Climate Change

“You know, I think it’s weather patterns”

Written by SK Ashby

Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke to CNN in an interview that aired this morning in which he said he does not expect Trump will come home from the G-20 summit with a trade deal, but he also said something else very consequential to American farmers.

Perdue was also asked about record flooding in the Midwest that has prevented thousands of farmers from planting anything this year and he said there is no bigger pattern at play here; it's just the weather.

Perdue also insisted to CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich that “we don’t know” what the cause of climate change is. “So if it’s not human-caused, then what is it?" Yurkevich asked. “You know, I think it’s weather patterns, frankly,” Purdue said. “And you know, and they change, as I said. It rained yesterday, it’s a nice pretty day today. So the climate does change in short increments and in long increments.” Many Upper Midwest farmers have been unable to plant soy and corn crops for the crucial summer season because of unprecedented spring flooding in the region, adding to the financial crunch from the Trump tariffs.

For the farmers that Perdue is responsible for governing as the secretary of agriculture, climate change is not a myth they whimsically speculate over; it's a daily fact of life. They know this is bullshit. Everyone does.

It's not as if Trump's trade war caused record, climate change-fueled flooding in farm country, but it hasn't helped, either. The future is very uncertain for farmers across the country even without factoring in Trump's unnecessary war of choice. And this isn't something we're going to pay for in the future, we're paying for it right now.

We're paying for Trump's trade war through higher prices, we're paying for his bailouts, and we'll pay for the disaster relief that's directed to current and future flood victims.

Whether it ends next week or next year, Trump's trade war will eventually end but climate change will not. Denying the existence of it now will only make it more painful and costly to recover from in the future if recovery is even possible.

It's easy and justifiable to say that we should not have sympathy for farmers who voted for Trump even if he's bringing them a perfect storm of future regrets, but we'll all pay for their mistake. You don't have to have sympathy to recognize that the next presidential administration must do something to protect and reform the industry that feeds everyone reading this.