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Largest U.S. farm group rallies against climate bill

Largest U.S. farm group rallies against climate bill: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6091WT20100110

The headline describes recent maneuvers by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF- 6 million-members, the largest U.S. farm group) to block important climate legislation in congress. Their disagreements come from cap-and-trade systems that would promote reforestation offsets for large factories and power plants. By making trees more profitable than crops, the system could eliminate up to 130,000 farms and ranches. The group is also opposed to animal rights activism that threatens to “destroy our ability to produce the meat that Americans want to eat.” This type of reasoning, along with the power of this group to effect politics, creates a major impediment to politicians ever committing to serious climate change legislation. The importance of agriculture to our society cannot be understated. However, the leaders of the farm industry are stuck in a antiquated system requiring severe government subsidies to make it work. And the impact of highly under-regulated fertilizers, pesticides, and ag waste is a huge concern for the Chesapeake Bay. Maybe what the ‘green’ revolution needs is a more organized political approach, similar to the AFBF – a ‘dark green’ rather than ‘light green’ method of creating change.

Nick Lindow, PhD, LEED AP
Water Resources Engineer
Biohabitats, Inc.

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