Author: Victoria Thieberger, Reuters, MELBOURNE

  • Australian floods could send food prices soaring

    The worst flooding in the Australian state of Queensland in 50 years could push up the nation’s fruit and vegetable prices by as much as 20 to 30 percent, lifting inflation and potentially dampening retail spending. Economists and the country’s top supermarket chains said new, torrential flooding and rains across farmlands in southeastern Queensland in the past day had damaged crops and cut roads, preventing moving goods to market. Unlike some previous natural disasters, which affected a smaller geographic area and a narrow range of foods, many vegetables are likely to be affected. In 2006, Cyclone Larry caused a spike in banana prices and this alone helped to lift the overall inflation rate.

  • Confidence in Scientists Dropping as Result of “Climategate”

    Fallout from a loss of public confidence in climate science is affecting other fields of research, a top US academic claimed. American opinion polls point to a general deterioration in people’s faith in science, according to Dr Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. It came after two major public relations setbacks for the global warming gurus.