Book looks at conflicts on climate change

Chris Clayton, the award-winning journalist for Omaha-based DTN/The Progressive Farmer, has published “The Elephant in the Cornfield,” a book looking at the challenges facing farmers producing more food on a hotter planet.

In an e-book that he describes as his “journal as an agricultural reporter,” Clayton examines the conflict in rural America over climate change, farming and the increasing pressures on food production. He focuses on the attempt to pass the cap-and-trade bill in 2009 and 2010.

The cap-and-trade concept “became an almost toxic concept for farmers — the same people who are increasingly threatened by more extreme weather, yet represent one of the few industries able to pull carbon dioxide from the air and sink it into the soil,” Clayton said in a news release.

“Climate change gives rural Americans a chance to save the world, but many refuse to see potential,” he said.

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“ ‘The Elephant in the Cornfield’ makes the case that America’s cornfields hold some solutions to dealing with a hotter planet. Yet, political infighting and the embrace of climate denial keep farmers divided. In the process, the festering debates over science and political solutions risk the country’s ability to help feed a growing world and protect the environment.”

Clayton has been writing and editing for DTN/The Progressive Farmer since 2005 after working more than seven years as a reporter for the Omaha World-Herald. He now serves as DTN’s agriculture policy editor.

He has been recognized as writer of the year by the American Agricultural Editors Association and has won multiple awards from the North American Agricultural Journalists, as well as serving as its president.

The National Farmers Union and American Coalition for Ethanol also each have named him Communicator of the Year.

–The Hagstrom Report