Media sounds alarm on crop insects despite record yields

Environmental activists have published a study claiming global warming will cause a decline in crop yields because warmer temperatures benefit crop-feeding insects. The media made the study its highest profile story last week, with NBC News, Inside Climate News, and Voice of America among the many media outlets writing doom-and-gloom stories based on the study. A look at objective crop data, however, shows crop yields continue to set new records virtually every year as the earth continues its modest warming.

The new study claims global warming is especially impacting temperate regions of the globe such as the American Midwest where much of the world’s food is grown. Shorter winters and warmer growing seasons will benefit insects, some of whom feed on agricultural crops, the study claims.

“Climate change will have a negative impact on crops,” said Scott Merrill of the University of Vermont, a co-author of the study (https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/uov-wcw082718.php).

“We’re turning the dial up in the temperate zones, and insects, for the most part, thrive in a warmer climate,” added study co-author Josh Tewksbury of Future Earth in Colorado. “It gets better and better for them.”

The study, however, overlooks the fact that shorter winters and warmer growing seasons make things “better and better” for crop yields also. As the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization reports, global cereal production set a new record last year (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/global-warming-creates-desperate-media-lies), which is merely the latest in a long line of recent global crop production records.

According to the new study’s theory, the warming of the past several decades should already have increased insect activity and ravaged crop production. To the contrary, crop yields continue to set record after record as the planet warms.

Score this one Objective Scientific Data 1, Alarmist Global Warming Predictions 0.

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About the Author: CFACT

CFACT defends the environment and human welfare through facts, news, and analysis.