Viewing the field
February 15, 2019
The U.S. political scene is the gift that keeps on giving for humorous columnists, who are always on the lookout for new material.
The newest "political gift" that fell into my lap from the high intellectuals in Washington, D.C., trying their very best to tell us how to live our lives out here in fly-over nation, is the Green New Deal being touted by the left's new media darling — the new three-initialed congresswoman from New York. She is a media hog, so I won't oblige her by mentioning her by name.
However, her Green New Deal idea was quickly jumped on by the gaggle of folks on the left who have already thrown their hats in the ring to dethrone our current president in the 2020 elections. So, these ideas have significant political traction.
Now since "Three-Initial" posted her original Green New Deal on the internet, within hours saner heads started backtracking and covering up faster than a tom cat with diarrhea.
So, I'm going with the contents of the original Green New Deal. Normally, I might not jump into political commentary if it didn't affect agriculture, but the Green New Deal definitely does have agricultural and food implications, so it's fair game for this old aggie columnist trying to find something funny to write about.
Let me start with a list of the GND items that most effect agriculture. These are to be achieved within 10 years. One, the complete phase out of every form of internal combustion engine, jet engine or diesel engine. Two, work with farmers and ranchers to create a sustainable, pollution and greenhouse gas free, food system that ensures universal access to healthy food and expands independent family farming. Three, get rid of those methane-gas producing bovines. Four, build a national fleet of personal, business and public transportation electric vehicles. Five, have no nuclear power generation. Six, rehabilitate every home and business building nationwide to state-of-the-art minimal energy consumption. Seven, remove greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere with reforestation. And, eight, guarantee a job and/or income for all who want to work and those who don't want to work.
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I could probably find more, but you get the picture. So, let's briefly examine the outcome if these ideas in the GND come to fruition within 10 years. Eliminating all forms of engines providing transportation power means electric powered cars, trucks, tractors, lawn mowers, industrial machines, freight and passenger trains, barges and tankers. This means we better get busy breeding millions of horses and mules to replace our tractors. The Amish will be kings of American agriculture. Sail boat and row boat manufacturers better get busy because it's going to be the only way to transport ag commodities around the country and the globe. Better get some long extension cords for air travel since jet engines will be just a memory. Crank up that old push mower unless you want a shaggy lawn or golf course.
Second, I'm sure American farmers and ranchers will welcome doing away with modern labor-savers. Doing more manual work will eliminate rural obesity. The necessity of hiring millions of hired hands will eliminate unemployment and, I'm sure, contribute mightily to the "expansion of independent family farms." Why, the farm wife will have to get back in the kitchen to feed all those hired workers every noon.
Third, get rid of cattle, and that includes milk cows. Folks are sure gonna miss their medium-rare, mouth-watering, delectable beef steaks, their roast beef with savory brown gravy, and their juicy hamburgers. And, just think of all the fast-food employees, meat processing employees, protein-packaging folks who will be out of jobs. No more chocolate malts or hot fudge sundaes. Pity all the starving babies with no milk to drink. "Three-Initial" didn't specifically mention hogs, sheep, goats or chickens. But they've got to go, too. They all produce noxious methane gas and smells. Seems to me all the horses that'll be needed in the new GND economy might just produce as much methane gas as the farm animals they replaced. Pity all the household pets forced to eat vegan diets. Why, Fifi might starve in time.
Fourth and fifth, build that national fleet of electric vehicles. It's gonna be tough to get an electric semi to haul soybeans out of the Flint Hills or logs out of the forest. Wonder how we're gonna generate all the needed electricity if we won't burn coal or use nuke power? Gonna have to burn a lot of cobs and corn stalks, I guess.
Six, rehab every building to new green standards. Wonder who's gonna do all that work? Maybe, we can open our borders to cheap labor for that huge job.
Eight, reforest the nation. I don't think there will be a need for reforestation. Without grazing animals, the resultant glut of grasses will reoxygenate the atmosphere.
Thinking about the GND, I think I'd be in favor providing there are guarantees that every congressperson, senator, and federal employee must live with the same rules as the common man. I wonder how those good elected reps from Hawaii will get back and forth to home? Going by sailboat will take months.
Small communities will spring back up because no one can travel much. We'll all have time to play games with family members, visit with neighbors, etc.
To me the saddest part about GND is that we actually have voters who elected "Three-Initial" and her elitist ilk. Ponder your new GND life and hope it's a good 'un. ❖