July 05, 2012

Drought, farmers, red states and global warming


Stunted corn in Indiana/NY Times photo
So, how many of the Midwest’s reddish-state corn farmers are willing to admit that any of their problems this year, if not “caused” by global warming, might at least be exacerbated by it, or linked to it?

Ditto on the very red state farmers of the Texas (and Oklahoma) Panhandle, who last year lowered the Ogallala Aquifer as much as 25 feet?

Slim, I’ll bet, though perhaps not the “none” of senators like John Cornyn, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe.

And yet, later this year, these senators,  and these farmers, who bemoan the big federal government, and who bemoan “welfare,” will be seeking federal disaster relief. And, while still refusing to admit that they’re part of the problem, a self-inflicted disaster. (A disaster that, to some degree, now officially covers more than half the 48 continguous states.)

For the farmers of the Panhandle, first, I have two words: “dryland farming.”

Yes, dryland wheat doesn’t pay the same as irrigated corn, especially when corn in the Midwest (St. Louis pushed 105 today) is shriveling.

But, it’s still a big water, and water bill, savings.

Not to mention that eventually, you’re going to start pumping sand … and who knows, even as clean as the Ogallala is, minerals, too.

Meanwhile, things won’t change, in reality, even if Dear Leader is re-elected and even gets a Democratic House.

There won’t be a cap-and-trade bill, which we don’t need anyway. Chris Mooney, the science writer who almost plays at being a scientist, is behind the curve.

There certainly won’t be a carbon tax bill.

And, really, that’s exactly what we need, and it needs to be coupled the with big drought disaster relief handout. Period.

Of course, there’s no way Dear Leader does that.

But he, or somebody, needs to, and needs to get in front of red state Congresscritters on framing the bill, and on “attaching” it to a bailout.

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