Environment Kitchen Garden

Letter to the Solon Economist

To the editor,

National Farm Bureau’s spokesman Mace Thornton was recently quoted by David Biello in Slate Magazine, “we’re not convinced that the climate change we’re seeing is anthropogenic in origin. We don’t think the science is there to show that in a convincing way.”

That a large national organization with strong Iowa roots would assert such a thing is ridiculous.

First of all, farmers experience the effects of changing climate directly. If they do not connect the dots between the increasing use of fossil fuels and the warming planet, it is the talk of bureaucrats and paid analysis not grounded in the science of the greenhouse effect and its relationship to climate.

Secondly, whether farmers are convinced that climate change is anthropogenic (i.e. caused in part by human activity), has become increasingly irrelevant. The USDA has already begun to incorporate climate change in its projections and outreach. According to Biello, “many American farmers— even those who would question whether climate change is man-made— are already doing exactly what efforts to combat climate change would require: precision agriculture to cut back on fossil fuel use, low or no-till farming, cover crops, biodigesters for animal waste, and the like.”

Climate change is real, and it’s happening now. If you would like to hear more about the science of climate change and what you can do to help remediate its causes, please attend a public meeting with me and Senator Rob Hogg on Monday, Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Solon Public Library. All are welcome.

Footnote: Slate Magazine, July 16, 2013, Why Don’t Farmers Believe in Climate Change? by David Biello. Link to article here.