Old myths die hard, don't they?


Well, no, not really Geoffrey, not really:

Poor harvests, far away, were famously one of the causes of the Arab spring. In 2007-8 grain prices spiked after poor weather cut worldwide production, at a time when food stocks had been run down – and export restrictions, by countries wishing to secure their own supplies, made things even worse.

This is to introduce the idea that climate change is going to lead to extreme weather and.....yes, you guessed it....Aieee! We All Die!

Except of course it wasn't bad harvests that caused the problems. It was the idiot idea of feeding corn (and, to a lesser extent, wheat) into car fuel tanks rather than people. As much as 5% of the crop was diverted to this process leading the World Bank to tell us that "large increases in biofuels production in the United States and Europe are the main reason behind the steep rise in global food prices".

That is, the problem was caused by one of the sillier attempts to deal with climate change. And as ever, if you misdiagnose the cause of a problem you're never going to be able to solve it.