Dennis Sun: Dealing With Climate Change Rules Is One More Issue For Ag Folks

Columnist Dennis Sun writes: "There is no doubt our climate is changing ... The big question is, is the change normal, or is there a human cause or are both right?"

Dennis Sun

November 13, 20214 min read

Dennis sun wyo
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Reporter

The United Nations Climate 2021 Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, hosted a different crowd this past week. This week is not making the headlines as much as the week before, when some of the world leaders were in attendance.

This is the week where there will not be a lot of photo opportunities flashed around the world, except for those politicians looking to show the folks back home they are doing something besides buying expensive single malt scotch whiskey to bring home.

We have to remember not all of the countries are or have been at the conference. Russia, China, Brazil, and to my knowledge North Korea, are missing from the conference and it has been proven they are the world leaders in pollution.

We hear Pat and Sharon O’Toole from Savery attended the meeting in Scotland. Leave it to Wyoming to show up those countries. Hopefully we will learn more about their trip in the near future.

There is no doubt our climate is changing: it always has since the day God rested. The big question is, is the change normal, or is there a human cause or are both right? The worst part of it all is the issue has been made political, so that would mean at different times, no one is right.

 The last year or so, the weather has been more severe on all conditions, but some say even this is normal. I have flowers blooming outside my window at the office and green grass at the ranch, where even the greasewood leaves are half an inch long. The lawn grass is still growing, where usually the only thing coming up this time of the year is a gopher.

I’ve never seen these happenings before, except for the last couple of years. I was listening to a podcast lately, which said we have weather conditions like this or worse every 127 years, and it has been proven that during these times, a war is started somewhere. We sure hope this prediction is wrong.

Now, climate change is a part of every tax, funding and political legislation debated in Washington, D.C. these days. We worry about how agriculture will fare, as we seem to be easy to pick on. Every solution will require funding, and ultimately, it will be paid by someone’s taxes. That is how Washington works these days.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is requesting information from the public and those in agriculture on the development of its new Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Program (CSAF), with the goal to encourage adoption of climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices by growers and promote markets domestically and abroad for climate-smart commodities. Does this mean more fake meat products – which are not going over well with consumers lately? What are the risks associated with climate-smart practices?

 Agriculture has commented on these practices, and the best comment is the government should offer a voluntary, incentive-based approach to encourage actions. Other comments are funding and opportunities should be available to all, research should strategically align with outcomes desired, uniform carbon intensity is needed for biofuels’ contribution and last, incorporating financial risks should be examined.

  We sure don’t need agriculture chasing money out there for a cause that is being disputed as real or not. Remember, 20 years ago they said a lot of our country would be under water by now and that hasn’t happened so far.

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup is a weekly agriculture newspaper available in print and online. To subscribe, visit or call 1-800-967-1647.

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Dennis Sun

Agriculture Columnist