By Senator Deb Fischer

Omaha World-Herald 

The New York Times wants you to believe that farmers and ranchers are destroying the planet.

In an opinion video called “Meet the People Getting Paid to Kill Our Planet,” the first of a three-part series, the narrator rants for 14 minutes about the supposed evils of agriculture. But some of the claims the Times presents as facts are intentionally misleading, if not outright misinformation.

The ignorance on display in the video is striking: A few minutes in, the narrator says, “You probably don’t live near a farm, and maybe you’ve never been on one.” If they have never been to a farm, they probably should have visited one before disparaging the families who run them.

At one point, the narrator points out that the global agricultural industry is “churning out at least one-third of greenhouse gases around the world.” But the rest of the video is about American agriculture, not agriculture around the world. Farming and ranching in the U.S. was responsible for just 10% of annual emissions in 2019, according to the EPA.

Other industries account for far more. Electricity production, for example, made up 25% of U.S. emissions in 2019. Transportation — like the hundreds of private jets who left Los Angeles in the hours after Super Bowl LVI— made up 29%.

But the video’s biggest lie of all is that America’s farmers and ranchers don’t care about the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Robert Bonnie, President Biden’s Under Secretary of Agriculture, said, “I thought it was a horrible video. I think farmers, ranchers, forest owners are all great stewards of the land.”

This video was made by and for people waiting for delivery drivers to bring today’s dinner to their New York City apartments. They have no idea where their food actually comes from, and they clearly didn’t bother to find out before spreading this misinformation. If you want the truth about the agriculture industry in America, ask a farmer or rancher. You sure aren’t going to find it in the New York Times.

Read the full piece online here.


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