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Letter: Poor would pay the price for higher commodities cost

Most Western world leaders and other politicians have given lip service to the increasingly frantic projections of floods, droughts, cyclones etc. of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for 30 years now, but curiously enough no serious efforts have been contemplated let alone planned, to protect their own citizens. In a normal world, dams, reservoirs and coastal protection structures would already be underway, instead of trying to change the climate, a scheme only an academic could dream up.

When the Little Ice Age ended about 1820, 84 percent of the world was living in extreme poverty. The beginning of longer growing seasons in the Northern Hemisphere made horse-drawn mechanical farm equipment widely affordable, replacing farming methods basically unchanged since the Middle Ages. Since the 1920s, when gasoline-powered farm equipment came into common use in North America, the world population has rapidly increased from 1.9 to about 7.5 billion today.

Contrary to all the above dire predictions, the World Bank and others report that global agriculture production more than met this massive demand, described as one of the most remarkable achievements of mankind. Since the 1960s, when global temperature were rising fastest, the proportion of people suffering from hunger has fallen by more than half, extreme poverty levels fell from 43 percent to 10 percent while real commodity prices declined. Warmer weather and carbon fertilization are factors, but much of this progress depends on the availability of petroleum fuel products, especially for developing countries.

The terrible price for making these commodities more expensive or even unavailable would be paid by the poor of the world.

Who would be remembered as the “dangerous buffoon” then?

Malcolm Vanderburgh

Huntersville, N.C.

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