Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food.
The latest Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill, which passed the House this summer, found that the legislation would profit farmers in the long term. But those profits would come mostly from higher crop prices as a result of the legislation's incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.
According to the economic model used by the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation would give landowners incentives to convert up to 59 million acres of farmland into forests over the next 40 years. The reason: Trees clean the air of heat-trapping gases better than farming does.
Mr. Vilsack, in a little-noticed statement issued with the report earlier this month, said the department's forecasts "have caused considerable concern" among farmers and ranchers.
(italics... all of them, ours)
This is just insanity.
And haven’t we been down this road of “altering” data to “hide the decline” to fit snugly into a political agenda just recently?
The article goes on to say that Vilsack wants his chief economist to work with the EPA to "undertake a review of the assumptions in the FASOM model, to update the model and to develop options on how best to avoid unintended consequences for agriculture that might result from climate change legislation."
Well, we certainly know what some of the intended consequences of agriculture are: abundant and cheap food that will feed this country’s and the world’s growing population. Unfortunately, we are not really concerned with that. Radically altering the business model of our agrigulture sector based upon junk science is apparently trumping starving ourselves.
The dairy industry is already heavily subsidized in order to prop up prices, so we guess this is just the Obama administration’s way of extending a cash for conifers program to the rest of the agriculture industry.
We’re beginning to wonder: are they really that incompetent or do they sit around and make-up the most blatantly retarded crap just to make blogging easy?
P.S. Looking forward to more green on green violence as the ethanol industry clashes with the Cash for Conifers lobby.