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Washington Post to Farm Bureau: You're Stupid

by: Jill Richardson

Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 11:49:38 AM PDT

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If you just saw DesmoinesDem's post about the Farm Bureau's flat earth position on Waxman-Markey, then you'll want to see this great article by Steven Pearlstein in the Washington Post: "For the Farm Lobby, Too Much Is Never Enough. He starts out saying:

With the possible exception of the ski industry, it's hard to think of any sector of the economy that will be hit harder by global warming than agriculture. A report out last week from scientists at 13 government agencies found that climate change is happening more quickly than we thought and that by the end of the century, many farmers will face scorching summer weather, severe storms, prolonged drought and swarms of new insects.

Here are some highlights of the rest of the piece:

But, for farmers, it wasn't enough to get a free pass on carbon emissions...

So farmers demanded that they be allowed to earn some extra cash by reducing the carbon footprint on their farms and selling these "offsets" to the factories and power plants unlucky enough to be subject to the carbon-cap regime. They want to be paid extra if they change the feedstock to cut down on cow burps and farts. Or if they use the no-till method for planting seeds, which doesn't release the carbon trapped in the soil. Or if they put in devices to trap the methane released from animal poop.

And they demanded to be paid not just if they do these things in the future, but also if they did them last year or the year before. They demanded the payments even if they are already getting a check from the government to do the same things as part of some other conservation program.

Outrageous? YES. And pigheaded and stupid. He ends by saying:

The next time the world's most selfish lobby comes to Washington demanding drought relief, someone ought to have the good sense to tell them to go pound sand.

What's the saddest to me is the number of genuinely good farmers who are being hurt by the stupidity of the "farm lobby" - which, let's face it, should really be referred to as the "agribusiness lobby" because they aren't doing jack squat to help the average farmer, nor do they care about the fate of the average farmer. If they did, they wouldn't take such an idiotic position on global warming.

Jill Richardson :: Washington Post to Farm Bureau: You're Stupid
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someone I know told me yesterday (4.00 / 3)
that many in the Iowa Farm Bureau believe global warming would benefit farmers (longer growing season, etc.).

Guess they forgot about the whole droughts/flooding problem.

But rest assured, as long as various states with significant farm economies continue to be battleground states, no one in Congress is going to tell farmers to go "pound sand" when they suffer from a natural disaster.

What about the fact that (4.00 / 1)
conventional farming does not sequester carbon.

Like GMO's there is more marketing that facts about the poor record of of chemical farming effects on the environment.

"The Myth of Nitrogen Fertilization for Soil Carbon Sequestration
S. A. Khan,* R. L. Mulvaney, T. R. Ellsworth, and C. W. Boast University of Illinois"

More over chemical Ag is one of the  biggest suppliers of air and water pollution.

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