Summer Rains and Record Crop Output: No Room for Climate Lies

In this August 11, 2011, file photo, a man stands in the middle of a street during a flash flood in the monsoon season in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.

By Vijay Jayaraj Published on May 15, 2018

It’s raining. It’s been raining nonstop for five hours. Heavily. It’s done that for four straight days. Farmers all over southern India, where I live, are rejoicing.

And the rainy season has not even begun!

According to climate-change alarmists, none of this should be happening. They have predicted increasing drought for India from man-made global warming. They’ve also predicted declining harvests because of it.

That has created panic. Farmers in southern India were already nervous about rainfall this year. Media hype about climate apocalypse fed their fears. In our mostly agrarian society, especially its poor farmers, rain can decide between life and death. But the truth about India’s climate history contradicts the climate alarmists.

An Optimistic Reality

Average monthly summer monsoon rainfall in India increased by 2.5 inches in the last 16 years. This change is due to a changing relationship between temperatures over land versus over sea.

The improving land/sea temperature relationship isn’t due to man-made global warming. The same computer models that predicted warming (exaggerated by two or more times) failed to capture this change.

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It is pre-monsoon season here in India. Rainfall is usually scarce now. The summer monsoons begin in June.

Scattered pre-monsoon rains have arrived in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu had been short of water for irrigation. The recent rains have given ample water for farmers for the next two months. After that, the summer monsoon will bring even more.

The intense pre-monsoon rains this year run counter to climate alarmists’ claims. So do the past three years’ crop data.

Earlier this year, vegetable prices dropped steeply in some southern provinces because of surplus production. Some farmers found it more economical to dispose of their vegetables than to sell them.

Wake Up and Smell the Rain

If the monsoons are normal this year, the pre-monsoon’s excess rains will increase our harvests. That’s good news for consumers. All will benefit from lower prices, especially the poor.

It is still too early to predict the fruits of this year’s monsoons. But the Indian Meteorological Department forecasts an average summer monsoon season, for the third straight year.

Based on that, the government has set its food grain production target for 2018-19 at 283.7 million tons. That’s up from the previous year’s 277.49 million. That itself was an all-time high and is a testimony to the strength of India’s agricultural system. It also undermines alarmists’ predictions that climate change should already be reducing India’s agricultural yields.

If the monsoons are normal this year, the pre-monsoon’s excess rains will increase our harvests. That’s good news for consumers. All will benefit from lower prices, especially the poor.

Climate alarmists’ propaganda thrives on scare mongering. Their aim is to get people to submit to policies that will slow economic growth and prolong poverty. The world should wake up.

 

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Coimbatore, India.

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