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Severe Drought Hits The U.S.

Severe drought is hammering crops in the Midwest and beyond. 1,000 counties in 26 states declared disaster areas. We’ll check in.

Steve Niedbalski is seen chopping down his drought and heat stricken corn for feed Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Nashville, Ill. Farmers in parts of the Midwest, dealing with the worst drought in nearly 25 years, have given up hope for a corn crop and are mowing over their fields and baling the heat withered plants for livestock feed. (AP)

Steve Niedbalski is seen chopping down his drought and heat stricken corn for feed Wednesday, July 11, 2012 in Nashville, Ill. Farmers in parts of the Midwest, dealing with the worst drought in nearly 25 years, have given up hope for a corn crop and are mowing over their fields and baling the heat withered plants for livestock feed. (AP)

I’m a farm kid, born and raised.  I’ve never heard my dad brought to the brink of tears by the weather.  I did last night, on the phone to Illinois.  He’d just driven 40 miles through corn fields devastated by drought.  Mile after mile of corn fields with no corn.  Just dry, spindly, heat-blasted stalks.  Worthless.  It made him, he said, feel almost physically ill.

More than half the country is in drought now.  Worst in half a century.  It’s brought fire to the Rockies.  Parch to Texas.  Now it’s tearing into the corn belt and cattle herds.

This hour, On Point:  the great drought hits the nation’s breadbasket.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Chris Hurt, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University.

Don Duval, farmer and  president of the White County Farm Bureau in Carmi, IL.

Mark Svoboda, climatologist, is the Monitoring Program Area Leader for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Al Davis, owner of the O L O Ranch in Hyannis, Nebraska.

Maps

Here’s the latest map of drought conditions in the U.S. from the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center

 

From Tom’s Reading List

Businessweek “A worst-in-a-generation drought from Indiana to Arkansas to California is damaging crops, rural economies, and threatening to drive food prices to record levels. Agriculture, though a small part of the $15.5 trillion U.S. economy, had been one of the most resilient industries in the past three years as the country struggled to recover from the recession.”

New York Times “Scattered rain fell in parts of the Midwest on Friday, but it was not enough to provide relief to farmers struggling to salvage crops scorched by worsening drought conditions and ranchers worried about feeding livestock.”

Des Moines Register “A new drought condition map showing widened coverage of the 2012 drought across the Corn Belt sent corn prices near $7 per bushel and soybeans near $15 when trading began on the Chicago Board of Trade after the holiday hiatus.”

CBS News “Fifty-five percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought by the end of June, NOAA’s National Climactic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said in its monthly State of the Climate drought report. That’s the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought.”

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  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Terrible.  Hopefully the heavens will open for these farmers soon.

    The UK has record rains this summer.  I’m wondering if there is any correlation in the weather pattern.
     

  • Sean

    Finally!

    Now that real money in the corn belt is involved, the reality of global warming will slowly start to dawn on Republicans.

    Fleet of mind, they’re not, but introduce a dollar sign and their brains suddenly gain a little traction.

    I’d say “better late than never,” but I think Republicans have pretty much obliterated the distinction.

    At least they can stop polluting the science in the minds of the gullible and ignorant… maybe by mid-century Americans can actually take a step or two towards helping buy the species a few more years. 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Weather vs. climate my friend. 

      • JGC

        Parse vs. Parch, my friend.

    • Brothersower88

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc?

      Droughts have happened throughout history since the beginning of agriculture—long before the industrial revolution.

      Can humans affect nature, sure. 
      Are humans the sole cause for inconvenient natural disaster, doubt-able.

      • Gary Trees

        While I tend to agree that GW has a hand in the current patterns, you are completely right.  This is not a legitimate argument for GW as the culprit of this years drought.

    • William

       Is the “cause” Solar activity?

  • rfra20

    I’m not a climate change skeptic, we clearly need a serious effort to stop altering our environment.  However, it does bother me that every time there’s a heat wave or it doesn’t rain so that crops can’t perform perfectly it’s blamed on climate change.  If anything it just makes it that much more difficult to have a serious discussion on the topic. “…the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58 percent of the country was covered by drought.” So was the drought of 1956 due to climate change?

    • realitycheck

       yes, the industrial revolution and the anthropocene go hand in hand.

    • AlanThinks

      Read this http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20111110_NewClimateDice.pdf

  • Akilez Castillo

    The Pacific Ocean is warmer than ever before. Spot rains occuring around United States a sign that nature is trying to cool down our planet. The floods in Japan and the some spot rains in Texas or New Jersey are signs that the planet is helping us.

    We cannot predict the weather but we can prepare for the devastation that it will cause us.

  • Akilez Castillo

    Climate - A place where weather forms.

  • Gregg

    If it’s too rainy, it’s AGW. Too stormy, AGW. Too dry, AGW. As Dr. Krauthammer said, if Godzilla ravaged NYC, AGW would be blamed.

    • ana

      What is AGW?

      • Pancake Rankin in NC

        Affluent GOP Wanker- Mittens.

        • Gregg

          So the drought is Romney’s fault?

          • jefe68

            It’s not Obama’s fault?

          • jim

            it is the fault of every congressional leaders who refuse to believe in climate change ‘cos he/she needs to suck up to the oil/energy companies for $$$.

            but who cares… right? you guys are going to vote for a crook with the capital R who will most likely make this drought situation worse… ‘COS you don’t even know who your adversary is.

          • Gregg

            That’s a hoot!

      • Hidan

         He doesn’t believe in climate change so his comment is an attempt at being funny relying on the guy (Krauthammer) who looks alot like Butt-head from Bevis and Butt-head

        http://www.daylife.com/topic/Charles_Krauthammer

        http://www.imdb.com/media/rm734444544/tt0105950

        • Gregg

          Great article from Beck’s Blaze. Thanks.

          • TFRX

            “Great article from Glenn Beck.”

            Submitted without comment.

          • Gregg

            You liked it too, huh? Hidan’s links are usually from the radical left. BTW it wasn’t by Glenn Beck.

        • TFRX

          Now, there’s so much about Krauthammer one can pick on, why talk about his appearance?

      • Gregg

        Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    This is just a glimpse of the costs associated with global climate change: man-made or natural, this drought is very real, as are the costs! So what are the implications of this disaster on poverty and malnutrition in America?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       The flippant answer to your question is the possible remedy to the US obesity epidemic. 

      • Pancake Rankin in NC

        Maybe Ethanol will go up. (good)
        Maybe people will eat less meat if it costs more. (good)
        Maybe we’ll understand how fracking and electrical generation require more water than anything else, even agriculture. (good)
        But we could learn the lesson too late and fry in a famine. (Where are the prophets who saw 7 lean years?)

        • Gregg

          …or not.

    • Gregg

      Relax, it’s just a dry summer in a tiny part of the world. We’ll be fine.

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Umm… no.

        Who put the horse blinders on you today?

        That map is a week old. We haven’t had rain now in 20 days… shown in the map as a white area… and we just recovered from a winter drought!!!

        • Brothersower88

          I think Gregg was suggesting that other places in the globe are not in drought so we can import food. 
          I don’t know if that was his point exactly, but that is what I took from it.

          • Gregg

            That’s close, my point was if you think globally, there is no drought. Also, it may rain for the next forty days and nights necessitating arks. So as bad as it is for many farmers, it is not an indication of the end of the earth. It’s just a drought like, we’ve had them before.

        • Steve

           Today? You must be new here. He wears those blinders every day.

  • Vasco DeGrabya

    On Point Producers:  “Disqus” is blocking me from posting on today’s Green Party topic.  I’m guessing this is a glitch since I am posting on this topic.  Could this be rectified so that I may participate?

    • Vasco DeGrabya

      Never mind I guess, it seems to have already cleared!

      • Gregg

        Mr. Disqus is moody.

  • Hidan

    Interesting topic,

     thanks onpoint.

  • Gregg

    A few years back we had a drought here in NC. There was no hay to be had for our horses. Before it was over we had to buy 3 tractor trailer loads from Texas and two from upstate NY. Those places had higher than normal rainfall that year.

    • Ray in VT

      There were buyers from Texas up in far northern New York last year due to the drought last year.  If the northern tier has a bad year this year, then some of those farmers further south may be SOL this year.

      • Gregg

        We had a good spring cutting this year.

  • Charles Vigneron

    In Eastern Washington State in soft-white wheat country we’ve had unseasonable repeating storms with normal heat and unfamiliar high humidity.
    From last night’s front page: Central Walla Walla County Disaster Area… rainfall of 2 1/2 inches… roads washed out… bridge washed out… culverts full of mud… months of work to repair…
    The Pacific NW may be experiencing normal heat—but unusual weather.

    • TFRX

      That’s the rub: “Average” means a flood in one time zone and a drought in another.

      Averages aren’t threats to geologists, who are used to figuring things out a millenia at a time.

      But year to year is how people live.

  • Brothersower88

    I wish there was an article with several centuries worth of precipitation and temperature data. 

    How can we know if this drought is an anomaly without knowing the global cyclical patters from beyond the remembered and recent past.

    • Ray in VT

       It would be nice.  There are some good ones around here going back 130 years or so, and some probably go back further, but nothing like what you would like, at least not in the New World.  I wonder about record reliability in Western Europe.

    • AlanThinks

      Read this http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20111110_NewClimateDice.pdf

      • Brothersower88

        Looks good. 

        I only wish it went back more than 60 years.

  • Gary Trees

    You see that little tractor in the piscture mann? Shoot, that’s a little tractor, shoot.

    /Iowa’d

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    We just had a little bit of rain yesterday in northwest Arkansas–enough to help the weeds grow, but not much else.

    • Ray in VT

      I know that it’s nothing like it is in the mid and southwest, but we just had rain for the first time in 11 days.  Corn was starting to brown, and the fields that just had the first crop cut might not yield much of a second or third cut.  My brother’s anticipating a spike in grain prices.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        When I drive around the countryside, all I see are brown fields.  Even the trees are yellowing.  I also haven’t had to mow my lawn in many weeks.

        • Ray in VT

           I haven’t mowed my lawn in a couple of weeks, and if I had cut the grass back before the 4th, then I’m sure that mine would have burned up.  It’s pretty cloudy and damp today, so that’ll make the the grass grow in a couple of days.

          My brother said that he saw some tree leaves around his farm starting to yellow before he had a good shower on Sunday.

          • TFRX

            We’ve had a bit more rain than you, and a bit more lawn-mowing, here in another part of the suburban northeast.

            Less grass growth than previous years makes this the right year to learn how to rebuild a small engine carb. Now if I only knew what to do with all the leftover parts.

  • cmc

    I trust that Tom and his guests will discuss the relationship between the vulnerability to the drought and food policies that support or encourage monoculture in general, and “king corn,” in particular.

  • AlanThinks

    Everyone should read James Hansen’s latest article on the relationship between climate change and recent weather patterns at http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20111110_NewClimateDice.pdf

  • ED

    We are seeing the tip of the iceberg with Global warming, and some day our grand children may say grandpa what is an iceberg? Methane  is a more potent green house gas than co2 and nature will start to dump more methane into the atmosphere as the planet warms. I moved my family to Vermont and I may not be far enough North, nice weather here so far this year.

  • Khjacobs

    Oddly enough, last week I drove from Port Huron, Michigan to Stratford, Ontario.  I don’t know what the Canadians are doing different but their fields all looked green and beautiful.  I didn’t see any sign of drought.  A week later on the way home I saw golden tassles coming out on the corn.  I believe they get the same weather that we here in Michigan get.

  • guest

    Hey Tom; I have a great idea; lets start a school of “higher learning”. For sure THEY will bail us out of the multitude of problems facing this country and the world.

    As always appreciate your efforts to keep us “up to date”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It affects us all – we subsidize crops – we subsidize crop insurance – and they’ve been pushing to expand crop insurance to the point where millionaire farmers can plant on questionable land, kick back, let their fields die and know they’ll get paid anyway.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/us/politics/bill-to-expand-crop-insurance-poses-risks.html?pagewanted=all

    Crop insurance has existed for decades, with the government now spending
    about $7 billion a year to pay about two-thirds of the cost of farmers’
    premiums. Under the federal program, farmers can buy insurance that
    covers poor yields, declines in prices or both.

    On Tuesday, the Senate began debate on a farm bill,
    passed by the Agriculture Committee in April, that would set up another
    crop insurance subsidy, costing $3 billion a year, to cover any losses
    farmers suffer, known as deductibles, before their crop insurance
    policies kick in.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      I forgot – after all this we provide even more subsidies to make biofuel – which barely makes a dent in our gas prices, but we get to pay even more taxes to drive up the cost of our food.

  • Ian

    I don t understand:
    Do people honestly think that human industry has no effect on the climate? Sure theres natural swings one way or another but to think years of industry isnt contributing to the warming of the planet can only be described as in denial.

  • superfinehelios

    Food is a necessity…beef is not. Sorry but I don’t feel that bad about people paying more for it. I am not vegetarian or vegan, I just don’t eat a lot of beef.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Factory farmed beef where we force-feed cows with food that makes them sick, which loses about 95% of the calories is very bad.  Locally grown, grass fed beef is fine — as you say, just don’t eat a lot, and you can be guilt-free and healthier, too.

      Neil

  • Suzie in Newport

    1.  I cannot believe that there is a climate change denier who is participating in this discussion!  We still have to tiptoe around statements like…”there is still not enough information…the jury is still out on climate change.”

    2. It sounds like most of the foods that will be affected by the drought are the typical products of the industrial food production system, which are bad for us anyway: margarine? dried cereal? artificial cooking oils? all the corn byproducts that masquerade as food?  Maybe we are better off if the industrial food system collapses and we begin to rely on local agriculture and sustainable agricultural practices anyway. 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Not a denier.  A skeptic.  All good scientists are skeptical.

      The science is NOT settled.
       
      There was a peer reviewed paper released today which shows the measured global warming over the last century is half what it was previously thought — due to measurement errors.

      • AlanThinks

        PLease read http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20111110_NewClimateDice.pdf

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           The medieval warming period was about 1C warmer than today.  What was the human cause of the warming back in the dark ages?

          Did you know that Hansen published a paper in 2000 that refutes CO2 as a major contributor to recent warming?  From the paper:
          “we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases”

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             The paper was titled:

            Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario”

            and published in PNAS.  National academy of sciences for those from Rio Linda

      • NHBlue

        The science IS most definitely settled. Any climate scientist who says humans’ burning fossil fuels is not changing our climate is an Exxon/Shell/BP/Halliburton employee. If you have scientific proof that climate change is NOT happening, please provide it. I will not hold my breath.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           No.  The onus of proof is on those who claim we are on the brink of a catastrophe.  I always go back to the axiom that Richard Feynman promoted for scientific proof.

          There are many skeptical scientist who don’t take climate computer models (which have never been correct) as  proof.

          Try Richard Lindzen (MIT).  He doesn’t work for the oil companies.

          Also, try Richard Muller (Berkley) who called out the climategates scientists as frauds.  Not oil ties there either.

          • NHBlue

            Lindzen is a crank who hasn’t published a legitimate study in years. Totally discredited. And he has accepted fossil fuel dollars.

            Muller was funded by the Koch brothers. And his report agreed with current climate science anyway.

            There are no climate studies that disprove climate change. But there are lots of dirty dollars at work attempting to discredit the proven science.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             Keep your head in the sand.  It is a free country.

          • Ray in VT

            How is he keeping his head in the sand?  There are reports that Lindzen took money from the fossil fuel industry (way back in 1993 maybe), and I’ve read a couple of pieces that have addressed the various alternative theories that he has proposed that have never held water when scientifically tested.  Muller’s group did conclude that climate change is real and that the numbers as crunched by climate scientists were valid, so how is NHBlue’s head in the sand?

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            I wasn’t claiming Lindzen’s work was gospel.  I was reacting more to the dismissal of his research because he is in the pocket of big oil (there no evidence of that).   

            Muller study was only to validate the temperature measurements.  He did not study  whether man contributed to the warming.  However, Blue claims his results are tainted because the Koch bros. contributed.  I guess I can’t believe in Nova because the Koch brothers are major sponsors?

            My only point is climate science is a very immature science and we should all be skeptical but continue the research.  The attacks you made on Lindzen’s work have been also been made on the work by the climategate ‘warmist’ scientists.  The most famous is the exposure of hockey stick as either fraud or shoddy science.  A professional statistician ran white noise data into Michael Mann’s data model and got a hockey stick over 80% of the time.  Also, Mann substituted temperature data in the later years of his chart instead of his tree ring proxy because the tree ring data didn’t correlate with his hypothesis in the later years.

      • cmc

         Yes, but by the time the jury is back (in the words of the speaker) and renders its verdict, we will all be long dead and we will have left a fallow world for our children’s children.  Why not adopt hard but doable policies and practices now that may prevent a kind of environmental destruction that, while not a foregone conclusion and not an outcome that will affect us in our lifetimes, is at least a real possibility.  We adopt, individually and as a country, policies and practices about so many things even when the science isn’t perfect — think prostrate cancer screening, or eliminating trans fats from foods, or donning lead aprons when we get dental x-rays …

        I very much appreciated my other comment making it on the air, but, although I’m happy to remain anonymous, I’m an anonymous “she,” not a “he.” : )

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Would you be open to massive expansion and investment in nuclear power generation?

          If you believe CO2 is the potential cause of Armageddon and you don’t want to destroy the economy by making energy unaffordable; nuclear is the only currently available alternative that scales.

          Yes, there are issues with nuclear — mostly the waste.  However, these problems are solvable as engineering problems.
           

          • Pancake Rankin in NC

            OK, build it in your own basement.
            But remember, the trash truck is not gonna accept your waste.

      • Tracy

        Link?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Do you accept the Theory of Gravity?  Can you prove that gravity exists, and how it works?

        Climate science is settled and the only unknowns are how quickly the changes will occur and what the precise tipping point is when we will not be able to mitigate the speed of the warming.

        Neil

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Neil, Smokey Bear warns against playing with matches in a field of straw men.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You and others seem dismissive of climate science.  You should feel as foolish doing so as dismissing the Theory of Gravity, or The Theory of Relativity, or The Theory of Evolution.

            Would you dismiss scientists if they told us a large meteor was headed toward earth?

            Scientists are telling us in no uncertain terms that anthropogenic climate change is what is happening right here, right now — and we are in for one hell of a ride.  We need to mitigate our carbon output, and be carbon neutral in 15-30 years.

            So, let’s get going!

            Neil

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Neil,  since you are all knowing, please tell us when the next ice age will start since it has been about 10,000 years since the last one ended.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We will not have an ice age in the next 100,000 years, at least.  We have raised the carbon dioxide levels almost 130ppm since 1850, and it takes about a million years for it to drop 100ppm through the weathering process.

            The sun is getting brighter over time, as well.

            Neil

    • AnnieD

       ditto!! I wondered at this person’s ludicrous statement as well… in the midst of talking about more frequent and worsening dry spells- the SPIN rules, I guess…

    • Charles Vigneron

      Collapse doesn’t capture the scale of disaster and disruption of civil society.

  • john in danvers

    Hey Tom, with all the trouble in corn (the lynchpin of our industrial agriculture) there’s only one thing to say, “Let them eat lobstah!”  We’ve got enough for everybody right here.  

  • superfinehelios

    Question, what is the majority of our US grown corn used for? Feeding animals?

    • AnnieD

       Rent the documentary ‘King Corn’, talk about blowing your eyes wide open…

  • guest

    Hi Tom I was wondering if your guests could comment on gas prices and if it will affect the prices because of the useless corn ethanol cut into our gas.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    We need less government supports for these massive factory farms and more for local farming.

    • jefe68

      If the local farms are in a drought affected area I’m not sure how this would help. Also small farms can’t produce enough food to feed a nation as large as ours.
      It’s a good thing to have local farms, it’s also a good idea if you can, to have a garden to offset food prices.
      Being in a drought wont help anyone trying to grow anything.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

        Crop diversity helps. Growing crops in areas not as prone to drought helps.

        • TFRX

          At some point irrigation has gone from being a nicety to a requirement.

          And that Ogallala Aquifer ain’t gonna last forever.

        • Judy

          Growing a diversity of crops in a diversity of areas helps. When drought arrives, or floods arrive, or cold, or heat, resilient crops will survive, and crops in unaffected areas will survive.

      • TFRX

        We’ve been caught unprepared for this. Seeing as how something needs to change, let’s suppose we have the right system on paper, tomorrow.

        How many years does it take to implement it? (I’m asking seriously.)

  • Kat

    Plus, a drop in the number of jobs…meat processing,etc. while the effects last.

  • J__o__h__n

    Is Rick Perry having another prayer rally to end the drought? 

  • Matt

    I was disappointed to hear the farmer say that the jury is still out onn man made global warming. As far as I know every major scientific organization down to NASA says that humans activity is a major factor. The NASA web site is a great place to look. I agreed with caller who said we will wait until we have created major deserts and then lament that “it wasn’t a good idea.”

  • AlanThinks

    Rick Perry asked Texans to pray for rain last summer and it did not work.  How about the climate deniers start believing in science rather than superstition?

    • Pancake Rankin in NC

      God said, “Hell, no” and that was an answer to prayers.

  • NHBlue

    The farmer from Hyannis Nebraska isn’t convinced about climate change, but he is misinformed about the Greenland ice sheet. It has existed for more than 400,000 yrs. Climate change is scientifically proven! He should stop listening to the denial machine.

    Our children are going to have a very difficult future because people are unwilling to change their way of life. So sad. So frightening.

  • AnnieD

    This is a rallying call for sustainable farming practices. The move to locally and pasture raised meat, community sponsored agriculture. Americans have to adopt the idea that ALL foods not be available to them ALL the time. SO thankful here in VT for many farmers who are doing the good work. Higher prices for mass produced food? The investment in our local food network is worth it!!

    • TFRX

      What do you consider the “chief weapon in your arsenal”?

      I vote for local tomatoes.

  • calamity jane

    My parents’ house just escaped destruction from a wildfire in Utah last month started by target shooters.  Second fire that week started by target shooters.  Sadly, most of the fires are caused by humans.  In these especially dry times, people have to be extra carefully.

    • Ray in VT

       It never ceases to amaze me how many fools will up and start a bonfire in the middle of a dry spell.

  • Dennis Macedo

    I’m not a scientist, but would the intense solar storms we’ve had lately be a cause

    • AlanThinks

      No, you do not have to be a scientist to understand climate change – just start reading.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Nope–those particles get caught by the Earth’s magnetic field.  It’s the light that causes heat here, and the atmospheric gases that retain it.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The Depression was the result of a wide variety of causes, not solely the Dustbowl.  In addition, climate scientists have pointed out for a long time that the Industrial Revolution was the point at which we started pumping a lot more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Of course, we may have shifted the climate as far back as the Agricultural Revolution, ten thousand years ago.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    No discussion on this, but the drought must be playing hell with the Ogallala Aquifer, which we’ve been sucking dry even during good years.

    • Tracy

      The cover story of this month’s Texas Monthly quotes a Texas Tech hydrologist who has been studying the Ogallala, and predicts it will be beyond reach within 30-50 years.

  • Al Davis

    Here are some statistics on cattle sales at Torrington, Wyoming which is about 100 miles from Hyannis, NE.  Normally the Torrington Livestock Auction sells 3300 head of cattle.  Last month they sold 17,144 head.  Stretch those liquidation statistics across the nation and you can see what a dramatic liquidation is taking place in the nation’s cow herd.  Cattle give birth to only one animal per year which means that rebuilding the herd could take over a decade.  And, of course, the drought imposes terrible stress on wildlife.  Lakes and creeks are drying up, fish, turtles, amphibians are dying and birds, deer and antelope have lost habitat.   The attached image was taken by friends of ours.  This lake has completely dried up–these three Trumpeter Swans are trying to survive.    

    • Ray in VT

      I think that there was a similar cattle sell off last year, and my brother has been receiving some record high prices for the dairy cows that he ships for beef.  Prices have been nearly double for the first part of this year.  One can almost get the same for shipping a cow for beef as one paid for a milk cow a year or two ago.

    • Alex Kingsbury

      Thanks for the photo, Al!

  • Robertjohn1953

    Missing from this conversation is the role of on-going gov’t subsidies for corn used to produce ethanol… proven to be a waste of land & taxpayer’s money given current data on the true cost of producing a gallon of bio-fuel from corn.

  • Judy

    This drought will have global consequences. With NAFTA, US corn has displaced Mexican corn in Mexico. The failure of the corn crop here will put a basic food staple beyond the reach of the common people in Mexico. This is the danger of centralizing global production in one region. Will we acknowledge our responsibility for the hungry families that will be knocking on our door?

    • Pancake Rankin in NC

      Excellent observation.

    • zing

       Nonsense.

  • Tina

    Best wishes to your father and to your former and his whole community, Tom!  

  • Tino

    Just like to point out that Corn is not the largest crop in the US, Marijuana is

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Nitrogen fertilizer causes about 25% of the greenhouse gases.  Long distance shipping of most of our food is a major problem, and factory farmed meat is another major contributor to climate change.

    Neil

    • Gregg

       Are you referring to the fart thing?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Most of the GHG from factory farming comes from the large losses of calories / protein incurred by feeding soybeans and corn to animals.  By that I mean there is a about a 20:1 reduction of calories and protein when you feed cows this way.

        And yes, also they are made sick by this, since they are meant to eat grass, and they produce much more methane than if they were eating what they evolved to eat.

        It is the water soluble nitrogen that produces the nitrous oxide which is the main problem with chemical farming methods.  Organic farming doesn’t produce any GHG this way.

        Neil

        • Gregg

          Nitrous oxide makes me laugh. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

          I’m not smart enough to know but thanks. It’s hard for me to believe cow flatulence is a global concern. If one makes those judgements then it must be weighed against the destructive impact on farmland by over grazing. I’m all for organic beef but feeding the planet has it’s costs. 

          • dropout

             Thanks, again.

          • Gregg

            You’re welcome.

    • dropout

       My brother-in-law in California pays the same for a head of iceberg lettuce as I do in New York.  I thanked him for subsidizing my lettuce.  Too funny.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I grow weary of the head-in-the-sand madness: “climate change is  a hoax!” The jury’s in: the climate has changed and is continuing to do so; any one who spends time out of doors in the North 12 months a year has seen rapid change over the past 20 years… nothing like in the previous 40 years.

    Stop arguing over who started the fire, and start thinking about how to keep the fire from spreading from the house to the barn!!!

    Natural or unnatural, humans have not helped the situation any. Why is there no willingness to entertain how this might actually be mitigated by humans? CO2 sequestration – solar power: the more we convert sunlight to electricity, the less heat that we pump into the biosphere by burning chemicals, ergo the less net heat gain.

    Lets consider a new energy economy with minimal burning of fuels (oil, gas or uranium). Who wouldn’t like that? …The Koch brothers, BP, Exxon, Mobil and Shell for a start.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Why do you eliminate nuclear from your proposed solutions?  If you believe CO2 harmful, then advanced nuclear is the only scalable, cost effective technology that is available today which doesn’t release CO2.

      If you are concerned with nuclear waste, there are several exciting solutions to the waste problem like the thorium based LFTR.

      • Ray in VT

        There are a number of issues with nuclear.  The actual power generation is pretty low emission, but the mining required to obtain the ores required to allow for that generation are pretty intensive and destructive.  I agree that we can do something about the waste.  Maybe we, like France, should reprocess our fuel.  We do need a base load power source that alternatives cannot presently produce, at least until my Mr. Fusion comes in.

        Regarding our exchange below, I too believe in skepticism and pursuing facts through research and repetition.  There is a pretty general consensus that the 150 years of humanity belching out ever increasing amounts of pollutants into the air is having some effect.  I tend to think that that is a pretty middle of the road statement.  There are natural cycles to be sure, and there are also freak events, which is why it annoys me a bit whenever every disaster is linked to climate change.  I don’t think that that is provable.  Having said that, though, it would seem almost unthinkable that the massive impacts of our industrial age are not having some effects that could be helping along natural processes.

        Now, I do find it interesting that you took my criticisms of Richard Lindzen as attacks.  To say that he has taken industry money and that some of his theories have not been supported by research again seem to me to be statements of fact, at least as those have been reported.  Do questions about his, and Muller’s, funding make me skeptical?  Hell yes.  Should you stop watching Nova because the Kochs underwrite them?  You can if you want, but I wouldn’t.  My questions there would be regarding influence.  Muller has been identified as a climate skeptic, so does it really surprise someone that the Kochs would fund his research?  It doesn’t surprise me.  I think that they were looking for a different result than what they paid for, as their company’s record on the environment isn’t exactly sterling.  I think that they see it in their interest to discredit climate science that could negatively impact their business.  It’s pretty straight-forward self interest in my book, and, again, I don’t think that that is any sort of stretch of the imagination.

        I am very skeptical regarding some climate skeptics, especially when they line up with evolution deniers and the like, and there are definitely connections to be had between the groups on some levels.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Ray, after reading your post I think we agree on much more than we disagree.

          I agree we should look at the motives of all the scientists; including Muller and Lindzen. However, we should also look at the motives of other climate scientists whose funding increases as the intensity of the perceived crisis increases.

          I’ve been familiar with Muller for years– ever since I heard him on radio promoting a book on physics he wrote for lay people “Physics for Future Presidents”.  It is pretty good and I even bought it for my kid.

          Muller is on record acknowledging the past century of warming and the likelihood of some level of human contribution.   This is not the classic ‘skeptic’.  However, Muller famously criticized the climategate scientists for publishing shoddy scientific results.  You should check it out on youtube.

           I suspect Koch funded his project because he hoped it would expose errors in the temperature measurement paradigm used by the climate science community. It didn’t work out for him.

          I agree there are ‘skeptics’ that go overboard.  Just as there are ‘warmists’ who are just trying to promote a political agenda.  Scott Pelley was doing a report on 60 minutes several years ago on the coal industry and global warming.  He was asked why he didn’t have a skeptical scientist on the show and he responded that he wouldn’t have a holocaust denier on if doing a report on the death camps.  Personally, I found that response outrageous given the infancy of the science.  ALL of the catastrophic predictions are based on incomplete computer models which have been proven to be unreliable.  We are in a group think mode now.

          I suggest you check out a skeptical blog site call wattsupwiththat.  It is run by an environmentally minded (he drives an electric car and has solar panels) meteorologist who is interested in keeping the science honest.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Ray, I just submitted a relatively long reply that discuss vaporized.

          I don’t have the energy to repeat the whole thing but after reading your post we agree on much more than we disagree.  

          If we want a view of skeptics that are interested in keeping climate science honest check out the blog ‘wattsupwiththat’. It is run by an environmentally minded meteorologist (he drives an electric car and has solar panels).

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Wow.  My original post just showed up.  Strange.

    • Gregg

      60 years in the context of eons is nothing.

      • Ray in VT

        But it’s easily enough time to degrade an ecosystem to cause major species losses and impacts that will make it more difficult for the planet to support our human population.  Blow up a nuke and it’ll be cleared up in the blink of an eye in geological terms, but we don’t have that sort of time.

        • Gregg

          I don’t agree Ray but let me just ask you, do you think this drought is a direct result of man? Can that be proven? This isn’t the first drought. Could it be the profiteers from the doom and gloom are using the Rahm Emanuel Doctrine regarding the dry snap? What if a few hurricanes hit back to back, the Mississippi jumps its banks, New Orleans floods again and farmers lose their crops because of too much rain? Will man be blamed for that too? I think so.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that some will blame it, and I don’t agree with blaming every disaster on climate change, either man made or naturally occurring.

            Do you not agree that at least at the local or regional level that our activities can have severe impacts?  Do you not remember that rivers have caught on fire in this country or that in some areas of this country we have been warned not to eat the native fish due to high mercury levels attributed to acid rain?

            What I tend to hear when I hear people decrying or belittling the “doom and gloom” segment is this:  “hey man, don’t worry, you know it’s gonna be alright.  Nothing to see or worry about here.”  One need not panic, but to sit back and say that our activities may not be causing problems is equally, if not more, irresponsible in my view.

          • Gregg

            I think man can have an impact on climate but not much. I also believe by “man” most mean greedy white American Republicans. Some of these comments (not yours) confirm that. In other words, it’s highly political. The science certainly is not settled. I’m not one who thinks rolling back our standard of living 100 years, further burdening businesses by taxing carbon and increasing government spending “just in case” is prudent or wise. Even if it was, it’s futile without China and India and possibly with them. That’s the only thing both sides agree on.

            I can’t say I disagree entirely with the notion, “hey man, don’t worry, you know it’s gonna be alright.  Nothing to see or worry about here.” But that’s not really the sentiment. It’s more like, “the debate is not honest, the situation is over-hyped and billions of dollars are being robbed from the 99% by the 1% for no gain”.  What I hear from the doomers is, “The end is near unless you repent”.

            I just think there’s too much emotion involved. That makes people dig in and nothing gets done. The fact is we are much much greener now than 30 years ago despite the increased industry and population. 

          • dropout

             Thank you.

      • JGC

        Except if it happens to be my own 60 years!

    • Bigleyjoshua

       ok–lets satisfy the brainwashed deniers–let’s convert to renewable sustainable energy, and stop all fossil fuels or severely regulate use, place strict humanity-benefiting restrictions on all industry–then in a few years–let’s look at the evidence–the earth will perhaps re-balance itself–if we haven’t gone over the cliff all ready.  And then you can not deny humans impact environment and climate.  Then shut up and sit down! 

      If we environmentalists are wrong after say ten years–and no evidence points to clear skies, we will admit we were wrong and that something else is causing world wide climate change–remember, you republican undereducated brainwashed deniers–it is global, not just in America–the world is not America.  Despite what you think.

      Only a sane person would agree to my proposal.

  • GeorgeG64

    So what do the farmers who don’t think climate change is causing the extreme weather we’ve been having……gay marriage or the Estate Tax?

    • Brwstac

      You left out abortion….;)

    • dropout

       I blame your English teachers.

  • Gregg

    I remember a few years ago, more than one global warming summit being snowed out. There were some record snowfalls. Man, how the doom and gloomers got upset when the skeptics said, “See there, this means there is no global warming”. They did change the term to “climate change” after all that but their outrage was not misplaced. That claim was as silly as hitting the panic button and assuming a drought means man has changed the climate. There have always been and will always be dry years and wet years; Hot years and cold years; Stormy years and mild years.

    • Ray in VT

      Your last statement is certainly true.  Weather varies over months and years.  It always has and always will, however, that does not mean that human activity is incapable of affecting our climate.  Climate change, as a term has been around since the 1950s, and it has been pushed as an alternative to global warming by Republican strategist Frank Luntz.

      As for record snows being inconsistent with either, that’s not the case.  The same storm coming into town at 25 degrees will drop more snow than at 23 degrees.  From Buffalo on east, where they get lake effect snow, warmer winters certainly can result in larger storms.  Constant snow cover was often the norm in Northern New England 50-60 years ago (ground covered from Thanksgiving to May Day), but not so much any more.  Big storms are coming through, but then the mercury gets up to 33 or 35, or warmer, and it melts off.  One weather station just east of me has weather records going back to at least the 1880s, and their average daily high is about 1.8 degrees higher now than a century ago.

      • Gregg

        I get that and don’t dispute it. The point I’m trying to make is that judging the affect man has on climate by looking at the weather is not science.

        • Bigleyjoshua

          uh, i think its a little more than that buddy.  Dont pretend to understand something you know nothing about.  

          • Gregg

            Do you think a dry summer on a relatively teensy footprint of the earth means man has doomed the planet? My stupid-assed self does not. Believe what you will.

    • Bigleyjoshua

       you are not a scientist–you have NO idea what you are talking about–global warming is ‘global’ and thus effects overall temperatures–this increase in average overall temperatures effects the distribution of heat on the planet causing disruptions in normal weather patterns–making weather erratic–snow, blizzards, hurricanes, drought, flooding, etc…just because we still have snow and cold temperatures doesn’t mean the world is not heating up globally.  Stop pretending you are a scientist. 

      Why must Americans be so obtuse, so hostile towards education, and science.  Evolve all ready, for Christ’s sake!

  • Juanita Salvador Burris

    After I listened to your program, I checked my email and there was a White House.gov LIVE stream at 2 p.m. CST with 6-7 national Women Leaders “playing prominent role in developing local and regional food systems that are creating jobs, pulling new people into agriculture, connecting communities, and improving health.”  It had the woman Deputy Sec. of Agriculture leading the Hangout.
    I propose you contact them with their USDA Rural Enterprises Grant program and connect then with the Farmers who are being hit by the drought.  This way, ongoing profound reality like drought GROUNDS THE women leaders into realizing that there are existing threats to their initiatives and we all need to be connected in pulling ourselves through.  Maybe Tom, you can have a program on how these women leaders can innovate with the farmers to deal with climate change upon us.

  • Brett

    There are always going to be droughts and, to a much larger extent, there will be fluctuations in climate, some extreme compared to what would be considered a norm. In the Midwest, the question is how many years can the land and agribusiness practices still continue in current mode through various sustained climatic fluctuations? Other questions would pertain to the examination of continuing our current way of commercial farming practices at our current pace. 

    It appears the Midwest, and by extension the way agribusiness operates, can sustain this year’s drought, with little long-term effects. Bio-fuels/additives will rise in cost; food will rise in cost. The consumer will be affected at the pumps and at the grocery store.

    A second year of drought in that region would still have little long-term effects. But, then, how many years of drought can occur before something more serious than the aforementioned begins to take root? The drought during the ’30s lasted for a decade. Nothing was really done about the role humans played in the problems caused by the Dust Bowl until black blizzards began making their way toward the east (namely in places like NYC and Washington D.C.). Imagine what would have happened had nothing been done to ameliorate some of the problems with what was then considered standard farming practices? Imagine if the government had not stepped in? Private industry did play a role in helping to rectify some of the problems in the Midwest through the development of irrigation systems and so on, yet many of those solutions have served to create some of the problems in that region today.

    There should be genuine concerns about how agribusiness continues to drain the water table dry in the Midwest, and there should be genuine concerns about how, as a nation, we address feeding our citizens. In a perfect world (one with a much smaller population, say), we would return to smaller, regional, family farms that utilize more labor-intensive, organic, farming  practices. As much as I am a proponent of this approach, it’s not realistic as a comprehensive solution. 

    As far as arguing whether anthropogenic factors contribute to climate change, there seems a lack of historical perspective among those who would take the position that humans have no undesirable effect on the environment/that we need to do nothing/the market will right itself/nothing can be done, etc.

    Asking whether or not humans, say, caused this drought or that there is no correlation between our collective behaviors and climate change, in a sense, makes the wrong argument. Such approaches are in the strawman/red herring category. The question should be how can we minimize the effects of climate change on our environment and on our economy through the ways we behave in our daily lives and in the ways we conduct business in anticipation that these changes in climate will occur? 

    In looking at the Dust Bowl days, it would be foolish/simplistic to say humans caused the decade-long drought; there were similar sustained droughts recorded in the Great Plains during the previous century, with virtually no destruction of the prairie grasses, soil erosion, etc. Similar droughts from the previous century did not destroy the land. The difference was in our farming practices and in the scale of agribusiness, which neither pertains to something beyond our control; both pertain to human behavior. 

    • Gregg

      I was just about to make the same argument regarding the Great Drought (AKA the dust bowl). You saved me the trouble, thanks. 

      You wrote: “The question should be how can we minimize the effects of climate change on our environment and on our economy through the ways we behave in our daily lives and in the ways we conduct business in anticipation that these changes in climate will occur?”IMO that question may be a good one but it’s not the first one… or even the second. The first question should be: “Is mankind catastrophically affecting climate”? Many (on both sides) are certain they know the answer. It seems to me the better version of your question would be: “How can we be better stewards of our environment and economy through the ways we behave in our daily lives and in the ways we conduct business? I don’t think we need to terrorize people into changing their behavior. As you know there are many who freely admit they are justified in over-hyping the situation because it is so dire in their opinion. That’s not honest. There are also big time worldwide UN mega-bucks to be made from this. Most of the time folks around here don’t like that sort of thing.

      • Brett

        It is interesting, Gregg, the tactics that are used on both sides of the debate.The deniers, for example, tend to use some variation of the following tactics. 

        Tactic #1: Let’s call this, “dismissive.” Example: “sure humans effect our environment, but it’s such an insignificant force compared to the forces of nature.”

        Tactic #2: Let’s call this, “the straw man.” Example: “the global warming doom and gloomers can not prove that everything humans do all of the time is completely destroying our environment at such a rate that the world will end so soon we won’t have time to say goodbye to loved ones.” 

        Tactic #3: Let’s call this, “my experts are better scientists than your experts.” Example: “the science is just not settled. There are a growing number of scientists who can refute the so-called science of anthropogenic climate change.”

        Tactic #4: Let’s call this, “the great hoax.”  Example: “it’s been proven that scientists who promote the idea of global warming are merely perpetuating a con to make money/further their careers.”   

  • Danny Sprinkle

    One approach to address drought and reverse desertification is offered by Allan Savory and the Savory Institute. Check out this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=JxgDcBHTFm4&NR=1

  • Observer

    Re: the cattle rancher from Nebraska not ready to take 
    a stand on climate change ….

    Tom, your cattle rancher from Nebraska this morning un-
    willingness to take a stand on climate –stating he felt we 
    needed more research–was such a cop out…

    His excuse reminded me of the man whose boat had 
    turned over and he was drowning ….a plane was flying 
    by and offered to drop a ladder to rescue and he said 
    “no” God was going to save him….

    This went on with a fishing trawler going by and even 
    the coastuard offering a hand to help him and again he 
    said “no” God would help him. 

    Anyhow, he drowned and when he met God–he said I 
    was down there believing you would save me. And God answered….”i tried but you refused…”

    • Mike Card

      He’s a supporter of the teabagger candidate for senator–Deb Fischer.  She lives about 30 miles north of him, near Valentine.

      The bigger issue is Tom Ashbrook’s continuing insistence of the fiction of the so-called family farm and his painting of the family farmer as a true entreprenuer.

      Without farm subsidies–i.e., tax-payer provided money–our grocery bills would increase by a multiple of at least 3.

      These are not families trying to eke out a living on 160 acres, regardless of the Farm Bureau or National Farmers’ Organization glossy ads.  The “farmers” now are corporations who rape at least 50,000 acres every year.

  • Observer

    Re  The cattle rancher in Nebraska looking for more climate change Research. As Bruce Fein said below about Goverment
    and individual rights …people can’t be just “spectators” they must defend the Constitution (and protect the Earth.my take)

    Ralph Nadar & Bruce Fein at Harvard law School (excellent!) 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8kla2T0NQQ 

  • Gregg

    I don’t get the 2nd hour of On Point until 8PM here. Now that I’ve heard the show I must say it was not a doom and gloom man-made disaster show. The comments here are. Kudos for the diversity of opinion, I enjoyed it.

    On that note, set aside the hysteria of AGW. I have some farmer friends who grow several hundred acres of soy every year. They care deeply for the earth. Dirt provides their livelihood. Some people avoid dirt, not them. I want to stipulate that up front.

    They fertilize with chicken litter, not because it’s organic but because there are tons of chicken houses nearby and it’s mostly free. They don’t like the salts and other ingredients in commercial fertilizers and the chicken litter works better. Their desire for greater profit causes them to be better stewards of the ground. They use a no-till method. The yield is not as good but that is offset by the reduction of fuel cost for their tractors.  It is more profitable in the end. Once again, their quest for profit is good for the planet.

    I just thought someone needed to point out that profit is not evil.

    • Brett

      No, profit doesn’t have to be evil. Your example is a good one; however, how much effort would you put into an example that would reflect the diametric opposite? If, say, a farmer has two choices to achieve the same goal, one is cheaper but offers more negative effects, the other costs a little more but is more environmentally sound, and the farmer chooses the cheaper one so as not to cut into his/her profits, isn’t this a point at which some regulation might be effective?

      • Gregg

        It’s not a matter of the effort I put into my example. It’s the example I know personally. Your hypothetical is just that but I’ll give it a whirl. The short answer is yes. However, I don’t know of a situation like you describe that does not already have a regulation. “More environmentally sound” can mean many things as well. It’s a matter of degree and science.

        In general I believe there are too many regulations and not too few.

        • Brett

          Like you, I am a practical person. In my own businesses, I determine which way to go based on a number of factors. All I’m saying really is that many business people will not always choose the most environmentally sound approach, especially if that approach costs more money. In business, profits are #1, and they should be. However, it would be naive to think farmers or anyone else in business will always choose the best way environmentally because that is also the most cost effective. You chose a good example, but so what. That example is good one to me because it does reflect that with a little extra work, relying on science, weighing out one approach vs. another, etc., can yield a good solution to a problem. 

          I, for example, could cut costs in my landscape business by doing certain things differently, but those shortcuts would undermine my particular brand, as it were, and what I offer that is different than, say, a guy who has a landscape business that does lawn care. I see so many commercial landscapers who buy stock (plant material) that is of poor quality because it’s cheaper. Those same companies use way too much fertilizer, cut grass way too short, weed wack around the bases of trees and shrubs, plant too deeply and mulch too heavily, overuse power tools, overuse pesticides and herbicides, and so on. Those things bring in bigger profits but are not environmentally sound.

          I probably shouldn’t have mentioned anything about regulation, as you will always seize on points such as that. My overall point is that your example of farmers doing the right thing is a good one but not necessarily indicative of the industry’s practices. 

          Your last line, “…quest for profit is good for the planet.” Can be true, I’ve proven it to myself in my own business, but I don’t believe it is true in commercial business, generally speaking. 

          • Gregg

            I believe it’s good business to be ethical and environmentally sensitive. I’m not sure to which degree business as a whole adheres to it but there is a premium on such practices. People seek them out. This is especially true now. Being ethical and environmentally sound is a more profitable business model in the long run… IMHO. The unethical environmental monsters inevitably crash hard.

    • Farstrider_2

      The Rodale’s, Malcolm Beck, and many others have been making the same points since the 1950′s.  Yes, the 1950′s, that was not a typo.  But multi-national companies can’t make a profit from that approach, so it will never sell on Wall $treet. 

  • Observer

    Farmers Wake Up & Unite! See Patrick Bond’s Reports below

    Cimate Capitalism won at Cancun, Everyone else loses http://www.tni.org/article/climate-capitalism-won-cancun-everyone-else-loses

    (See the poster, Our Environment is Not Your Business
    Use the URLs in the right hand column to backtract )

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
  • stand up Charlie

    Bottom line:  this is the way it is, we’re gonna survive, Obama can’t do a thing about it, I’m gettin’ another beer…

  • Bigleyjoshua

    The Nebraska farmer says he hasn’t seen enough evidence.

    Hmm, he’s an isolated farmer, not a scientist.  What makes HIM an expert, and not the world wide consensus of scientists?

    Irony:  he is on a show to explain evidence that he is experiencing–sever to extreme drought. 

    World wide scientific consensus points to global warming and climate change.  Only americans–republicans–deny it.  How can americans, republican americans–no surprise he is a big-biz farmer–be so obtuse?

    Answer: corporate brainwashing–the corporate aristocracy bombards Americans with false information, lies, distortions, and big big money conspiracies.  Why deny it–it wont hurt to be prudent and cautious.  There are countless other reasons to change your consumer behavior and your dust bowl mentality farming practices.  Don’t be a fool!

     The abyss is coming–stop the train!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Solution:  vote green.  vote jill Stein.  Abandon the corporate fascist democracy hating dems and rebubs who have only contempt for Americans.

    Vote green.  And make green changes in your life now–whether you are a business man, farmer, consumer, or industrialist.  Stop the madness.  You’re killing people.  Some of you consciously.

    iT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR A WORLDWIDE CONSENSUS OF SCIENTISTS TO BE A CONSPIRACY–these are individuals and distinct institutions, however, dems and repubs–financed by the same corporations–the few–1% or less–do in fact share the same circles of friendships, and business and politics–attending the same imperial and extravagantly luxurious clubs and dinner parties–making deals, compromising, organizing the superstructure together in ways that obviously suit them and will bring them collective profits–conspiracy!  Climate change denial is a conspiracy manufactured by the corporate elite because they do not want to stop profiting off your death–essentially–dems and rebubs are a death panel! 

    • Farstrider_2

      I am a gardner, in central Texas; I have only been gardening since 1970.  I have kept weather and garden journals for pretty much the entire time.  I have the proof of climate change, sitting at home, taking up two 48″ wide shelves. 

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    I am just trying to provide information that may help us and others someday soon.

    A new kind of filtration material for desalination from the researchers at MIT.

    See link from MITnews

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/graphene-water-desalination-0702.html

    Note: This would not post the first six times, If it should post more than once, due to some glitch, I apologize.

  • Bigleyjoshua

     ok–lets
    satisfy the brainwashed deniers–let’s convert to renewable sustainable
    energy, and stop all fossil fuels or severely regulate use, place
    strict humanity-benefiting restrictions on all industry–then in a few
    years–let’s look at the evidence–the earth will perhaps re-balance
    itself–if we haven’t gone over the cliff all ready.  And then you can
    not deny humans impact environment and climate.  Then shut up and sit
    down! 

    If we environmentalists are wrong after say ten years–and no
    evidence points to clear skies, we will admit we were wrong and that
    something else is causing world wide climate change–remember, you
    republican undereducated brainwashed deniers–it is global, not just in
    America–the world is not America.  Despite what you think.

    Only a sane person would agree to my proposal.

  • Bigleyjoshua

    Big corporate farms are indeed eroding the soil and draining the water table–but lack of rain is drought, and the area is all ready vulnerable to drought and desertification–global warming only exasperates it and fuels the destruction.  Either way–corporate man’s actions are responsible

    shackle the corporations!

    • Farstrider_2

      Check out ‘Cuba – Accidental Eden’; i think it was on Nova.  Especially interesting was the side effects of petro-chem ag products being embargoed: Cuba has the only healthy coral reefs on the planet, because they are no longer spewing N-P-K fertilizer waste into the waters around their island, as a consequence of run-off from crops. 

  • Bigleyjoshua

    by stating that republicans are largely responsible does not imply it is highly political–(greg)–it means once again that clear enormous evidence points to the FACT that republicans think in such terms and vote in such terms and run their mouths in such ignorant terms–republicans are clearly effected by corporate brainwashing–that is a fact–not politics.  Dems can be rather obtuse and self-righteous as well. 

    But there are alternatives to the fascist parties in power–a flase dichotomy designed to look like opposition by our founding fathers.  dems and repubs have always always been fascists (whatever trendy word you use to describe them), and it is time that we start exercising democratic values.  Banish the illegitimate governments of dem and repub  

    • Farstrider_2

      re ‘flase’ – false, correct?  I liked your comment, but would like to point out the founders had no use for, and no prvoision for, political parties; I wonder if the Tea-publicans realize what a return to the ‘Constitution of our fathers’ would really mean?  Most of the tea-pubs would not even be able to vote!

  • Quispup

    thanks for these great shows !  how about farmers changing to hemp as it is drought tolerant, needs no fertilizer or pesticides and oil and fuels. now we are similar to parasites , sucking the life out of our host ( the earth)killing it and eventually killing ourselves

    • Slipstream

       I guess if someone smokes enough they can forget about being hungry

  • Quispup

    oops accidentally edited out that hemp provides fabric, rope, fuel, oil and paper,   

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    The scientific global warming consensus myth.  This article effectively exposes the propaganda that the MSM and politicians have been pushing.  The trend in the science community is exactly the opposite of what is portrayed.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/17/that-scientific-global-warming-consensus-not/2/

    • Haruchai

      You probably shouldn’t link to a denialist posting where the premise is shredded in the comments.

  • e.g.

    I am waiting for a guest to pronounce the world is flat.  

    So Tom can say, “Well, let’s get a couple callers on that.”  

    Is there any point at which you correct inaccuracies on air? 

    The IPCC, IAC, AGU, etc. etc. ETC. have spoken, but somewhere an ambiguous jury is sitting in an an anonymous jury room … 

  • Pingback: ICTSD • Food Prices on the Rise Amid US Drought

  • John Fitzpatrick

    Why no download for this show?

  • Dee

    Re: To the cattle farmer in Nebraska on liquidating his stock 

    You sound like a Wall Street trader getting rid of his stock 
    and to hell what it meant to the people involved along the 
    way…much like Mitt Romney and the companies he forced 
    into bankruptcy and collected the premiums from the gov.
    ernment……

    In addition, i found your attitude callous compared with the vetrinarian on the BBC World Service who was rushing to 
    get his gun together to protect some wolves he heard about 
    in his area who were under attack by some hunters…

    At first, I thought he was over reacting but then he said 
    “Who is to say man is the only animal who has a right to
    life and dignity? ” I gained a very different perspective 
    about animals following his remarks and I thought about 
    this again when I saw a calf being separated from its 
    mother one day on a local farm..The mother cried until
    the calf returned that afternoon..(I cursed the meat in-
    dustry in the US who do this daily to animals….)

    In addition, this scene came to mind as you talked about 
    separating your yearlings and allowing to feed an extra 
    year on the range… due to the drought -you said you 
    wouldn’t do that this year. How cruel…..Observer

    • Al Davis

       I’m sorry if you misunderstood what I was saying.  If you know ranchers you would find that we all love our animals and tend to their needs.  I have nowhere to go for my animals, so I have no other choice but to sell them.  If I were to leave them on the ranch I would end up being charged with animal cruelty for starving them to death.  Is that the choice you would like to see followed?  What every rancher has to do if he is to remain in business is save what he can and my goal is to save the cowherd so we can rebuild in the future.  The calves which I normally retain and winter on the ranch will go to the feedlot just like most cow-calf operations do every year.   

  • Judy Hancock

    to Al Davis in NE – So sorry to hear and see all devistation people/farms are dealing with due to this drought.  We are in Michigan and are seeing hay sell for $10/bale for horses.  My husband & I were just saying how this was just the beginning of the problems, and seeing the #’s you posted on cattle selling at the auctions in WY are unbelievable.  Good Luck to you and the future of your cattle farm.  

  • Pingback: ICTSD • Food Prices on the Rise Amid US Drought

ONPOINT
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Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

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Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

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