The End of Pasta or should it be the end of Global Extremists?

Bjørn Lomborg is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He founded and directs the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which seeks to study environmental problems and solutions using the best available analytical methods. He is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, the basis of an eponymous documentary film.

He regularly contributes to Project Syndicate. His latest piece for Project Syndicate is titled:
The End of Pasta (Link) He is commenting on a similarly titled piece in Newsweek's The Daily Beast.

Temperatures are rising. Rainfalls are shifting. Droughts are intensifying. What will we eat when wheat won’t grow.

A world without pasta seems inconceivable. Mac-and-cheese-loving children across the United States would howl in protest. Italy might suffer a cultural heart attack. Social unrest could explode in northern China, where noodles are the main staple.

But if humans want to keep eating pasta, we will have to take much more aggressive action against global warming. Pasta is made from wheat, and a large, growing body of scientific studies and real-world observations suggest that wheat will be hit especially hard as temperatures rise and storms and drought intensify in the years ahead. 

Bjørn Lomborg begins:
Scare stories have been an integral part of the global warming narrative for a long time. Back in 1997, Al Gore told us that global warming was making the El Niño winds stronger and more severe. That has not happened. Greenpeace and many others have told us for years that we will see more violent hurricanes. In fact, over the last six years, global hurricane energy has dropped to its lowest level since the 1970’s, while the United States has had the longest absence of severe hurricanes ever (Sandy was a “superstorm,” not a hurricane, when it hit the vulnerable East Coast in October).

But the scares do not stop there. The World Wildlife Fund declared in 2004 that polar bears would go extinct by the end of the century, and that the calamity would start in Hudson Bay, where they would stop reproducing by 2012. The bears are still reproducing. And stories abound of global warming bringing malaria to Europe or Vermont. But here, too, the evidence contradicts such fears; in fact, malaria deaths have dropped more than 25% over the last ten years.
Bjørn then points out that global warming scepticism has gone up as the false alarms become increasingly high-pitched.
Moreover, by casting every problem as mainly caused by global warming, the solution almost automatically becomes cutting CO2 emissions, though this often is the slowest and costliest way to achieve the least good. (link)
He then addresses the Newsweek piece and says that the Newsweek's central message is straightforward:
“If humans want to keep eating pasta, we will have to take much more aggressive action against global warming.” (link)
As this blog has pointed out frequently, CO2 is plant food, plant fertiliser and as the atmospheric CO2 levels increase, so does the world's biomass.  As Bjørn puts it:
CO2 acts as a fertilizer, and its increase has probably raised global yields more than 3% over the past 30 years. 
The largest study, conducted by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, includes temperature impacts, CO2 fertilization, and adaptation, and projects a 40.7% increase in grain production by 2050. Without global warming, production might have been half a percentage point higher. With global warming, prices will most likely be slightly lower. Our linguine supplies are safe.  (link)
Original Article from the Project Syndicate used with permission.


  1. can I interject something here people seem to be forgetting? humans are warm weather species, notice we don't have fur, we get cold easily, we are dependant on warm weather, so why all the hubub about getting warmer? I certainly hope we do, I remember there was a time when the earth did produce crops all year long from pole to pole (it was because there was a water expanse over the earth) before the global I think this whole global warming thing is just a divide and conquer and a way to destroy the progress man is making in make the earth a more happy place for everyone (provided real pollution problems are address you know all those nasty plastic in the oceans and military dumping waste into the oceans by the tons that sorta thing)this global warming is simply a distraction and waste of money that could be used to address real enviormental issues and poverty, and it is being pushed to simply wear everyone out where they get tired of fighting (those what matter) so they will throw their hands up and say do whatever you want and leave me alone.

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