What if the crops fail? It’s not very likely, at least in North America and Europe, given the extraordinary proficiency and resilience of our high-tech agriculture. But apparently they might.
At any rate, climate alarmists have been predicting manmade-global-warming-driven crop failure since at least the Canadian government’s 2001 Canada Action Plan pamphlet warning of declining yields on the prairies due to drought. (Indeed, they’ve been predicting widespread famine before they were climate alarmists; Paul Ehrlich became a pundit by predicting massive famine in the 1970s and 1980s and remained one even though what actually happened in the advanced world was an obesity crisis.) And alarmists continue to warn us of deadly heatwaves and bad things, usually coupled with some sneer about how “As warming continues” there will be “less and less space to hide for deniers of the human costs of climate change.”
What if it doesn’t? What if instead cold kills crops? Will there be more space for us to hide in? And where will the alarmists go?
I ask because North America has actually seen colder than normal weather lately and, in what may be a related trend, wetter than usual weather. CTV News just reported (see 22:40 in this video) that Montreal has seen its coldest May since 2005 and eight consecutive months with below average temperatures for the first time since 1994.
Now Montreal is just one place and if we don’t want a local heat wave cited as proof of global warming we can’t cite a local cold snap as proof of the opposite. But while the forecast for Canada this summer is a mixed bag, climate being complex, even the normally alarmist Weather Network just said “Summer’s near, and we’ve frost advisories in five provinces” before predicting heat in BC and western Alberta, but a cool summer in central Canada and a mix of conditions in the Atlantic and the North.
It’s not exactly the surging heat, the sequence of hottest years ever, meant to drive skeptics into their dark sweaty holes. And there’s more disturbing news out of the United States, where wet conditions have created record delays in planting crops. What if it continues? What if the U.S. experiences partial crop failure due not to hot dry conditions but cold wet ones?
Of course the vague “extreme weather” trope might seem to explain the wet, as it can explain everything, nothing or both including the brutally cold “polar vortex” this winter. Democratic Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren is certainly calling the flooding proof of global warming. But on Watts Up With That, David Archibald notes that the last time American farmers had this much trouble planting because of rain was “during the 1970s cooling period associated with the weak Solar Cycle 20”. Then he produces a chilling warning, literally and figuratively, from the late Dan De Boer, who predicted “summer freezes in the corn belt in 2019 – 2020” and “summer freezes in all of the US in 2030-2031”.
De Boer was one of those who thinks solar activity plays a huge role in temperature and temperature fluctuations. And so it’s important to repeat yet again that climate is complicated. It’s even possible that stronger and weaker solar cycles lay a warming and cooling cycle on top of some other secular or cyclical trend or trends. In principle a less active sun in the early 21st century could mask an underlying warming, human or natural, that will erupt with renewed fury when the sun becomes more active, producing floods, droughts or perhaps mild conditions. But how can we tell unless we pay attention to evidence?
It’s not even obvious that every effect of warming is bad, that every storm we now get would have been avoided if the planet were cooler and that every nice day we have is occurring despite warming not because of it. But what is obvious is that we won’t get anywhere in understanding and coping with climate unless we’re willing to look up from our computer models and ambulance-chasing politicians at data that seems to show some correlation between solar and temperature cycles. Or indeed look at the thermometer and observe that instead of runaway warming we’re seeing cold wet conditions in some significant parts of the world.
Even if the harvest is poor in North America we will survive and do more than that, because we have an incredibly resilient economy able to adjust, adapt and deliver help to the afflicted. But it can do so in part because of reliable, affordable energy that we are being urged to get rid of because it’s cooking the planet.
So what if the predicted warming doesn’t continue? What if we get a cooling trend lasting, at least, a few more years, as we’ve had since the 2016 peak? Will alarmists admit that there’s more room or debate? Or will they insist that cold is proof of heat? And if they do will we still listen?
Have the facts been driven into hiding?