The Ag Blazin’ Five for 2021 (and beyond)

OK...it's once again time for your audacious commentator to give his hot takes on the agriculture stories that will make news in 2021. This year I've enlisted the help of Homer Simpson who truly knows something about predicting agricultural events before they happened (witness the Simpson take on a horsemeat scandal and the invention of the “tomacco plant”).

Opinion: Advice for reporting in a post-truth world

I've spent the last 30 years or so of my life wrestling with facts. Discovering them. Reporting and commenting on them. I've been proud to be part of the U.S. brother and sisterhood of journalists who live by a journalism ethics code that guides our search for the truth in the hope that it contributes to a strong democracy. From time to time, something I produced for radio or written for the internet has made a real difference in someone's life.  It is a worthy endeavor.

Opinion: Is our atmosphere a public trust?

It's a good-news-bad-news story. The good news is that President-elect Donald Trump bypassed vocal climate change contrarian Myron Ebell to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The bad news – at least if you believe that global greenhouse gas emissions are accelerating climate change on the little blue ball we all call home – is that Trump has instead tapped Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a man who has been a constant thorn in the side of the Obama administration with a string of lawsuits opposing emissions standards. In recent weeks, Trump appeared to be softening his campaign’s anti-climate change rhetoric. In late November, he told The New York Times editorial board that he had an open mind to last December's historic Paris climate change accord and that he was looking into it.