There is a Connection to be Made Here

Rolling Stone:

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.

The Financial Times:

The world is facing a new food crisis as the worst US drought in more than 50 years pushes the agricultural commodity prices to record highs.

Corn and soyabean prices surged to record highs on Thursday, surpassing the peaks of the 2007-08 crisis that sparked food riots in more than 30 countries. Wheat prices are not yet at record levels but have rallied more than 50 per cent in five weeks, exceeding prices reached in the wake of Russia’s 2010 export ban.

The drought in the US, which supplies nearly half the world’s exports of corn and much of its soyabeans and wheat, will reverberate well beyond its borders, affecting consumers from Egypt to China.

Global food riots should be fun. I wish I could be glib about this and note that all the idiots sending people like Inhofe and Brownback and whatnot are the ones who are going to be rotting away in a dustbowl, but the whole thing is just so depressing. And the Rolling Stone article I linked is just terrifying.






53 replies
  1. 1
    Culture of Truth says:

    Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation

    yeah but June and July have been positively cool.

  2. 2
    halteclere says:

    An article I read a few years ago detailed how the US government’s subsidizing of corn farming drove down corn prices world-wide, to the point where local farmers in other countries could not afford to grow their own crops. So there is not a lot of “backup” corn farming occurring in other countries to help with the demand.

    This article also talked about how corn farming in Mexico was wiped out, with the result that farmers then headed to the US looking for jobs.

  3. 3
    mechwarrior online fuck yeah says:

    Look on the bright side. After the people starve to death in the streets there will be enough jobs for everybody and the cost of healthcare will go down, booyah!

  4. 4
    Emerald says:

    Well, the idiots who keep sending Inhofe and Brownback to the Senate will be the ones rotting away in a dustbowl.

    So there’s that.

    Pity the poor folks in the dustbowl states who voted differently. Actually, it’s going to be so bad, I pity the idiots too.

  5. 5
    Joel says:

    3.7×10-99

    Technically infinitely smaller.

    But the idea is there.

  6. 6
    mai naem says:

    Al Gore is fat. Also. Too.

  7. 7
    Emerald says:

    Hmmm. Now that I think of it, Brownback is the governor of a dustbowl state.

    There’s some karma for ya.

  8. 8
    the Conster says:

    My wingnut friends still think that Al Gore has a big house so it’s all just a hoax for scientists to get Soros bucks. I wish I was exaggerating. I have no idea what it would take to make them see what’s right in front of their noses.

  9. 9

    Global food riots should be fun.

    I’m hoping it won’t come to that. Those of us lucky enough to live in the western world, accustomed as we are to oppressing the less fortunate browns, hopefully won’t see that. We get our food from all over the world, so drought in one place will be supplemented by shipments of food from other parts of the world not currently experiencing crisis.

    It’s always good to be a white North American, amiright?

    I’m only slightly kidding here. We’ve all seen this movie before, right?

    Funny though; all of the financial reports say farming is the “hot” industry right now. My brother in law is a small farmer (a dying breed, too) — he was hoping for rain last month so they could build a swimming pool on their house.

    We live in a very weird world.

  10. 10
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Emerald: The rest of us will be breathing dust too, it will carry all over the continental US at the very least.

  11. 11
    El Tiburon says:

    Soylent Green is People!!!!

    My prediction is somehow someway Republicans are going to somehow turn the tables and own global climate change. Hear me out: I think some big-time muckity muck CEO types are going to see the financial value in fixing climate change.

    They are going to become the party of Saving the Planet.

  12. 12
    mai naem says:

    Seriously, this time around they are going to make sure there’s no Eleanor Roosevelt to push for funding for photographers to document a new dustbowl/depression. Marco Rubio was on Diane Rehm this AM and just kept on saying how NPR didn’t need to be funded blah blah blah. These fcukers aren’t going to be happy until we have a feudal society where only the “right” people(read white males) will be allowed an education, healthcare and basically the pursuit of happiness.

  13. 13
    Culture of Truth says:

    You know who has a lot of water? Canada.

    Time to build that wall, eh?

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    Because of how wingnut lizard brains are wired (my apologies to lizards everywhere) they’re fond of accusing climate change “believers” of pursuing it as a sort of religion–a false gawd. They can’t relate to the notion that there might be solid science behind the theory and further, steps we could be taking in responce to counter it before it’s too late.

    Only I’m not sure any longer about the “before it’s too late” thing. That dancing pony may have already exited the deluxe barn.

  15. 15
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    Unfortunately, when Ronnie Reagan removed the solar panels from the roof of the White House, it was already too late.

  16. 16
    halteclere says:

    The good news for Americans is that burgers, steaks, and other meats will be getting cheaper as the summer goes on.

    While visiting family in southern Missouri for the 4th of July, an uncle made the comment that several farmers around him have already started to sell their herds because because of the drought. There is no food growing in the fields, and nobody was able to bale any hay this spring.

  17. 17
    A moocher says:

    @Emerald: I have no pity whatsoever for the idiots. Billions of sentient creatures are going to die screaming because of the idiots’ malicious idiocy; it would be an injustice of cosmic magnitude were the idiots not prominent among them.

    May as well have pity on dumb drunk driver simply because they are dumb.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    All I know is no Hummingbirds in my location for two years running now. That is abnormal.

  19. 19
    mechwarrior online fuck yeah says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Who says they don’t?

    GE makes wind, coal, nuclear, gas, oil, solar, all of it. Ditto for most energy companies. The energy companies are going to get your cash no matter what the fuel source you pick is. Everybody thought those companies were great till the windmills started making people sick, slicing up all sorts of wild life, and causing other problems as well. Then it was back to GE and the power companies being evil.

    The same companies we are bitching about right now are going to eat our lunch when it comes to green energy as well.

  20. 20
    Heliopause says:

    it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history

    Good lord, Allah is so pissed he’s even pissed at Mecca. Weather’s perfect here in Washington state.

  21. 21

    @the Conster: Watching their loved ones starve might shake them out of it.

  22. 22
    mai naem says:

    @Culture of Truth: We could invade Canada. We need to have a successful war to make up for Iraq and Afghanistan anyway. Maybe Mitt’s sons can volunteer. Or he could buy his sons way out of serving, like rich people used to do during the Civil War.

  23. 23
    barath says:

    @El Tiburon:

    My prediction is somehow someway Republicans are going to somehow turn the tables and own global climate change. Hear me out: I think some big-time muckity muck CEO types are going to see the financial value in fixing climate change.

    And of course there is the notion that every problem caused by technology can be fixed by another technology, something that has been shown to be wrong time and again. There was a great interview about this on Radio Ecoshock a few weeks ago.

  24. 24
    HyperIon says:

    JC wrote:

    Global food riots should be fun. I wish I could be glib about this.

    I think you are being glib about it.

  25. 25
    Steeplejack says:

    @Joel:

    At first I thought the writer was using the hyphen as as exponent separator–10^99, for programmers–but it’s ambiguous. Usually when people talk about odds, they say something like “the odds are 1 in [some huge number],” but I have also seen “the odds of that are 0.000003,” etc.

    The original statistic is probably a very small number–3.7 x 10^-99–but the Rolling Stone writer screwed the pooch with the metaphorical flourish “a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.”

    Crap sourcing on that story, too. Most of the snippet above seems to be taken (without attribution) from the NOAA “State of the Climate National Overview” for May. But that odds number doesn’t appear there.

    ETA: FYWP won’t let me put in the HTML code for superscript. Grr!

  26. 26
    Steeplejack says:

    @General Stuck:

    Aw, Stuck, that is sad. I thought you posted a few pictures last year?

  27. 27
    PeakVT says:

    Posted this before, but it’s more relevant here: temperature trend visualizations.

  28. 28
    opie_jeanne says:

    @Heliopause: Depends on where you are in Washington and what you consider perfect.

    We left Seattle at 7am, mid-60s and so muggy it felt hot. We are in SoCal right now, in the mountains, and it’s a lovely 86 degrees with almost no humidity. The sun is shining and there is a nice breeze.
    It was too hot for us in the inland areas this afternoon (it’s currently 99 at my dad’s place in Upland) but we are becoming acclimated to the weather in the Seattle area so what used to seem just a little uncomfortable really makes us miserable now.

  29. 29

    @General Stuck: All I know is no Hummingbirds in my location for two years running now.

    I heard a cicada two days ago. In Northwestern Frigging Montana. They didn’t used to live here.

  30. 30

    @mechwarrior online fuck yeah: the windmills started making people sick

    Do what now?

  31. 31
    Silver says:

    @mai naem: Don’t need it. Everyone with a phone is one now. The devastation will be Instagramed.

  32. 32
    Lurker says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Watching their loved ones starve might shake them out of it.

    No, they’ll blame it on liberals.

  33. 33

    @SatanicPanic:

    The rest of us will be breathing dust too, it will carry all over the continental US at the very least.

    Mostly to the east, though, because of prevailing winds. Those of us on the left coast are protected by wind direction and some good sized mountain ranges.

  34. 34

    The drought in the US, which supplies nearly half the world’s exports of corn and much of its soyabeans and wheat, will reverberate well beyond its borders, affecting consumers from Egypt to China.

    Here’s the fun part: Should it ever come to a choice between selling that wheat to China or to ‘us people’, who do you think the MOTU will choose?

    You’ll know it’s The End when the Bros. Koch start building a high-speed rail line running from Iowa to the ports in CA.

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    yes, I believe in global warming.

    it should be fucking obvious by now

  36. 36
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore: Another reason to be glad I live in California. If all those right winger Republican congresspeople have to go work in a big DC dirt cloud it will be no less than they deserve.

  37. 37
    atlasfugged says:

    Republicans and conservatives will simply blame food shortages and rising food prices on lax monetary policy, government spending, over-regulation, or some combination thereof.

    “The Fed is creating inflation by printing money and monetizing the national debt! Interest rates are increasing because government spending is out of control. We’re becoming Greece! Brownshirts from Obummer’s EPA, FDA, and USDA are clamping down on America’s hard-working farmers, increasing their energy costs and their costs of doing business! American farmers and job creators have had no choice but to raise prices.”

    Droughts, wildfires, even the sight of major coastal cities being swept into the ocean won’t be enough to convince them. Not until baby Jeebus himself appears on CMT to tell the wingnuts that Al Gore was right all along will these people admit that climate change isn’t an elaborate left-wing hoax and that maybe Americans should take some sort of collective (quelle horreur!) action to address it.

  38. 38

    @atlasfugged:

    Not until baby Jeebus himself appears on CMT to tell the wingnuts that Al Gore was right

    They’d just crucify him again.

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Those of us on the left coast are protected by wind direction and some good sized mountain ranges.

    Maybe. But you don’t have any water. On this side we do.

  40. 40
    oogabooga says:

    Cole is really horny for his gloom porn today. Stay gloomy you tool! Oh yea, food riots, aliens invading, wild animals attacking, soylent green, andromeda strain, THX1138.

    Your such an idiot Cole.

  41. 41
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @oogabooga:

    You know, guy, Freud would say that you want something from John that you’re not getting, and frustration is making you uncomfortable, and you are trying to ease that discomfort by being verbally abusive to John.

    But then Freud is dead so what does he know?

  42. 42
    Evolving Deep Southerner says:

    @oogabooga: One thing I’ll give you is that you fill a unique troll niche. You’re like Little Boots’ evil foil

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Yes, there were a few hummers here last year, but way way less than usual. This year is a near bust for them. I see one maybe every couple days, that seem to be migratory and just dropping in for a drink. I don’t think any of them, or near any are mating and raising their young like normal. It is still July, so they could just be way late, and will show up. But it doesn’t look that way to me.

  44. 44
    General Stuck says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    I heard a cicada two days ago. In Northwestern Frigging Montana. They didn’t used to live here.

    I loves me some Montana. Lived there a couple of years years ago in Bozeman. I’d be living there now if it wasn’t so goddam cold in the winters than last for what seems like forever.

  45. 45
    Geoduck says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Maybe. But you don’t have any water. On this side we do.

    In California, maybe. Further north, if anything, we’ve been getting more rain than usual.

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    @oogabooga:

    Your such an idiot Cole.

    Stalker contraction fail.

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @oogabooga:

    Your such an idiot Cole.

    Stalker contraction fail.

  48. 48
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: “Those of us on the left coast are protected by wind direction and some good sized mountain ranges.”

    Well, didn’t I see (Pierce @ Esquire ) an item on wildfires burning up Siberia and raising ground level ozone level in British Columbia? So even left coasters are downwind from something else.

  49. 49
    OmerosPeanut says:

    “3.7×10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe”

    This was painful to read. I know it’s being pedantic, but that number is just a rounding error above zero, and I’m pretty sure there is at least one star in the universe, so no, it’s not larger.

    3.7×10^99 may, however, be more than the number of stars in the universe. Please don’t be as innumerate as the writer of that article: remember the difference between 2 and 1/2.

  50. 50
    Triassic Sands says:

    I expect the Republicans to cite western Washington as proof there is no warming trend.

    High today? In the 60s. June? The temperature never hit 70.

    I love it and feel for the rest of the country (I don’t like heat, especially extreme heat.), but why haven’t the idiots noticed the “proof” that there is no warming trend?

    Note: I’ve always felt it was a mistake to characterize the overall pattern as “warming” instead of climate change, which is more descriptive and includes all the warming that is occurring.

  51. 51
    Cain says:

    @halteclere:

    The good news for Americans is that burgers, steaks, and other meats will be getting cheaper as the summer goes on.

    Sure.. at first.. Then it’s going to soar since there won’t be taht many cows.. and Americans love their beef. All in all, food prices everywhere is going to be terrible.

    In India, they are clearing away prime farm land because poor farmers are selling the land to call centers to expand the cities. They make so money from the sale of the land they won’t be poor anymore.

    But when shit like this happens, they will have torely on exports instead of self reliance. And that is when a billion people are going to be rioting when prices get too high. Our fucking Congress I party in India are going to fuck India silly. (sorry, I’m passionate about Indian politics)

    Seems to me that stockpiling guns and ammo to protect your garden might be required.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    Climate Destabalization, here we are.

    Thanks Republicans, I will express my gratitude by making sure there a lot less of you to compete with me for the declining resources as a result of your epic fail.

  53. 53
    mainmati says:

    @Culture of Truth: They also have an enormous amount of peat under rapidly melting permafrost. And once that gets exposed then global warming skyrockets. We don’t have much choice, at this point, but to start with major geo-engineering to reduce GHG levels in time.

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