Facts kneaded

catastrophe bread

Today, as part of an alarmist advertorial purporting to present the dangers and threats of global warming, The Age and SMH report what bread will look like in 2050. No need to guess which of the loaves was baked with wheat grown in an atmosphere boasting just the right parts per million of CO2, but if you need a hint, look closely at the chubby one with the shiny, eye-catching glaze.

The picture inspired Quadrant contributor, marine biologist and accomplished baker Walter Starck to consult the research paper on which the latest loaf prognostications are based. He writes:

“The grain protein and micronutrient concentration figures on p.17 do not show any significant effect on actual yield, but rather a lesser increase than other constituents of the yield and thus only a decline in percent — not in absolute amount. In other words, the carbohydrate and fibre content increases more than the protein and micronutrients, and in any event, even the difference in percent is only small.

It is also important to recognise that the increase in yield would be further compounded by the increase in geographic area suitable for cultivation through the increased efficiency in transpiration.

Still further increases would also seem certain from the fact that any increase in temperature must mean an increase in evaporation as precipitation must equal evaporation lest all the oceans would end up as vapour in the  atmosphere.

More and more it seems the bigger threat posed by AGW is not to the climate but to the human brain.”

After noting his personal preference for the ugly loaf, Starck  concludes,

“In my experience of bread-making, the puffed-up one would probably be full of air spaces and definitely inferior in texture to the less puffed-up loaf.

It’s interesting how the political left always seems to prefer appearance over content.”

Funded by the Agriculture Department, the research paper can be read in full via the link below.

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