Global warming affects food production

The title of Rep. Morgan Griffith’s latest newsletter could have been “Drill, Baby, Drill.”

He has been a consistent cheerleader for the fossil fuel industry, despite increasingly devastating impacts from climate change. Wildfires in the West are becoming more destructive. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes are more common, and coastal cities around the world face increased flooding. Norfolk, with its huge naval installation, is one of them. High tides there are a grave concern.

Despite obvious evidence that climate change is wreaking havoc, Griffith still thinks we can continue the profligate use of fossil fuels and be just fine, but he is wrong — just as he has been wrong about other things, such as voter fraud during the last election.

Agriculture in the arid West is done at a scale unimaginable here, and is far more efficient and productive than in the East. I know this because I owned a ranch in Idaho. From May to October, it barely rains in much of the West. Crops are watered by various forms of irrigation, which allow farmers to control the precise amount of water for optimum production. Unlike in the East, you never lose a crop due to too much rain. Idaho hay is some of the best in the world because of this.

Most of the vegetables in our grocery stores come from the West. The milk, cheese and ice cream that we buy comes from cows fed alfalfa hay like I raised. Beef in the meat section more likely comes from a western ranch than an eastern farm.

The supply of relatively cheap and abundant food to which we have become accustomed is now threatened by global warming. Water in the West is disappearing. Big agriculture production states like California, Arizona and Colorado may never again get their full water allotments from the Colorado River.

We live in a rich country and will survive for a while, until we reach a point when perhaps we will not.

I like driving my Honda CRV, but I also like to eat. Make no mistake, global warming impacts food production.

Nancy Liebrecht

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