As If Taking Corn From Starving Africans To Make Biodiesel Wasn’t Enough…

Washington Times — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food. 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. According to the economic model used by the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation would give landowners incentives to convert up to 59 million acres of farmland into forests over the next 40 years. The reason: Trees clean the air of heat-trapping gases better than farming does. …

Convert farmland into forests, making food more scarce and more expensive? What could possibly go wrong? (What it is with socialists deliberately causing famine and starvation?)

… Allison Specht, an economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, said other studies have largely confirmed the results of the EPA and Agriculture Department analysis. “That’s one of the realities of cap-and-trade legislation. The biggest bang for your buck for carbon credits is planting trees,” she said.

Fortunately, the Cap-and-Trade bill doesn’t seem to be going anywhere in the Senate, as the blizzard in Copenhagen and the ill wind blowing in their direction from next year’s elections are giving the Democrats in the Senate some serious cold feet.

Times Online (UK) — Less than ten days after claiming a breakthrough on climate change in Copenhagen President Obama is facing a mutiny from senior Democrats who are imploring him to postpone or even abandon his cap-and-trade Bill. Democratic Senators, fearful of a drubbing in the mid-term elections next year, are lining up to argue for alternatives to the scheme that is the centrepiece of the carbon reduction proposals that Mr Obama hopes to sign into law. With the Congressional battles over Mr Obama’s healthcare reforms fresh in their memory senior Democrats are asking the Administration to postpone the next big climate change push until at least 2011. … Asked if she has urged the White House to abandon cap and trade – at least until after the mid-terms – Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana told the Politico website yesterday: “I am communicating that in every way I know how.”

Cap-and-Trade will never pass if any of the Democrat Senators opposing it stand firm, or if it’s postponed to 2011 and a major turnover occurs in November of 2010. We have to hope for the latter, because the Health Care vote has already established what kind of people the Senators are, in Winton Churchill’s immortal jibe; it’s just up to Obama to haggle with them over the price.

Churchill:
Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite:
My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…
Churchill:
Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite:
Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill:
Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.
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