Los Angeles agricultural commissioner stump says global warming is hurting agriculture
THE AG IS COMMITTED TO THE CLIMATE– High fuel prices, rising food prices, gas and oil production, Russian invasion of Ukraine, labor shortages and climate change were highlights of Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain’s discussion at the Baton Rouge Press Club earlier this week. Strain said all of these things relate to driving market prices, but a key takeaway was when Strain said rising global temperatures could damage agricultural production to meet growing demand. He pointed out that when the planet started warming it first helped the agriculture industry to produce more crops, but added that if temperatures continue to rise it will have the opposite effect.
“Climate change is real. We have benefited over the last 100 years from a slight increase in temperature of production, but we are now on the other side where increasing temperatures will reduce the production of plants and animals,” Strain said.
Strain said the solution is to reduce greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and that new carbon capture technologies as well as old-fashioned farming are ways to do this. .
“Our forests already sequester 18% to 20% of all carbon produced. But agriculture is the key. Keep it green, right? Strain said. “Keep it green, natural sequestration and we’re going to work with our industries to do that; to reduce the amount of Co2. Try to get that under control. We can’t allow the planet to heat up another 2 degrees in the 100 coming years.”
Some environmental groups have called carbon capture a “false solution”. But technology is gaining ground. The United Nations says carbon capture must be part of the solution to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, but the effort is not improving as quickly as non-fossil energy sources, solar and wind and electricity storage. Louisiana is developing carbon capture projects, power company CLECO recently announced it would invest $900 million in a massive carbon capture facility in central Louisiana.