December 29, 2009

Farms-into-Forest Plan has Unintended Consequences?

The Secretary of Agriculture (and some agricultural lobbying groups) are "viewing with alarm" an unintended consequence of proposed environmental policy.

Would it privilege "farming" trees for the carbon-credit money over growing food crops--and thus keeping Monsanto and John Deere in business?

The latest Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill, which passed the House this summer, found that the legislation would profit farmers in the long term. But those profits would come mostly from higher crop prices as a result of the legislation's incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.

If I sound cynical, it is because I wonder where the secretary's complaints are when farmland is turned into shopping malls?

You have to look at this kind of alarm-raising in terms of "Who might lose money?" if it passes.

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