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Published January 07, 2010, 07:23 AM

Letter to the editor: NDFU doesn’t represent all agriculture

In recent op-eds around the state, a few people are lambasting North Dakota Farm Bureau for its policies. While doing this, they are hailing North Dakota Farmers Union as the organization that is fighting for the farmers of this state. Really? Check the facts. On page 4 of the NDFU policy book for 2010, you will find this: “North Dakota Farmers Union supports a national mandatory carbon emission cap-and-trade system to reduce non-farm greenhouse gas emissions.”

By: Darren Olafson, The Jamestown Sun

In recent op-eds around the state, a few people are lambasting North Dakota Farm Bureau for its policies. While doing this, they are hailing North Dakota Farmers Union as the organization that is fighting for the farmers of this state. Really? Check the facts.

On page 4 of the NDFU policy book for 2010, you will find this: “North Dakota Farmers Union supports a national mandatory carbon emission cap-and-trade system to reduce non-farm greenhouse gas emissions.”

Admittedly, it does say “non-farm,” however, it is a little hypocritical; don’t you think? They choose to shackle everybody else but themselves? How about we don’t put the shackles on anybody or any company/industry that is acting responsibly and providing for this country, or the world? In the book “Economics in One Lesson,” Henry Hazlitt says “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”

Well put, Hazlitt; cap and trade in any form will affect all of us in a negative way, farm or non-farm. Money will trade hands from those who are trying to provide to those who make a point to do nothing. So what exactly do we accomplish by having money trade hands? Does pollution magically disappear because money is moving? No, Al Gore gets rich, you get robbed in plain sight and the media can’t figure out how it all happened.

Of course there are more people involved than just yourself and Gore. The system proposed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in early December would have rich nations paying poor nations to not develop their economies and thus not emit carbon. Ask yourself, why would anyone want to pay a dictator to keep his/her people in a Third World state? This would perpetuate the already terrible problem of world poverty, and would probably be the largest global injustice since slavery.

I have some questions for Farmers Union members. (Note: if you have Farmers Union Insurance, you are a Farmers Union member.) Did you know that NDFU President Robert Carlson attended the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen? He was representing the International Federation of Ag Producers. He claimed to be representing all agriculture. Well, he doesn’t represent me at all. Does he represent you? Think about it and check the facts.

Darren Olafson

Mountain, N.D.

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