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USDA: Climate bill would slash cropland

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posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 09:41 AM

USDA: Climate bill would slash cropland

Washington, D.C. — More than 20 million acres of cropland in Iowa and other Corn Belt states would likely be converted to forests under a congressional plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to an Agriculture Department analysis released today.

About 59 million acres of land nationwide would be converted to forest by 2050 because of the carbon-offset program, the analysis showed.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 09:41 AM
For all of the folks that are giddy at the prospect of the government running our healthcare system, and pretty much every other aspect of our lives they might take a minute to read this, if it’s any indication the current administration’s grasp on reality we are in big trouble:

“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 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.”

It turns out that the House Climate Bill has more than a few little nasty surprises in it, not least of which might be an exponentially larger grocery bill for the average American.

As if it’s not bad enough that the idiotic ethanol program has been foisted upon the American consumer, whereby we can deplete the ancient aquifers of the Midwest and burn millions of tons of food at the same time, now the Democrat controlled Congress in collusion with a number of treacherous RINO’s wants to burden our nation with an even more outrageous program, this one tied to the said Climate Bill (read Cap and Tax).

As we find out from this article, these mental midgets have decided that growing food just doesn’t absorb enough of that dreaded substance known as carbon. You know; that same substance that we learned about in sixth grade science, the building block of life. Yes carbon, very bad. Not to worry though, the government has decided to simply convert 59 million acres of prime farm land to forest. That’s right 59 million acres. That’s an area quite a bit larger than the State that Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has called home for the last thirty or so years. You would think that even though Vilsack has no experience as a farmer and is by trade a lawyer he still might have some clue as to just how big a 59 million acre cornfield is.

According to the USDA’s own figures the total acres planted in corn and soybeans last year came in at around 160 million acres. We can quickly see that the Obama’s Cap and Tax plan would take almost 37% of the nation’s most productive farmland out of the food producing business permanently. This is an area considerably larger than Vilsack’s home state of Iowa.

I suppose that the good news is that the Fed will quantitatively ease the money supply so much that we’ll able to afford a trip to the grocery store no matter how expensive. But can I ask what happens to all the folks in the developing nations that are depending upon cheap grain in order to feed themselves and their families? Can the liberals look any of them in the eye as their child starves for lack of grain or will they simply tell them to eat bark? We will have 59 million acres of it afterall.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 10:06 AM
reply to post by twocanpete

Everything is coming together folks.

Cap and Tax

Health Care takeover

Civil Liberties eliminated

Converting the US back to a "pristine" condition

Destroying the Dollar

Destroying the US

I guess us CTers had it wrong all along, NOT!

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 10:28 AM
Is there no one to tell those dumbasses in the USDA that there is no need to sacrifice precious agricultural land to grow trees to ensure a better environment?

All it needs is more tree management planning protoccols such as investing in genetically modified more efficient atmosphere saving trees, planting more trees within urban centres, homes and even rooftops. Unused beaches can be converted to mangrove swamps, disabled ships sunked to create artificial coral reefs, etc, etc

Where have all the brains gone??!! Or the NWO/Corporations looking to earn some carbon credits by driving off farmers and taking over their lands, converting it to forests, and raising prices of crops to profit even more and starve mankind??

[edit on 9-1-2010 by SeekerofTruth101]

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:45 PM
This is bad.

The grain beltway is beyond essential to North America and the world in general. Maybe I'm missing something, and correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't' there an entire globe of which many forests can be planted? Why must it have to destroy precious agricultural land?

It's pretty obvious isn't it? They're trying to go full speed ahead into engineering multiple crises all at once. Food shortages, fuel shortages, insane tax hikes. It's plain as day.


posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 01:48 PM
The government runs our NHS and i have to say it works pretty well, so state involvment in certain area's has worked, and the NHS has been around for over 50 years now.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:14 AM
why plant trees on farm land why not along every interstate in the middle of every circle in a cloverleaf highway interchange it would help cut down on carbon from car fumes instead of giving bail out money to gm subsidize the purchase of hybrids so they are half current prices. plant trees in cities and in parks. stop letting companies like weyhauser clear cut forests and replace the trees with housing developments like they are doing in my state. old closed down military bases like eltoro can be turned back nto lush forests . i am not an enviromental treehugger buy any means i don't believe in global warming . but the madness has to stop years ago m usic artist got togther to try to feed africa with liveaid who the hell will try to feed us in 20 years. food for thought

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 10:20 AM
You make an excellent point. The fact that they want to take the very best farm land out of production would seem to be a clear indication that their real goal is to reduce the overall food supply. It's odd that we haven't heard a ting about clear cutting old growth forest. People really need to wake up in this country.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:02 AM
Well why should the United States grow the food for the world instead of for its own use. The land could be converted to more productive use for other things. And don't forget that farming created civilizations but irrigation and drainage destoryed it. When food was plentyful the civilzation grew but when the irrigation needed for it destroyed the land and the water it destroyed the civilzation and turned them into deserts.

If you want to read more about this heres a link.

The long-term hazards of irrigation are even greater. Investment in irrigation projects pays best in dry areas where evaporation is high. Water is never pure, but has mineral salts dissolved in it. Evaporation will therefore make it saltier still. Rivers flowing through dry or desert areas lose water by evaporation, and become salty. For example, the water in the lower Colorado contains over a ton of salt per acre-foot of water.

Many areas in dry climates have natural brackish or salty lakes, or even dry salt pans. Soils are often laden with lime (calcium carbonate) or salt (sodium chloride), and many sedimentary rocks contain natural salts. Promising irrigation areas thus may have natural salts in rocks or soils that will easily be transferred into fields as soon as irrigation water is applied, and even that water may come from rivers that have become saltier from evaporation along their courses.

As water is used on crops, it spreads out as a thin sheet, exposed to the surface. Much of it may evaporate, making it more saline. It may dry up altogether, leaving a thin layer of salts on and in the soil. Even under normal circumstances, plants absorb moisture from the soil, leaving behind excess salts. Eventually salts build up in the surface soils until they become infertile. Over time, therefore, soils in dry irrigated areas tend to become salinized.

The only way to deal with this problem is to apply enough water so that salt is flushed off or flushed through the soil. The flushing must remove salts from the area altogether, along natural or artificial drainage. In well-drained areas with a dry season and a wet season, natural flushing takes place each year. But in poorly-drained areas, over-watering simply mobilizes the salt while the water table rises to ground level. Capillary action draws the saline water to the surface, where the salt dries out as a surface deposit, and the problem is made worse rather than better. Once the soil is saturated, with water up to the surface, there is no way to leach salts out of the soil, and the fertility of the region is destroyed unless major drainage channels are built to carry away the salt. Even flushing may not be a net environmental plus: flushing simply delivers salt somewhere else, perhaps to downstream users, or into groundwater supplies. Flushing also leaches away soil nutrients with the salts.

After the wave of Moslem expansion broke over Mesopotamia, the Abassid Caliphate was based on Baghdad from 762 AD until its demise in 1258. Existing irrigation schemes were renovated and greatly extended in very large projects. Abassid engineers drew water from the Euphrates at five separate points, and led it in parallel canals across the plains, watering a huge area south of Baghdad. This system provided the basis for the enormously rich culture of Baghdad, which is still remembered in legend (Scheherezade, the Caliph of Baghdad, and the Arabian Nights) as well as history. But it required a lot of physical maintenance, and there was a lot of salinization in the south. As central government began to fail in the 12th century (mostly from extravagant overspending), the canals became silt-choked, the irrigation system deteriorated, and the lands became more salinized. The deathblow to the system was natural: massive floods about 1200 AD shifted the courses of both the Tigris and the Euphrates, cutting off most of the water supply to the Nahrwan Canal and wrecking the whole system. The Abbasids were too weak (or bankrupt) by now to institute repairs, and the agricultural system collapsed. By the time the Mongols under Hulagu devastated Iraq and Baghdad in 1258 AD, they were finishing off a society that was already a wasteland. Iraq has remained a desert for more than 600 years.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 01:13 PM
Your point is taken but the land that is to be set aside is not land that is currently irrigated. I agree that if they must idle land then idle that land which must be irrigated first. From an enviornmental conservation viewpoint this would make much more sense. In regard to your point about not caring if we feed the world I would only point out that because we must buy our food in a global marketplace any reduction in food production results in higher prices for us. Considering the drastic levels of cuts this program would involve in food production, price increases would be draconian. That alone is enough to be concerned about this program's implications.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 01:59 PM
Iraq Jordan
occupied Palestinian territory
North Korea
And thats just a list of the countries that recive this food aid that don't like us and attack us with propaganda, extremism and terrorist. They don't like us even if we do feed them with foodaid so why give it to them.

Oh and don't forget countries like Iran, occupied Palestinian territory and Syria give the food to Hamas to hand out creating loyalty to them from the people who don't know where the food really comes from.

[edit on 10-1-2010 by JBA2848]

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 02:28 PM
If you want to scrub carbon from the air, you need look no further than the much maligned hemp plant. That wonderful organism can scrub more carbon from the air than any tree, while also cleaning up soil contaminants. Not only that, it grows in one season after which the land can revert back to farming, or be used again as a hemp field as needed.

But since the best option seems to be completely off the table, perhaps cleaning up the air is the last thing on their minds.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 02:48 PM
Yeah that's just great, take away the land for our food source...

Although this sort of thing is already happening in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia....We grow a large % of the nations foods, get ready to starve

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:04 PM
In relation to the corn fields, we over-grow.

So does this mean that they would have to quit putting corn products in everything? Like, maybe if ther is no over abundance of corn, we would be forced to use corn for what it is...CORN?


There is an over abundance of the crop as is. It is sold below production value. I say lets cut corn production in half. Then there would be less of this crap in our food that makes us fat.

Let the farmers that grow and harvest corn recieve a government sponsored incentive to grow and maintain forrests. That would kill two birds, one stone. Nobody loses their jobs, and we start using the food we are growing for it's actual purpose.

Some things that are corn, that you probably dont realize:
■Acetic acid
■Alpha tocopherol
■Artificial flavorings
■Artificial sweeteners
■Ascorbic acid
■Baking powder
■Barley malt
■Bleached flour*
■Blended sugar (sugaridextrose)
■Brown sugar* (generally OK if no caramel color)
■Calcium citrate
■Calcium fumarate
■Calcium gluconate
■Calcium lactate
■Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
■Calcium stearate
■Calcium stearoyl lactylate

Thats just the ABCs. Corn is an over-used product. When I buy table salt, I want salt. Not salt with corn additives.

Maybe thats just me...

[edit on 10-1-2010 by InertiaZero]

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by JBA2848

When food was plentyful the civilzation grew but when the irrigation needed for it destroyed the land and the water it destroyed the civilzation and turned them into deserts.

I'm confused. You're saying irrigation is bad. You think we should use the food produced, not ship it overseas.

This Bill proposes to reduce corn and food production in Iowa (and other midwest most productive states). I own a highly productive farm in Iowa. I don't irrigate and I don't know anyone who does. We don't irrigate in Iowa because it rains a lot there!

In Iowa much of our corn production goes to alcohol fuel plants to be converted to biofuels thought to be environmentally beneficial. Does it make sense to pull land out of production that produces biofuels?

(I have a huge biofuel plant within 20 miles of the farm)

Reducing food and fuel production in the midwest will surely increase food production in other 3rd world countries well known for their lack of environmental regulations. Indonesia comes to mind where their agriculture produces the 3rd largest source of CO2 in the world!!!. Obama and and friends always seems to ignore that!

And last but not least, the next time you go to the grocery store, look around at the people shopping and ask yourself if you think these people need more food! You seem to think we should use the food domestically and not export!

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:24 PM
Star and Flag

The problem is not just that someone wants to use prime crop land for trees. That is an oversimplification. The problem comes into play with the Cap & Trade proposal itself. It turns carbon scrubbing into a profitable business opportunity, and carbon credit trading into a lucrative investment. Neither condition is natural or normal within a capitalistic economy, and therefore both will have wide-reaching consequences.

Assuming that Cap & Trade is implemented, a farmer now has a choice: deal with extravagant fuel prices to make money the way he always has, or plant trees and be paid for simply scrubbing carbon. Planting trees uses much less fuel, and therefore costs much less to do. It also requires less work. So there will be plenty of farmers who will simply opt to make more by investing less money in fuel and working less. That really isn't so hard to understand. More for less will get takers every time, especially when the more is guaranteed by the government and the less is subject to economic variations in a faltering economy.

And it is not just the other countries who will suffer from this. The market for food is global, meaning the US will have to pay what the other countries are willing to pay, or we will just have to go hungry. The commodity brokers are not interested in patriotism; they do what they do for profit. If the profit is in Afghanistan, then the food will go to Afghanistan. That means that the price of food will rise drastically and globally as the supply runs short. And the provisions will no doubt entail a penalty if those trees are cut down prematurely, meaning that even farmers who wish to get out of carbon scrubbing and get back to farming will be unable to do so without paying a tremendous penalty in carbon tax.

This is a guaranteed way to ensure that millions of people go hungry for a very long time.

Now, add into that the fact that any plant growth scrubs carbon dioxide, not just trees. The crops we use for food are also efficient CO2 scrubbers. But of course, the law will not recognize that fact. The law is nothing more than a rule for people to live their lives by, and is thus not necessary indicative of reality nor physics.

What will be interesting is, should CO2 Cap & Trade be implemented, it will be only a few short years before the same people who are now calling for rescue from the evil carbon dioxide gas that will kill us all will be the ones who are complaining about how they are hungry and cannot afford food. Of course, that can be 'fixed' as well by allowing the government to take over those farms and produce the food themselves. After all, the proponents will claim, the independent farmers are not doing their job and we will need someone who will do the job.

Oh, and don't forget that limiting CO2 emissions is the identical thing as limiting fossil fuel use; the only way carbon exhaust can be quantified is via the fossil fuel use. So you will also be looking at a restriction on the amount of energy you can use as well.

Limit food, limit power, and the people will be unable to concentrate on anything short of survival... and will thus be more apt to follow along with whatever demands the government wishes to impose. There is little a starving, cold man will not agree to or do for a warm meal and a warm place to sleep.


posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 03:38 PM
reply to post by plumranch

Look at what is happening in California with water and ask yourself if they need to shut down some farms there. They are turning that place into a desert. If you don't have to irragate you have a good farm but california is drying it self up of fresh water just to try and have a farm.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 09:50 PM
reply to post by plumranch

Corn is very versatile and that is exactly why a modern society can not live without the stuff. Corn sweetner really has gotten a bad rap as being a lot more unhealthy then it is if anything it's a taste issue when compared to cane sugar and nothing more.

posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:37 PM
reply to post by JBA2848

Look at what is happening in California with water and ask yourself if they need to shut down some farms there. They are turning that place into a desert.

FYO, any agriculture east of say western Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma doesn't irrigate because of natural rainfall.

This Climate Bill/ Cap and Trade Bill proposes to pull tillable acres from the most productive midwestern, nonirrigated areas and apparently plant them to trees. That is a silly idea for several reasons not the least of which is that the midwest is not a natural tree producing area. If you want to produce trees plant them in Oregon or Alabama or somewhere that is a good production area.

Or like you say, shut down some of the irrigated land and save some water or whatever it is you want to save. I'll buy that too.

California has its own water problems which I've already discussed HERE. And certainly salinification is important but as you have mentioned many other countries have the same salt problems including China and Australia and they stand to benefit from shutting down American production at least in the short term till salinification takes its toll.

But generally, any agricultural horror story you've ever heard is much worse and more complicated in foreign countries esp. Indonesia. So don't think shutting down American production and sending that production overseas will accomplish anything beneficial!

[edit on 10/1/10 by plumranch]

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