Plan to turn farms into forest worries Obama official

farmerBy Edward Felker

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.

Mr. Vilsack, in a little-noticed statement issued with the report earlier this month, said the department’s forecasts “have caused considerable concern” among farmers and ranchers.

Read the rest of this story at Washington Times.

49 Responses to Plan to turn farms into forest worries Obama official

  1. Wcolange December 29, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Government in a nutshell, special interests and unintended consequences.

  2. Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 29, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    I am so tired of this false premise. CO2 is not a pollutant, and anyone who thinks it is should only inhale. No exhaling!!!!! You’re contributing greenhouse gases everytime you breath out!!!!!!
    This is just so ridiculous. How do I know this? Well, here, look at these.'s_Atmosphere
    CO2 is 0.038% of Earth’s atmosphere. For those of you who don’t understand how small a number that is, you would have to multiply that by roughly 26.315 time to get to 1% of the Earth’s atmospheric composition.
    “Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of wavelengths, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM). This means that most of the heat producing radiation escapes it. About 8% of the available black body radiation is picked up by these “fingerprint” frequencies of CO2.”

    What that means is even if you were to double, tripple, or qaudruple the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, it will still only pick up, or absorb, 8% of the infra-red radiation coming from the Earth’s surface.
    So please stop accepting this premise that CO2 is a pollutant, or “powerfull” greenhouse gas. It is a lie.

  3. Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 29, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    I don’t know what happened to that link above, I will retype it. If it does the same here, just type in the- ‘s_Atmosphere – at the end of it and you’re there.'s_Atmosphere

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 29, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

      Dan, why does it do that?

      • Dan McGrath December 30, 2009 at 10:50 am #

        You can’t have an apostrophe in a URL.

        • Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

          OK. I just copied and pasted the URL, I did not add the apostrophe!!! But ok, I guess. That’s weird but……….

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

      Alright this is not cool. Typing in the rest of that link does’nt work. Just do a search for atmospheric composition and you’ll find it somewhere.

      • Romans510 December 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

        Hey, Neil: try I find this very helpful with really long links. Hope it helps.

  4. Rob N. Hood December 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Yes, this kind of thing interferes with business as usual:

    Hypocrisy red alert: To hear Tea Bagger Rep. Michele Bachmann tell it, you’d think socialism was the scourge of democracy — the prime mover in the destruction of our freedoms — and yet, Bachmann has gotten fat off federal “socialist” farm policies to the tune of a quarter-million dollars. And her fellow Baggers, Sens. Charles Grassley and Sam Brownback, have slopped up $1 million and $500k, respectively.

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

      Do you even know what tea bagging is? (!!!vulgarity alert!!!)
      Why do you leftists always call people involved with the tea party movement tea baggers? It’s just childish and immature. It’s also a clever way to dismiss the tea party movement of which you and your kind are afraid. It scares you to death that there is a grassroots conservative tide rolling across the country, so you have to attack it and diminnish it with this vulger, childish term because you can’t deal with it rationally. I invite you to grow up.

      • Hal Groar December 31, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

        Neil I agree with you. To think that the founders of this great nation were of the tea party. I guess this should not surprise us, Rob is against a free nation and demonstrates this on a daily basis. I find it interesting that the msm also denigrates the tea party’s, just goes to show how comfy they have become with the administration. Also how history is quickly forgotten and or re-written. I think though that Rob should be allowed to call it that if he wants, it shows his ignorance stunningly.

        • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

          I have to say that I agree with you, but I did not say that he should not say it. I was just wondering if he knew what it meant.

      • Rob N. Hood January 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

        They named themselves that- it’s their own fault. Plus if you want to attach other meanings to something that’s your prerogative. The ridiculous nature of the “party” is enough to “dismiss” it. I am not afraid of ridiculous things- it will slowly die of its own accord. Neil, they call themselves tea baggers, and placing any blame of me for that and any “vulgarity” you have in your own mind is rather immature and childish. You are equally invited to not only grow up but to be rational in your comments. Perhaps even comment on the glaring hypocrisy shown by people like Bachmann, etc. But no, you take something out of context, blame me for it, and then call me childish. Pathetic…

        • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

          Wrong. Show where they have called themselves tea baggers. I don’t believe that for a second. I’m not attaching “other meanings” to it. That IS what the term means, and is why it is used in a derogatory manner to describe tea partiers. And it’s obvious that you’re not afraid of ridiculous things, you demonstrate that every time you post here.

          • Rob N. Hood January 5, 2010 at 10:37 am #

            Neil, I post more reality than anyone on this site. As for the Tea Bagger, come on. What else do you do with a term used as a name for a group- it NATURALLY gets changed slighty, and in this case only VERY slightly. It can mean either thing, your dirty term or the natural one for who they say they are. Your constant victimhood is very very lame.

  5. Rob N. Hood December 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    Can’t leave out the Dems:

    The Pols not only service their corporate masters to keep the graft flowing, but they do so in order to soften their landing when they are put out to pasture, voluntary of otherwise.

    When Tom Daschle met his electoral demise, he jauntily went to work for the interests he faithfully served in the senate… for a tidy 8 figures per.

    I don’t really see a remedy short of completely removing corporate and aristocratic money from campaigns and from K-street. It would be pretty simple really. And the time is kind of ripe now for this. Craft an amendment whereby corporations are defined as not natural people and, as such, do not have the constitutional right to petition their government, which their right to bribe government is based upon.

    Then, federal elections must be publicly funded (other countries do this and it is affordable and effective- not only that but it gives a populace a good chance at actual democracy).

    No other remedy is possible.

    • Hal Groar December 31, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

      Rob, this topic obviously is a bug in your bonnet. I have read your posts for some time and I see a pattern there. Why don’t you start a “Global Corporate Elector Purchasing Scam” web-site and let us work on the environmental scams here? I have no problems with your arguments, I just find them off topic and looking for a home. I want to confront the lies regarding global warming, not some imaginary boogie man in the corporate world buying up any and every federal office. That topic (if it exists) will be handled by people who have studied the issue, like we handle Climate change here. So move over to ATS and stop with this off topic drivel.

      • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 1, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

        That was a concise strike on the head of the nail! I could not have put it better myself…… and believe me, I have tried.

      • Rob N. Hood January 1, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

        I understand your criticism. But it’s obviously my opinion that certain things are related, on a more macro scale obviously, but related nonetheless. Dan has the option of deletimg me or censoring, etc. It is his site, no? My point is all this “micro” thinking is all well and good, but really only gets you so far… Again, that’s my opinion, and since no one else does this at least consistently I feel compelled to do so.

  6. Paul Wenum December 30, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Nice to see you back Neil. As to Rob, I found out that “Tea baggers” has a sexual context that I’m sure that you are aware of. I see that the “left” uses this quote quite often, MSNBC as well as others. Do you people have morals? It’s call “Tea Parties.” Either get it straight or quit offending people that actually have a difference of opinion. You always seem to demean anyone that disagrees. No wonder in 2010 the Democrats will go under. With your mind-set I now understand. Americans are waking up to the falsehoods of “Global warming” that is actually “natural” climate change. By the way, It is snowing, have you looked out your window?

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 31, 2009 at 2:04 pm #

      Thanks Paul, but I really haven’t gone anywhere. I just have had other things going on and can’t devote the time I once did for commenting here.

    • Rob N. Hood January 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

      The political action committee behind the Tea Bag Express (TBE) — which already has been slammed as inauthentic
      and corporate-controlled by rival factions in the Tea Party movement — directed around two thirds of its spending
      during a recent reporting period back to the Republican consulting firm that created the PAC in the first place.

      Our Country Deserves Better (OCDB) spent around $1.33 million from July through November.
      Of that sum, $870,489 went to consulting firm Russo, Marsh, and Associates, or people associated with it.

      OCDB, which built the Tea Bag Express, is essentially a Russo, Marsh creation, as we’ve detailed. The PAC’s site
      was registered in July 2008 by Sal Russo, the firm’s founder. That site also lists Russo as the PAC’s “chief strategist.”
      Tea Bag Express fundraising emails, sent by OCDB come from another Russo employee, Joe Wierzbicki.

      Just for good measure, legendary GOP bamboozler Howard Kaloogian is also on OCDB’s board,
      and has close ties to Russo, Marsh.

  7. Balgorg December 31, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    I plant trees for a living, so it suits me.

    • Neil F. AGWD/BSD December 31, 2009 at 11:29 am #

      So, you’d be for converting millions of acres farmland to plant trees. Job security? Even though the food shortage that is already underway will be deepened, and add to the billions of people that are already starving, not to mention the skyrocketing of food prices that will occur? Are you sure you’re not a capitalist/Republican? That sounds selfish and greedy to me.
      Actually I am just assuming that you are a Democrat/Environmentalist, I could be wrong about that, but it just strikes me as odd that someone that plants trees for a living, would be all for screwing everyone else to have job security. That’s the exact type of thing that Democrat/Liberal/Environmentalists have been accusing the Right of doing for as long as I can remember. So forgive me if I’m wrong about you specifically. I’m just making a point.

      • Balgorg December 31, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

        I really used to be into the environmental thing, but I am a convert to the anti global warming camp. There was a time when I really believed in AGW, so I felt good about all those trees I plant. Sadly less trees have been planted over the last two years, so I really welcome any anouncement that more planting is being considered. So really its just job security for me. I think you have a point about the competition for food, but woodlands bring so many benefits. There is allot of marginal land that could be planted up, such as steep slopes, north facing valleys and damp ground. These are all areas that are a waste of time for food production.

        There is also the possibility of combining forestry with food production.

        I believe the CO2/global warming thing is a massive lie, so its kind of ironic that that same lie benefits me. I planted 50.000 trees per year for 8 years, last year I planted 4 trees.

        • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

          Thank you. I was unsure of what you meant. I will now say more power to you. I have no problem at all with planting more trees, as long as it makes some kind of logical sense.

      • Rob N. Hood January 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

        A Right-winger calling someone greedy and selfish. Good one Neil.

        • Neil F. AGWD/BSD January 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

          I was merely reflecting what the Left says about the Right. It’s called satire.

          • Rob N. Hood January 4, 2010 at 8:37 am #

            Oops, my bad. It didn’t appear to be satire. It’s refreshing that you are in other words admitting that R.wingers are greedy and selfish.

  8. paul wenum January 1, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    Balgorg, I planted over 20 trees last year at my cabin. That means you and I get carbon credits?

    • Balgorg January 1, 2010 at 8:17 am #


      Do you live in your cabin? I used to have one, lived in it for 6 years.

  9. paul wenum January 3, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I live in my cabin as much as possible. The trees I planted are “natural” like Climate Change. My cabin is a retreat from reality.

  10. Rob N. Hood January 4, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    There are no forests in Afghanistan.

    Did Bush/Cheney rebuild Reagan’s “Iran Contra” drug lord/gang?

    News out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India reports massive corruption at the highest levels of government, corruption that could only be financed with drug money. In Afghanistan, the president’s brother is known to be one of the biggest drug runners in the world. In Pakistan, President Zardani is found with 60 million in a Swiss Bank and his Interior Minister is suspected of ties to American groups involved in paramilitary operations, totally illegal that could involve nothing but drugs, there is no other possibility.

    Testimony in the US that our government has used “rendition” flights to transport massive amounts of narcotics to Western Europe and the United States has been taken in sworn deposition. American mercenaries in Pakistan are hundreds of miles away from areas believed to be hiding terrorists, involved in “operations” that can’t have anything whatsoever to do with any CIA contract.

    These mercenaries aren’t in Quetta, Waziristan or FATA supporting our troops, they are in Karachi and Islamabad playing with police and government officials and living the life of the fatted calf. The accusations made are that Americans in partnership with corrupt officials, perhaps in all 3 countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, are involved in assassinations, “unknown” criminal activities and are functioning like criminal gangs. There is no oil in Afghanistan. There is nothing to draw people into the area other than one product, one that nobody is talking about. Poppys… and heroin. BTW, they also want to build an oil pipeline thru Afghanistan- it’s two-fer.

    Did you know GHW Bush’s nickname is Poppy?

  11. Paul Wenum January 4, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    You ever been there? No forests? How the hell do they keep their fires going? Sheep dung???

  12. Rob N. Hood January 5, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Exactly, and camel dung too. I did exaggerate, there undoubtedly are some trees there, but forests…?? Doubtful, and even if there are one or two “forests” I stand by the statement. You just like to contradict.

  13. Rob N. Hood January 7, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    I just found out that besides poppies, and camel dung, there is a large amount of copper in certain areas of Afghanistan. But guess who got most of the rights to it? Wait for it……

    China. Not us; we are spending all our money and blood there, and they step right in and reap the rewards. Are we stuuupid or what?

  14. paul wenum January 8, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Hope the copper thieves in China get fried attempting to steal it. Your point is?

  15. Rob N. Hood January 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    I made it… you missed it.

  16. paul wenum January 13, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    Rob, Just golfed with a gentleman that deals extensively with a South American country that basically controls the majority of cooper in the world and he handles the majority of the transactions. Afghanistan is a small speck in the sand, if that. Get your facts straight my friend.

  17. Rob N. Hood January 14, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Once you scolded me when I said there were no forests in Afghanistan, and now you tell me it is a speck? And we are bogged down in a war there, that we will surely lose, and it’s a land of no consequence. How big would it have to be to have a substantial spot of copper? Arizona does, and it is what, smaller than Afghanistan, the same size? What, if anything, are you trying so unsuccessfuly to say?? Or is it that you HAVE to repudiate me NO MATTER what? Isn’t that a trait that people on the Right have? Answer: Yes.

  18. paul wenum January 17, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Suggest that you start seeing the “real world” as it truly is. I sense that you have never been to a bathroom with no toilet paper because they never heard of it and is never available in numerous countries. The bathroom in some countries is a hole in the floor, period. Books are a wonderful thing for research etc., but actually experiencing/being in the different countries is the “Real World!” Not always what you read, it is what you experience. Quit the lectures with no knowledge other than what you read or a Professor told you in College.

  19. Rob N. Hood January 17, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Can you explain to all of us novices then, Oh Wise Sage, what causes that kind of poverty? Are there ultra-rich (or maybe just rich) people in those same countries enjoying their toilet paper among many other luxuries? Yes, usually there is. Curious that, eh?

  20. paul wenum January 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    In some countries it has been that way for thousands of years. Would you someday tell us what “Rich” is to you? I have never had a left wing liberal answer that question. Probably due to the fact most are filthy rich. Look at Hollywood.

  21. Rob N. Hood January 21, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    I believe I did answer that somewhat inane question some other time to satisfy you. But what is rich…???!!!! Yes, it’s relative, of course, but beyond that it is a very odd question to focus on. Not really pertinent to the subject at hand. But you are using Alinsky tactics yourself I guess. You’ve done so before. Maybe you aren’t even aware of it. You obviously have read his book and are more familiar with it than I am even.

    You think Hollywood is full of rich people? Yes there are rich people there, duh. Have you walked down certain streets and seen the poverty there as well? You are a very confused man.

  22. paul wenum January 23, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    Rob, Been there done that. Have you? Or do you just read about it? Let me know because I’m interested.

  23. Paul Wenum January 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Just returned from a trip where there are 4 million dollar homes and a mile await or on the other side of the Island there are people that live a full life with little or no electricity, fresh water, catch their own fish, harvest their own meat/pork/fowl and only go to “town” to get sugar/salt/pepper/coffee at the store. I try to ride horses with them every year and fish as they do as well. I’m just to darn old to go after a wild boar with a spear. They boars are faster as I age. The bottom line is that they have lived like this for hundreds of years from father, grandfather, greatgrandfather, etc.. There will always be “Rich and Poor.” It is what you define it my friend. To myself, they are richer than I.

  24. Rob N. Hood January 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    That is pure racist BS. The sad part is you don’t even have a clue and never will.

  25. paul wenum January 30, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Rob, you are a poor soul. I’m usually with the locals, eating, relaxing, not with the 4 million dollar home owners. Not that I would not like to have one, just can’t cost justify even if I had the money. They are all just like me. Rich, middle income, or lower income. All are “Real people.” Unfortunately people like you will never understand that we are all the same. I pity you in your search for hand out wealth with no work behind it and if you do work and don’t keep up with the “Jones,” you blame everyone but yourself and expect the government, (US THE TAXPAYERS), to pay your way. I’m not built that way, nor is a true American. You work, save, scrap by and then hopefully enjoy the fruit of you labors. If you worked as hard at work as you do on this site, you could do wonders in you career! Think about it!!!

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