Dear God I really do hate Oxfam

New report out which tells us the following:

The baseline modelling indicates that the average price of staple foods could more than double in the next 20 years compared with 2010 trend prices – with up to half of the increase caused by climate change (changing mean temperatures and rainfall patterns).14 Between 2010 and 2030, average world market export prices:
• For maize could rise by 177%, with up to half the increase due to climate change;
• For wheat could rise by 120%, with around one-third of the increase due to climate change;
• For processed rice could rise by 107%, with around one-third of the increase due to climate change.

Horrors, eh?

But in this report, the source, there\’s an interesting little problem.

They\’re not adjusting for the general level of inflation.

At least I cannot see that they are. They\’ve a number of charts which they do specifically label as being in constant 2004 dollars. Which is good, that\’s the way it ought to be. But that qualification is notably absent from their chart of food price rises. So I rather assume that their prognostications on food price rises are not inflation adjusted.

So, what do you reckon inflation is going to be out to 2030? 2% a year? 3% a year, summat like that? That\’s what the general targets for central banks are after all, eh?

But there\’s more! We also expect wages, incomes, to rise faster than the general inflation rate. That\’s what makes the world continuously richer after all. Indeed, Oxfam themselves say that a goodly part of the rise in food prices is going to be because those getting richer Third World peasants are going to hanker ofter a bit of meat in one or more of those newly available three squares a day.

And I do seem to recall an Oxfam report that said that the combination of all of these factors is that while food prices will rise at the same time food will become more affordable. Be a lower portion of peoples\’ incomes.

And that\’s why I hate Oxfam. They\’re tossing out figures that are so badly manipulated as to be lies.

The bastards.

9 thoughts on “Dear God I really do hate Oxfam”

  1. Bollocks or not, that quoted report is an excellent example of why the grip of the AGW meme is so tenacious.
    Oxfam is notionally in the famine relief business & there’s a flow of money from the donors to the recipients the bods at Oxfam graze off. The higher the perception of the risk of famine, the larger that flow & the better the grazing. So the portion of those predicted price rises, attributed to climate change, have a direct effect on the contents of an Oxbod’s wallet. And this effect is duplicated all round with innumerable other ‘player’s. Is it surprising there’s a consensus?

  2. BIS, out of interest, what is your particular expertise in relation to global warming?

    (In case you ask, I am utterly unqualified to comment, having the almost exactly the same degree as Christopher Monkton .)

  3. Unfortunately Luke there are organisations who feed off the back of the AGW alamists and Oxfam have previous form on this. Its just another way of trying to fill the coffers. Oh and by the way I do know something about climate change and Monkton does have some surprisingly good points to make, but there are many more qualified scientists who dont agree with it. Look up ‘the petition project’ and you will see over 31,000 scientist have signed up to disagree with the climate alarmists.

  4. Oxfam should be re-named Oxfat – the prices they charge in their charidee shops are often quite outrageous…But, hey, they’re ripping you off for the Turd World, dontcha know?

  5. Mac…
    And of those 31,000 scientists, 39 are climatologists.

    Lots of doctors (about 3000), 2169 electrical engineers, 7280 unspecified engineers (with BSC level, so proper posh engineers), 2637 mechanical engineers, 587 aerospace engineers, 4822 chemists and chemical engineers…

    And did you know that 32,000 represents about 0.3% of US science graduates (petition was only sent to US science graduates). http://www.skepticalscience.com/OISM-Petition-Project-basic.htm

    So to me, who knows nothing, that’s a bit less convincing than the standard green line that there is “a consensus” among climate scientists. (Before you start, I don’t think anyone claims there is a consensus about what we should *do* about the risk of AGW.)

    “Oh and by the way I do know something about climate change” Out of interest, what?

    Tim adds: “(Before you start, I don’t think anyone claims there is a consensus about what we should *do* about the risk of AGW.)”

    Well, actually, there is. The people you want a consensus among here are economists. For we’re talking, of course, about the allocation of scarce resources (both the atmosphere’s ability to absorb CO2 and also the scarcity of non-fossil fuel energy). And there is most assuredly a consensus among economists about what to do. You impose either a cap and trade permit system or a carbon tax. Then you leave well alone. You most certainly do not try to plan everything nor regulate it all.

    Guess what the politicians are doing though?

  6. Tim, fair point about economists. I was being over agnostic given my lack of knowledge. This is onw where I agree with you – carbon tax, on the basis we’ve got to tax something, it can be tweaked up or down if we get it wrong (“it ” being either the level of the tax, or the problems with global warming).

  7. I have a D.Phil. in theoretical physics. I am not a climate scientist but I have studied the subject for about 4 years. My day job is complex systems and I write a lot of computer simulations.

    My current view is :

    i) The science of climate change is in its infancy. Anyone who argues that they how the climate works is a liar. We do not even know all the feedback processes let alone their signs and magnitudes.
    ii) The earth has been warming since the little ice age. What we see now could just be a continuation of this. I am sure CO2 has an effect but whether it is significant or not is not known.
    iii) There are too many computer simulations being sold as “experiments” and not enough proper data gathering and good experiments.
    iv) Some of the most senior climate scientists who write the IPCC reports are the most corrupt bunch of crooks ever. They are a disgrace to their subject. I would not believe a word they write. Their motive is to further their importance, the science is secondary.
    v) Global warming has benefits which are never mentioned.

    I will stop there.

  8. Luke

    So only a small proportion of the petition project are climate scientists. Hmmm, that pretty much matches up with all those “scientists” involved with the IPCC reports that we are told prove the consensus then.

  9. Luke, Rajendra Pachauri is, I believe, a railway engineer.

    Anyway, climatology bears much the same relationship to hard science as does sociology.

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