“On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a program to cut net U.S. carbon emissions by 120 million metric tons, mostly from agriculture. That’s a big chunk: In 2013, U.S. farms produced 515.7 million metric tons of carbon-equivalent gases.
The details of the plan are — not to put too fine a point on it — utterly boring, which is wonderful good news. There’s nothing radical or dramatic here, just sensible improvements. We probably won’t see anyone fighting about the plan on cable television because it’s not a rhetorical ploy to inspire partisans; it’s just old-fashioned, get-er-done pragmatism. Then again, who knows? Never underestimate the ability of the right wing to find cause for outrage in a government proposal.
The programs that Vilsack announced are voluntary. That makes it sound like no one will sign up, but the government has gotten really good at nudging people with suggestions and incentives so that everyone toes the line. When rules are voluntary but beneficial, they leave more room for flexibility and reduce litigation.”