MSN Pushes Rice, Sugar, Tomato Crises – Despite New Crop Records

From ClimateREALISM

By James Taylor

This morning, the MSN news feed that displays for millions of people when they open a new Internet tab prominently displayed an article titled, “The climate crisis is here, the ecosystem is starting to collapse.” Embedded in the usual debunked claims of worsening extreme weather were claims that climate change is devastating crop production around the world. In particular, the article singled out rice, sugar, and tomato production as particularly ravaged by climate change. The objective facts, however, show just the opposite.

Fake claims of tomato shortages. According to the article, “India’s Burger King has taken tomatoes off their burgers after this year’s crop failed and the cost of tomatoes has become prohibitively expensive.”

An anecdotal claim that Burger King is taking tomatoes off its hamburgers in some locations does not prove that climate change is destroying tomato crops. Instead, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), global tomato production is faring quite well. In fact, the UNFAO reports that global tomato production has set new records an amazing 10 years in a row.

Sugar data is record sweet, not sour. The article continued, “The world’s largest sugar trader expects the coming season to see a deficit for the sixth consecutive year as unfavourable crop forecasts in India will reduce global stocks of the sweetener. ‘The world will be as close to running out of sugar as it can be,’ said Mauro Virgino, trading intelligence lead at Alvean, a trading house controlled by Brazilian producer Copersucar SA, in a recent interview.”

Claims by a trading professional who has a financial stake in leading people to expect higher sugar prices are neither evidence of declining sugar production nor evidence of any climate change impact. Fortunately, the UNFAO keeps meticulous data for world sugar production, also. According to the UNFAO, 2019 saw the largest global sugar crop in history. All 10 of the largest sugar crops in history occurred during the past 10 years. During the past 15 years, global sugar production has increased by more than 33 percent.

Rice crops continue to set records. Also, claimed the article, “Most seriously of all, rice yields across southeast Asia have fallen sending prices up across the board. A rapidly escalating rice crisis is unfolding in Asia that has put hundreds of millions of people at food security risk. … The poor rice yields are going to get worse in the coming months as due to the record high sea waters, this year’s El Niño effect is expected to be especially strong that will cause rice yields to fall further. The food issue and soaring prices in Yangon in Myanmar has already become so bad that residents are turning to charity run food banks for help as they are unable to feed themselves.”

The UNFAO, however, reports an entirely different story. According to the UNFAO, global rice production set a new record in 2021, the latest year for which data is available. All three of the three largest crop years occurred during the past three years. All five of the five largest crop years occurred during the past five years. All 10 of the 10 largest crop years occurred during the past 10 years.

The article focuses special attention on rice yields in India, China, and Myanmar. However, the growth in India’s rice production is even more impressive than the growth in global rice production. India has absolutely smashed its rice production records six years in a row. In China, 2021 was the second-highest rice crop in history. All six of China’s highest-ever rice crops were produced in the past six years. Myanmar rice production is declining – an aberration compared to the global trend – but that is because of Myanmar’s horrible domestic political situation, not climate change. As reported by Human Rights Watch, “Since staging a coup on February 1, 2021, the Myanmar military has carried out a brutal nationwide crackdown on millions of people opposed to its rule. The junta security forces have carried out mass killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence, and other abuses that amount to crimes against humanity.” Blaming climate change for Myanmar’s declining crop production is giving a pass to political brutality and human rights abuses.

The overall global crop picture is amazing. It is not surprising that MSN, when cherry-picking its worst-possible scenarios to claim a global crop crisis created by climate change, cannot even find one or two outliers to support its misinformation. The objective fact, as shown definitively by United Nations crop data, is that crop production of nearly all kinds throughout virtually the entire world is setting is setting impressive and live-providing new records nearly every year. This is happening in concurrence with more atmospheric carbon dioxide and modestly warming temperatures.

James Taylor

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland’s Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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Tom Halla
September 15, 2023 6:15 pm

This is rather like blaming climate change for crop failure in Sri Lanka. Or Jerry Falwell blaming immorality for Hurricane Katrina.

Steve Case
September 15, 2023 6:29 pm

Between all of the variables of crops droughts floods heatwaves, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, black-outs, warts, hemorrhoids, etc. somewhere someone will figure out a way to tie it to “Climate Change.” It’s called cherry picking.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 15, 2023 7:36 pm

I never grew rice or sugarcane, but my grass and tomatoes this year are doing very well.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Scissor
September 16, 2023 8:11 am

Same here. Our tomato crop this has been almost more that I can keep up with, and it is still producing. That’s a good thing, world-wide. Now that the pandemic-induced chip shortage is over, it would be a shame to have a salsa shortage…

Reply to  Scissor
September 17, 2023 8:06 am

massive floods in China. And India has had to import alot mre food. doing deals with Russia.

its a globe. with concentrated producers.

its not a resilient system, its a fragile system. one boat stuck in the wrong canal. and opps.

old cocky
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 17, 2023 3:42 pm

one boat stuck in the wrong canal. and opps.

Yep, the combination of JiT and non-local suppliers makes robust logistics more and more vital.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 15, 2023 8:18 pm


Reply to  Steve Case
September 15, 2023 10:30 pm

No, with “Climate Change” they don’t cherry pick data, they just plain lie!

Wind up the computer models, pop out the graphs and numbers of doom, and pretend that has any to reality.

Isn’t there some ombudsman or regulatory agency we can complain to, now that the media is just making things up?

I’ve frequently read disaster porn from the major media or supposedly scientific web sites that when I check the referenced science research paper are found to be hardly contented! End of the world in a decade in the news, but the referenced article says could/may/possibly show in a century/millennia.

And that’s even with the research paper using the ridiculous RCP8.5.

Reply to  PCman999
September 16, 2023 11:57 am

Just like any heat wave, no matter how small or localized, is proof that the models are right,
any reduction in agricultural production from one year to the next, no matter how small or localized, is proof that CO2 is going to kill us all.

Paul Hurley
Reply to  Steve Case
September 16, 2023 6:35 am

They’ll blame climate change for a shortage of cherries.

old cocky
Reply to  Paul Hurley
September 16, 2023 2:30 pm

Cherries do have a cold days requirement to set fruit.

Seeing cherry trees is a good warning sign.

Reply to  Steve Case
September 17, 2023 2:09 am

no its called fragility. in farming so much is tied to the weather only fools would ignore the POTENTIAL FOR DISASTER.


a. what food did ukraine and Russia ship what fertilzer do they use.

b. what countries buy their agricultural goods.

hey look! theres was a hurricane in the mediteranean sea!!!! WTF?

that wont end well.

antarctica is warming. that wont end well.

September 15, 2023 6:47 pm

CO2 fertilization strikes again.

September 15, 2023 6:57 pm

The climate shills will argue that “climate” is causing a drop in one region, and ignore the increase in another region.

Of course, it is all down to natural WEATHER variability, and many other things…political and local decisions, etc

… which are nothing to do with climate.

But they have to make a noise, no matter how much it sounds like a donkey braying !

Reply to  bnice2000
September 15, 2023 8:19 pm

There will be winners. They might be Canadian and Russian.

Peta of Newark
September 15, 2023 8:15 pm

One: “”People seen panic-buying rice as stores run out in US after India announces export ban

Two: “”With less than three months until the much-anticipated Halloween season, candy companies are facing a global shortage of a key ingredient in all sweet treats: sugar. Even when candy producers can locate enough raw materials to meet production demands, they must contend with forbiddingly high prices.

For example in the UK – a 1kg bag of white granulated sugar was 65pence in most supermarkets, is now 110pence

(A lot of this coming from Government mandates stipulating a certain % (85%) of sugar should be from ‘home grown sources’)

Three: “”Dr David Denning at the University of Manchester, an expert on fungal infections, says reported cases of black fungus in India were “masses more than any other part of the world” well before the pandemic.
“Mucormycosis is strongly linked with poorly controlled diabetes and there’s a lot of it [diabetes] in India.”

black fungus: Of course lots of folks like to link that little unpleasantness to Covid and The Vaxxes but primarily it’s a result of diabetes combined with a low nutrient diet. Esp Vitamin C and the other anti-oxidants

The very best way to get diabetes is to eat a diet revolving around Carbohydrate (rice not least) – with added sugar sweetener –
60%+ of all US citizens will personally vouch for that.
And pay for it = $4Trn pa

Four: as image attached
“”Experts say that bad weather conditions have damaged crops, fuelling shortages in the market and a mismatch between demand and supply. The government has said that the soaring prices are a “temporary problem” and that they will drop in the coming months.

Comment: It doesn’t matter what The Average is, what The Trend is, what happens in The Globe.
You personally can only run out of food once – after a very modest period of time
Fortunately with Black Mould fungus, you only die half the times you catch it.

Unlike Diabetes, when you die all the time you catch it.
It is an odd sort of disorder in that other people cause you to get it, but, it’s not infectious

And no, CO₂ is not causing any of those things. Something else is and CO₂ is a symptom of that.
Sugar caused this story though > Sugar causes Magical Thinking

India Tomatoes.PNG
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 15, 2023 10:43 pm

I always buy Thai rice – Jasmine.

IIRC didn’t the ban affect only the non-bismati rice?

India has gone from being a basketcase importing much of their rice just half a century ago, to being a major world rice exporter – and that is in spite of their population doubling in size in that time.

And the world loses its sh!t over an off year.

I suspect millions leaving the farm for industrial jobs may play a part as well.

Reply to  PCman999
September 16, 2023 12:03 pm

The agricultural turn around coincides with India abandoning socialism.
In a similar vein, Rhodesia went from being the bread basket of Africa to an agricultural basket case shortly after they changed their name to Zimbabwe.

September 15, 2023 8:16 pm

The trouble with so many people leaving poverty is that they all want to buy the things I want to buy.

Reply to  KevinM
September 15, 2023 10:48 pm

That makes green eco-nazis have nightmares – the thought of all those happy people driving a comfortable and safe car to home from a good, well paying and safe job making things that people want to buy.

John Hultquist
September 15, 2023 8:40 pm

 Last year (2022) Washington State’s apple crop was a bit off because of snow during bloom. This year the crop is almost 29% larger – 5% above the 6 year average.
Harvest has begun. Last year’s apples from storage are on sale. New apples are beside the ’22 crop on grocery store shelves.
For the record, I like apple pie more than I like rice.  

Reply to  John Hultquist
September 15, 2023 9:19 pm

 I like apple pie ”

With custard, I assume.. 🙂

You did mention the other day that you were keeping in “shape”

Reply to  bnice2000
September 16, 2023 11:11 am

I claim ’round’ is a shape ….


Janice Moore
Reply to  bnice2000
September 16, 2023 11:33 am

Custard and apple pie? Hm. That sounds sort of good, but, in the U.S. (at least in my experience, here), unusual.

Mr. Hultquist would likely have his pie “a la mode” (i.e., with vanilla ice cream) or with whipped cream on top — if he puts anything on top. I usually don’t. I just want to taste the pie. 😋

One sort of weird (to me, not to many other Americans, apparently) topping for apple pie in the U.S. is 😣 — a slice of cheddar cheese!

old cocky
Reply to  Janice Moore
September 16, 2023 2:22 pm

One sort of weird (to me, not to many other Americans, apparently) topping for apple pie in the U.S. is 😣 — a slice of cheddar cheese!

People are strange

September 16, 2023 1:38 am

A few years’ worth of “tipping points” must have passed. It’s time to re-boot the great tomato shortage.

Reply to  SteveG
September 16, 2023 2:08 am

Put Mickey Mann in the stock.

… everyone will find old tomatoes very quickly.

September 16, 2023 3:45 am

There may be a shortage of certain food products in one part of the World yet abundant in another.
I have been growing Tomatoes in the UK for well over 30 years and this years crop is, by some distance, the best ever and still producing quality toms today!
Regarding Rice grown in paddy fields – is rice growing, with a huge increase in population of rice eaters, now the major cause of methane emissions overtaking farty cows??

Dave Andrews
Reply to  climedown
September 16, 2023 6:54 am

Yep. Despite it not being a great summer here in NE Wales our tomato crop has been the best in the last few years.

Tim Gorman
September 16, 2023 3:47 am

The doomsayers mostly look at the wrong things. Commodity prices have gone up globally after covid. That isn’t because of shortages as the doomsayers like to say but due to increased demand. The other factor is that global population continues to grow fueling ever increasing demand. That causes shortfalls in in inventories which look like production problems. It isn’t because of production problems but because of a lack of short-term storage facilities – which will eventually come on line as investments in such are made. (shipping capability also plays a part in this)

The green doomsayers really are not different than the decrepit guy on the street corner shouting “The World Ends Tomorrow”. He’ll be there tomorrow shouting the same thing. And the day after that and the day after that and ….

September 16, 2023 5:13 am

The usual lies.

BTW have anyone here ever heard a farmer say that the were completely satisfied with the weather over the growing season? This Hoosier has never heard a single one not complain or worry about something no matter how good the crop is. And then when they have a bumper crop the will complain about the prices going down.

This year around here they were worried about the soya beans because of the grit from the fires in Canada settling on the leaves. My thought was, that come the next good rain that grit would be washed off.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  rah
September 16, 2023 5:50 am

And then when they have a bumper crop the will complain about the prices going down.”

Wow! You nailed it! My father owned an International Harvester dealership when I was young. I can still remember farmers coming in complaining about the weather and poor prices while buying a new tractor, plow, baler, truck, etc. I’m not saying the farmers were rich by any means, but most of them weren’t dirt poor either.

Janice Moore
Reply to  rah
September 16, 2023 11:54 am

Dear rah,

Praying for Nikki. Every day.


old cocky
Reply to  rah
September 16, 2023 2:25 pm

when they have a bumper crop the will complain about the prices going down.

and the big tax bill

September 16, 2023 6:08 am

The 40 acre commercial greenhouses near me enrich their atmosphere with CO2 from tanks outside or from the gas Cogen plant they use for heat and light. C02 and warmth are good for the crops it seems.

September 16, 2023 10:16 am

Giving figures for sugar production that are four years old (2019) doesn’t really refute the claims of present/near-future shortages.

However, the FAO’s most recent report says this: “FAO’s forecast for world sugar production in 2022/23
(October/September) is pegged at 177.5 million tonnes, up 1.9 million tonnes, or 1.1 percent, from the 2021/22

There is the usual confusion between “markets” and production. “Up 1.9 million tonnes” does ot sound like a pending disaster. It is not a lack of production … but production may shortfall demand if demand increases faster than production.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 16, 2023 11:16 am

Yes, they did in fact say “shortfall”. The usual lying with a half truth. Yes there’s a shortfall when more and more people climb out of poverty and can afford to eat more.

They’re happy to let the reader misinterpret “shortfall” as a production “decline”. Where the story veers off from truth is when climate change is mentioned. It’s an obvious lie if there’s a direct linkage asserted.

Sometimes they just lead the reader to make the linkage on their own using weasel wording. As the climate warms, shortfalls of tomato production are leading to unaffordable prices.

As the climate warms, the Red Sox have fallen into last place in the American League East.

September 16, 2023 2:17 pm

Sorry, MSN, the biggest threat to tomato production is COLD weather. Tomatoes thrive in warm weather. My tomato plants have produced a bumper crop this summer, in King County, WA. It’s been a warm summer, so as long as they got water, they did well.

Edward Katz
September 16, 2023 2:40 pm

I’m still waiting for the mainstream media to publicize these food production records. It’s been a long wait; but just let a single field of wheat be damaged by a localized thunderstorm, and we won’t hear the end of warnings about how this is guaranteed to be the “new normal”.

September 17, 2023 10:26 am
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 17, 2023 12:39 pm

That’s mentioned in the article.

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