Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DO WE HAVE TO KNOW – WHAT WE DON’T KNOW?

Tim Gerlach, Executive Director of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association wrote the following regarding the so called “indirect land use” concept in the fall issue of “Corn Talk”.

Attempting to model and attribute international land use changes to U.S. biofuels can be summarized in the following statements overheard at the Land Use and Carbon Impacts of Corn-Based Ethanol Conference:
· “We’re attempting to measure the immeasurable.”-Dr. Bruce Babcock, Iowa State University
· “Models should be seen as learning tools, not truth machines.”-
· “Many believe if a computer spits it out, it must be true. If a highly complex model is involved, it certainly must be true.” – Dr. Bruce Scherr, Informa Economics
· “You can all relax now; we have solved global climate change.” Referring to the California Global Warming Solutions Act – Dr. Stephen Kaffka, University of California-Davis
· “We’re growing more (corn) on less land…this is the global trend.” – Dr. Ruben Lubowski, Environmental Defense Fund

These statements were made in discussions regarding changes or spin offs that occur once we find new and different uses for our commodities. It seems to me these statements could apply to lots of other parts of life today and in our future. end

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