Global Warming

Record Farm Yields Contradict Climate Doomsayers’ Claims

U.S. and global crop production continue to set new records, even as climate activists ramp up a campaign to convince people that climate change is decimating crop production and forcing farmers out of business. The latest misinformation was spread by Politico. Politico in October published an article titled, “‘I’m standing right here in the middle of climate change’: How USDA is failing farmers.” On December 9, Politico followed up with an article titled, “How a closed-door meeting shows farmers are waking up on climate change.” The October article claimed “American farmers are reeling” from extreme weather caused by climate change. The article also complained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not devoting more money toward climate change programs. The December article asserted horrible “destruction wrought by catastrophic weather this year.” The article placed the blame on climate change and then trumpeted efforts to change government agriculture policy to focus on climate change. The Politico articles generated substantial attention from the media echo chamber, including Google News searches for “climate change” placing the Politico articles at the top of search results. Unfortunately for climate activists – but fortunately for farmers and the rest of us – the climate change crop scare is pure fiction. Presenting crop data collected by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Economy website documents that U.S. crop yields are enjoying excellent short-term, mid-term, and long-term growth, with new records being set almost every year. According to the USDA publication, “Crop Production Historical Track Records,” the past three years produced the three highest U.S. wheat yields per acre in history. The past five years produced the five highest U.S. corn yields and the five highest soybean yields per acre in history. U.S. and global crop production are a story of steady growth and almost yearly new records as the Earth modestly warms. Even with the “catastrophic weather this year,” the USDA projects this year’s corn, soybean, and wheat yields to each be among the top six years all-time. Also, much of the problematic “catastrophic weather” occurred as part of early-spring snowstorms and late-fall snowstorms, which will continue to become less frequent and severe with ongoing modest warming. At the global level, the UN Food and Agriculture’s “World Food Situation” website documents the same strong, consistent crop growth globally, with new records being set virtually every year. The UN global crop production data is particularly helpful getting to the bottom of claims that climate change is a major factor in people attempting to enter the United States from Central America. NBC News, for example, published a July 2019 article titled, “Central America’s choice: Pray for rain or migrate.” The subtitle read, “Ravaged by drought, farmers in rural Honduras and Guatemala live on the edge of hunger.” The article placed the blame for drought, crop failures, and resultant migration on global warming. UN Food and Agriculture data, however, show Honduras and Guatemala are enjoying long-term growth in crop yields per acre, with record crop yields being set throughout the past decade. The same holds true for Mexico and nearly every other country in Central America. Ultimately, more atmospheric carbon dioxide has the same beneficial impact on farm production as it does in greenhouse growing facilities. Also, warmer temperatures bring longer growing seasons and fewer devastating frost events. U.S., Honduran, Guatemalan, and global crop data show that climate activists are telling tall tales when they assert that climate change is causing global or regional crop devastation. The proof is in the objective crop production data.

John Adams once said that “facts are stubborn things.”  Indeed..  Thanks to James Taylor (no, not the singer) for that enlightening op/ed. James is director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute.  He can be reached at: JTaylor@heartland.org      Excellent!!      🙂

Farmers to feed cows seaweed to cut down on gas emissions

Coastal Maine has a lot of seaweed, and a fair number of cows. A group of scientists and farmers think that pairing the two could help unlock a way to cope with a warming world. The researchers — from a marine science lab, an agriculture center and universities in northern New England — are working on a plan to feed seaweed to cows to gauge whether that can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. About a quarter of the methane in the country comes from cattle, which produce the gas when they belch or flatulate. The concept of feeding seaweed to cows has gained traction in recent years because of some studies that have shown its potential to cut back on methane. The reduction might be because the seaweed interrupts the process of production of the gas in the animals’ guts. One of the big questions is which kinds of seaweed offer the highest benefit to farmers looking to cut methane, and the researchers hope to find out, said Nichole Price, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine, and the project’s leader. “What on that list has the ability to do two things — not just reduce methane emissions, but have some health benefits for the cow that have a cost savings or cost efficiency for the farmer?” Price said. The researchers plan to conduct feeding trials with cows in Maine and New Hampshire in 2020 and 2021 to see whether seaweeds that can be used as cattle feed can cut the methane. They also intend to screen seaweeds for compounds that make them useful as cattle feed additives. The lab work to determine whether the seaweeds succeed in reducing methane will take place at University of Vermont.

Ok.. Let’s get this straight… Some eco-nerd scientists from the northeast are feeding cows SEAWEED (something that is NOT part of their normal diet) in an attempt to cut back on their farting. Even IF their weird science experience bears some fruit in terms of reduced cow farting, it opens up all sorts of questions like.. What effects will it have on the cows? Will the taste of the cow’s milk or steak be altered? And, will some federal or state governmental agency (or Dem-controlled legislature) seize on this and force farmers in the Midwest to feed their cows SEAWEED?…like that’ll ever happen, lol. For more of this crazy AP story, click on the text above.

Doomsdays that didn’t happen: Think tank compiles decades’ worth of dire climate predictions

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently suggested Miami would disappear in “a few years” due to climate change. The United Nations is convening a “Climate Action Summit” next week. And climate activist Greta Thunberg is on Capitol Hill this week telling lawmakers they must act soon. But while data from NASA and other top research agencies confirms global temperatures are indeed rising, a newly compiled retrospective indicates the doomsday rhetoric is perhaps more overheated. The conservative-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute has put together a lengthy compilation of apocalyptic predictions dating back decades that did not come to pass, timed as Democratic presidential candidates and climate activists refocus attention on the issue. The dire predictions, often repeated in the media, warned of a variety of impending disasters – famine, drought, an ice age, and even disappearing nations – if the world failed to act on climate change. An Associated Press headline from 1989 read “Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials.” The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000. Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending “cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere.” That claim came from an “international team of specialists” cited by The New York Times in 1978. Just years prior, Time magazine echoed other media outlets in suggesting that “another ice age” was imminent. “Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest,” the magazine warned in 1974. The Guardian similarly warned in 1974 that “Space satellites show new Ice Age coming fast.” In 1970, The Boston Globe ran the headline, “Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century.” The Washington Post, for its part, published a Columbia University scientist’s claim that the world could be “as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.” Some of the more dire predictions came from Paul Ehrlich, a biologist who famously urged population control to mitigate the impacts of humans on the environment. Ehrlich, in 1969, warned that “everybody” would “disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years,” The New York Times reported. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Ehrlich, warning of a “disastrous” famine,” urged placing “sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water.” Those predictions were made around the time former President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. Since then, the U.S. has adopted a series of environmental reforms aimed at limiting emissions. Years after those initial predictions, media outlets and politicians continue to teem with claims of apocalyptic scenarios resulting from climate change. Earlier this month, leading Democratic presidential candidates held a town hall on the issue and warned about the “existential” threat posed by a changing climate. Before the end of the month, 2020 candidates are expected to have another climate forum at Georgetown University. CEI’s report came just before the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, an event that promises to “spark the transformation that is urgently needed and propel action that will benefit everyone.” It also came a week after Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned that Miami would be gone in a “few years” because of climate change. She was responding to critics of her ambitious “Green New Deal,” which seeks to reach net-zero emissions within just decades. Ocasio-Cortez, whose plan has been endorsed by leading presidential candidates, previously joked that the world would end in 12 years if it didn’t address climate change. But short-term predictions weren’t a laughing matter in the years following “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary produced by former Vice President Al Gore. In 2008, ABC released an ominous video about what the world would look like in 2015. As the video warned about rising sea levels, a graphic showed significant portions of New York City engulfed by water. Gore himself famously predicted in the early 2000s that Arctic ice could be gone within seven years. At the end of seven years, Arctic ice had undergone a period of expansion…

It’s interesting that in Great Britain, the courts there ruled that Al Gore’s book “Earth in the Balance” is not allowed to be used in any of the schools as a textbook or resource because an analysis of that book revealed more than 13 major factual errors; assertions he either made that were factually inaccurate, OR predictions he made that never came to pass.  And yet, the enviro-wackos continue to turn to him as some authority on so-called “global warming” (or it’s latest term, “climate change”).  If only we had such common sense quality control here in America..  Kudos to CEI for putting out this report exposing the extreme liberal enviro movement, and their debunked chicken little nonsense.  We hope other credible organizations, institutions, and scientists follow CEI’s lead.

Editorial: Trump Is Right to Ditch the California Auto Waiver

The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a plan we endorsed previously. It will revoke California’s ability to set separate greenhouse-gas standards for cars — so that a single policy will apply to the entire country, and so that California can’t use the threat of a bifurcated regulatory regime to influence that policy in a way other states cannot. We are fans of federalism. But Congress, understandably not wanting automakers to have to comply with 50 different sets of regulations, has generally preempted state regulation in this area — with the exception that California, and California alone, may apply for a waiver to create its own emission rules to address “compelling and extraordinary conditions.” Other states may then adopt these rules if they choose. “Compelling and extraordinary conditions” was intended as a reference to smog. And in contrast to Californian smog, there is nothing compelling and extraordinary about Californian climate change. Climate change is happening to the rest of the country (and indeed the world) too, and climate change is what the state’s greenhouse-gas rules — as opposed to policies regulating other emissions — address. Thus the legal basis for the waiver does not apply here. Further, under the Obama administration, California leveraged the car industry’s desire for a single regulatory regime into an agreement with the federal government, under which the nationwide regulations would reflect California’s priorities. As a result, car buyers nationwide had to pay extra for vehicles meeting the state’s preferences. No single state should have such power. The waiver needs to go. And the Trump administration should continue with the other element of its plan too: nixing Obama-era rules that required fuel economy to hit nearly 55 miles per gallon on average by 2025, a far-fetched goal that could force car companies to sell electric vehicles at a loss to bring down the average fuel economy of their overall fleets. Freezing the standards after next year, as the administration plans to do, could reduce the future price of a car by thousands of dollars — and also reduce motor-vehicle fatalities, because one way carmakers increase fuel efficiency is to make cars lighter and more dangerous. It’s important to note that nothing in either policy change stops companies from making more fuel-efficient cars if Americans want to buy them. In fact, several carmakers have already struck a deal with California to follow the state’s higher standards whether or not the waiver continues. The Trump administration questions the legality of the pact, but the agreement will help these companies appeal to customers who are willing to pay for fuel economy, and also reduce the stakes of any future court battle over the waiver. It’s fine for car companies to go above and beyond what’s legally required of them. But the government should not force the industry to meet unreasonable standards, force customers to pay for it, or allow California to set national policy.

Agreed 100%!!  Thanks to the editors at National Review for that spot-on editorial.  Excellent!!   🙂

NBC Prompts Americans to Confess Their Climate Change Offenses

NBC News is prompting Americans to confess their climate change transgressions as part of a project titled “Climate Confessions.” As Democrat presidential candidates – as well as prominent members of Congress, such as members of the far-left “Squad” – continue to push aggressive forms of the Green New Deal, NBC is paralleling their concerns by encouraging Americans to anonymously admit their climate change faux pas. “Even those who care deeply about the planet’s future can slip up now and then,” NBC’s “Climate Confessions” reads. “Tell us: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change? Do you blast the A/C? Throw out half your lunch? Grill a steak every week? Share your anonymous confession with NBC News,” it adds. Willing confessants can express their remorse in one of six categories– plastics, meat, transportation, energy, paper, and food waste. Some of the confessions appear to be genuine in nature, with many anonymous individuals expressing guilt for air travel and excessive Q-tip usage. “My sister had a lot of metal straws but I thought they were annoying so I threw them out,” one user wrote under “plastics.” “I travel often to conferences (flying). I think about the emissions + try to justify it with, ‘the plane is going there anyway,’” another user admitted. Someone else confessed that they fly on private jets and “often burn an extra 500 gallons of fuel to save 10 minutes.” “I use enough Q-tips for a family of 8. I have an addiction to them in hygiene purposes, makeup application, even cleaning,” another individual confessed. “I LOVE meat. But I love the earth more. Vegan for over 4 years now,” another bragged. However, the confessions did not just come from genuinely guilty parties. Many of the “confessions” came from individuals who openly oppose the left’s climate change agenda, and they used the platform to mocked NBC’s effort. “I would rather the whole planet burn than give up steak,” one user wrote. “Kick rocks hippies.” “’Confessions’” implies I have something to feel guilty about. I don’t. I only conserve electricity to lower my power bill,” a user explained, with another adding, “I run my AC 24/7. I’m not going to sweat to appease this climate religion.” Some users decried the left’s virtue-signaling on meat consumption, writing, “I think the climate has always been changing, and I’m not going to stop eating meat because of cult-like manipulation by the left.” “I require at least half a roll of TP when wiping,” another confessed. NBC’s project follows the left’s recent push to aggressively push a climate change agenda. On Wednesday, teen climate change activists – including Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin – appeared before a joint hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and decried the U.S. for not doing enough to combat what they say is the looming threat of a climate catastrophe. “Solving the climate crisis goes against everything that our country was unfortunately built on — colonialism, slavery, and natural resource extraction. This is why the youth are calling for a new era altogether,” Margolin, a Seattle native, told lawmakers. She also declared that her generation should no longer be known as “Generation Z,” replacing it with “Generation GND.” “It is right here, testifying before you, that I am proud to announce the history is being made,” she declared. “You’ve heard of the Reagan era, the New Deal era. Well, youth are bringing about the era of the Green New Deal.” MSNBC is expected to host a two-day climate change forum at Georgetown University with Democrat presidential candidates, although Joe Biden (D), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Beto O’Rourke (D) are expected to skip the event.

If that about made you vomit, you’re not alone.  You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  And, NBC and MSNBC still don’t get why Trump and others refer to them as “fake news.”  This is beyond crazy..  Think I’ll grill a steak tonight, and use a Q-tip or two for something…  Unreal..

Joe Bastardi: Climate change agenda is being driven by hysteria, not facts

Throughout my 40 year career as a meteorologist, I have tried to live up to the responsibility I inherited from my predecessors. I was taught to strive for objective truth, irrespective of where the data would lead. Science is not a belief system based on feelings or subjective motives. It is about facts, evidence, theories and experimentation in search of a conclusion. The impassioned speech by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to Congress last week revealed volumes about the intent and commitment of those pushing the Green New Deal. I can’t help but question if their positions are based on facts. Ocasio-Cortez’s statements about adverse climate effects and policy proposals reflect a lack of knowledge about energy policy and the geopolitical and financial impacts of abandoning fossil fuels in a quick and reckless manner. “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” she said earlier this year – a statement clearly designed to elicit panic but hardly based on fact. In this age of political hysteria, we must all educate ourselves on the facts – the actual science. Unfortunately, there seems to be a total lack of awareness about important issues that scientists like myself – who aren’t paid by research grants – are concerned about. Instead, climate science is being used as a political weapon, and the voices of scientists like me are being ignored or even vilified. I was under the impression that in the United States, all voices and arguments should be heard. Climate science is not settled science. If it was, why would there be a continuous flow of money to research it? For example, is AOC aware that in the fossil fuel era, in spite of a four-fold increase in population, deaths have plummeted? Or that personal GDP and life expectancy – true measurements of progress – have dramatically increased? Or that world prosperity is rising while poverty is falling? And does AOC know that in the geological history of the Earth, there is no apparent direct link between carbon dioxide and temperature? AOC is trying to capture the imagination of young people to exact a specific result – the adoption of policies that cripple our way of life and push us towards socialism. But the charts above are only a few examples of data that should cause us to pause and ask questions about the direction that the Green New Deal wants America to go in. We should also ask why there is such a hurry to get there. For every current event that is used to whip up hysteria, there has been a past event that was even worse, but that people either ignore or are ignorant about in the first place. Extreme weather has always occurred and will inevitably continue. If climate alarmists do not know about the many arguments that question the credibility of their ideas, how is it even possible for their ideas to be seriously considered? Much of what is being proposed in the Green New Deal should not only cause skepticism, but should be considered draconian and even geopolitically dangerous. The migration towards cleaner, alternative energy needs to be done in a methodical, sustainable and intelligent way, otherwise, the consequences could be far worse than anyone can imagine. Perhaps we should pause and consider why none of the global warming models from two decades ago have come to fruition. Perhaps we should slow down and think about the consequences of allowing our adversaries to supply the world with cheap energy, because one thing is for sure – wind farms and solar panels won’t get the job done. The objective reader should examine all sides of the climate debate and should ask himself: Are the consequences of acting hastily worse than not acting at all? I think many are skeptical of rushing forward. We must rein in the political hysteria and fear-mongering that is driving the climate change agenda.

Agreed!!  And well said, Joe.  Joe Bastardi is a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting and the chief meteorologist at weatherbell.com. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others.”       🙂

Early snowfall stokes Colorado skiers, clouds climate debate

A heavy autumn snowfall has ski resorts across Colorado holding some of their earliest opening days in a decade or more, stoking skiers and fueling another snowball fight over climate change. Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek plan to open this week, shaving several days off their anticipated starts to the ski season and marking the first time that both resorts have launched ahead of time in 10 years, said Vail chief operating officer Doug Lovell. The resorts credited a “combination of some of the best early-November snowmaking conditions and more than four feet of natural snowfall last week.” Ski Cooper plans to open Nov. 23, 10 days earlier than scheduled, while Monarch Mountain in Salida announced Monday that it would invite skiers and snowboarders Friday, its earliest first-day-of-the-ski-season since 1996, after receiving a hefty 34 inches of powder. “We couldn’t be more thrilled for an early opening this year,” said Randy Stroud, general manager of Monarch Mountain, in a Monday press release. “We did our snow dances and Mother Nature delivered.” The state’s snowpack sat Thursday at 124 percent of average, according to the Colorado Snow Survey, after a Veteran’s Day weekend storm that dropped more than a foot of snow on areas of the Front Range. Some resorts have already opened after receiving double-digit snowfall. Eldora Mountain began operating a week ago, nine days earlier than scheduled, while Arapahoe Basin, Wolf Creek and Loveland celebrated their first days of the season last month. “The early season snowfall has created momentum and excitement for the opening of the ski season here in Colorado,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, in an Oct. 18 statement. “Winter has arrived in the Colorado mountains and it’s great to see winter sports enthusiasts out in force!” Klaus Wolter, climate scientist with the NOAA-ESRL Physical Science Division and University of Colorado Boulder, attributed the early snow to several factors, including the weak El Nino, which “tends to make it wetter in the fall over Colorado.” “Below-normal temperatures mean that (a) most of the precipitation fell as snow, even at lower elevations, and (b) snow-making conditions were in place for the last four weeks or so,” Mr. Wolter said in an email. The rush to the slopes comes as a welcome change from last year’s disappointing Colorado ski season. Last year, environmentalists cited the drier-than-average 2017 winter, the state’s 14th driest on record, as evidence of global warming’s threat to snow. “The whole state is having its worst opening in 20 years,” Auden Schendler, vice president of sustainability for Aspen Snowmass, told the Coloradoan in December. “This is the weather and climate we fear. It’s already here.” Mr. Schendler serves on the board of Protect Our Winters, a Boulder-based climate advocacy group that has pushed to recruit skiers and snowboards by warning that “climate change is threatening winter as we know it.” “In the last decade, we have begun to see and feel climate change’s devastating impacts,” said Protect Our Winters. “Ski seasons are becoming shorter, more extreme, and less reliable.” Climate Depot’s Marc Morano compared such warnings to the infamous pronouncement of former University of East Anglia climate scientist David Viner, who warned that winter snowfall would soon become “a very rare and exciting event.” “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” Mr. Viner said in an article for the [U.K.] Independent headlined, “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.” That was in 2000. “Climate activists and scientists claimed for years that snow was ‘a thing of the past’ due to ‘global warming,’ but snow has not cooperated,” said Mr. Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.” “How do the activists explain away the record snows of recent years?” he asked. “Easy, by ignoring the current reality and predicting less snow in the future due to ‘climate change.’ Rest assured, snow is a thing of the present—just ask the autumn skiers enjoying the slopes.” Then again, climate change may actually be causing more snow. The EPA’s snowfall map showed that the white stuff decreased at 57 percent of its stations from 1930-2007, but not everywhere. Total snow increased during that period in some regions, including the Great Lakes and parts of Colorado. Snowfall in south-central Alaska has doubled in the last two years, while the East Coast has been socked with a series of snowstorms. Why? “Global warming means hotter air, and hotter air can hold more moisture,” said the Union of Concerned Scientists in a post. “This translates into heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow, simply because more moisture is available to storms.” Not surprisingly, Mr. Morano was skeptical. “So no matter what happens, the activists can claim with confidence the event was a predicted consequence of global warming,” he said. “There is now no way to ever falsify global warming claims.” For those trying to decide whether to buy a season ski pass, the best advice may be that there’s no predicting weather. “Just because it started snowing in November is no guarantee that it’s going to keep snowing,” said Jeffrey Deems, National Snow and Ice Data Center research scientist. “So get out there, get your days in, and take advantage of when the skiing’s good.”

Agreed…