Year 4, Month 2, Day 15: You Can’t Fool Me.

USA Today let us know: the farmers are f**ked:

A comprehensive USDA study concludes rising temperatures could cost farmers millions as they battle new pests, faster weed growth and get smaller yields as climate change continues.

WASHINGTON — Climate change could have a drastic and harmful effect on U.S. agriculture, forcing farmers and ranchers to alter where they grow crops and costing them millions of dollars in additional costs to tackle weeds, pests and diseases that threaten their operations, a sweeping government report said Tuesday.

An analysis released by the Agriculture Department said that although U.S. crops and livestock have been able to adapt to changes in their surroundings for close to 150 years, the accelerating pace and intensity of global warming during the next few decades may soon be too much for the once-resilient sector to overcome.

“We’re going to end up in a situation where we have a multitude of things happening that are going to negatively impact crop production,” said Jerry Hatfield, a laboratory director and plant physiologist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and lead author of the study. “In fact, we saw this in 2012 with the drought.”

It’s a hoax! I saw it on FOX! Sent February 7:

As the song puts it, the farmer feeds us all. However, many Americans, raised in a consumer economy where produce sometimes travels thousands of miles to local stores, lack the experience to understand the implications of a phrase like “devastated agriculture.” Industrialized farming has created a food system capable of feeding huge numbers — but only under absolutely predictable conditions. The encroaching threat of climate change is certain to render those conditions anything but predictable. The result? A farm system that decades ago moved to monocropping — taking advantage of economies of scale at the expense of resilience and flexibility — will become enormously vulnerable to changing environmental conditions, rapidly evolving pests, and diseases which can eradicate entire harvests in an eyeblink.

In the late 19th century, Irish monocroppers facing devastating potato blight had two alternatives: die of starvation, or emigrate. What choices will Americans face in the coming decades?

Warren Senders

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