By Vijay Jayaraj
Many of us who live in cities in advanced economies are unaware of the environmental factors that are critical to producing the crops that ensure global food security. The mainstream media didn’t help either. Instead of informing people about the realities of the agricultural sector, the media act as climate disasters.
But contrary to popular belief about environmental degradation, the countries are producing record harvests due to favorable conditions and technological development.
These countries include India, a nation of 1.3 billion people – 650 million of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. These farmers have benefited from moderately warmer temperatures and higher levels of carbon dioxide over the past two decades. As one of the largest agricultural regions in the world, India produces enough grain to feed its people and export high quality grains, rice, wheat, millet, corn, ginger, turmeric, quinoa, fresh vegetables, fruits and other coarse grains.
In fact, the country’s food crop export revenue is estimated at $ 41.25 billion in the 2020-21 pandemic year. Unsurprisingly, the largest export market was the United States
The country is also seeing an increase in exports to regular markets such as China, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, and Malaysia. 2021 saw a number of first-time importers including Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Yemen, Indonesia, Sudan, Poland and Bolivia.
How can a developing country, in which around 200 million people still live in poverty, produce such record quantities of food? Enter monsoon rains and carbon dioxide.
The fate of an Indian farmer is literally decided by the July monsoon rains, which determine the availability of water for agriculture. This year the monsoons came late, but it is predicted that it will provide sufficient rainfall for the harvest to be successful. On July 15th, the monsoons flooded most of India with copious amounts of water.
The monsoons in India showed no signs of fatigue from the supposed effects of climate change. Analysis of the country’s historical rainfall data suggests that the monsoons have no specific trend.
In addition, it can be seen from the data that both extreme rainfall and droughts have only occurred by chance over the past 100 years. There is no significant correlation between precipitation patterns and the small increase in global mean temperatures, one reason India’s agricultural agency does not base its precipitation forecasts on climate change.
In addition to the large amounts of rain of the monsoons, Indian farmers have also benefited from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide, which is considered the villain in the global climate, is actually a hero as a plant food.
A study found that the world’s food crops increased with higher levels of CO2. An increase in the CO2 concentration in the air by 300 ppm “increases the plant biomass by 25 to 55%”. It is estimated that greater CO2 availability for food crops worldwide contributed to a monetary benefit of around “3.2 trillion US dollars over the 50-year period 1961-2011”.
India’s food crops are no different and have benefited immensely from the rise in carbon dioxide levels over the past five decades. For the farmers in India, who make up the largest proportion of the country’s poor, the excess CO2 in the atmosphere was nothing more than a lifeline.
CO2, which has been added to the atmosphere since the industrial age, has had no observable effect on precipitation patterns, while directly helping plants grow better. The major climate conferences do not point out the role of CO2 in plant growth and its importance for global food security. Instead, CO2 is falsely branded as a toxin.
The Climate Train has managed to brainwash the global community over simple biology and chemistry taught to school children. Exactly the CO2 that is responsible for creating life and enabling the world to become greener is demonized.
The global farming community can help dispel these myths by voicing their voice. In the meantime, the world should celebrate an “International Day of Gratitude for Carbon Dioxide” for the continued role of gas in nutrition.
Vijay Jayaraj is a Contributing Writer for the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia, and holds a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia, England. He lives in Bengaluru, India.
This article appeared on the RealClear Markets website at https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2021/08/04/gratitude_for_c02_it_continues_to_feed_the_world_788506.html