Peter H. Gleick
Water and climate scientist; President, Pacific Institute
Misuse of Food and Climate Data at Forbes
Posted: 07/ 1/11 10:25 PM ET
Forbes, which regularly publishes biased, misleading, and distorted opinion pieces on climate issues, has just published a remarkable one by Patrick Michaels. Michaels is well known for his regular misleading statements about climate. And while his statements are mostly worth ignoring, this one contains a particularly remarkable combination of errors and falsehoods. He accuses a variety of other people (including Justin Gillis of the New York Times) of misrepresenting data on food production and climate risks while simultaneously doing exactly that.
In this case, his misstatements are easily checked (though not, apparently, by Forbes fact-checkers) by actually looking up the real data on world food production. Here are Michaels’ most grossly misleading or simply false statements:
False Statement #1. Michaels says:
Gillis claims that “[t]he rapid growth in farm output that defined the late 20th century has slowed” because of global warming. His own figures show this is wrong. The increasing trend in world crop yields from 1960 to 1980 is exactly the same as from 1980 to 2010.