The Senate Ag Committee held a hearing on global warming legislation Wednesday. The purpose was to study agricultural producer perspectives and trading regulation under a cap and trade system. In a prepared statement, Committee Chairman Tom Harkin said he hoped witnesses would help the committee examine issues in structuring and regulating markets for greenhouse gas emission allowances.
"The 10 warmest years on record all occurred in just the past 12 years," Harkin said. "And just last week, Science magazine reported temperatures in the Arctic are at their highest levels in the past 2000 years. We are changing the earth's climate."
The Senator said he agrees with the majority of Americans who say that action is needed now and not simply leave future generations to cope with a hotter, more dangerous climate.
Wednesday's hearing examined these issues down at the farm level. Featured testimony came from a corn and soybean farmer, a rice farmer, a grape grower and vintner, and a dairyman. The Senator said that the testimony and discussions of these witnesses will begin to provide a better sense of the on-the-ground effects that the agricultural sector is likely to see under global warming and mitigation strategies.