The View From Rural Route #8
As each year should be interesting, it’s a lead pipe cinch this next one will be.
With our own Environmental Protection Agency set to limit carbon emissions from coal fired electric plants and from oil refineries, it will be more than interesting to see how that plays out. Can the Obama administration do without votes from Wyoming and West Virginia? You bet it can. Will the natural gas interests who are sick of below $5 per thousand cubic feet prices be prime beneficiaries while we watch that precious reserve be literally sucked up by generators of common electricity? Could be. Will hammering the refineries reduce our dependence on foreign oil and will these measures help motorists and truckers and farmers and construction people on their fuel costs? No and heck no might be good answers to the last two questions, but we’ll soon know a lot more for sure.
President Obama during his campaign warned or promised, depending on your point of view, that he would put coal fired electricity plants out of business. That his people would actually do this without negotiation, compensation, planning and actual construction of real alternatives like nuclear plants (wind cannot and will not do the job), is criminal and treasonous to the well-being and security of this nation. If I disappear, maybe now you’ll know why. Let me tell you a secret: even Marxist ideologues and elitists like their computers and air conditioning, fancy foods, big salaries, big cars, expensive clothes, secluded outings in luxury cabins and boats, and privilege in general.
Also interesting to me, at least, is the announcement by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources of a multi-faceted plan to improve and preserve that nation’s farm lands in the name of national food security.
The Chinese land minister, Xu Shaoshi, said last week that they intend to preserve 296.5 million acres of arable land until 2020 to ensure “the lifeline of food security for the 1.3 billion people” in the nation. He said the country must “hold fast” to that “bottom line” of arable ground, which China is losing a lot of to “seizures” for industry and housing.
My point here is that probably we need to be thinking crop land base also. I have maintained for years that food security or national independence in food production is a major component of national security and well being. Having a sufficient, high quality reliable source of electricity is also vital. Our own crop base is declining (look at the cities’ expansions of the last quarter-century) and now our soil fertility is threatened and our electric power quality is in jeopardy.
The story out of China also mentioned an effort to improve the ability of farm land to yield more efficiently. A program is underway, but it didn’t say what is involved. Meanwhile, our environmental saviors are hard at work closing down our domestic production of phosphate fertilizers, principally in central Florida.
It should be ‘interesting’, as in riveting or galling or astonishing, to see how zooming increases in prices for electricity, fuels, food and fertilizers will hurt farmers, consumers and job creation in this already fragile economy. Keep “clinging” to Who blessed this nation and what defended its precepts of freedom in the first place and maybe we’ll have a chance. Talk back. Walk tall.
Jim Suber is an award-winning farm, ranch, and rural life columnist residing on Rural Route No. 8, Topeka.
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