IF we succeed in stopping climate change (!) then the weather will be much more predictable.

    Farmers will then be able to increase production phenomenally – bad weather is a major problem for agriculture. This will cause a glut in food availability, and falling prices. That means people will eat a lot more, and so we will have a huge increase in Obesity. And Obesity, as we all know, is a killer second only to holding a nuclear war in the middle of a ‘flu epidemic.

    Why isn’t the Lancet advertising my findings? I predict a lot more people being killed…

    • While humorous, this is true. Our obesity problem is this: obesity combined with low levels of physical activity. This is a combination that leads to death.

      This is all a problem of wealth. If you look at epidemiological data showing the relation between body mass index and early death, there is not much of a relation to worry about in “underdeveloped” nations – that is because everyone, especially the poor, have lives of great physical activity – cooking, cleaning, gathering food, etc.

      Here in the U.S., we as a nation are so wealthy that our poor people are able to enjoy the bounty of our wealth – the poor can live lives of low physical activity. How? The poor do not have to expend a lot of calories in order to gather their daily meals, and they are able to have fairly sedentary lives, including entertainment from television – provided universally at an utterly low cost – when we switched from rabbit ears to our upgraded over-the-air TV, we subsidized the new antenna needed!!!!!

      So, data show our poor people are not thin; they are heavy. Also, relative to “underdeveloped” nations, for our poor, increasing BMI is associated with increasing risk of early death.

  10. The Daily Telegraph unquestioningly printed this nonsense yesterday. I shot off this email, though the probability that they will print it is probably even lower than the probability that these fantasy predictions will come true:
    Email to the Telegraph:
    We’ve heard a lot about exaggerated fears in the EU in/out debate, but Project Fear is even more dominant in much of climate science. You report that “more than 500,000 extra adult deaths could be caused globally in 2050 due to the impact of climate change on diets”. This is fear-mongering, pure and simple, and it can be very profitable for the scientists concerned.
    After 150 years of global warming mankind has never been more well-fed, prosperous and healthy. History shows that mankind has always prospered during the warm periods such as the Medieval period. Because the climate models have spectacularly failed to predict future warming, the underlying theory is clearly wrong, and yet government policy driven by Project Fear has pushed up the price of energy, increased destruction of the rain forests and, courtesy of Volkswagen, actually increased deadly pollution.
    Of course, carbon dioxide is natural, clean and completely harmless and it is the very thing that makes our planet green. It is not climate change that will kill millions during this century. It is the climate scientist’s own version of Project Fear that is the true killer.

    • Just would note that there are tens of millions of boats or more operated daily by fishermen and transporters sporting 6-12 cylinder or larger truck engines with open headers and few tune-ups. Meanwhile, Volkswagen makes excellent products and is simply under attack by European and North American controllers, posers, and regime media who feel slighted their controls on some folks did not capture all scenarios. Apologies by that firm are just to avoid capital punishment by states.

  11. As with all things modeled, they take a current state and extrapolate forward in time for the variables they are interested in. Problem is there are many, many variables in the current state that are not modeled and assumed to be the same. Oh, perhaps like the human propensity to innovate in the face of a challenge.

    Much like the earlier study that simulated grain production at CO2 levels expected in 2030. The result. Grains that grow faster and require less water. BUT…bread baked from those grains were “flatter”. Oh, the horror.

    I don’t know. If I was a wheat geneticist I would take the first two as a plus and fix the third. Same if I was a baker. If I have LOTS more flour, I would find a way to make it rise.

    Where do these guys come from?

    • This is what Wheat Corn and Rice does : when the cultivation of grains allowed the advance of civilisation, early settler populations (for example, in the evidence found in Egyptian mummies) immediately showed many of the same symptoms of metabolic disorder (decaying teeth and atherosclerosis) as we see today. Adding sugar and processed foods has simply accelerated the march towards obesity, diabetes and other diseases. Unfortunately, the evidence for this common sense has remained largely covered up through the efforts of the food and pharmaceutical industry.

    • “Flatter” is better. I bake my own bread. I deliberately rise it less than “shop” bread, because I regard “shop” bread as hopelessly lacking in substance. Most “baker” bread too. I get my best results from the cheapest flour.

      • Same here – it also doesn’t have the additives that baker’s bread and all bakery products have, which makes a huge health difference in this household.

  12. The study is paywalled, and so is a black box to us. But, like many boxes, if we shake it, maybe we can get some clues as to what is inside.
    First they claim lower food intake, but in a peculiar way: (reductions)

    4·0% (0·7%) in fruit and vegetable consumption, and 0·7% (0·1%) in red meat consumption

    So, in aggregate, food consumption is down. But the proportion of high protein, high fat, red meat is up relative to fruits and vegetables. In a starving population, this is the last thing you would expect, as red meat is the most expensive food out there. In a hungry population, you would expect to see a dramatic drop in red meat consumption, and rise in grain and vegetable consumption.
    So there must be two separate sub-populations, one getting fat, and one which truly does not have enough to eat.

    Now let’s look at the risk factors the study considers:

    deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, and an aggregate of other causes
    Well, look at that. The Big Three causes of death the medical “Conventional Wisdom” narrative has been blaming on red meat for the last two decades. And all other causes are lumped into an aggregate. Perhaps they are just not that curious as to patterns of starvation causes.

    Now we look at the results:

    changes in dietary and weight-related risk factors

    Twice as many climate-related deaths were associated with reductions in fruit and vegetable consumption than with climate-related increases in the prevalence of underweight

    So “fruit and vegetable” is down (read as red meat up, relative), and what is the effect? Twice as much as underweight. These people are really worried about populations eating better, consuming more red meat.

    Broadly, “malnutrition” can be taken to mean “bad diet”.
    And “bad diet” can be defined as “too much red meat”, something the enviros have been whining about forever.

    This study is really all about obesity. They will not come out and say it, but it is all right there.
    And what is their solution?

    Strengthening of public health programmes aimed at preventing and treating diet and weight-related risk factors

    Not grow more food? Curious that.

    Take a model, turn it over and give it a good shake, see what falls out.

    • The Lancet has been pushing a Vegan lifestyle for as long as I can remember. They have really taken in the lesson of climate science though: Form a conclusion (people should be more like vegans), write a model that shows what you want (people should be vegan and will die if they aren’t), run said model, run to the press with “proof” that your position is the only thing that will save humanity (eating red meat is bad).

      • The joke of all that is that just one hamburger contains more “anti-oxidants,” more Omega 3, more vitamins and vital building blocks of every single bodily system than a whole pickup-truck load of “fruits and vegetables.” Fruits are about 90% sugar and water, the rest being indigestible fiber. Most vegetables are almost entirely indigestible fiber, and come out about like they went in since humans lack the fermentation abilities (lacking a cecum) common to herbivores. No “activist” or ideology can change the body that evolution gave us; unequivocally that of a carnivore. OTOH, veganism explains why liberals’ brains are shrinking.

      • The only cravings that my wife had when she was pregnant was that she wanted red meat. Lots of red meat.

  13. The Lancet long since lost it’s credibility. This confirms it is merely a statist organ of propaganda. We welcome you Pravda!

    Seriously, how can anybody publish such stuff …

    • Like CAGW, all this “health” “risk factor” BS has become white noise to the man in the street. Those of us who actually understand statistics just dismiss it altogether. It’s become just one more way to carpet-bomb us with PC propaganda, and little do they know it’s being tuned out by most of the population. There’s really only one thing you need to know–a BMI between 26 and 32 actually gets you the BEST longevity and resilience. So enjoy what you eat and don’t let these morons rent space in your head!

  14. More deaths will be caused by the malinvestment of climate change policy.
    How many lives would be saved if the money was allocated to providing electricity, modern medicine and modern agriculture?
    How many people died from malaria as a result of environmental policy and depraved indifference?

  15. Ah yes, the Lancet, the same publication that published a ‘study’ after the first 6 months of the Iraq war that showed that coalition bombing had killed more civilians than the allied combined bombing offensive did in all of WW2. It is just possible that the Lancet is not as credible as it once was.

  16. The most biologically productive eras on earth had CO2 concentrations much higher than at present. What CO2 does is to flatten the equator-to-pole surface temperature profile. With higher CO2 concentrations the equator remains at a fixed temperature while the poles warm. This expands the growing region, suppresses hurricanes and tornados (by reducing equator to poles temperature difference) and in general makes the earth a more habitable place for humans and animals.

  17. Speaking of 34 years into the future, the Commodore 64 was introduced 34 years ago.
    The Commodore 64 was my first computer, and I still trip over it once in a while. Sadly one day my Sony Betamax machine fell over in storage and broke one of the keys.
    Anyway, flash forward 34 years to today and I am a software developer working on future projects with some wonderful inexpensive hardware. A screenshot sneak peek of my 5 monitors connected to my Surface Pro (first gen) computer developing for project Wattson:

    • Sorry, but out of all the claims on the thread, the claim that you can have that many things open on a Microsoft Surface without getting a blue screen of death is the least likely to be plausible.

  18. Between now and 2050 one-half a million people in Venezuela will die from malnutrition and disease because a corrupt dictator and his progeny socialized all the oil production, and failed to leverage that vast natural resource for the good of the country.

  19. ‘a detailed agricultural modelling framework, the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT)’

    Looks like they spent too much time on a catchy acronym and too little on thought.

    (tInPoT would have been a better choice)

  20. If there is a shortage of food, do you think for a moment anyone would decrease the amount of corn being turned into ethanol?

  21. Same idiots who keep pushing for more corn to be diverted from food stocks to ethanol. Idiocy has no end.

    • Corn farmers are a lot smarter than some of the idiots who post here. Since they could produce more corn than the world needed for animal feed, they got the government to mandate a new market for them.

      Just for the record, the protein value is not lost. Field corn is animal food. Processing out some the energy for transportation makes great sense.

      • You forgot to mention that lots of land that used to grow other crops, were converted to growing corn.

      • Smart equals producing too much of something and procuring state coercion to force unwilling people to buy your excess? Or is it producing something no person would buy willingly only because a state creates a fake “market?”

      • Processing corn for fuel makes sense even if energy inputs exceed energy outputs before taking account of forsaken opportunities? Look to the sole fact that government intervenes and notice that this would not be done absent intervention, and see that it likely does not make sense.

  22. In the interest of improving the planet, governments are mandating that every gallon of gasoline sold be blended with a certain percent of ethanol. This has the effect of forcing gasoline sellers to pay whatever price for the corn required to produce the ethanol. This has the effect of bidding up the price of many grain crops and even the price of farm land and farm equipment.

    In a roundabout way, the world price of food is influenced by this policy.

    We have enough corn in the US that we entertain the luxury of using 40% of the entire crop to burn in our cars. It should be clear that like water, there is no such thing as a shortage of food. There is only a shortage of the economic resources with which to purchase enough food to cover basic needs. The issue with world hunger has always been the issue of why people are prevented from being able to create enough wealth.

    • In the third world, people will starve to death in the shadows of full food warehouses.
      Local politics and local greed starve people.
      There is no shortage of food.

      As for this study; models all the way through.
      They received the exact results they had intended.
      I’m sure correcting the models as necessary.
      Tail wags dog again.

  23. As a medical journal, it has become a festering, malodorous boil — someone needs to Lance It!

  24. Much of the criticism here is unjustified. At least glance at the paper before writing jeremiads against it.

    (1) The paper is not paywalled</b. It is available with free registration.

    (1) Their primary climate scenario is — of course, as usual — RCP8.5, our coal-burning, high population, low-tech future.

    However, they run sensitivity analysis of their findings vs. the other RCP’s AND a scenario of no climate change — something too seldom done these days. So in this respect it is a model study.

    • Nonsense. Their “scenarios” are all based on how much “carbon” gets emitted. Their “no climate change” scenario would mean wasting $trillions on a non-problem, and dooming millions.

    • Reply to EFMW ==> The study is an epidemiologists wet-dream. Projecting out 35 years with data which themselves are associations, not causes.

      The idea is this: being grossly underweight is associated with a X% increased chance of mortality. This is a fact known to all — very sick people lose weight rapidly and then die. Or, in other words, people who are dying lose weight on the way. They project changes in agricultural production under temperature changes as if the local agricultural practices and crop varieties would remain static while climate changed. They then project how many less calories such a change in production might represent for individuals and how those people might lose weight, and then from that weight loss, project deaths….. But they do not use the available statistics on starvation or death from mal/under-nutrition — they use BMI underweight.

      Using starvation stats might make sense — more people would starve with less food available (assuming all local farmers were idiots and did not or could not change planted varieties to keep up with the slight changes in temperature and rainfall). Using BMI is nonsensical in a pragmatic sense. If everyone in a given region lost ten pounds, no one would die except those already close to death from disease or malnutrition, who would have died anyway.

      In some countries, lowering BMI would SAVE lives, according to the epidemiologists.

      The same type of problems occur for the other measures……

      I am not a fan of such modeling/projection studies.

  25. According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

    This 500,000 deaths is a small blip.

  26. I teach Environmental Science, sans the junk science. If we could eventually farm Africa they way we farm the US today, our food supply would be much larger. The alarmists like to claim that we are to of arable land. We have lots of arable land that is farmed abysmally; that’s the crime.

    I also like their idea that there would be more food if we went vegan and stopped feeding non-meat foodstuffs to animals for meat. What they fail to admit is that meat is high quality food while there is little or none available as vegans. And, a big fact is that a large percentage of our meat animals graze on land that cannot be formed, on ranges and hillsides that are either too rocky of steep to be farmed. We would lose 30–40% of our food supply by getting rid of meat. And lose almost all our quality food.

    • Humans evolved as carnivores–its how we survived and thrived during glaciations. All else is sophistry and PC drivel designed to get people to do something difficult that does not come naturally.

      • Humans evolved as omnivores.
        It was our adaption to eating meat, along with the taming of fire, that allowed us the energy needed to form a large brain.

      • I’ve read that the two organs in our body that require the most energy are the intestines and the brain.
        It wasn’t until we could shrink the intestines that we had the spare energy necessary for a large brain to form.

    • “… animals graze on land that cannot be formed, on ranges and hillsides that are either too rocky of steep to be farmed.”

      I live in just such an area. For a garden, I moved a lot of rocks out, leveled the space, and moved sand and organic matter in. The local deer have to be fenced out. About 1 of 4 years produces a good Tomato growing season, but Strawberries usually do well.

      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
      To the topic – food production.
      Suggest readers search for ‘ high density apples ‘
      Use images and look at modern growing techniques.
      Compare to older methods (trees) and high ladder picking.
      {High ladder picking is expensive and dangerous.}

  27. “I teach Environmental Science, sans the junk science.”

    Could you be more specific. With a few exception, I rank environmental science with political science. 95% junk science.

    For example, ‘a large percentage of our meat animals graze on land that cannot be formed’.

    I would suggest that in the US most of milk, meat and eggs comes from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). CAFOs are regulated to control manure runoff.

    I am not suggesting that grazing can not be done without harming the environment but there would not be enough milk, meat and eggs to feed the poor.

    For the record, I have been on many CAFOs to apply environmental engineering tools. If you want to find a group of people who love and respect the environment, attend a farm show.

    • Treecrops offer the answer to this. Half the worlds meat is grown in the arid regions that do not grow other things. I use what amounts to microclimate building to grow trees. This makes the land more fertile over time and you can in fact feed all these animals from treecrops that are multiples more productive per acre and grow with lower inputs. Siberian peashrub for instance has similar nutrition as soy and there are others but it needs no inputs, is in fact nitrogen fixing as well. Long story short this can work in the first world, but even more so in the third where labor is cheaper. Meaning yes we DO still have a way to increase food production greatly AND cheaply. Problem is as advanced as we have gotten with farming mindsets are to compartmentalized and somehow they forgot trees exist and especially for feeding animals who arent picky about taste can be vastly more productive with less inputs. If you have been one of those teaching environmental engineering tools it sounds like you have been one of those who forgot trees. There are groups doing similar things in africa as well, somehow ignored. It is amazing to watch alternative ag be ignored as it more then offers answers to our future.

  28. Considering most plants almost stop growing at CO2 levels below 200 PPM, the current atmospheric CO2 level of 400 PPM is still considerably low for optimal plant growth, it seems even a rudimentary model to extrapolate future crop yields based on projected CO2 levels would more than nullify this study because there is much data from agricultural research over the years that would justify the model results.

      • no, not a vegan, but my eye sight is not what it once was, and these damm phones are a pita. Not certain why this posted twice and conflated two separate posts.

        I wrestled in High School, and was a vegetarian. I weighed about 112 and bench pressed double that. (Not one of those that judged others, but for my own reasons). At 17, while working with men who were in their late twenties I was mocked for my diet choice. The gorilla line popped into my head and out of my mouth, got a chuckle and my food consumption choice was left alone that. People should eat whatever healthy diet they choose that suits their constitution.

  29. Africa is just getting started on a green revolution. The problem there has been not just lack of improved crops but lack of roads, tractors, fertilizer, knowledge, etc. The alarmists assume that Africa is hopeless but that is a pretty racist view IMHO.
    Also, climate models can be chosen for such a study for a study that are way too hot, which gives bad outcomes (big surprise, huh). My paper last month in Forest Ecology & Management documented increasing growth in vegetation, especially forests, around the world. Not dieback.

  30. I’m old enough to remember when the Lancet was actually a science publication.
    For the last few decades it has been little more than a mouth piece for the radical to nut-case left.

    • Regrettably, the radical-to-nut-case left is now running our medical institutions. This scares the living daylights out of me, not least because “health” is now being framed as a virtue and citizenship issue under the purview of which they are rubbing their hands at the prospect of taking control of all of us. Just a little “soma” as Orwell saw coming.

  31. This is vital input for EPA and other agencies marching to the political order. It beats doing real work like mining engineering work in reclamation.

  32. I recently saw a study that in the US, 31% of food either never makes it to the table, or is thrown out un-eaten. (Rodents and insects, spoilage during storage, account for most of the losses prior to the dinner table.)

    A very small drop in this number would be sufficient to over come the “projected” 3% loss if food production.
    Heck, backyard gardens and window planters alone would be more than enough to over come such a small drop in production, if it were to ever actually occur.

  33. Here’s still another addition to the (infinite) list of “Things that have not yet happened:” (Bearing no relationship to the, finite, list of ‘Things that have happened’)

  34. Eric I have access to the full paper. Have Anthony or one of the mods. contact me if you are interested in a PDF copy. Haven’t bothered to even look through it, I have very little interest anymore in model based mumbo jumbo.

  35. Apparently, as published here in the UK, this means an extra 1500 deaths pa by 2050. I wonder if the models have the names of the deceased yet?

    • johnbuk,

      And since we can assume that the deaths have already begun due to the horrible, ongoing global warming crisis, there must be some folks who have already died from AGW-malnutrition.

      Can we have those names? Show us the cause of death on the death certificates, please.

  36. Why would 500,000 extra deaths per year worry the Greenies? the extremist side of the environmental movement wants the earths population cut by 95%. Greenies excepted.

    • They wouldn’t mind it at all, but this is all about scare tactics and fear-mongering. “Terrible things will happen” unless we go down the path they want us to (according to them – and they know it’s an untruth).

      It’s about herding the crowd. Unfortunately for them, they are having less luck panicking people, so more and more scary scenarios have to be brought in until they find something that works. Of course, like the boy crying wolf, the more they do that the more it fails.

      They are currently pushing “acid” oceans and food shortages. Clearly they are searching for a meme they can pick up and run with when the current climate scare finally collapses.

  37. Would the last scare modeler please turn out the lights. The Era of Great Whimper and last gasp pub mill effort is upon us.

  38. It is a flawed study. Mostly hypothetical inferences. see my book “Green” Green Revolution: Agriculture in the perspective of climate change” available at Books.

    If we look at the statement “Assuming some staples for whatever reason are no longer viable, genetic engineering will ensure proper nutrition. A lot of work has been performed producing nutrition enhanced crops such as golden rice. There is every reason to think this promising line of research will continue to improve the nutritional content of staple foods.” — Hybrids and Genetically modified seeds work under chemical inputs & irrigation. Chemical inputs pollute the food produced. Golden Rice with its Vitamin “A” trait, studies show [UK researchers] this causes health hazards. In India, we have natural Vitamin “A” inbuilt crops/seeds like “Sorghum” that grows under irrigation.

    All over the world, the chemical input food is causing severe health hazards. Also, FAO report states that around 30% of the global food produced is going as waste. India it is 40-50% and in USA it is around 40%. To that extent natural resources are wasted.

    In India so far only 46% of the cultivated areas are under irrigation and that too with high year to year variability.

    The traditional agriculture is farming system based linked to animal husbandry, a nutrient rich diet. This provided food, nutrient, economic security. The chemical input technology lives on heavy government subsidy and yet it is providing nutrient, food and economic security..

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

    • sorry, a mistake in the last sentence “not” is missing — yet it is “not” providing nutrient, food and economic security.

  39. How many people starved to death because of the increase in the increasing price of food due to biofuels?

  40. The World production of food is increasing faster than the population. The increase in CO2 aids plant growth and reduces the need for water,. The warmer the weather, the faster plants grow; try some gardening in the tropics and see how easy it is. Just where are these 500,000 extra deaths per year from Malnutrition by 2050 going to come from.

  41. Human life expectancy has increased more in the last 50 years than it did in the previous 200,000 years of human existence. In 1950, life expectancy was 47 years. In 2011, it was 70.

    Why? Fossil fuels.

  42. From the first paragraph of the next WUWT posting (Not so Friday Funny – Science is turning back to the dark ages).

    Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, has written bleakly: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” –Melanie Phillips, The Times, 4 March 2016

    A bit ironic.

  43. “For starters, global warming, or more likely CO2 greening and improved agricultural techniques, are causing agricultural production to soar. There is no reason to think this trend will end anytime soon.”

    There is this minor detail called rainfall. Increased CO2 does not help crops that don’t have enough water. Parts of the Middle East, for example, are experiencing the worst drought in 900 years:

    “If substantial global warming occurs, vast regions of Canada, Siberia, Northern Europe, even Greenland, which are currently too cold for reliable grain production, will become more agriculturally viable.”

    And how will countries whose grain production declined buy from these countries?

  44. If the world ever stops ignoring alternative ag we will be more then fine. Groups across africa for instance growin reliably with onsite inputs in areas considered non arable with mainly tree based things. My own work here in the high desdert which uses treecrops, I grow several things humans eat but since half the worlds meat comes from arid regions Im also looking at things to feed our animals. Long story short even in arid regions we can grow multiples more food per acre with less inputs then modern industrial ag, which ye such trees grow in more fertile areas as well, but the point here being we can readily make factory farming of meat as we know it today obsolete with treecrops that need less inputs and produce more per unit, with more stability. opening up our good farmlands to grow grains and other staples for humans while our arid regions only useful for cattle currently can feed multiples more animals then it does today. This is WAY over a 2% potential increase. This is ignoring all other types of increases, keep in mind much of the world can improve drastically more then even the consistently higher yields out of industrialized nations. If people go hungry it will most likely be politically driven, we definitely have answers that heck are more sustainable then current methds including current “organic” methods.

  45. All the shipping containers that are going to be idled as a result of oppressive green economics can be converted to homes and farms. Don’t you just love it when ignorance breeds its own solution.

  46. Re: the premise of the article. Since it is paywalled are we certain they are not talking about the effect of climate change REGULATIONS put in place to try to reduce climate change? Ie, is it not probable that the actions taken by the warmists are the proximate cause of the 50,000 deaths reported to be projected?

  47. IMO – if the planet warms – the growing season moves further north – opening up more land for agriculture. If it cools, the opposite occurs and I think the US breadbasket of the world would shrink? Am I wrong? It just seems like common sense to me.

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