Global Warming Increases the Price of...Wine!

Now here, in all its glory, is a supremely tangential link (found in a Metro  article called 'Global warming is now messing with wine, so can you PLEASE STOP WRECKING THE WORLD'):

Global warming is “going to up the price of wine across the board”.

Readers may want to know the details about this fatal connection between man-created global warming and the high price of wine. Though -- it must be said straight away -- this can't always the case at present. It must surely depend on which wines you like and where you buy your wine from.

Anyway, this is the hard science bit; so pay attention and put your white coats on. Here goes:

“Researchers have suggested that rising temperatures in Europe are likely to increase the cost of labour in vineyards, noting that as heat rises in August, a month when a significant amount of the harvest is brought in, there’s a 15% drop in the amount of time labourers are able to work.

“There’s also a drop in productivity, slowing down the wine production process.”

That's odd. On average heat always rises in August in most European countries. Metro doesn't really make it clear if these natural -- as well as annual -- increases have themselves increased. It also says that “[r]esearchers have suggested”. Yes, they've suggested. That's a very loose word. Though it's obviously a very precise and important word if you like your wine and you're also against man-caused global warming.

Another study has admitted that this catastrophic effect on wine production hasn't been replicated elsewhere. Metro says:

“Andreas Flouris of the School of Exercise Science at the University of Thessaly reckons that the results of the small-scale study could easily repeat in California, across Europe, and in Australia -- so all our wine could be set to hike up in price.”

Now if this wine catastrophe hasn't yet happened in “California, across Europe, and in Australia” -- then where, exactly, has it happened? The initial study mentioned that “most European countries” have been effected by it. (Which ones?) This other study says that it hasn't yet occurred “across Europe.” How do we make sense of these two seemingly contradictory phrases?

It's not just about cost. (Though, for Metro, it's mainly about the cost!) This is also about taste. Metro tells us that

“[i]ncreased heat is also affecting the taste of wine, damaging the quality of grapes across Europe and shortening the growing season”.

All this -- if true- will also affect prices. Shorter growing seasons will certainly affect the price of wine -- or at least certain wines from certain countries. This is strange. One main reason why the United Kingdom doesn't produce much wine is its shortage of warm weather. (British wine makes up 1% of the domestic market.) Yet if temperatures keep on increasing, then surely more wine will be produced in England. That will also have a positive effect on the price of wine! Why doesn't Metro mention that?

Now what's all this going to do to London's dinner-party circuit? I mean Metropolitans are already suffering from severe “austerity”. Add 50 pence (or less) to a bottle of wine and then what have you got? Massive poverty among London's professional political Pharisees (who also like wine).

Global Warming Generally

This Metro (which is a British tabloid) journalist, Ellen Scott, screams these words at her readers:

“Stop being bloody idiots and doing their bits to save the world.”

Yet she doesn't say how people should do their bit. Perhaps piety and screaming is enough, I don't know.

Then Ellen Scott gets to the heart of her problem. Global warming “is massively f***ing up our wine.” Yes, she doesn't like paying too much for her wine. That's why she swore. (Or she might have used expletives to show that she has lots of street cred.) She swears some more when she says “here’s another convincing reason to give a sh*t about global warming.”

Metro tells us that “global warming” is “a massive issue” and that we should “ignore anyone who says it’s not a real thing.” (“Ignore”, rather than argue against?)

For a start, not all deniers deny that global warming exists. Not all deniers say that humans aren't partly responsible for global warming. What is denied is the claim that human beings are the main (or sole) reason behind global warming. What they also say is that global warming has occurred many times before -- even before the period of human industrialisation.

Metro carries on in the same vein by telling us this:

“Rising sea levels. Extinction of animals. Terrifying weather patterns. Looming death.”

We can say that sea levels have risen throughout the history of the planet. Uncountable species of animals have also become extinct. (Doesn't Ellen Scott know anything about this central aspect of evolution?) Weather patterns have always included aspects that are “terrifying”. In other words, none of thus is exclusive to the 21st century. Indeed, all these things have happened before -- countless times. Now this may be the case even if it's also true that human beings have contributed to global warming. However, the rhetoric and end-times screaming -- from Ellen Scott -- doesn't help Metro's cause.

Metro: A British Leftwing Tabloid

The link between high prices for wine and global warming must be one of the most pathetic and tangential links I've ever read. It may also show us why Metro is primarily aimed at Metropolitans with lots of money. If anthropogenic global warming is a problem, then it's Metro readers who are partly responsible for it.

Thus, just as socialists always focus in on the emotions of greed and enviousness, so too does Metro. Basically Metro is saying that if you want cheap wine, then take action against man-caused global warming.

As you've seen, Metro is very pious and it is so on all sorts of other issues too. That piety isn't disguised by its tabloid style or even by the use of swear words within its pieces.

Thus, it's worth saying that British left-wingers were never really against what they snobbishly and dismissively referred to as “tabloid journalism”. What they were against is the fact that most tabloids were (broadly speaking) politically right-wing. However, Metro shows us that left-wing (or liberal-left) tabloids are okay after all.

Metro even heavily focuses on sex 'n' celebrities. (Here's a piece -- also by Ellen Scott -- called 'A new kind of sex toy is exploring the pleasure of vaginal pressure'.) Metro also loves to screenshoot various people's (famous or otherwise) tweets.

Metro (or Ellen Scott) finishes off with this warning:

“So basically, global warming could end up making our wine taste rubbish and cost more

“Thanks a lot, fossil fuel users.”

We must presume here that Ellen Scott doesn't use fossil fuels. Actually, that's highly unlikely! So perhaps she means that she uses less fossil fuels than evil right-wing people. That's not very likely either. So perhaps it's her piety and fanaticism that really count.

Finally, Metropolitans (or the readers of Metro) love wine and money. That must surely mean that man-caused global warming comes after money, wine, and one's (e.g., Ellen Scott) personal use of fossil fuels. However, it's made to seem -- in this Metro piece -- that the war on fossil fuels comes first. As far as Metro is concerned, it seems to be the case that human nature (or the cost of wine) comes first.

Paul Austin Murphy is a writer on politics and philosophy. He's had articles published in The Conservative Online, Intellectual Conservative, Human Events, Faith Freedom, Think-Israel, Brenner Brief (Broadside News), New English Review, etc. His philosophy blog can be found here. His blog on politics can be found here

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