In “Big Fat Lies?” of this issue, Diana Barto reports on her interview with Gary Taubes, author of “Good Calories, Bad Calories.” In the article, Barto relates Taubes' contention that personal beliefs and the social agenda of a few researchers hijacked the human nutrition debate.

In much the same way, global-warming hysteria has sped along like a runaway freight train whose momentum sucks along everything in its wake. Nonetheless, despite the shout down by man-made climate change aficionados, that fact is very much in question. The question isn't whether climate change exists (it has throughout history), but is man responsible?

If there were any question on the direction USDA was heading under the new administration, more hints were provided in mid-April.

First, USDA announced that Robert Bonnie, a longtime fixture at the Environmental Defense Fund, had been named USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack's senior advisor for environment and climate.

That appointment comes on the heels of Obama's naming in January of Carol Browner as assistant to the president for energy and climate change. The former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Clinton administration, Browner's new duties will include coordinating decisions and appointments within USDA, EPA and the U.S. Department of Interior.

Interestingly, The Washington Times reported that until she was tapped as Obama's climate czar, she was listed as one of 14 leaders of the Commission for a Sustainable World Society. The group favors global governance and downsizing of First-World economies in order to address climate change.

And on April 17, EPA declared that global warming and greenhouse gases (GHGs) are a danger to public health and welfare. That determination clears the way for regulation of GHGs under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This, as readers might recall, was at the center of a lot of industry paranoia a few months ago over potential EPA regulation of methane emissions from livestock under CAA.

Industry leaders maintain that won't happen, but the only sure thing in this Obama “change” climate is that anything is possible.

Congratulations are in order this month to Managing Editor Alaina Burt, who was to walk down the aisle in Brookings, SD, on May 1 to wed Eric Mousel.

It would seem to be a marriage made in cattle heaven. Alaina is actively involved on the seedstock side of the business (Red Angus), in addition to all her other industry interests. Eric is a range scientist at South Dakota State University.

At press time, the wedding hadn't yet been held but Alaina hinted at some coming surprises during the nuptials. If you know Alaina, you know it will be something memorable and unique.

Best BEEF wishes for a grand life together, Alaina and Eric.