According to a new report from Politico, the Department of Agriculture has buried dozens of scientific reports prepared by the department's own government-funded scientists that detail the potential consequences of climate change.
That's hardly surprising, but what makes this unique is that these studies aren't about the causes of climate change. In fact, according to Politico, the studies make no effort to link climate change to human activity; they simply spell out the consequences global warming will have on the agricultural industry.
The studies range from a groundbreaking discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment — a potentially serious health concern for the 600 million people world-wide whose diet consists mostly of rice — to a finding that climate change could exacerbate allergy seasons to a warning to farmers about the reduction in quality of grasses important for raising cattle.
All of these studies were peer-reviewed by scientists and cleared through the non-partisan Agricultural Research Service, one of the world’s leading sources of scientific information for farmers and consumers.
It's not as if refusing to disseminate or talk about these findings will make the problem go away. The dramatic effects of climate change are already here as seen in the Midwest where millions of acres of farmland have been flooded for months and thousands of farmers have lost the ability to plant crops.
And this is just the beginning. This is the easy part. It's only going to get worse five years down the road; ten years down road; twenty.
This is purely speculation, of course, but I expect that some future presidential administration will find itself in court defending the federal government from a wide range of complainants spanning every sector of the economy who will sue the federal government for suppressing or even falsifying reports on climate change during previous administrations.
Who will pay the bill for coastal enclaves that are swallowed by the ocean? Who will pay for the permanent loss of millions of acres of farmland? Who will pay for relocating the entire population of Phoenix?
The Great Climate Change Bailout of 2050 will be epic. And it may not even take that long.