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A Roadmap for the Biden-Harris Administration: Redesigning Farm Systems for the Climate Crisis

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/13/roadmap-biden-harris-administration-redesigning-farm-systems-climate-crisis

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But, Biden/ Harris was obviously installed by DNC, complicit media and the very Dupont, Bayer-Monsanto, CAFO & GE monoculture, monopoly agribusiness shills, to preclude this all from happening? To ensure nothing will fundementally change! FIRE, MIC, PhARMA, “Ctiminal Justice” Gas & Oil…

~https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/leading-scientist-says-hunger-is-a-deliberate-choice-by-those-in-power/

~https://cepr.net/important-addition-to-edsall-column-on-the-politics-of-resentment-downward-mobility-was-by-design/

~https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/12/its-the-index-stupid-our-new-not-so-neutral-financial-market-arbiters.html

~https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/11/biden-sees-the-a-team-i-see-the-blob/

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I’ll give the author the benefit of the doubt that they’d taken the time to write this article prior to Biden foisting Vilsack (aka “Mr. Monsanto”) as the agriculture secretary.

Otherwise, this article is a circle-jerk within a circle-jerk within a circle-jerk… as if Dali did a painting of a circle-jerk whilst he was circle-jerking…

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Are you not paying attention, Ben?   Creepy Joe Biden just nominated Korporate Stooge Tom Vilsack to be his Secretary of Agriculture.  The War on Small Farmers is about to take another giant leap forward!

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Ben, save your ideas and energy for a progressive leader. As long as the Republicans and Democrats are leading this country, your ideas will carry no weight. You are better off working local.

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Cc @ReconFire @BillinDubuque @webwalk

If you read his piece you know he is already doing this. He works with farmers in Minnesota. I read this piece and thought it to be pretty well organized and hope to see follow on pieces that discuss strategies for getting Vilsack and Biden to give a formal response to proposed items. The only way I can see that happening is if there are enough farmers that are willing to go on record that they want to see all the changes in a given list (perhaps the one give as is, perhaps modified). And if there are enough, try various ways to get a response including open letters in rural newspapers.

As I’ve said, I have no faith in Biden or Vilsack, or anybody else on his team, but that doesn’t mean I want progressives to ignore them for two years while attempting to form an opposition in a third party (which I am pretty pessimistic about on any short term success). We need the progressive bar drawn. We need to force a response for why Biden’s team won’t meet each item (or if they say they are willing to meet an item, we need to follow that carefully to make sure it isn’t hollow). Then when we run someone in a primary or an independent in the general, we can say “look at these ideas they are unwilling to do”.

Nobody save your breath.

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No more corporate welfare.

Some agribiz companies are among the worst actors in business anywhere, they are just vicious. They are real outliers in the ways they “do business”, arguably trying to steal the livelihoods of farmers everywhere. We must say no to their tactics, and end the patenting of life itself and seeds that make it impossible for farmers to keep their crops free and healthy. These companies need to stand down.

Huge firms that attempt to force policy strangleholds with trade deals that coerce countries into chemicals and GMOs and drugs given to animals that threaten our safety and health, and cause all sorts of problems, are not deserving of the taxpayers money.

No no no.

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The Democratic Party of today, is basically squatting on the domain name at this point, doing their best to prevent any progress, IMHO.

“It could also put more marginal farmland into conservation to sequester carbon and help spur markets for more climate-friendly systems of production such as organic or grass-fed beef and dairy, and pastured pork.”

All those HAPPY! and CHEERFUL! organic or grass-fed COWS (it’s the cows who eat grass, not their lifeless, dismembered body parts), spent dairy cows (missing their calves removed by the farmer), and intelligent and friendly pigs (so-called “pastured pork”), JOYFULLY! taking part in “climate-friendly” “sustainable” slaughter, as if they all graciously and generously volunteered to sacrifice their lives, bodies, and young the climate-friendly way for human enjoyment and profit. Sure makes humans feel good about doing something special!

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Given Biden’s and Vilsack’s government histories, I’m not optimistic either. But there are some here that claim Vilsack has teamed up with Inslee from WA., with the latter claiming climate change was his platform in the primary season, so maybe a leopard can change it’s spots. We’ll see.

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The climate crisis is the urgent demand for the Biden-Harris administration, and as Ben Lilliston states, “the challenge of our lifetime and of our children and grandchildren’s lifetimes.” Californian VP Harris should be a strong advocate for climate crisis action.

You’re also offering a helpful plan, @dara for advocacy for the Llliston roadmap.

Though it’s not a part of the roadmap, USDA will also be involved in moving food to people in need in this country, during the first part of the year and perhaps well into the year.

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With so many trade deals only allowing him to alienate more of our rights and give more entitlements to corporations, the best thing for politicians and Chief Executives could do is literally nothing.

As far as I can tell, but not being a lawyer, you need to hunt down the very small body of writing, and come to your own conclusions from what you read, not from me, because no matter how sure I am, they could somehow becme generous benevolent onest and sweet…

I am serious, as far as I can tell, everything is required to take more from people, most likely irreversibly and give it permanently to corporations. IS compromise as we know it literally forbidden? Seems to me - but- Are we as guaranteed to lose as it seems to me?

Can we gain anything at all?

If we are corporations we may.

Understanding this seems to be hard for we Americans who have been trained to believe our “leaders” can compromise and make progress (hence the word progressive) in both directions, now as they did in the past.

But thanks to these deals, that’s no longer true. The problem is explained at 5:55 in the following video -
~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY2tUTA4mzM
~which is legal testimony to the Calif. legislature by trade expert Robert Stumberg, director of Georgetown University’s Harrison Institute for Public Law.

What you are going to see is an explanation of what the term “not more burdensome than necessary” means in the GATS agreement when a committed service sector is involved.

(But keep in mind that because some things are financial services, the imbalance may be two big notches higher)

The term means from corporations viewpoint and there isnt any wiggle room.

It applies in most situations but in some emergencies, some other factors may apply - as log as it doesnt counteract the GATS rules ! In other words, the exception doesnt apply if it doesnt follow the rules… Nullifying it, kind of… Trade agreements seem to often use this kind of language to make it clear that there isnt any way out, and that it will cost countries big if they try to weasel out of the committments their leaders made, which are supposed to last in perpetuity, unless they follow the very specific procedures to modify or leave them, usually involving substantial compensation. Which can make it impossibly costly to get out.

Its also required to be a one way deregulation, if I am reading the literature right, and it seems intentionally highly ambiguous.

Its even said in a particular writer, a member of the WTO staff (Rudolf Adlung) that it is, as a tactic to make countries give up more…

Also thats particularly true for the US because we BOTH committed financial services, which Social Security, Medicare and anything else that could substitute for a like commercial financial product are, and also because we signed the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services with its standstill clause, and pledge to eliminate or reduce in scope all nonconforming monopoly services.

Also the Annex on Financial Services makes anything like expanding Medicare beyond Social Security toxic (which Biden wants to do) to its subsidization.

This likely would also preclude any other services that were financial - requiring existing ones be phased out and preventing new ones, so the proposal that black farmers (or white farmers, or green farmers) is likely, like the endless painful vagueness on health care reform seems like a kind of cruel inside joke, even more than highly unlikely to happen unless we withdraw from the GATS which seems to me very very very very unlikely to happen under this government who have made it very clear that we’re on the other side. We want banks and financial service sellers to get the highest profits, not switch to nonprofit anything. Politicians maybe can claim to be for it but they cant actually do it, because we signed a deal that makes it clear this isn’t a democracy in these areas in practical terms. If it was corporate investments could be diminuated in value sharply by the unpredictable voters. That’s exactly what trade deals make impossible, or close to it. Without some huge change, like a meteor plowing into Earth, trust might be better placed in reincarnation as a rich person than the USG changing this voluntarily.

Also, we need to understand, they created a situation above our government that has a very highprobability of stripping us of our safety nets like the ones I just mentioned, as far as I NOT A LAWYER can tell. Even think tanks that supposedly specialize in these areas are really obligated to tell us and with few exceptions, like a paper by a 27 years young healthy health activist who was brilliant, in his 3rd year of law school, wrote a paper in 2009 about it which was published in a leading academic journal, but suddenly died, and unfortunately that was the last work from him.

And it seems, the country is now totally brainwashed into not seeing this very important mine field we’re stumbling across.

Its not unthinkable that we would lose these things, its looking extremely unlikely to me that we wont. They seem just determined to hide this trap which to me means - well what do you think it would? in fact they already created - over decades at tremendous effort a way to strip not just us - the whole world, of safety net of all kinds on a massive scale.

and people should listen. The people who are holding out hope are as likely doing that as a tactic to deceive us as not, probably more, if I am realistic. Like corporations, They dont want their investment in this brand to be lost.

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dara, thanks for a reasoned response to a reasonable article.

As long as we as a nation embrace unhealthy “fast food nation” principles we will continue to slide slowly downhill health wise. And, we should separate the huge conglomerate “family farms” from those real family farms who serve regional areas with good fresh produce. Why do we have so many “food deserts” in the richest nation on earth??? That in principle is a scandal. We have millions of acres of inner city post-corporate land destruction that can be used as “city-farms” after of course applying some form of “excess destruction tax” on those same corporations that have destroyed our precious lands. That includes “clawbacks” on those who continue to enjoy those horrid profits and destruction programs.