Farm Bureau: Climate Change a Lie?
Frankly, it’s been a politically demoralizing year–since the “change we want” started not happening last January and 350’s fantasy of global lucidity and responsible bullet-biting bit the dust in Copenhagen last month. It makes one wonder if a vote is worth the trip to the elementary school.
But I can control where my money goes, and some of it will soon go to another provider of homeowner’s insurance. I will no longer be one of the 6 million members of Farm Bureau. While they are doing some things right and I understand their awkward stance between feeding the masses and threats (they deny) to human and global health, I am very disappointed with their stance, culminating at a recent national meeting with the only scheduled session on climate change entitled “Global Warming: A Red Hot Lie?” Climate skeptic Christopher Horner, from the fiery libertarian think tank, Competitive Enterprise Institute, told farmers the data behind global warming is weak. That’s a shame.
I posted my concerns on Facebook yesterday and have brought that forward for further consideration below, with comments from three readers.
Fred First: Â I am strongly considering leaving Farm Bureau–guess I’m a “misguided activist” who thinks biz needs to change in face of climate change. http://bit.ly/5Ld0kP
Fred First: I wonder what impact it would have if a number of us encouraged the local chapter to resist the national org’s denialism. Thots?
Reader: There are two issues that are problematic. For one, Farm Bureau is organized state by state. The other is that demographically, “progressive” farmers are a pretty small group and in general, the realities of modern agriculture force most farmers into a position of militant self interest. Even if they could be convinced that climate change will put more of them out of business in the future, they fear the added costs associated with climate legislation will put them out of business sooner (if Monsanto doesn’t sue them first when GMO pollen drifts into their seed crop). We would have to attend some meetings (which are infrequent, I gather) to assess the situation. Not all members are farmers and not all farmers are flat-earthers. I imagine we have a few more progressives in Floyd than some other areas.
Reader: Farmers are a conservative lot. Farm Bureau is reflective of that.
Fred First: I had this conversation the other day. Didn’t “conservative” used to mean wanting to maintain or conserve the status quo? If we don’t make changes to accommodate climate change, “conservatives” won’t keep their tidy ships afloat. It seems contradictory to me. Conservative shouldn’t mean refractory to information that is different from what is desired, hoped or long believed. And yet…
Reader: Fred, I totally agree with you about “conservative.” We see a similar situation in Chambers of Commerce, where the national Chamber is extremely pro-fossil fuel (even though this represents a distinct minority on the board and has led to the departure of high-profile companies), many state groups are not, and local groups (they are all autonomous) are extremely varied. Why should you not favor local farms, conservation, energy efficiency, solar, etc?