HAYS, Kan. - I admit I am asking a somewhat provocative question. And I will not name any particular farm reporters because perhaps the most prominent one in Kansas has family roots in Ellis County, which means I am probably related to him. However, I will say that he has given quite a bit of air time recently to Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
About two weeks ago, said Kansas reporter was gloating over a tiff between Stallman and the Union of Concerned Scientists, who wanted to meet with Stallman over the subject of climate change. Said reporter was positively gleeful that no such meeting had taken place. He began sharing his glee by saying something along the lines of, "Now, I don't know who or what the Union of Concerned Scientists is, but it's probably some radical fringe group."
Time for a reality check. Mr. Farm President and Mr. Farm Reporter, the next time someone from the Union of Concerned Scientists calls, writes, or hollers from across the south forty, I suggest that you respond. The organization started at one of America's premiere institutions of higher learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It has been in existence for forty years. Its membership consists of more than 250,000 scientists and concerned citizens across the nation. They are not a radical fringe group.
Furthermore, I suggest for your perusal a UCS document on global warming's potential financial impact on America's heartland if nothing is done about it. You can download the assessment at ucsusa.org.
Or, if you prefer getting your information from a video rather than a print source, I recommend for your viewing an episode of PBS's American Experience series called "Surviving the Dustbowl." You can see it here. The Dustbowl happened because farmers abused the land. It hasn't happened again because farmers learned their lesson and changed their agricultural methods. However, if American grain growers had acted sooner, the Dust Bowl would never have happened.
By the way, doesn't it seem strange--yet apt--that the current Farm Bureau president is named "Stallman"?