Your editorial, “The two languages of climate change,” seems to assume that farmers and ranchers can find ways to adapt to impacts of climate change, and that politicians are just “leaping for the panic button” to “push through political agendas.”
In June, we had three days of heat far exceeding all-time records at our cherry orchard in The Dalles. Our cherries literally cooked on the trees in the 118 degree heat, and we lost at least half of our crop. The suggestion for mitigation of climate change effects, “We can deal with it with more reservoir capacity,” isn’t a solution for us. We have plenty of irrigation water, but no amount of water would have protected our crop from that heat. All the farmers in our area were hurt, including dryland wheat farmers, ranchers that pasture their animals, hay growers, you name it.
You stated that “Scientists agreed that there wasn’t much new” in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. The report’s synopsis states, “It is virtually certain that hot extremes (including heatwaves) have become more frequent and more intense across most land regions since the 1950s. Now that may not be something new to Cliff Mass, the only scientist quoted in your editorial, but it is a clear warning that we are nearing a point of complete uncertainty in our climate. We directly experienced the effects of these heatwaves, and if this is our future how does the editorial staff or Cliff Mass believe we can minimize the impacts of climate change?
Sticking our heads in the hot sand, and saying China and other countries must step up before we do anything is assuring that my children won’t survive as cherry orchardists, and that likely is the same for most farmers and ranchers in our area.
Yes, let’s look for ways to minimize climate impacts to farmers and ranchers, but we also must look for ways to minimize our impact on the planet and its climate. Nothing about that should be political.
The Dalles, Ore.