Friday, January 1, 2010

Turning America's greatest economic asset into forests

Something I was unaware of regarding the horrific, job-killing "cap and trade" scheme. It apparently will make it more lucrative for farmers to turn American farmground into forests. This has Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack worried, rightly so:

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.

At least we get a sense that at one Obama appointee has a grasp of reality. American farming feeds the world and has for decades. It is probably our greatest natural resource and source of economic power. By converting 50+ million acres of farmground into slow growing forests we achieve the following:

- eliminating a huge amount of farmground that produces the crops we eat and export

- increasing food costs which will hit the poor the hardest (aren't liberals supposed to care about the poor?)

- which will lead to increased reliance by the poor on the government

- meanwhile people are not going to stop eating, so the food production is going to have to come from somewhere else

- guess where that will be? In developing countries who are not restricted by "cap and trade" and who will have a huge economic incentive to create more farmground by...cutting down trees.

So in a nutshell, this will hurt American agriculture, make food more expensive for poor people, move agricultural production to other countries and ultimately probably do nothing to reduce "carbon emissions" because the less efficient farms in foreign countries will need more land to produce the same amount of crops which they will obtain by cutting down trees.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Obama economic policy on display! Otherwise known as economic suicide.
Post a Comment