Ag groups can't ignore the perils of climate change

2014-04-02T16:42:00Z Ag groups can't ignore the perils of climate change
April 02, 2014 4:42 pm

The March 31 front page of almost every daily newspaper in the world featured dire headlines for a story made public the night before by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“Climate change already affecting food supply,” announced The Guardian in England. “Worst is Yet to Come,” noted that day’s New York Times. “UN panel: Warming worsen food, hunger problems,” headlined the Associated Press story sent to member news organizations.

Indeed, the U.N. climate change report (link to it and other sources cited here at was big news for everyone everywhere except, it seems, U.S. farm and ranch groups and their members.

In fact, more than 24 hours after the report and its grim forecasts ricocheted the world over, most major American farm groups had yet to even acknowledge the report and the impacts its 72 authors predict climate change will have on the world’s farms, farmers and food production.

Golly, climate change and its affect on farms and ranch production and lives will just go away if no one at the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Wheat Growers Association mentions it?

Not even the climate-change denying, Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal went that far. It at least covered the report; OK, on page A8 of its April Fool’s Day edition.

Few see the latest U.N. climate report as foolish because, for the first time, it uses hard data to project the world we’ll leave our children and grandchildren if we continue our climate-changing carbon burning binge.

It’s not a pretty picture. According to the report:

•“In dry regions, drought frequency will likely increase… (and) climate change is likely to reduce raw water quality and post risks to drinking water quality…”

• Rising ocean levels and super storms (like Sandy that caused $65 billion in damage to New Jersey, New York and other East Coast states in 2012) will “increase significantly” and, increasingly, expose “population and assets to coastal risks.”

• “by the mid-21st century and beyond, global marine-species redistribution and marine-biodiversity reduction in sensitive regions will challenge the sustained provision of fisheries productivity and other ecosystem services…” and

• “For the major crops (wheat, rice and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, climate change without adaptation is projected to negatively impact production… Projected impacts vary… with about 10 percent of projections for the period 2030-2049 showing yield gains of more than 10 percent, and about 10 percent of projections showing yield losses of more than 25 percent ...”

All this, continues the report, “combined with increasing food demand, would pose large risks to food security globally and regionally.”

This should not be news to anyone in American agriculture. Wild climate swings have hammered the cattle, corn, vegetable and fruit sectors in the last decade and sustained drought continues to devastate huge ag areas from the High Plains to California.

It certainly isn’t news to the land grant universities that research global warming. At the forefront is Eugene Takle, a professor of agronomy and director of Iowa State University’s Climate Science Program.

Currently, Takle and ISU colleague Jerry Hatfield, director of the National Lab for Agriculture and Environment, are lead authors of the ag chapter of the mandated 2014 National Climate Assessment. The report, due later this month, “will paint a sobering picture of climate change globally and its impacts on the U.S.,” Takle related when interviewed last fall for a campus publication.

“One of the key messages of the report,” Takle said “is that the incidence of weather extremes will continue and will have increasingly negative effects on crop and livestock productivity because critical thresholds are already being exceeded.”

At least someone at a respected American agricultural institution believes climate change will be the 21st century farm and ranch game changer. Too bad it’s not an actual farm or ranch group.

The Farm and Food File is published weekly through the U.S. and Canada. Past columns, news, events and contact information are posted at

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. Jose
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    Jose - April 08, 2014 7:32 am
    Leaving out an integral part of propaganda serves millions or billions? Stating that deciphering data and graphs is too confusing serves millions or billions?

    Sowing DOUBT is the moneyed interests' way of making sure people give up and maintain the status quo.

    What the SCIENCE says is simple and unequivocal: Contrary to what you may have heard, the case for man-made global warming doesn't hang on models or theory -- it's built on direct measurements of many different parts of the climate, all pointing to a single, coherent answer. Multiple lines of evidence (I can name at least 8 -- how many can YOU name?) make it very clear that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to human emissions.

    What are the consequences of IGNORING AGW? Bet you can't even name ONE.
  2. Harvey Meister
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    Harvey Meister - April 07, 2014 8:26 pm
    Let's leave aside who gets paid what and who is motivated by what agenda for a second.
    Very few people will ever be able to decipher the data, graphs, charts, and conclusions of the scientists. What is the truth about climate change? What the IPCC says or what other equally qualified experts say? If in fact there is room for doubt, and when it pertains to predictions and speculations based on computer models, there must be doubt, (remember Y2K) can we at least have a discussion before we act in ways that will significantly impact mankind now and into the foreseeable future? What are the consequences of actions taken to combat AGW that prove to be unfounded and not consistent with the computer models?
    Are you prepared to provide answers to the millions or billions of people who were invested in following your advice and leadership at considerable personal cost to themselves?
  3. Whatafoolbelieves
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    Whatafoolbelieves - April 07, 2014 6:08 pm
    I have a pet Komodo dragon named CORRUT.
  4. Whatafoolbelieves
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    Whatafoolbelieves - April 07, 2014 8:52 am
    This is where the "think tank" is located.
  5. Whatafoolbelieves
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    Whatafoolbelieves - April 07, 2014 8:13 am
    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis succeeded electrophotomicrographically as the longest word in the English language recognized by the National Puzzlers' League at the opening session of the organization's 103rd semi-annual meeting held yesterday at the Hotel New Yorker. The puzzlers explained that the forty-five-letter word is the name of a special form of silicosis caused by ultra-microscopic particles of silica volcanic dust...

    Where Does the Carbon Dioxide Really Come From?
    Professor Ian Plimer could not have said it better!
    If you've read his book you will agree, this is a good summary.

    PLIMER: "Okay, here's the bombshell. The volcanic eruption in Iceland. Since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet - all of you.
    Of course, you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress - it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.
    I's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kids "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cent light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs ..... well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.
    The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes, FOUR DAYS - by that volcano in Iceland has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time - EVERY DAY.
    I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in all its years on earth.
    Yes, folks, Mt. Pinatubo was active for over one year - think about it!!!!
    Of course, I shouldn't spoil this 'touchy-feely tree-hugging' moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keeps happening despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.
    And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud, but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.
    Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you, on the basis of the bogus 'human-caused' climate-change scenario.
    Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention 'Global Warming' anymore, but just'Climate Change' -you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.
    And, just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme - that whopping new tax - imposed on you that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer.
    It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.
    But, hey, relax......give the world a hug and have a nice day!"

    The truth is probably somewhere in the middle...
  6. Jose
    Report Abuse
    Jose - April 07, 2014 7:47 am
    This is how their "think tank" operates.

    Funds from wealthy individuals and corporations are funneled to these groups, which in turn use the money to delay climate policy and misinform anyone they can get to listen. The end goal of those climate action delay tactics might be in the best short-term economic interests of those wealthy donors, but they also bring us one step closer to ensuring that we all will have to face the harmful consequences of climate change, particularly those children who they seek to misinform by 'teaching the controversy' in our schools.

    Simply put, the NIPCC's stated purpose is (according to its 2012 budget plan) is solely to critique the IPCC's report, which in part reads " provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts...."

    The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. The HI report is neither scientific, nor global. Its reporters (loosely claiming to be "scientists") are PAID for their efforts, from a budget of over $1.5 million. The scientists contributing to the IPCC report are not bribed like that.

    Basically, these "scientists" (read "lobbyists") are paid with the specific goal of arguing against the scientific evidence in the IPCC report, whereas the only goal of the IPCC authors is to produce an accurate, comprehensive review of the climate science literature.

    Paying lobbyists to disregard most climate science research and focus exclusively on the few pseudo-skeptic studies which support their very narrow focus on poking holes in the IPCC report is hardly non-biased. Why not ask HI what THEY get out of spreading lies and disinformation, and for whom their bias pays?

    Follow the money, harv, follow the money.
  7. Euler 314
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    Euler 314 - April 07, 2014 7:07 am
    Surely, you could find a less-biased source than stuff put out by a conservative think tank that's been taking money from dirty energy companies and other "corporate sponsors" to spread the gospel of destroying the planet?

    This is an example of typical tripe spewed by this big-money-backed anti-science lobbying group:

    Promoting confusion, doubt and debate where there IS none is foolish and potentially deadly to millions, if not more.
  8. Harvey Meister
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    Harvey Meister - April 06, 2014 7:54 pm
    Alan,perhaps those organizations are not convinced by the IPCC report or much of the climate alarmism rhetoric that is continuously presented as fact and inevitability. I recommend you read the Non Governmental IPCC report put out by the Heartland Institute. It features articles and peer reviewed research from many qualified people that refute many of the conclusions of the IPCC and are quite credible. There is much going on regarding this issue that your article made little attempt to dig into.

    Not only are there glaring inconsistencies in the predictions as they relate to the causes in climate change, it has also become the "keystone" issue of the day for all sorts of politically motivated groups who have agendas that range from the somewhat reasonable to the downright wacko and dangerous. Some believe the IPCC is one of them.

    There is way more here than can be learned from a wire service summary of a significant and highly technical document.
  9. Rosco
    Report Abuse
    Rosco - April 06, 2014 7:32 pm
    Facts and pictures are true. Polar cask melting, Alaska permafrost thawing. I'd say qualifies to me and not Obama but that worst president in history gw bushes fault
  10. Jose
    Report Abuse
    Jose - April 06, 2014 4:39 pm
    We have adapted, but the stretch of time involved was much, much longer than what we are facing now.

    Speaking of adapting, can you state, with any degree of certainty, just how long said adaptations (note the plural) will take? If you remember your fourth grade science, organisms adapt to change in at least three ways. Can you even name one? Besides, global warming and climate change have other components that are helping to make the possibility of adaptation very close to impossible. Can you figure out any of those components?

    Given human nature, it is obvious in the extreme that the only solution that is possible is mitigation, NOT adaptation. We adapt FAR too slowly for that to even be a "solution".
  11. herman
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    herman - April 06, 2014 12:58 pm
    Climate change. HOAX!
  12. One Who Knows
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    One Who Knows - April 06, 2014 12:14 pm
    News flash Alan, the climate has always been changing since the beginning of time and man had always adapted.
  13. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - April 06, 2014 9:01 am
    Yea, Yea, Yea, Yea. Liberal propaganda straight from the most CORRUT ORGANIZATION BESIDES OBAMAS: WHITE HOUSE.
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