CPR President Rob Verchick recently sat down to talk with one of our newest Member Scholars, Professor Laurie Ristino of Vermont Law School, about the connections between climate change, food security, and policymaking tools like the Farm Bill that could be better used to promote sustainable agricultural practices.
We’re excited to share an audio recording of that conversation here as a “soft launch” of a new product at CPR – our “Connect the Dots” podcast. It’s a work in progress. Our first mini-series will focus on climate change adaptation, with episodes coming soon that explore issues related to climate-driven displacement, migration, and relocation; occupational health and safety protections; and water quality restoration in the United States.
In this first episode, Verchick and Ristino:
- Define food security (0:50)
- Discuss the ways climate change affects food security, including changing rainfall, shifting growth seasons and crop yields, pests and pathogens, and more (2:13)
- Share experiences from inside federal agencies, including at times when the realities on the ground clashed with political leadership’s distaste for talking about climate change (11:30)
- Give a primer on the Farm Bill (15:55)
- Wonder, are there ways to improve food security through the Farm Bill this year? (18:40)
- Look at opportunities to alter crop insurance policies to drive sustainable agriculture practices (21:18)
- Chat about the evolution and expansion of scholarship at
Last week, the House Agriculture Committee passed a pock-marked, micro-legislated Farm Bill along strict party lines. It's a shameful goody bag of legislative delights for a few that comes at the expense of the majority of the American people. Some lowlights: The bill holds our hungriest Americans hostage by conditioning SNAP benefits (food stamps) on job training (what kind of country withholds food from its citizens?); reduces conservation dollars that are critically needed given the pitiful state of soil health
This blog post is part of a series on the 2018 Farm Bill. Since the 1930s, Congress has tried to formulate an effective farm “safety net,” oscillating among different schemes in order to protect farmers from the severe economic impacts of the Depression and the Dust Bowl. What started as a New Deal emergency intervention has become an entrenched legislative ritual. Indeed, this perennial Farm Bill debate remains a relic of 20th century policy. It’s designed to perpetuate, not to innovate. The
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