Media Claim Olive Oil Climate Crisis, As Production Triples and Sets New Records

The Climate Establishment and their media allies are coordinating efforts this week to scare people into believing global warming is decimating olive oil production. Like previous efforts to identify things people love – like wine, beer, coffee, etc. – and then falsely claim climate change is decimating the beloved items, the claim that climate change is decimating olive oil production is objectively and provably false. In fact, olive oil production is enjoying strong long-term, mid-term, and short-term growth and is setting new records nearly every year.

At the top of Google News search results for climate change this week is an article published by the food and beverage website Eater titled, “Extreme Weather Is Wreaking Havoc on Olive Oil Production.” Google News provided a link to the Eater article titled, “Climate Change’s Impacts Are Driving Down Global Olive Oil Production.” The Eater article follows similar articles published by other media sources in 2020, in 2019, etc., claiming that climate change is destroying olive oil production.

The subtitle of the Eater article claims, “From freezing temperatures to fruit-fly infestations, farmers and producers are dealing with regular interruptions to the ‘delicate dance’ of producing olive oil.”

The article’s lead sentence reads, “After a brutal frost swept through Le Castella last year, many of the olive trees in the small Calabrian town didn’t produce a single fruit.”

The remainder of the article is littered with similar anecdotal claims of weather destroying olive crops, with assertions that global warming is to blame.

Assuming the assertion is true that late frost events damaged olive crops, the article illustrates how cold temperatures, not warming temperatures, impair olive production. Slapping the name “climate change” on global warming does not mean climate alarmists can claim global warming causes longer winters, later springs, and late-spring severe frost events.

Regardless, when claiming global warming is decimating olive oil production, unverified stories of anecdotal weather in some places are no substitute for objective olive oil production data. After all, economists collect annual olive oil production data and the data are readily available. The data, moreover, show now is a golden age for olive oil production, with records being set nearly every year.

The International Olive Council published an article on January 4, 2021, titled, “World’s Olive Oil Production Has Tripled.” The article documents how olive oil production has more than doubled since the mid-1990s and tripled since 1960.

Similarly, the business statistics website Statista documents that the six years with the highest global olive oil production all occurred since 2013. Four of the top five years occurred since 2017, with the all-time record set in 2018-19.

This information was available to Eater, Google, and the other media outlets claiming global warming is destroying olive oil production. Yet, they chose to lie, saying things like, “Climate Change’s Impacts Are Driving Down Global Olive Oil Production.”

At Climate Realism, we will continue reporting the truth, convenient or not.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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  1. “Decimating” means “to kill one tenth”, hence the “Dec” part of the word. You mean “devastating”, perhaps.


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