Columbia University’s Ten Climate Change Exaggerations

Columbia University's Butler Library
Columbia University’s Butler Library, burning lots of electricity into the night. By Andrew Chen (Achen33) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Columbia University have released a statement on all the ways global warming will allegedly impact our lives. But like many such efforts the claimed impacts fail to consider simple adaptions already practiced by people who live in warm climates.

My comments in italics

10 Climate Change Impacts That Will Affect Us All

BY RENEE CHO |DECEMBER 27, 2019

1. Damage to your home

Floods, the most common and deadly natural disasters in the U.S., will likely be exacerbated and intensified by sea level rise and extreme weather.

Even if this is a problem, the solution is flood control, like our politicians should be doing anyway but all too frequently don’t – dredging rivers, building and maintaining dams, pumps and diversion channels. And decent drainage infrastructure, like municipal authorities build in the tropics, to rapidly remove large volumes of rainwater from tropical downpours, before they cause any harm.

2. More expensive home insurance 

As insurance companies pay out huge amounts to homeowners whose houses have been damaged by climate change impacts, many are raising premiums to offset their costs. Home insurance rates increased more than 50 percent between 2005 and 2015.

I wouldn’t be surprised if fire insurance in California has risen – because the government failed to properly manage Californian forests. Manage the risk, mitigate the insurance premiums.

3. Outdoor work could become unbearable

With continued global warming, heat waves are expected to increase in frequency, duration and intensity. Jane Baldwin, a postdoctoral research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, found that compound heat waves—heat waves that occur in sequence, one after the other—will also increase, making recovery from heat waves more difficult.

Assuming people perform the same outdoor work in 2100 as they do today (unlikely), there is a simple solution practiced by construction workers and factories in the tropics – work at night. All you need is cheap electricity to run high powered floodlights, to turn night into day on the worksite.

4. Higher electric bills and more blackouts

As temperatures rise, people will need to stay cool for health and comfort reasons. Climate Central analyzed 244 cities in the U.S. and determined that 93 percent experienced an increase in the number of days that required extra cooling to remain comfortable. As we rely more heavily on air conditioners and fans, electricity bills will get higher.

The increased demand for electricity, especially during peak periods, can also over-tax the electrical grid, triggering brownouts or blackouts. Extreme weather, such as hurricanes, heat waves or snowstorms, can cause power outages too.

The solution is to invest in the most resilient and inexpensive energy infrastructure available. If demand for electricity does rise, more revenue will be available for power companies to invest in supply resilience, providing they are not forced by politicians to spend that additional revenue on expensive unreliable energy infrastructure, like renewables.

5. Rising taxes   

Municipalities are recognizing the need to make their communities more resilient in the face of climate change impacts. Although measures such as building seawalls or hardening infrastructure are hugely expensive, the National Climate Assessment determined that resiliency measures save money in the long run — for example, by reducing coastal property damage to about $800 billion from a projected $3.5 trillion. Paying for mitigation and adaptation measures, however, will likely have to be funded through higher property taxes or “resilience fees.”

A few mm / year sea level rise is not a threat to any but the most low laying properties. Anybody who buys a property on the foreshore is wealthy enough to take care of their own house, without trying to push the cost onto taxpayers who can’t afford a foreshore property.

6. More allergies and other health risks

Warmer temperatures cause the pollen season to be longer and worsen air quality, both of which can result in more allergy and asthma attacks. Ground-level ozone, a major component of smog, which increases when temperatures warm, can also cause coughing, chest tightness or pain, decrease lung function and worsen asthma and other chronic lung diseases.

If this was true, tropical regions would be uninhabitable for asthmatics and people with allergy problems, like myself. As an asthmatic who lives in the tropics, I’m happy to report this is simply not true – modern medicine is well capable of managing any issues.

7. Food will be more expensive and variety may suffer

In the last 20 years, food prices have risen about 2.6 percent each year, and the USDA expects that food prices will continue to rise. While there are several reasons for higher food prices, climate change is a major factor. Extreme weather affects livestock and crops, and droughts can have impacts on the stability and price of food. New York apple farmers, for example, are facing warmer winters and extreme weather, which can wipe out harvests. They are trying to save their apples with new irrigation systems and wind machines that blow warm air during cold spells, but eventually these added costs will be reflected in the price of apples.

A significant part of the reason for high food prices is climate policy, especially biofuel. In 2008, Obama’s biofuel push caused widespread starvation and riots in poor countries. If governments stop incentivising people to burn food, more food might be available for eating.

8. Water quality could suffer 

Intense storms and heavy precipitation can result in the contamination of water resources. In cities, runoff picks up pollutants from the streets, and can overflow sewage systems, allowing untreated sewage to enter drinking water supplies.

Only for municipalities which underinvest in water infrastructure, and try to lay the blame on climate change.

9. Outdoor exercise and recreational sports will become more difficult

Reduced snowfall and early snowmelt in the spring will have an impact on skiing, snowmobiling and other winter sports. Less water in lakes and rivers could also affect boating and fishing during summer.

Hotter temperatures, especially in the South and Southwest, will make summer activities like running, biking, hiking and fishing less comfortable and potentially dangerous to your health.

If Summer is too hot, do your recreation and bushwalking in Fall or Spring. In the hot, tropical part of Australia where I live, we tend to spend Summer sitting around the BBQ or swimming pool drinking beer. Bushwalking is more of a Winter / Spring / Fall activity. As for skiing – still waiting for the end of snow.

10. Disruptions in travel

As temperatures rise, it may get too hot for some planes to fly. In 2015, Radley Horton, associate research professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and then Ph.D. student Ethan Coffel published a study calculating how extreme heat could restrict the takeoff weight of airplanes. Hotter air is less dense, so planes get less lift under their wings and engines produce less power. Airlines may be forced to bump passengers or leave luggage behind to lighten their loads. This concern is one reason why long-distance flights from the Middle East leave at night; the practice could become standard for the U.S. as well.

Utter nonsense. Aircraft lift does tend to be lower in hot weather. But if this becomes a persistent problem, manufacturers will adjust aircraft designs to produce more lift, to accommodate expected operating conditions.

Read more: https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2019/12/27/climate-change-impacts-everyone/

Are people who write such fear mongering climate articles actually aware of how flimsy their arguments are?

86 thoughts on “Columbia University’s Ten Climate Change Exaggerations

  1. Most of these are speculation. Much of the increases in cost are due to inflation. Food prices have risen 2.6%. This rate compounded for 20 years would result in a 67% increase in costs. The total inflation rate experienced over that time was 54%. (I am working under the assumption that to maximize the apparent threat, they did not adjust for inflation).

    And all of these concerns are easily mitigated, as shown by EW. There is no need to be concerned, much less destroy our way of life.

    • Other than inflation, the only thing that will have a net negative effect on food supplies is Climate Policy.
      Like but not limited to:
      Limitations on allowable food types and sourcing (beef ranching is causing climate change)
      Taking grown food out of the food supply chain and placing it into the Fuel tank (corn must be made into Ethanol as a “Renewable Energy Source”)

      • First, let me state that I’m not a fan of EPA mandated E10 or E15 gasoline. I’d prefer to see folks be able to choose what they want and allow products to compete on value and virtues. Ethanol/gasoline doesn’t store well with phase separation and has ruined some of my 2 cycle engines. Now, to my point: The corn that goes to the ethanol plants has the starch removed and the remainder, called distillers grains, is a very valuable high protein livestock feed. There is very little food-chain loss in ethanol production. Apart from the frustrating mandates, this enormous production of ethanol has become a valuable export commodity. and has become a vital part of out agriculture economy.

  2. I agree that “Higher electric bills and more blackouts” will probably be a problem. However, I am convinced that the blackout cause will be the push to use intermittent and diffuse wind and solar without thinking it through and a quick check of electricity costs vs the amount of renewables shows that the more they are used the higher the costs.

    • Both of which will be a direct result of unreliable renewable energy production mandates. Replacing reliable dispatchable sources like Hydro and Nuclear and mandating the replacement of Natural Gas with Electricity as a heating and cooking source will also act to drive up both demand and cost of electricity

  3. Can anyone write an article about “climate change” without the word impact? An asteroid hitting the earth is an impact. A 105 degree day in May is weather. My two cents off my chest.

    • Not only impact/weather in ref. to CC. “Effect” and “Affect” seems to have disappeared as nouns.

    • I agree, it’s not an impact, just a long, slow burn. 14 days this month (Dec 19) over 95 F (35C); 7 of those over 104 F (40 C). The only rain this month: Just 2.6mm on Dec 2, that’s 1/10 the December average, the rate we’ve had the entire year. Then it rained at 11.30 last night; I stood in it and timed it, 3 mins of light drops, barely got damp. Not enough to register on the gauge. I’ll get back with the annual rainfall on Jan 1.

      • Enjoy the warmth. We are on the backside of this particular interglacial, and it’s only downhill, temperature-wise, from here (talking about the long term trend – like 100’s of years, not decades).

  4. A fellow named Jeffrey D. Sachs wrote much for Scientific American magazine, and many others.
    He is also much associated with Columbia University.
    His nutty stuff in SciAm was sufficient that I did not renew a very long term subscription.
    This stuff by Renee Cho, 10 Climate Change Impacts . . .” is no better, and worse if that’s possible.

    Columbia University, or actually parts thereof, will provide case studies of the climate hysteria for many years, or until The Great Pumpkin appears to Linus (ref. Peanuts cartoon).

  5. Didn’t Dr. James Hansen publish his five meters of sea level rise possible by 2100 under Columbia’s banner?

    I’m on an iPad otherwise I’d put up a link.

  6. 3. Outdoor work could become unbearable

    Rudyard Kipling described the delirium produced by the sun in India; he said that only “mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun”. The Noel Coward song is an earworm and good for a laugh.

    The answer of course is to not work during the hottest parts of the day.

  7. THE theoretical global warming effect may not even happen. The factor of convective heat escape is rarely discussed in these pages or anywhere else. Having lived at 17 degrees south most of my life,I never stop marveling at the speed at which the mercury drops when a large cloud bank covers the sun on a stinking hot day. Obviously, the hot air,water vapor and all, heads for the nearest gap in the clouds. Astrophysicists acknowledge that largest movement throughout the universe is heat escape.Here on earth the atmospheric effects caused by it are called weather.

    • Actually, convection is acknowledged to be a big deal.

      If radiation were the only way to transfer heat from the ground to space, the greenhouse effect of gases in the atmosphere would keep the ground at roughly 333 K (60 °C; 140 °F), … link

      The lapse rate and convection allow us to calculate a first order approximation to the planet’s temperature. What puzzles me is the minuscule amount attributed to convection by conventional planetary energy budgets. link At any rate, the planet would be uninhabitable without convection.

      • I suspect that in order to calculate that GHG surface temperature of 60 C without convection, they’ve also had to ignore the gravitational temperature gradient (which shows up as the lapse rate). That’s not going to give a very accurate answer.

  8. “Are people who write such fear mongering climate articles actually aware of how flimsy their arguments are?”

    I doubt it. I’ve been amazed at how utterly ignorant most climate alarmists are.

    • By and large, skeptics are somewhat more knowledgeable about science than the alarmists are. link

      The fact that alarmism and skepticism align along political lines is a big clue that it’s not about science.

      The biggest alarmist I know is a loony lady who thinks Deepak Chopra is profound. She also suggested I read the Tao of Physics.

      • From the link, here are three questions from the 22 that were asked.

        “Electrons are smaller than atoms — true or false?”

        “How long does it take the Earth to go around the Sun? One day, one month, or one year?”

        “Lasers work by focusing sound waves — true or false?”

        And here is part of what the article says …

        “The quiz, containing 22 questions about both science and statistics, was given to 1,540 representative Americans. Respondents who were relatively less worried about global warming got 57 percent of them right, on average, just barely outscoring those whose who saw global warming as a bigger threat. They got 56 percent of the questions correct.”

        IMO these are some very dumbed-down questions and it astounds me that such a low percentage of the population can answer them correctly.

        • George Carlin summed it all up, “Think how stupid the average person is and then realise half the population are more stupid than that.”

        • Marv,
          I wonder how many of the trolls on here (that act so knowledgeable) could correctly answer even those three questions correctly without the use of Mr. Google? Probably none. This explains why they (along with most alarmists) don’t know the difference between accuracy and precision, nor can explain exactly what “temperature” is a measurement of. Lots of wasted education without understanding. This is what happens when you teach people what to think instead of how to think.

      • commieBob
        You said, “The fact that alarmism and skepticism align along political lines is a big clue that it’s not about science.” Well, maybe it is, if you think about it. You just may have cause and effect backwards!

    • Actually, number 10 has some merit, although I’m not concerned.

      Today, flights from San Diego to Asia first go to San Francisco to pick up more fuel. The climate in San Diego indeed does make the lift less, so planes use more fuel on take off, requiring refueling in San Francisco. Of course, they could just make the fuel tanks larger, but over the whole fleet, that likely wouldn’t be cost effective.

      Looking toward the future, I expect that the electromagnetic propulsion systems (eg General Atomics) starting to be used on aircraft carriers (Gerald Ford class) will start being used for land based commercial flights (10-20 years?) since they potentially can save a lot of fuel on take offs.

      • Actually Bob, no. 10 doesn’t have any merit. Remember with an airframe it is lift and DRAG. Why do jet aircraft want to get to altitude as fast as possible? Because they use less fuel at altitude, because there is less drag.

        The problem with less dense air is that the engines don’t produce as much power with less dense air. Years ago, when jet travel was in it’s infancy, planes had trouble taking off from Lima, Peru, because the altitude was so high, and therefore the air a lot less dense. The solution was water injection in the engine. No more trouble taking off from Lima. The same solution would work for increased air temperature.

    • It went up to 16 this year. Won’t stay there for long though. I reckon when it gets to 42 we can call quits!

  9. Well actually, the lift produced by an airfoil is a function of air density. Hot air is less dense and lift decreases.

    • Yes and air density also deceases with altitude. However I have not had any problems flying out of the mile-high city of Denver. Do you l know anyone who has had a flight cancelled because of low air density?

      • We’ve got really long runways, just in case. It’s a speed vs air density problem, easiest way to solve it at high altitude is to increase the runway length so you get more speed before takeoff. I’ve taken off in stupid hot weather (for Denver) and never been delayed.

    • Warmer air is less dense. A pilot compensates for this by managing takeoff weight and runway length. This a fundamental variable all pilots are versed in.

      • Air Emerates regularly take off and land from Dubai with no problem.
        A couple of degrees difference for us will be no problem.

    • I have 46 years of professional aviation under my belt, from fighters to 747s. When ‘experts’ write the utter rubbish – ‘so planes get less lift under their wings’ – then they have no credibility for anything else they might utter. Understanding evolves. Traditional teaching (Bernoulli) in aviation was that the air over the TOP of the wing was accelerated, pressure reduced and therefore lift was induced; not the bottom of the wing. However, NASA now believes that lift is purely the resolution of forces on the body as a whole and wings are added to hold the fuel. Another theory is that lifting force is the result of different bow-wave angles. All nothing to do with the bottom of the wing. Are universities giving out PhD qualifications with cereal packets these days? They certainly seem to be doing so with professorships!

  10. Although higher temperatures do imply greater use of air conditioning, the latest generation of residential AC units feature variable speed compressors that greatly increase overall efficiency. Net electricity consumption for residential cooling should go down, not up.
    Technology and innovation strike again!

    • Higher temps would also lessen the need for heating during the winter months, offsetting any need for increased cooling in the summer.

  11. This so-called study is just a middle-school exercise in pessimism. Peak junk science from Marxist infected academia. Carl Popper just executed a perfect posthumous somersault!

  12. Eric,
    Regarding point 5, I have just returned from a holiday staying with a friend in Dana Point, a prosperous beach side suburb just south of Laguna Beach in Orange County, California.
    The relatively modest apartment is on a bluff over looking Salt Creek beach and on the next bluff north is the Ritz Carlton Hotel beside Monarch Beach.
    The beachside homes between the two bluffs could only be described as monstrously large and opulent.
    They are McMansions on steroids.
    We gawked at them on our morning walks along the beaches. They cost many US $ millions.
    The point is they are right down at sea level with only a few metres down to the beaches.
    Interestingly there are “Tsunami Exit” signs on the steps down to the Beaches!
    These exist from the last Tsunami that hit the area in 1993.
    No one is discounting these properties on sale!
    Sea level rise is not a concern.

    • Herbert I have always said that if anyone is selling beachfront property then I will gladly pay $1. After all, it will be underwater 😉

  13. All that from 1.5C +-0.5C. Current plan is to quit reading this drivel in 2020. We desperately need a new existential threat. CO2 has run it’s course.

    • The shaded parts of roads and sidewalks in the Denver area are pretty hazardous right now. I’m thinking we might evolve feet with ice scrappers, since the municipal governments are doing such a poor job clearing snow.

  14. “As for skiing – still waiting for the end of snow.”

    Dammit, it has ended already! I haven’t been able to go skiing here in Brisbane for the last ten years!

  15. 11. Climate change now produces from $1.5 to $2.5 Trillion in additional foodstuff worldwide annually due to increases in atmospheric CO2! That has prevented mass famine and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, thank you!

  16. Anyone else notice how they wrote warmer winters are making Apple farmers invest in heating fans to protect their crops? Scratching my head on that one.

    • Noticed that too. And they forgot to say how much energy would be saved by orange growers in Florida NOT having to use their fans to prevent frost damage.

  17. A few mm / year sea level rise is not a threat to any but the most low laying properties. Anybody who buys a property on the foreshore is wealthy enough to take care of their own house, without trying to push the cost onto taxpayers who can’t afford a foreshore property.

    No. Taxes will have to rise.
    Much coastal and riverside land is used for farming, water management and warehousing. It’s not all luxury apartments.
    Taxes will have to rise and that’s OK. We should be honest about this.
    It’s still cheaper to raise flood defences by a foot in a century than to try weather control via renewable energy. It’s more resilient too.

    (Rescued from spam bin) SUNMOD

  18. The biggest single “impact” of “global warming” on my life has been the enforcement of a non-legislated standard that has ruined gas cans. Ace of Spades HQ blog wrote it up better than I could:

    “Make Gas Cans Great Again & Lock Up the “Snow Blower Vote” [BUCK THROCKMORTON]
    —Open Blogger
    If Donald Trump wants to ensure he recaptures the 2020 electoral votes in the Great Lakes states he won in 2016 – and possibly add Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Maine – there is one simple thing he could do that would make him a hero to every snow-blowing American – issue an executive order to restore functioning gas cans.

    To be clear, this would also make him a hero to tens of millions of other Americans throughout the country who use lawn mowers, power tools, etc around their homes or in their jobs. In 2009 the EPA banned the sale of gas cans that functionally pour gas. To be specific, the scientifically illiterate bureaucrats at the EPA outlawed gas cans with vents, mandating that all new gas cans must have crazy contraptions that require three hands to operate. Unlike the old gas cans, the new ones spill gas all over the user and onto the ground. The result of the EPA’s incompetence is a new gas can that is much worse for the environment than the one it replaced. The incompetent regulators at the EPA are so scientifically illiterate that they honestly believed that the vents on gas cans were there to allow gas fumes to escape, rather than the actual purpose of allowing air to flow in to the can so that gas can be poured out. Having received their “science” education in Oppression Studies classes at Grievance State University, these morons making rules for how we gas up our power tools have likely never handled a tool more powerful than their own personal groomers.

    The government-mandated non-functioning gas can may be the most unpopular government-imposed regulatory rule since the 55 mile per hour speed limit. If you don’t know someone who mocks and despises these stupid red canisters, then you are living a very sheltered urban or upscale lifestyle. Most all working-class and middle-class Americans deal with these awful containers, and they mock the government for imposing them on us. Even James Lileks, the gentle Minneapolis newspaper columnist who also writes for National Review, had this to say recently on his daily blog about his efforts to gas up his new snow blower:
    This was not as easy as it sounds, since the gas can had a special safety nozzle that prevented gas from escaping under any circumstances, including the time when you wanted to pour it out. Push in the green tab to unlock, press with your palm! Nothing. Did it again: nothing. Did it again: somehow gas came out of the part where I was pressing, not the nozzle. Augh. Go inside, clean it off, try to get the damned SAFETY ENHANCED CAN to release a few drops. Nothing. In the process the smell of gas filled the garage and the tunnel, and when my wife came home she was overcome by fumes.

    While not an obnoxious #NeverTrump writer like much of the National Review staff, Mr. Lileks has been politely #NotTrump. Perhaps liberating him, and millions of other snow blowing Americans, from the tyranny of the government-designed gas can would be persuasive come November 2020.

    Even if you put politics aside, and out of compassion for his fellow Americans, Mr. Trump just needs to issue an executive order to end this gas can idiocy. His recent comments mocking government toilet regulations indicate that he has an ear for the impact of idiotic government regulations. Congress never passed a law which outlawed the old gas cans. Instead, these abhorrent new gas cans were simply foisted on us by zealous government imbeciles who have never mowed a blade of grass or poured a drop of gas out of a gas can. With one stroke of his pen President Trump can fix this mess. One more thing – after restoring functioning gas cans, President Trump should assemble the EPA team and ask every executive and manager in the EPA if they personally support the current non-functioning gas cans. Any EPA employee who replies in the affirmative should be terminated on the spot – with insults, derision, and mockery. Someone please forward this article to President Trump.”

    • Tweet the Pres, the number of the order he needs to overturn and why.
      I had not heard of this one but it smacks of classic bureaucratic interference and little knowledge of the real world.

    • rah, hadn’t heard about that (my gas can is a few years older than the regulation you mention and still working fine, so haven’t needed one of the newer ones). That is messed up. Fortunately I see there are several videos on youtube explaining how you can easily “fix” the gas can. But yeah, that’s one useless regulation that needs to be scrapped.

      • I have an older one and a newer one. The newer one “fixed” itself. The inane mechanism that requires turning a collar, and then resting a little hook onto the edge of the filler opening and then pushing, broke after the second or third use. Now it’s always open, except for the little cap I put on it to prevent evaporation.

  19. You have to admire point “10”
    “Air travel will become impossible due to the temp of air being too high”.
    St Greta will be happy with that one. It ticks all the insane boxes of climate alarm, while ignoring the science options available, to counter the incredible plus 2 deg C which will permanently impact air travel….apparently.
    Just to enter into the spirit of lunacy on display. I suggest, only flying at night when the runway temps are many degrees cooler than in the day, that way take off and landing is possible. 🙂

  20. In all of Academia Columbia is also at or very near the top of the list of institutions which actively seeks to undermine the 2nd amendment.

  21. With regard to too hot to work, I guess they could take some advice off blast furnace casthouse and coke ovens battery top workers.

  22. Reduced snowfall and early snowmelt in the spring will have an impact on skiing, snowmobiling and other winter sports. Less water in lakes and rivers could also affect boating and fishing during summer. – dimwitted quote from article

    Well, I have YET to see ANY reduced snowmelt around here, but this winter/spring may be the exception. Due to early snow in October (Hallowe’en was canceled) and then snow again in November, and lack of subfreezing temps all around (fine by me), we’ve had rain but not a lot of snow, so the local watershed is still full to the brim, the geese are taking their sweet time migrating south (they have food, open water, and it’s warmish), and frankly, after the past few heavy-duty winters, I’m quite happy to have a rather mild one this time. All that arctic air has been pushed west of us, and that’s fine by me. I think we deserve an occasional break, although we still have January/February and maybe March to face. 🙁 May interfere with this season’s ice fishing escapades locally, but we’ll see. There’s still time ahead for the WEATHER to be as obnoxious as always.

    I still don’t know what the panic is all about, other than getting money out of me.

  23. So flying into to Telluride in the cold is nothing? Really???? Snow and cold, storms shut down air flight, as does a volcano eruption. Thousands and thousands of flights are cancelled ALL WINTER LONG. Thousands. Fourth of July, there are virtually NO cancellations except due to hurricanes or violent rain storms.

    While the news harps on Phoenix in 2017 shutting down flights “due to heat”, I was there in 1994 and it was equally HOT, but no flights shut down. We call this LYING and PROPAGANDA, problems caused by government demanding we believe in the Climate Cult. Prior to the 80’s there was zero publicity about heat and flights, assuming any were shut down. Scare tactics, and contemptible behavior.

    Fact is, snow, rain, and volcanoes cancel flights. Heat is a MINOR player. It works to tell the Cultists heat is bad, of course, and people living under rocks. How obscene.

  24. “A significant part of the reason for high food prices is climate policy, especially biofuel. In 2008, Obama’s biofuel push caused widespread starvation and riots in poor countries. If governments stop incentivising people to burn food, more food might be available for eating.”

    I also think biofuels are a waste, however, as I have commented on a couple of occasions over the last few years, biofuels were NOT a primary cause of the spike in food prices. In fact, the linked Wiki article discusses 14 different possible causes. Regardless, the reason I’m convinced biofuels were not a significant factor is that I actually went back and looked at prices for all major commodity groups during the 2007-2008 timeframe. If corn-for-ethanol was a major factor, then ag commodities, especially maize/corn, should have decoupled from other commodity groups such as metals, for example. They did not. ALL commodities increased in virtual lockstep, just as they soon decreased in lockstep.

    Has anyone looked at long term commodity indexes lately to see where ag commodities are today versus several decades of history? Corn is CHEAP. World stocks are at or near record highs.

    Has anyone thought about anything else that was going on in the US and the world in 2008? Remember a worldwide financial crisis during 2008? Remember what oil prices and the value of the dollar were doing at that time?

    Anyway, like I said, biofuels don’t make any more sense than any other utility-scale renewable energy source. I just don’t think they can honestly be used as the scapegoat for what happened with food prices during that time. That’s lazy thinking.

  25. There must be some parts of the world which will get an improvement in climate; apart from places which could afford to get a bit warmer, I find it hard to believe that everywhere is going to get drier.

  26. 1. Damage to your home

    Floods, the most common and deadly natural disasters in the U.S., will likely be exacerbated and intensified by sea level rise and extreme weather.

    Even if this is a problem, the solution is flood control, like our politicians should be doing anyway but all too frequently don’t – dredging rivers, building and maintaining dams, pumps and diversion channels. And decent drainage infrastructure, like municipal authorities build in the tropics, to rapidly remove large volumes of rainwater from tropical downpours, before they cause any harm.

    Indeed. Back in the 60s/70s, when my neighborhood was new, it was prone to the occasional flood. I’m talking sandbags in front of your doors, bail our your basement and take a swim in your back yard actual flood (none of this 1 inch deep puddle stuff). In the late 70s the local government put in a system of drainage pipes, we haven’t had a flood in all the years since.

    Never underestimate the value of proper drainage infrastructure.

    • The drains on my street are large enough for a person to crawl down, because my area is prone to rainstorms which deliver a couple of inches of rain in a few minutes. None of this inadequate 1ft drain nonsense.

  27. “simple adaptions already practiced”

    Dictionary.com doesn’t recognize that word. Brings up “adaptation” instead.

  28. “…In cities, runoff picks up pollutants from the streets, and can overflow sewage systems, allowing untreated sewage to enter drinking water supplies…”

    Drinking water supply contamination due to street runoff and sewage overflows is rare. And since the drinking water must be treated before sent to customers, problem solved.

    Moreover, aside from combined sewer systems, runoff doesn’t really overflow sewage systems. Rainfall-derived inflow and infiltration does…and aside from sewer entry at the tops of manholes, by definition none of this is runoff.

  29. It is disturbing to see universities turning activist and partisan. Maintaining scientific objectivity is prerequisite for their relevance. Speculations are in nobody’s interest.

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