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Myles

Positives of global warming..................

32 posts in this topic

I think the most positive thing about the climate change is that, if you are aware of the things you can do for yourself, we are now able to consciously adapt to those changes. Probably that was true with man all long his evolution. But this time, we have some really great tools for aiding adaption.

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I think the most positive thing about the climate change is that, if you are aware of the things you can do for yourself, we are now able to consciously adapt to those changes. Probably that was true with man all long his evolution. But this time, we have some really great tools for aiding adaption.

Our agriculture has developed over 2000yrs of relatively stable climate and is highly adapted to local conditions. Adapting to climate change sounds great in theory - until you try to move a crop a 100miles north or south, or you attempt to grow crops in land which has become permanently desiccated or waterlogged. In order to even attempt such shifts would require command style Government planning of a type despised by the very Conservatives who advocate adaption. Otherwise how is a farmer (who knows how to farm his land) going to shift his crop to the place where he knows how to farm.

It really is a bit of a pipe dream to say that we can just simply adapt to the inevitable changes. Its pure filibustering propaganda.

Br Cornelius

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Yeah, taht is what we are told. But sometimes we get lied to by lots of different people.

They have had to take a look at the math done long ago, and perhaps reverse a few things. Why not do it with CO2 as well? And then we find that, while once thought to be inert or inaccessible, ancient CO2 is being released into the atmosphere from lakes and rivers, giving far more insight into the earth's feedback loops. Oh dear, just today that news comes out.

It really is so much safer to sit on the fence and watch it all happen, without having to take a side one way or the other. Just sit back. Be objective. Aspire to be like Doug as I do. And maybe we will learn something in the detachment what comes from objectivity.

AS far as politics goes, there is no party that fits my sentiments. I am not extreme, and both parties are extreme. I don't have a side of the aisle. I am IN the aisile !!

OK, you go ahead and you itch and complain about this and that. I, here at home, will be adjusting my planting tables, saving seeds, growing things that don't presently fit my environment (right now it is tiny mango trees, beautiful and small). U will be itching and I will be adapting.

Evolution isn't for the mighty. It is for the most adaptable.

That farmer, and I come from a farm, learns to grow new things where he is at. He does not figure out where to move his farm, because very few farms move.

Our agriculture has developed over 2000yrs of relatively stable climate and is highly adapted to local conditions. Adapting to climate change sounds great in theory - until you try to move a crop a 100miles north or south, or you attempt to grow crops in land which has become permanently desiccated or waterlogged. In order to even attempt such shifts would require command style Government planning of a type despised by the very Conservatives who advocate adaption. Otherwise how is a farmer (who knows how to farm his land) going to shift his crop to the place where he knows how to farm.

It really is a bit of a pipe dream to say that we can just simply adapt to the inevitable changes. Its pure filibustering propaganda.

Br Cornelius

Edited by regeneratia

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Our agriculture has developed over 2000yrs of relatively stable climate and is highly adapted to local conditions. Adapting to climate change sounds great in theory - until you try to move a crop a 100miles north or south, or you attempt to grow crops in land which has become permanently desiccated or waterlogged. In order to even attempt such shifts would require command style Government planning of a type despised by the very Conservatives who advocate adaption. Otherwise how is a farmer (who knows how to farm his land) going to shift his crop to the place where he knows how to farm.

In the US we already have the legal and governmental machinery in place to deal with the issue of changes in cropping. It is a happy accident of our own history and nothing we deliberately set out to do. It's done through the crop insurance program: the government simply adjusts the price of insurance for different crops in different locations. Nothing more than an actuarial process. In risky areas, the cost of insuring a given crop goes up; in safer areas it goes down. The market does the rest.

Doug

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AS far as politics goes, there is no party that fits my sentiments. I am not extreme, and both parties are extreme. I don't have a side of the aisle. I am IN the aisile !!

"Politicians are happy if scientists provide information and then go away and shut up. But science and policy cannot be divorced. What I've seen is that politicians often adopt policies that are merely convenient - but that, using readily-available scientific data and empirical information, can be shown to be inconsistent with long-term success." --Jim Hansen

Bold: cap-and-trade, for example.

For a review of the politics of global warming, see "Storms of My Grandchildren" by James Hansen. ISBN 13:978-1608195022.

Also, "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines" by Michael Mann. Clumbia University Press, New York. ISBN 978-0-231-15254-9 and ISBN 978-0-52638-8.

Hansen is better with the politics, but Mann explains the science better, though you can get good info from both.

Another good one is: "Global Warming: The Complete Briefing" by John Houghton. Second edition, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62089-9 and ISBN 0-521-62932-2.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29

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In the US we already have the legal and governmental machinery in place to deal with the issue of changes in cropping. It is a happy accident of our own history and nothing we deliberately set out to do. It's done through the crop insurance program: the government simply adjusts the price of insurance for different crops in different locations. Nothing more than an actuarial process. In risky areas, the cost of insuring a given crop goes up; in safer areas it goes down. The market does the rest.

Doug

This will not address the fundamental issue that most farmers are highly specialised in how they farm their own niche. They are slow to adapt and slow to learn new cropping systems. The sort of changes we can expect will leave most of them for dead. Adaption is a nice idea but very difficult in practice.

Br Cornelius

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This will not address the fundamental issue that most farmers are highly specialised in how they farm their own niche. They are slow to adapt and slow to learn new cropping systems. The sort of changes we can expect will leave most of them for dead. Adaption is a nice idea but very difficult in practice.

Br Cornelius

I grant that we might not be able to implement the program fast enough to head off serious problems should we get a four or five year shift in climate, something entirely possible during the early stages when climate is expected to oscillate between the old and new regimes.

The strategy is to offer price supplements to growers of several different kinds of crops (Listen to the conservatives whine about "Socialism," while talking with their mouths full.). In a "normal" year production would be about twice what is needed and the surplus could be sold abroad. If one type of crop failed, the crop-insurance program would cover the loss, increasing premiums for that type of crop the next year. Gradually, increasing premiums would force farmers to adapt or go out of business. This strategy is a food security program (The name of the "Farm Bill" is the Food Security Act; it's not about helping farmers - it's about guaranteeing the rest of us enough to eat.). It doesn't necessarily help the farmer, especially the one who can't adapt.

The US government has other tools it can employ as well. The Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to void CRP agreements unilaterally. That would make CRP land available immediately (as happened in last summer's drought) and provide an incentive to make the changes ASAP - if your CRP rent money won't be coming in next year, you'd better do something right now. The Congress could cancel the alcohol fuels program which would lower demand for grain, especially corn (I'd like to see that done, anyway, but continuing the cellulose alcohol program.). The government can adjust crop subsidies, offering more for new crops in new areas (They did that with sunflowers and bird seed which shifted wheat production northward so that Kansas could grow more millet and sunflowers.). If the new crops require different machinery, or the farming infrastructure is not present in the area, that might be a problem. And nobody expects a transition not to have some bumps, but I think this one can be made, by-and-large without serious food shortages in the US. I don't know about elsewhere; you might have some real problems if you're a net food importer.

An example of a transition that has already happened: southwest Colorado (San Miguel County near Groundhog Reservoir) back in the 1950s was a farming area. But the land was marginal and profits low. Uncle Sam offered cash for land put into the Soil Bank (a now-defunct program). To qualify, you had to plant grass and keep the land fallow (In case there was a sudden need to increase production.). A lot of farmers did this. The result was a disaster for equipment merchants, grain elevator operators and others who depended on farmers. They packed up and left. Groundhog became a ghost town. The economy shifted to ranching. When the Soil Bank contracts ended, there was no farming infrastructure - the economy has remained a ranching economy. If you wanted to start farming up there right now, you couldn't because there are no mechanics to fix your equipment, you would have to pay extra to get equipment up there and your crops would have to be trucked over a hundred miles to get to market (Same thing happened to cotton producers in the Tiak area in southeastern McCurtain County in Oklahoma.).

Having worked with farmers for nearly 30 years, I think they're resourceful enough to adapt and quickly; albeit, there will be some growing pains along the way and a few will go out of business because they can't or won't adapt.

Doug

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