Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, December 10, 2023
ISSUE #1185
Farmers. Global Warming. University Presidents on the Hot Seat

For my family and most folks, December is a time to wind down and celebrate Christmas.

For farmers and ranchers, this month is the beginning of the “meeting season.” I participated in two of them this week: the Ohio Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and the Ohio No-till Conference.

Will Rogers joked about farm meetings in December 1925, “(President Coolidge) spoke before the (American) Farm Bureau. Farmers have more Associations, and Bureaus, and Clubs, than they have pitchforks… Farmers spend more time at Conventions than they do plowing.”

Personally, I’m in favor of them spending more time at meetings than they do plowing. At our Ohio No-till Conference, and others like it, we are helping farmers give up plowing. I wouldn’t say that farmers are hooked on plowing. But many have been plowing ever since a blacksmith in Illinois named John Deere attached a thin sheet of steel over a cast iron moldboard plow in 1837.

In the almost two hundred years since then, we have developed ways to plant seeds, and control weeds and other pests without plowing. In 1989, the company John Deere founded started selling drills to plant without plowing the ground. About the same time, Monsanto was developing Roundup to kill weeds, and then they genetically improved corn and soybeans so they would not be killed by the herbicide. Critics are trying to eliminate Roundup (glyphosate) and other chemicals over isolated health issues that modern farming depends on.

Other developments and practices have reduced soil erosion and allowed soil to store carbon that plants remove from the air. When that soil is plowed, the carbon oxidizes and returns to the air. Continuous no-till reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Therefore, the elimination of plowing and other tillage reduces global warming.

And that brings us to the annual Climate Change Convention in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It is sponsored by the United Nations. Ironically, almost 100,000 official delegates flew to the UAE, an oil producing country, to complain about fossil fuels. John Kerry, our Energy Czar, flew on a private plane. He made a speech where he said we have to stop burning coal to generate electricity because it’s killing people. Since coal is the source of 40% of the electricity in the world, Kerry’s plan would result in millions of people freezing to death. In the dark!

A panel of experts at the conference concluded that climate change is causing malnutrition and starvation. Well, these “experts” must know that the climate has been changing for thousands of years. And I bet a higher percentage of the world’s population was starving or undernourished years ago than today. And if they are referring to “global warming” as a death threat, they need to realize that “global cooling” is ten times worse for food production. It’s hard to grow crops if you get killing frosts during summer.

Speaking of heat, the presidents of three of our most elite universities, Harvard, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, got in hot water when Congress grilled them about pro-Hamas demonstrations on their campuses. When Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York asked if students shouting support for genocide of Jews violates their policy for student behavior, they said, “it depends on context.” Perhaps the Congresswoman should have asked a follow up, “What if they called for genocide of all Black people?” Or if they demonstrated for genocide of all university presidents?

One of those presidents has resigned, and the other two should follow her lead. Other university presidents should consider how Jewish and other minority students are viewed and treated on campus.

A main source of this hatred of Jews are a few liberal-leaning faculty. It seems that several universities have policies that are liberal (generous) toward everyone except Jews and conservatives. If university departments dominated by left-leaning faculty who seem to worship DEI want to support Diversity, then no liberal professors should be hired until half of the faculty are moderate or conservative. And it wouldn’t hurt if a few of the new faculty grew up in rural areas or at least understand that farmers and ranchers around the world are growing crops and livestock more efficiently and economically than ever before. A key to increasing food production through mechanization and technology is the use of abundant, affordable fuel. Including coal.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“You know it’s been said that when you graduate from Harvard or Yale it takes the next 10 years to live it down, and the next 40 to try to forget it.” WA #160, Jan. 3, 1926


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