Gareth Renowden on Federated Farmers: sticking their heads in the soil?

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By Gareth Renowden – Analysis published with permission of Hot-Topic.co.nz

Dryland farmingFederated Farmers says farmers don’t need to worry about the causes of climate change, they only need to cope with the impacts. Feds President William Rolleston says they have “no position” on whether mankind is influencing global warming, and say that looking at the causes is not that helpful. No position?

“We [farmers] need to basically adjust to the realities that are being dealt to us, and why it may or may not be happening isn’t really as important, as actually being prepared for what we actually do get dealt,” their “climate change spokesman” Anders Crofoot told Radio New Zealand today.

You can’t have “no position” on the climate science — it’s like telling your bank manager you have “no position” on your finances, despite the numbers being there for all to see. I’m calling it climate denial. I’ll come back to that later, but let’s look at WHY they’re saying that.  If you were to take a position, that is, agree that climate change is real and caused by humans, you’d have to act. You’d think.

So I guess it’s blindingly obvious why Federated Farmers want to avoid talking about the causes of climate change, because farming, at 48 percent, is the largest contributor to our burgeoning greenhouse gas emissions, and the present government has exempted them from the emissions trading scheme, the one they’re consulting on at the moment.

But let’s look at impact of climate change on farmers — what they might be “dealt” as a result of the climate change they’re contributing to but not willing to do anything about, and what they have to look forward to.

One climate impact we can look forward to in New Zealand is increased drought. We’re starting to experience droughts here already, like never before. One obvious problem with increased drought is lack of water. And the expansion of industrial dairy farming — often chopping down forests that used to act as carbon sinks — is driving a massive investment into irrigation and increased water use.

In February this year, during the worst drought experienced by the South Island farming community, maybe ever, Fed Farmers’ Environment and Water spokesman Ian Mackenzie was on the radio slamming the Government’s Crown Irrigation Fund for providing loans for famers, rather than actual investment for irrigation schemes.  The pressure is going on, with both Federated Farmers and Irrigation NZ both pushing hard for Government — and therefore the taxpayer — to front the costs.

What is climate change costing us?

This year’s drought has shaved 0.5% off GDP growth, according to ANZ. Farmers freaked out in February as the unprecedented Canterbury drought forced the shutting of the Opuha Dam for irrigation.  

Meat prices dropped as farmers, unable to feed their animals, had to cull them.

Even Bathurst Resources, which, in the face of plummeting coal prices, is having to rely on supplying coal domestically, reported a drop in income in the first quarter of this year because its main customer, Fonterra, had less milk to dry and therefore used less coal.

The 2013 drought in the North Island was the “worst in history” according to scientists and cost the country around $1.3 billion.  This drought has now been confirmed by scientists to have been made worse by climate change.

The 2007-08 drought had a $2.8 billion economic impact, in on-farm and off-farm costs.

And that’s just the droughts

Let’s turn now to the damages from floods and storms — the type of extreme weather events that are expected to come from climate change. By September 2014, weather-related Insurance had cost $135.4 million. The Insurance Council of NZ predicts that this type of event will cost, on average, $1.6 billion a year, as climate impacts kick in.

Of course not all of this cost will be laid only at a farmer’s door, but if you look at the Insurance Council’s list of big disasters the insurance industry has had to pay out for in recent years, it’s clear that farmers have certainly suffered their fair share of impacts.

Back to the science

Given that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that we’re causing it,  and we’ve now had no less than five IPCC reports, the question has to be asked: where has Federated Farmers been?

Its leader-with-no-position, William Rolleston, is supposedly a smart man. According to this profile, “his appetite for all things science is fuelled by reading on the origins and workings of the universe, biology and natural history.” He sits on the Ministry of Science, Business and Innovation’s Science Board.

So you’d think he’d maybe have read the IPCC summaries, or consulted some of his colleagues on that board about the science of climate change, its causes and its projected impacts, and realised that you can’t have “no position” on climate science. If you are a scientist, you don’t get to pick and choose which bits of evidence you believe in. You live with the facts.

For a group that purports to be acting on behalf of farmers, one would think that in 2015 Federated Farmers would be taking this issue, and its causes, extremely seriously.

The droughts that farmers are feeling today, at 0.8ºC of warming, are already having a serious economic effect on their industry and, given that current projections are that we’re heading to 4ºC of warming, you’d think they’d be going all out to do what they can to stop it. But denying its very existence? Seriously?

I just hope that the rest of the country’s farmers, ie the 85 percent who are not represented by Federated Farmers, aren’t quite that stupid.

But if Federated Farmers refuse to take any responsibility for — or do anything about the causes of climate change — and instead continue upping production without paying any attention to emissions, the question has to be asked: why should the taxpayer, and the Government, continue to give them handouts for drought relief or storm relief, or give them a free ride on the costs of their emissions to the rest of the economy? Why should we stump up for massive irrigation schemes to pay for even more irrigation so they can ramp up production further?

 

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This article refers to the recent droughts while neglecting to refer to the elephant in the living room – namely the overwhelming evidence of weather modification technology being applied to induce these droughts.
    People around the country have witnessed masses of aerosol material being put into the atmosphere over New Zealand and its shores in recent years. This toxic particulate matter is known to cause droughts.
    The aerosol material can be observed from the ground as well as in satellite imagery.
    One of the least debated consequence of using this technology is drought, because when the air is saturated with aerosol particulates there are too many condensation nuclei to allow the rain drops to form into a size large enough to fall as rain, and the moisture is carried away elsewhere.
    Rainwater tests conducted over the last 4 or so years show there is aluminium, barium and strontium in the rain in New Zealand. These heavy metals are used in aerosols.
    For more information please refer:
    Watch ‘Why In The World Are They Spraying?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEfJO0-cTis

    Read: ‘Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth’, by Elana Freeland, (2014).

  2. This article neglected to mention the elephant in the living room – namely the overwhelming evidence to show that major droughts in recent years in New Zealand were induced and maintained using weather modification technology.
    Evidence of this technology was observed by people throughout the country, who witnessed masses of aerosol material being put into the atmosphere via aircraft. This can be seen in photographic and video evidence, as well as in satellite imagery.
    In addition, tests of rainwater conducted by reputable labs in New Zealand revealed that aluminium, barium and strontium were present in samples collected around the country over the last 4-5 years. Evidence shows these heavy metals are used in weather modifying aerosols. (Lab reports can be viewed at Northland NZ Chemtrails Watch.)
    One of the least debated consequences of putting aerosols into the atmosphere is drought, because when the atmosphere is saturated with particulates there are too many condensation nuclei present to allow the rain drops to form into a size large enough to fall as rain and the moisture is carried away elsewhere.
    According to Dr Joe Golden of the American Meteorological Society, aerosol material has a fundamental effect on the weather and is used to modify it. Refer: https://youtu.be/lPbuOMSlDbA

    For more information please refer the documentary ‘Why In The World Are They Spraying? (2012) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEfJO0-cTis

    Read: ‘Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth’ by Elana Freeland, (2014).

    Thank-you for your attention to the contents herein, which is being suppressed by the corrupt mainstream media.

  3. This article neglected to mention the elephant in the living room – namely the overwhelming evidence to show that major droughts in recent years in New Zealand were induced and maintained using weather modification technology.
    Evidence of this technology was observed by people throughout the country, who witnessed masses of aerosol material being put into the atmosphere via aircraft. This can be seen in photographic and video evidence, as well as in satellite imagery.
    In addition, tests of rainwater conducted by reputable labs in New Zealand revealed that aluminium, barium and strontium were present in samples collected around the country over the last 4-5 years. Evidence shows these heavy metals are used in weather modifying aerosols. (Lab reports can be viewed at Northland NZ Chemtrails Watch.)
    One of the least debated consequences of putting aerosols into the atmosphere is drought, because when the atmosphere is saturated with particulates there are too many condensation nuclei present to allow the rain drops to form into a size large enough to fall as rain and the moisture is carried away elsewhere.
    According to Dr Joe Golden of the American Meteorological Society, aerosol material has a fundamental effect on the weather and is used to modify it. Refer: https://youtu.be/lPbuOMSlDbA

    For more information please refer the documentary ‘Why In The World Are They Spraying? (2012) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEfJO0-cTis

    Read: ‘Chemtrails, HAARP, and the Full Spectrum Dominance of Planet Earth’ by Elana Freeland, (2014).

    Thank-you for your attention to the contents herein, which is being suppressed by the corrupt mainstream media.

Comments are closed.