So Why Aren’t Farming Lobbies Trying to Stop Global Warming?

I don’t have an answer, but the picture asks the question quite nicely:

(from here)

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11 Responses to So Why Aren’t Farming Lobbies Trying to Stop Global Warming?

  1. Rob Knop says:

    The farming lobbies probably don’t believe the evidence for global warming. They probably don’t want to believe the evidence, because it might mean costs and/or sacrifices for them in the short term. And, short term costs are always a hard sell.

  2. Babbler says:

    Just to point out: “viable” should be quotations, since it only mean climatically viable. Doesn’t say anything about the soil or water needed to grow crops. As the first comment in the notes, most the projected area is Canadian shield, which isn’t any good for growing crops.
    As for why farming lobbies aren’t doing anything, I suspect it just simple ignorance of the problem and its implications for them.

  3. Mark says:

    This is one of the points I bring up in discussions of the possible effects of global warming. What if the grain belt moves north out of the US? It’s one more example of why it’s near insanity to continue with a global experiment whose possible results range from beneficial to catastrophic.

  4. Joshua says:

    What’s the “beneficial” part of global warming? New beach front property miles inland from the existing coasts?
    There’s nothing “beneficial” about it that doesn’t also come with catastrophe attached.

  5. llewelly says:

    What’s the “beneficial” part of global warming?

    CO2 helps plants grow faster.

  6. bigTom says:

    But farmers are conservative. Since scientists, are liberals, and environmental activists are liberals, by attribution everything liberals and scientists say is automatically wrong!
    So believing scientific prognosis, is NOT about the quality of the science, its about the credibility of the scientists. Thats the state of logical thinking for a huge fraction of the population.

  7. Andrew Dodds says:

    Llewelly –
    Yes, CO2 does help plants grow faster – unfortunately, it seems to help weeds more than crops. But yes, it does offset some of the drought related problems especially.
    When you look at this map, you do have to factor in some plant breeding programs which could expand the range of Wheat back down south, and that different crops could be substituted; but either way the transition is not going to be easy.
    It would be interesting to see what happens to the grain belts of Europe, Russia and China – if, as I suspect, the grain belts move out of the area of glacial-outwash into the scoured areas such as the canadian shield, scandinavia, north Siberia, etc, then we will see significant problems..

  8. Matt says:

    If you want some better news on the same subject.
    I recently attended a conference on the relationship between climate change and environmental/land management. One of the speakers was from the National Union of Farmers (UK) who discussed how farmers could reduce emissions from agriculture (mainly livestock and ineficient use of fertilizers) and adapt to predicted changes. So some farming lobbies are trying to address global warming. Not to stop it, is that even possible at this stage in the game? but at least reduce the effects.

  9. Mark says:

    When I said that global warming could have consequences ranging from beneficial to catastrophic, I was acknowledging that some people refuse to believe that global warming will have any consequences other than the need to crank up their air conditioning. I was trying to frame the issue as if it were a lab experiment where one might expect generally bad results but which might also have different results from the expected ones. My point is that it is pretty close to insane to carry out an experiment in which you do not know all the results but which could have catastrophic results for human society.

  10. llewelly says:

    Andrew –

    Llewelly –
    Yes, CO2 does help plants grow faster – unfortunately, it seems to help weeds more than crops. But yes, it does offset some of the drought related problems especially.

    Yeah! That’s why I linked to that article on Kudzu and Poison Ivy. In the near future, we will have a Demand – for food – and we will have a Resource – Faster Growing Kudzu and Poison Ivy. When there is a Need, the Market will find a Solution – some Brilliant Gengineer will turn Kudzu and Poison Ivy into food – exactly as in that Great Old American Saying, ‘When life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade!’ .

    Fun aside, I think we more or less agree. One caveat – Siberia was not glaciated during recent glaciations – instead, it likely received regular deposits of airborne dust, and as a result does not have the thin soils of the Canadian Shield and Northern Europe. Reference .

  11. Garrett says:

    Yay! More food for me in Canada. Crap, I’m going to be fat when I’m 70…

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