A few weeks ago I was listening to Radio 4 world tonight Like I did in the laundry.
The hair on the back of my neck started tingling as I listened to reports of severe weather hitting the globe from Alaska to Antarctica, from Austria to Australia.
That night, as I was trying to sleep on the living room floor with my two-year-old son to cool off the record-breaking upstairs heat, I felt real anxiety and anger — at him.
After decades of warnings from scientists, the climate has reached a tipping point and the world will never be the same. Our children are the ones who have to live with it.
See also: Massive fire breaks out in a farmer’s field in North Yorkshire
Climate change is real today. Many still disagree with this, but they are wrong. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.
Britain’s 40-degree Celsius temperatures are not “just weather”; The rapid perturbation of our climate in the past decade is not a result of solar cycles, the tilt of the Earth, or the wok.
High atmospheric CO2 is not a “good thing” for crops; 1976 was not “worse”.
Yes, there are hard-liners on social media who will tell you these things, but there are also corners on the internet where people believe Elvis is hiding with Hitler on the moon, playing pocaro and planning the big comeback tours.
All of the ten warmest years in UK history have occurred since 2002, along with eight of the hottest days; Winters become milder and wetter, agriculture and food production take first place.
For me, the biggest impact on farm profitability in the past five years has been climate change. The predicted cadence of our milder weather is really disrupted. So what should happen now?
- net zero In 2019, NFU committed to “Net Zero Ambition”. Many farmers remain openly dismissive, but as an industry we release 10% of our greenhouse gas emissions nationally. We must play our part in decarbonizing the economy.
- carbon sequestration Agriculture and forestry are the only two sectors capable of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in trees, hedges, crops and soil. However, at this early stage, think carefully before you trade your carbon to offset other people’s emissions. You may regret it.
- trade It’s a shame that the government recently backed away from ratifying the UK-Australia trade agreement without any parliamentary scrutiny, allowing the import of food with a much higher carbon footprint than we can produce here. Moving our emissions abroad in this way is morally reprehensible. It must stop.
- Community Climate change is not caused by cows. This happens because for 200 years we have been burning fossil fuels and injecting fossil carbon directly into the atmosphere in huge quantities. And in 2022 we will burn more than any previous year. British farmers are already producing enough renewable energy to power 10 million homes. We can do more. But society must accept the reality of climate change and put the focus where it belongs. The focus on cows, as some vegan charlatans would like us to, is rearranging garden furniture when our house burns down.
There is more and more. But if we don’t act now, the brunt will fall on our children – a price we shouldn’t pay for inaction.
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