FarmPolicy

November 21, 2019

Climate Change; Biofuels; Food Assistance; HSUS- Animal Agriculture; and H1NI

Climate Change- Background

As the climate change issue garners increasing attention in the debate over the future direction of U.S. farm policy, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released an interesting background report entitled, “Potential Impacts of Climate Change in the United States.”

In part, the preface of the report stated that, “This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) paper—prepared at the request of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources—presents an overview of the current understanding of the impacts of climate change in the United States, emphasizing the wide range of uncertainty about the magnitude and timing of those impacts and the implications of that uncertainty for the formulation of effective policy responses. The analysis draws from numerous published sources to summarize the current state of climate science and provide a conceptual framework for addressing climate change as an economic concern. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, the paper makes no recommendations.”

The CBO report indicated that, “Human activities around the world—primarily fossil fuel use, forestry, and agriculture—are producing growing quantities of emissions of greenhouse gases, other gases, and particulates and are also greatly altering the Earth’s vegetative cover. A strong consensus has developed in the expert community that if allowed to continue unabated, the accumulation of those substances in the atmosphere and oceans, coupled with widespread changes in patterns of land use, will have extensive, highly uncertain, but potentially serious and costly impacts on regional climate and ocean conditions throughout the world.”

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