As seen in the above graph, for month ending January 2011, UAH (University of Alabama in Huntsville) satellite data confirms that global average temperature anomalies stood at -0.01 C. From a high in March last year, this is a whooping 0.6 C plunge in 10 months and a 0.2 C plunge in just one month. The trendline (blue) captures the rapidity of the global cooling trend. What Cancun Climate Meet cannot do even if they came up with a global treaty, natural climatic variations does it in a jiffy - erasing century’s net warming effortlessly.
This is certainly the kind of data that the so called Climate Justice Movement and their publications like India Disasters Report would never tell you. Though temperatures go up and down all the time, the latter create hysteria by focusing only on record temperature highs but keep tightly mum when temperatures touch record lows. It is this selectivity that indicates their lack of fundamental integrity; the whole global warming hysteria is just a scam.
India’s premier environment organization, (CSE) Centre for Science and Environment (read our archive with dateline April 15, 2010 here) and the India Disasters Report 2010 (read our archive with dateline June 17, 2010 here) were two such instances confronted by our blog. Both last year drew attention to record high temperatures, suppressing the fact that it was an El Niño year, a natural oceanic phenomenon that causes global temperatures to temporarily spike upwards. In fact the El Niño 2009-2010 was a super El Niño which was the reason why last year was one of the warmest in recorded history.
In our rejoinder to CSE and India Disaster Report, we not only chided them for deliberately suppressing information but reminded them that the El Niño would be followed by the reverse phenomenon, La Niña, where global temperatures are expected to temporarily plunge into the negative band with 2011 likely to be one of the coldest in recorded history.
The advent of the La Niña is indicated with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) turning positive. A 2009 paper by McLean, de Freitas and Carter showed that global average temperatures followed the SOI (El Nino/ La Niña) with a 5-8 months lag. Since the current La Niña started last June, global temperatures anomalies accordingly has started turning negative from January this year. Since the current La Niña is also one of the strongest in recorded history, we may see temperatures plunge as low as to the levels of -0.7 C this year.
The last 3 years have seen winter cold intensifying each year. This is in contrast to what the IPCC Report 2007 tabulated as Global Warming - Read here where cold starts diminishing in the planet. Dr. Viner, an IPCC and a senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, UK even predicted snow will get extinct.
The reality is very different. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a pattern of Pacific climate variability, shifts phases usually about every 20 to 30 years. In 2007, the PDO shifted into a 'cold' or 'negative' phase. This change brings in 25-30 years of global cooling and will cause La Niñas to be stronger and longer than El Niños. This does not mean there would be an occasional warm year when El Niños kick in. It only means that they would be 'beaten back'. Dr Mojib Latif, Professor for Climate Physics at the Leibniz Institute, Germany and IPCC lead author, had warned the world of this prospect on the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Meet in 2009.
Now with their hysteria running its course, global warmist are trying to keep the scam alive by claiming that global warming causes global cooling, remarkably treating the public as imbecile idiots. This is a clear indication of the desperation of Climate Justice Movement. In fact, they are not only destroying their own credibility but are taking down the credibility of the whole NGO and environment sector.
Meanwhile the world is paying a huge price because these climate loonies impact policies. This winter is estimated to have so far knocked out 0.5% of the GDP of the UK. And that’s a preliminary estimate as the current thaw experienced by Europe is to give way by mid of this month to harsher winter conditions. According to Office for National Statistics, there were more than 25,000 additional deaths this winter so far in the UK than previous winters. Why? The UK Met Office predicted wrong their winter forecasts. As the UK government based their response on a mild winter, they under-provided for snow ploughs, grit and salt.In Australia, the comprehensive 1999 Brisbane River Flood Study made alarming findings about predicted devastation to tens of thousands of flood-prone properties, which were given the green light for residential development since the 1974 flood. The engineers and hydrologists involved in the study warned that the next major flood in Brisbane would be between 1m and 2m higher than anticipated by the Brisbane town plan. Despite this, global warmist induced policies moulded planning to combat drought instead of floods and the result was the Queensland Floods last month. The preliminary cost estimated at $ 30 million!
In Sri Lanka, Tsunami rehabilitation programmes of some of the members of the Climate Justice Movement likewise promoted “sustainable agriculture” designed to fight droughts and the result was that last month’s floods reduced the country to a net food importer!But all these pale into insignificance the kind of political instability as we watching in the Arab world, introduced by these climate loonies by promotion of bio-fuels and carbon trading. The desperate act of an unemployed university graduate living in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid sparked a wave of popular unrest that in January 2011 overthrew the authoritarian regime of the president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi has been echoed in other parts of the Arab world.In Algeria, riots and demonstrations in protest against steep rises in basic foodstuffs (the price of sugar and cooking oil, for example, went up by 30% on 1 January 2011) forced the authorities to rescind the increases; the protests continue in Egypt and elsewhere, even in the face of deaths and injuries, and have broadened into demands for greater freedom.
A World Bank report published in 2009 stresses that Arab countries import more than half their food, and that they are the greatest importers of cereal in the world. In other words, Arab countries depend on other countries for their food security - as sensitive to floods in Australia and big freezes in Canada as on the yield in Algeria or Egypt itself. In 2009, Arab countries’ food imports cost $30 billion. The rising prices on global markets from mid-2008 already caused waves of rioting in dozens of countries around the globe.
Biofuels are conservatively estimated to have been responsible for at least 30 percent of the global food price spike in 2008 that pushed 100 million people into poverty and drove some 30 million more into hunger, according to the report, Meals per gallon, released by the UK charity ActionAid in February 2010. The number of chronically hungry people now exceeds one billion.
Tragedy is that despite such researches the ActionAid, ChristianAid, Oxfam, Save the Children etc still are members of the Climate Justice Movement. With blood dripping from their hands, no longer can they champion the cause of fight against hunger in developing countries, without attracting the charge of hypocrisy.
Ethanol has proven to be an inadequate solution to the problem of foreign oil, but it has toppled at least one Arab ruler and may not be done yet. The Soros backed college students and the Islamists have done their part in the protests, but the Tunisian and Egyptian mobs would never have made their showing without a goad. And the goad was high wheat prices. Part of the spike in wheat prices was due to the shift to ethanol production.
Wheat_spike. Remember when Americans were lining up with cans of gasoline during the OPEC oil boycott? Arab Muslims are now in the same boat, except with bread, rather than oil. Arab countries are frantically buying wheat, especially after the events in Tunisia and Egypt. Regime stability in the Middle East is now tethered to wheat prices. The Arab has prided itself on the power to pressure America using the price of oil, but the United States has now proven that it can do the same thing to the Arab world with the price of wheat. The price of oil may be climbing in America, but in Saudi Arabia the price of wheat is up by more than half.
The Arab-American relationship was built on a power inequity. They had a resource that we needed. But now we have a resource that they need even more badly. While you can do a lot of things with oil, you can't eat it. And while Americans may get angry when oil prices go up, unlike the Arabs, we don't overthrow the government. Of course anyone can grow wheat. China and India are the world leaders in wheat production. Behind them, Russia, America, Australia and Canada. But Russia has just stopped exporting grain. China uses most of its wheat domestically too but is ramping up export production. Wheat however is only one commodity. There are others.
The Arab Muslim world has held American foreign policy hostage using the one commodity they had that we needed. But as a side effect of their own terrorism, we adopted a course that unintentionally spiked up the price of a commodity they needed. They acted as if violence and chaos could only benefit them by driving up the price of oil, but the rising price of wheat is blowback. We of course did not set out to hammer the Muslim world with ethanol subsidies (though a smarter and cannier administration might have done that) and that is the beauty of it. Instead while trying to untangle ourselves from foreign oil because of their behavior, the net effect was to demonstrate their own instability.
It's more than a lesson in the interconnectedness of the world in the age of globalism. It is also a reminder that we may have more power than we realize. We don't need to invade a country and then occupy it for years at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. As it turns out we can topple regimes even faster with ethanol subsidies. Of course this isn't actually a solution. Wheat prices hit the poorer Arab countries the hardest. That being the countries without the oil. The net beneficiaries of populist protests will be the Islamists. And wheat won't be a permanent lever. China will ramp up its wheat production more aggressively in response to higher prices. We lack the wheat equivalent of OPEC to function as a price setting cartel. And the current conditions which brought together droughts in China, flooding in Australia and ethanol subsidies in America are close to unique. But what they do is show our power.
Ethanol is controversial on the left because it raises food prices and controversial on the right because it is built on subsidies and regulation. As a substitute for oil, it's inadequate, but as an economic weapon it raises certain possibilities. The United States is an economic superpower, but that is a power we rarely leverage. While the Muslim world has conducted a multipronged assault using lawfare, economic warfare and proxy terrorist groups-- we responded with charm offensives and massive armed offensives. But it can't hurt to take a page out of their book. To also use more subtle weapons. Including economic warfare. And as has already been demonstrated, price volatility can have a more explosive impact than a bomb.
The Muslim world has a small upper class, a sliver of a middle class and a huge underclass. While the trappings of the 21st century are there, from cell phones to the internet, there is more than a slight whiff of the feudal about the whole arrangement. Tyranny and brutality won't upset the applecart, but food availability does. (Medieval revolts were often triggered by high food prices.) What a feudal system needs above all else is stability. The illusion of a timeless order. A way of life in which change does not even exist. Instability is like lighting a match in a crowded room filled with fumes. And we have already seen what that match can do.
Arab Muslim rulers have bought peace at home by exporting their surplus populations and their terrorists to America and Europe. They have spun hateful fantasies about America and Israel to direct the anger of their own citizens away from the government. And we have been paying the price for it. Their artificial stability fuels our terrorism and the rape gangs and murders in our cities. The blowback from their terrorism has rebounded against them before. But always in a limited way. And with plenty of warning. This time though there was no warning. Just an economic tidal wave headed their way.
The rise in the price of wheat has hurt Americans. Particularly working families. But it has hurt the Muslim world far more. With the Obama Administration's continued commitment to ethanol subsidies, wheat prices are likely to keep on rising. And even with a Republican congress, that may not change significantly, because subsidies develop an interest based appeal of their own. Iowa is a swing state and ethanol is big business. The ethanol tax credit and tariff went through the Senate in December at 81 to 19 and 277 to 148 in congress. Throw in a cold winter and wheat prices are only going to keep rising.
In 2007-2008, Egypt saw major food riots break out. As did Yemen, Somalia and Bangladesh. The UN and the Davos summit have already issued urgent warnings about political instability due to food prices. The Islamists and Soros' boys have successfully piggybacked on this year's food riots, making it seem as if they had a massive following in the streets and a mandate for change. They succeeded in Tunisia, but Egypt is still up for grabs. But whoever replaces the dictators will not do any better. The Muslim Brotherhood wants to burqa all the women and start a war with Israel. That will certainly make the average Egyptian temporarily forget about the price of bread, but will make matters much worse.
Pushing women out of the workplace is economically feasible in Saudi Arabia, wallowing in its own oil. It's feasible in generally rural Afghanistan or Gaza which lives off foreign aid anyway. But it doesn't even fly in Iran and would mean economic disaster for Egypt. Cutting ties with America and beginning an expensive war with Israel wouldn't reduce the population much, but would cost a whole lot, and unlike 1967 and 1973, the Russians won't be footing the bill. And what would the price of bread look like then?
The Islamists have two weapons on their side. Oil and the birth rate. But the former can't be eaten and the latter must eat.