Monday, February 28, 2011

Alabama Farm Bureau Federation vs EPA

Alabama Farm Bureau VS Environmental Protection Agency

I feel sorry for people who can't see past the ends of their noses. I've been in that position myself, but I was helped by a good pair of corrective lenses.
It is a pitiful situation when a lobbying organization, whose mission seems to be to help farmers, takes in after a government agency charged with protection of the environment. The first profession that comes to mind when the subject of environmental protection arises should be farmers since their livelihood depends on the continued functioning of the natural systems that purify our air, preserve our soil, and keep water clean. Why would the stated goal of the AFBF be to “stop EPA”? From the article that appeared in the March 2011 AFBF publication “Neighbors”, it seems to be all about the immediate dollar in the hand.
One of the complaints against EPA is regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Only a fool would refuse to accept the clear scientific evidence that our planet is warming. Whether it is caused by emissions relating to fossil fuel use or from natural cyclical earth events makes little difference. Our way of life is in grave danger, and we need to do all in our power to slow the warming down whatever that means. We may not be able to accomplish much if we keep our eyes glued on the almighty dollar. This is the time to think of your grand children's future, not increasing the bottom line.
Another complaint centers around agricultural runoff into near shore waters that supply enormous quantities of fish and seafood. The fertilizers and other chemicals have created and are enlarging a vast dead zone in both the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. EPA is somehow wrong to try to stop this destruction of a natural food resource (to say nothing of the fisherman’s livelihood). It would seem that time and energy spent on methods to use less chemicals in crop production and thereby lessen the expense of growing a crop would be more in order than trying to stop the regulation.
In the article I am referencing here, Ken Schmit says “Fear and misunderstanding are what drive the world. We all have problems communicating to people who've been misinformed about what we do and how we do it.” I truly agree.

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