Year 4, Month 8, Day 28: It’s A Rock! It Doesn’t Have Any Vulnerable Spots!

The Laramie Boomerang (WY) notes that the state’s farmers are looking trouble in the face, and not liking what they see:

Just like the weather, Gregor Goertz said, his Wheatland farm is changing.

“What I have seen personally is changes in weather: less predictable rains and snows,” the United States Department of Agriculture Wyoming Farm Service Agency executive director said. “That has really affected our farming operations.”

Goertz was one of several speakers at the “I Will Act on Climate Change” event Wednesday at the University of Wyoming ACRES Student Farm.

Speakers discussed the effects of climate change on Wyoming agriculture.

Goertz said the Farm Service Agency serves 11,000 production operations, which farm about 30 million acres throughout the state. Many of those operations are strained because of climate change, he said. But he began his conversation with a discussion of observations he’s made on his own farm.

“Out on the farm, we’re seeing more frequent hails,” Goertz said. “It used to be, when I was growing up, if we had a hailstorm once every ten years, we thought that was about normal. Now I’m experiencing that about every other year. So, we’ve had to change our operation to try to deal with that.”

Ranchers across Wyoming are dealing with droughts, Goertz said.

Here we go. August 2:

Wyoming isn’t alone in confronting the troublesome facts of planetary climate change. All over the globe, agriculturists — from factory farmers in the American corn belt to subsistence farmers in the world’s poorest nations — are looking towards a future in which extreme and unpredictable weather disrupts planting schedules, hinders plant growth, and makes for increasingly uncertain harvests.

The climate crisis underlines the crucial importance of diversity in our food systems. Monocropping leaves cultivators far more vulnerable to pests and disease (the Irish potato famine is a compelling demonstration of the dangers of relying too heavily on a single vulnerable staple food), creating the potential for catastrophic failures from environmental disruptions.

There are many differences of opinion about how to prepare for the greenhouse effect’s onrushing consequences — but can be no doubt that the problem will never be successfully addressed by those who refuse to admit its existence. The time for climate-change denial is past; just like Wyoming’s farmers, our politicians and media figures must adapt to these new environmental realities.

Warren Senders

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