Friday, July 19

Writer for liberal rag: Farmers "just need to get better" at productivity ??

So many people make so many stupid statements that it's hard to know when one is being sarcastic.  Perhaps the author of the WaPo article below was being sarcastic.  Maybe you can decide.


We’re not growing enough food to feed the world
     by Brad Plumer in the WaPo, July 1, 2013

How are we possibly going to feed the world over the next few decades?  [1]

After all, consider what we’re up against: The global population is expected to swell from 7 billion today to 9.6 billion by 2050. The rising middle class in China and India is eating more meat than ever. [2] 
[Meanwhile] we’re setting aside more farmland for biofuels [3] and trying not to cut down any more forests (which exacerbates climate change).

In theory, there’s a simple solution here: The world’s farmers will just need to get better at squeezing more productivity out of existing farmland. [4] 
Crop yields have been steadily improving since the advent of synthetic fertilizer and modern agricultural techniques.  [T]hose yields will just need to keep improving in the years to come. [5]

1.  Even though we have the best, most innovative farmers on the planet, and the best technology, we can't feed a world where so many governments seem determined to enforce policies that make it impossible for their populations to be self-supporting.  Short answer:  it's not our responsibility.  Not even close.

2.  Liberals have been screeching for at least a few decades now that we should eat less meat.  So if we stop supplying meat to China and India, according to liberal lights we'd actually be doing 'em a favor, right?

3.  Using productive acreage for crops that will used only as feedstock for biofuels is an idea that even if possibly well-intentioned, turns out to be dumb.  It's cost taxpayers tens of billions in subsidies and has put upward pressure on food prices around the world.  It is lunacy, idiocy...the kind of "solution" a child might devise--an attractive goal with no consideration of real-world consequences, like deciding to eat nothing but icecream for every meal.

4.  Author Brad Plumer is a genius!  Once he explained it, it was so obvious!  It's so simple that it's amazing no one could see it until Brad pointed it out.  And it's such a classic example of liberal brilliance that I'm gonna put it on its own line so it can get the attention it deserves.  (ahem): 
The world’s farmers will just need to get better at squeezing more productivity out of existing farmland.
I think we should all be in awe of such brilliance.  Unless it was sarcasm, in which case it makes a lot more sense. 

5.  In case some ol' cynics--including, one suspects, every farmer--were tempted to consider Plumer's "simple solution" a bit too simplistic--if not childishly unreal--the author explains how this goal of "squeezing more productivity" can be achieved in the last sentence:  After correctly noting that "Crop yields have been steadily improving since the advent of synthetic fertilizer and modern agricultural techniques," he ties it all together with a single sentence:
 [T]hose yields will just need to keep improving in the years to come. 
No word yet on how big a government team Brad thinks it will take to get the word out to the crops that their yields "will just need to keep improving in the years to come," but we have no doubt that if you give him a mere two billion bucks or so, he'll find a way to form a government agency and spend it.

Clearly, to a liberal writer for Time, the solution to food shortage really is simple, going something like this:
  1. Form government agency with initial budget of $2 billion;
  2. ????
  3. Crop yields keep improving in every year to come!

Y'know, there oughta be a Nobel for this kind of thinking.  I mean, if the committee gave a Nobel peace prize to an unknown politician a month after he took office, when the guy had accomplished exactly nothing up to that point, you can't ignore Brad Plumer. 

Makes perfect sense if you're a liberal.

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