Yesterday, I wrote about the dilemma facing farmers who are now entering the period when we face the consequences of ignoring the climate change chickens that are beginning to come home to roost. I noted then that farmers were not to blame for a short-sighted response when their political leaders were busy selling them a bill of goods about climate change.
Of course the politicians are not all cynical. Many of the less sophisticated have bought the whole denialist bill of goods themselves. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a former farmer and member of the Missouri House delegation, seems to be fully assured that the opinions of the 2-3% of climate scientists (many of whom are not actually qualified in the field) who give cover to energy industry shills cancel out the ca. 97% who endorse the concept of man-made climate change:
... A lot of data I've seen shows that perhaps we don't even have global warming. In fact I've read some articles that it's actually decreasing, that we have climates getting colder. I don't think we have enough data to say for sure that we have that. And certainly, I don't believe that if there is a climate change that man has a very significant role in that. ...
Ahhh! the old its-really-getting-colder-because-I-distinctly remember-snow-last-winter gambit. Climate Scientist Kevin Trenberth offers a simple takedown:
So, breaking records is not an indication of climate change. But breaking records at a rate of 10 to-1 vs. the cold records, that's a clear indication of climate change.
I indicated yesterday that the decision of so many Americans to rationalize away the clear proofs that there is not only climate change, but climate change due to man-made activities, was going to prove costly now that we are likely approaching the tipping point, beyond which global warming may be slowed, but not stopped. And it begins - here's Vicky making her pitch for big-government assistance in the form of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands:
"What I have seen in the Fourth District and around our farm is disheartening," said Hartzler. "The corn is dying, soybean plants are under stress, and pastures are drying up. In addition, the news from the National Weather Service is not good. In a report issued late last week we were told that conditions not only are very dry but will likely continue and result in drought conditions worsening in the coming weeks as the current hot and dry weather pattern is likely to be with us through at least this week."
"I have been joined by Missouri's other eight U.S. House Members in asking the USDA to consider releasing CRP lands to ease the enormous stress on livestock production operations," continued Hartzler. "Such action would be in line with USDA's past actions during natural disasters, including drought, in which CRP lands have been released for livestock haying and grazing. We support Governor Jay Nixon in his request that USDA's Farm Service Agency begin assessing damage to crops and livestock in the entire state due to persistent drought."
There's nothing inappropriate about this action in itself, but I'm waiting for the time when the denialist bozos will have to acknowledge cause and effect and take responsibility for the harm done by their magical thinking.