FARMERS went to Washington yesterday. Members of a coalition representing more than 80 agricultural organizations rallied on Capitol Hill to demand passage of a new farm bill that has been stalled in Congress.
The Democratic-led Senate has already passed its version of the bill; the Republican-controlled House is squabbling over a competing approach (one that sharply cuts food aid to the poor). Irate farmers want both sides to shut up and pass something that can replace the current farm bill, which expires on Sept. 30.
All of the parties, though, are focused on the wrong thing.
The farm bill is not only the centerpiece of United States food and agriculture policy, it is also a de facto climate bill. And in this respect, both the Senate and House versions of the legislation are a disaster waiting to happen.