Sorry, CNBC, Britain’s Economy Is Already Seeing Rapid Gains Due to Climate Change

At the very top of search results today for “climate change,” Google News is promoting an article by CNBC spreading fear that global warming is harming British agriculture and therefore the British economy. Objective data, however, show British agriculture and economic activity are thriving as the Earth modestly warms.

In an article titled, “Britain’s economy is already seeing a rapid shift due to climate change,” CNBC claims Britain will have to make major changes in its agricultural practices to avoid “catastrophic” consequences.

“Martin Lukac, professor of ecosystem science at the University of Reading, told CNBC that some British farmers were already feeling the impact of more frequent extreme weather events, specifically flooding and dry spells,” stated the CNBC article.

CNBC quoted Lukac saying, “In areas where a lack of grass biomass to feed the cattle had never been an issue, all of a sudden, this was on everyone’s agenda, because there was no pasture to be had.”

In reality, British farmers are enjoying a golden age of agricultural production as more atmospheric carbon dioxide fertilizes plants and the Earth modestly warms.

Reporting data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the information website Statista shows British agricultural production is experiencing consistent, long-term gains. Reporting in kg per hectare on the left axis below, FAO reports yields per acre of major cereal crops have nearly doubled in the past 40 years.

The situation is just as encouraging regarding British cattle production. Statista reports British beef production has increased by 33 percent since 2003.

Instead of British crop and cattle production struggling under modest warming, as CNBC claims, British crop and cattle production have soared to new heights as the Earth modestly warms. Given this objective success story, there is no reason to believe that modest global warming will soon stifle British crop and cattle production, either.

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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