Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tariff-Slammed Rural Communities Now Battling Climate Change Flooding

A flooded Oklahoma farm - Oklahoma went for
Trump by 65.3% of the vote.
I have written about the plight - much self-inflicted - of Mid-West farmers who, in my view, (i) stupidly voted for Donald Trump  thanks to his appeals to racism and/or religious extremism, and (ii) jumped on the climate change denial bandwagon.  This year, both moves are coming back to haunt them in spades and, but for the children and youths suffering, it's hard not to want to pull out a tiny violin and play a funeral dirge for them.  Between Trump's tariffs which have sent China to other nations for its agricultural purchases and the rains and flooding that some experts say may be the new normal for large swaths of the nation, these Trump supporters may be looking at financial ruin.  That financial ruin also extends to the larger rural communities in which these farmers live. Some are even waking to the reality that perhaps climate change is, in fact real.  Embracing ignorance and embracing hate and bigotry are choices - or stated another way, actions do have consequences - and karma seemingly is repaying these folks in spades.  A piece in Huffington Post looks at the ongoing tariff and flooding situation.  Here are highlights:

Panicked farmers throughout the Midwest are facing the increasing probability that vast tracts of fields will remain unplanted or crops will fail this year as much of their land remains under water or too sodden for farm equipment and plants.
The crushing weather conditions come on top of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China that has already triggered a record number of farm bankruptcies.
It’s been the wettest 12 months ever in the U.S., and scientists link it to the effects of climate change.  “The frequency of these disasters, I can’t say we’ve experienced anything like this since I’ve been working in agriculture,” John Newton, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, told The Washington Post. 
It’s the slowest planting time in 39 years
Sodden fields lie fallow, and corn and soy crops that have been planted are stunted in the mud. Hard-hit states include Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Michigan. Waters began to recede in some areas in recent days but there’s more rain in the forecast.
“It’s going to be a train wreck,” Illinois corn farmer James McCune, whose family has been tilling the soil since 1857, told Crain’s Chicago Business. He could only plant 950 acres this year of the 6,000 acres he operates.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine(R)  is seeking a federal disaster declaration for more government funds. Just 50% of the state’s corn crop and 32% of its soybean crop had been planted as of a few days ago because of relentless rains and flooding. There’s already a state of emergency in every single county in Oklahoma.
The Trump administration is already spending a total of $27 billion in subsidies just to help farmers survive [Trump's] the president’s trade war.
Trump hasn’t acknowledged the flood toll on the group he refers to as his “patriot farmers,” who are credited with helping put him into the White House. Meanwhile, he continues to raise doubts about climate change exists. . . . . His policy changes — including his intention to ease vehicle emission standards — will predictably worsen climate change, according to scientists.
A new Purdue University study has found that farmers are becoming increasingly pessimistic about their futures, citing losses from both Trump’s trade war and the current weather conditions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated that farmers had planted just 67% of the acreage planned for corn by June 3. This time last year, the figure was at 96%.
It’s not only the farmers, but their communities that suffer.  “Everything comes from land and feeds our small towns, our elevators, fertilizer business, seed business, machinery business, all that,” said Illinois farmer Dan Koster. “There’s that ripple effect that’ll affect all those guys.”
It may sound heartless, but if these people continue to support Trump and his trade wars and denial of cliamte change, they basically deserve whatever misfortune befalls them.   If they want to see the cause of their problems, they need to look in a mirror. 

1 comment:

EdA said...

But they're all just imagining things. Global climate change doesn't exist except for where it affects trump golf courses. The welfare given to the trumpanzee farmers is being paid for by the increase in prices to everyone in the U.S. affected by the tariffs AND by even more money borrowed from China, which the children and grandchildren of the trumpanzees, and of decent Americans as well, will be repaying, with interest. Etc., etc.

Interesting factoid, which I really wish that Democrats and other lovers of our country should point out over and over again.

Leaving aside major differences in standard of living, the average Dominican has a longer life expectancy than the average American living in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Louisiana, West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi. For that matter, so does the average Bangladeshi. And the Republiscum (Russiacans?) politicians are most definitively on record in taking the position that as far as they are concerned, Americans who are not them already live long enough.