Richard North picks up from our post here and Ben’s guest post on Roger Pielke’s blog, which revealed the spurious claim in IPCC AR4 WGII report, concerning rainfall in Africa. The Times also covers the story.
North searches into the background that we have been unable to – hence it was on the to-do list for over a year. Turns out that the ‘original’ research paper (was Agoumi) was, in the words of many an eco-alarmist, “worse than previously thought”.
Therefore, Agoumi’s primary references – which would have qualified as acceptable for the IPCC report – offer a mixed picture from the three countries examined. At worst, we get a 10-50 percent fall in cereal yield, the greater fall occurring only in periods of drought. Alternatively, we see a 5.5-6.8 percent trimmed from what could be a doubling of yields and then, in the third country, rainfall could actually increase – possibly (but not necessarily) improving yields of rain-fed crops.
If reports of things being “worse than previously thought” are themselves, “worse than previously thought”, the implication seems to be that things are better than we previously thought.
Africagate shows how the poor in less industrial countries are used for political ends. The emergence of this “gate”, lilke “Glaciergate” should not be used simply to win the political war with those attaching themselves to climate institutions, such as the IPCC. Instead, the collapsing credibility of climate alarmism, and rank, anti-human pessimism should be used to make a positive case for development, in the third world, in the emerging economies, and here in the “developed” West. There needs to be a real discussion about why poverty exists in the world, and how it can be abolished. Sceptics need to replace the climate story with a much, much better one.