By Gene Hall
The Obama Administration is again making noises on regulating climate change and, as usual, some are selling it as a crisis.
In talking with farmers and ranchers who have been on the land for multiple generations, I’ve seen a reluctance to agree that droughts should be blamed on manmade activity. Their family history reports many droughts, some more severe than the current batch. Farmers are also suspicious that they will be the first to feel the pinch of aggressive efforts to regulate carbon emissions. There is something to that. Great strides have been made with conservation tillage and no-till, but very few have found a way to produce a crop without driving across a field.
The public may no longer be listening on climate change. I, on the other hand, am still listening, but I get the ambivalence. I also know the reason for it. Among Texas dove hunters, there is always the guy who “shoots up in the air and claims what falls.” Every environmental calamity, both real and imagined, has been laid upon the altar of climate change.
I’ve been involved in environmental debates for more than 30 years. I know that the green left is always selling a crisis. There’s never much fundraising potential in “We’ve made a lot of environmental progress,” or “Things are much better now than in decades.” We can only hear so many cries of, “Wolf!” before we tune it out.
I am encouraged that the environmental movement is getting its act together on some of the conflicting portions of the green agenda. For example, some of them have discovered that biotechnology has sharply reduced the need for carbon-emitting products produced from petroleum.
We should pay attention to the consequences of climate change and look for cost-effective and market-driven solutions. But we should not forget about the dangers of punitive and out-of-control regulation that will cripple our economy and our ability to grow our own food.