Feast or Famine


By Viv Forbes

Food depends on land access, farmers, fertilisers, tractors, carbon dioxide and carbon fuels.

Famine always follows global cooling, drought and silly politicians.

This article looks at the recent history of the things that have driven world food production since the days of horse drawn ploughs. It examines the large increase in food production caused when tractors replaced horses, and the way the introduction of modern fertilisers saved many farms from bankruptcy. Drawing on his own childhood experience of farming using green (horse) power and other stories from this era, the author exposes the key factors supporting world food production today. And mentions the abuses of some modern farming aids.

Farmers depend on fertilisers to replace the soil minerals shipped off to cities in farm produce. They need machinery such as tractors and trucks, carbon fuel to power these machines, and freedom to find the best ways of producing healthy food while maintaining the productivity and value of their land.

But most of all, our food supply depends on the magic plant food of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide. It is a sad commentary on the state of science education and the strength of alarmist propaganda that carbon dioxide, the gas that supports all life, is now widely thought to be a pollutant in the atmosphere.

Finally it looks at the possible threats to our food supply.

The biggest threat is political – the plan to use taxation, rationing and legislation to force farmers back to the days of the horse and buggy when 40% of farm produce was used to fuel horses. Only now they want the farms to produce all the ethanol and biofuel to fuel our much larger vehicle fleet. The continual closure and restrictions on land use by carbon credit forestry, vegetation clearing bans, ethanol production and other land restrictions is already reducing food supply.

The weather is indeed a threat to farmers and food supplies. But the threat is not global warming – ice, snow and cold weather are the main climate threats to farmers everywhere. Every past warm era has been a time of prosperity and growing population. The current generation of politicians and their bureaucracy has not studied science or history.

And warmer climates must produce increased evaporation from seas and lakes. This aerial moisture must cool, condense into clouds and fall somewhere as rain or snow. No farms are ever threatened by a warm moist era – it is the cold periods and the drought eras we need to fear. The whole climate alarm industry is focussed in the wrong direction, for the wrong reason, and their wrong policy prescriptions can only worsen any food shortages we may encounter.

For the full article with pictures and diagrams in a print-ready state see: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/feast-or-famine.pdf [PDF, 426 KB]

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