Undue Optimism

We learn from Caroline Spelman, care of Fiona Harvey, that Climate Change could be good for British farming :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4e2c238e-c276-11df-956e-00144feab49a.html

“Climate change could benefit UK farmers : By Fiona Harvey and George Parker : Published: September 17 2010 : Climate change and global food shortages could bring unexpected benefits for British farmers in the next two decades, ultimately relieving taxpayers of the burden of subsidising them, Caroline Spelman, environment secretary, has claimed. Ms Spelman said the UK was unlikely to suffer the severe water shortages that scientists predict will afflict other parts of the world, and that British farmers should be able to exploit greater demand for their produce…”

Note that the argument is not that Climate Change will create better conditions for growing food in the UK.

Instead, the logic is that because we live in North Western Europe, which will see less Climate Change than other parts of the world, our agricultural produce won’t be affected as badly as, say, Asia, so, suddenly British food production will have stronger commercial value as export.

That’s rather perverse, isn’t it ? Profiting at others’ expense never looked so…existential, so morally challenged.

I think that what will happen is that British food production will be increased in order to give it away, in the form of international disaster aid.

The Common Agricultural Policy could become the Crisis Agricultural Subsidy.

In a never-ending rolling disaster, the ethics of meeting basic human needs will surely take precedence over business competition.

The Population Question (2)

Image Credit : Lauren Manning under Creative Commons Licence : “World Population Growth From 2008 to 2050”

Who could have guessed that my previous post would not be the final word on “The Population Question” ?

As anybody who has ever looked at this question and its surrounding myths will know, there is layer upon layer of mis-fact, swirl around swirl of supposition and conjecture on the topic of human-to-land density in the imaginings of the newspaper-reading populace.

Continue reading The Population Question (2)

The Great Repatriation

Image Credit : Shazzer

The “Big Dry” continues in Australia. News this week confirms that the Murray River is in dire straits and that Adelaide may soon be without drinking water as a result :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/28/adelaide-water-drought

“Adelaide latest victim of global water shortages : Australia’s fifth-largest city could be reliant on bottled water as early as next week as overuse and drought stretch the Murray river to its limit…”

Continue reading The Great Repatriation