Can we stop climate change?

April 28, 2013 

As a farmer in the San Joaquin Valley, the article "Climate change threatens wineries, study shows" (April 12, Page A-1) struck a chord with me. I have no doubt that climate change is happening. What I do doubt is whether we have the political will and collective courage to take decisive action in the face of uncertainty.

Farmers are used to variability in weather, crop yields, prices, labor availability, you name it. We know there are factors within our control, and others we can influence but ultimately whose outcomes we'll not be able to control. I see climate change as one of those latter. We know enough at this point to act in ways that can help us adapt to the uncertainties to come.

Just look at the drought the Midwest endured last year. Could better soil and water management have helped ease the pain caused by that drought? Most likely, yes. However, we'll need better research, more technical assistance and maybe even some supports to protect the food supply and farmer livelihoods from the worst crop losses.

California legislators are making decisions about investing funds from the cap-and-trade program. Agriculture should be part of that equation.



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