For the Farm Lobby, Too Much Is Never Enough
By Steven Pearlstein
Friday, June 26, 2009
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.
Given those prospects, you might expect the farm lobby to be in the vanguard of those pushing for enactment of legislation to cap the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere. But that wouldn't be Elmer, would it? True to form, he has demanded another boost in his already lavish government subsidies before he'll even consider doing something about global warming.
Because they are the source of most carbon emissions, factories, power plants and oil refineries would all be covered by the caps and be required to buy the permits, or allowances, as they are called. The one major source that is not covered is the American farm. From the start, everyone agreed that it would be an administrative nightmare to try to measure and regulate the amount of carbon produced on each farm. Given the power of the farm lobby, everyone agreed that it was also a political non-starter.
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. Read More
Pearlstein is upset because some people were concerned how the climate change bill would affect our ability to produce food and fiber in this country. While it seems like a reasonable thing to me that we should protect our domestic food supply, apparently those that believe food comes from the grocery store can’t make that connection. He wants us to blindly support a bill that attempts to fix an unproven problem with an unproven solution. All the while costing consumers untold billions of dollars. Here’s my suggestion to Mr. Pearlstein. If you don’t’ like American agriculture, don’t support us by buying and using our end product, food and fiber. The next time you are hungry, go eat sand.