Will you help me? Apparently, just before Australia goes to the Paris climate summit, proof is needed that real, live, everyday farmers want the government to do something about climate change.
According to today’s Sydney Morning Herald:
“A cabal of regional and rural Liberal members, centred in Western Australia and supported by a number of conservative MPs, will force a vote at Saturday’s federal council meeting in Melbourne on whether Parliament should “examine the evidence” around climate change before agreeing to any post-2020 emissions cuts.”
“Liberal sources told Fairfax Media that Environment Minister Greg Hunt is likely to be forced to step in and fight off the motion on Saturday by asserting the Abbott government accepts climate change is real and is willing to work with other nations to combat its effects.”
So, to show that farmers who want action are more than a figment of a latte-sipping lefty’s imagination, I’ve signed The Farmers’ Letter, which says simply:
“Aussie farmers are on the front line of rising temperatures and more extreme weather, so global warming is a priority issue for rural, regional and remote Australia. An ambitious target to cut carbon pollution, a transition plan away from coal and gas towards renewable energy, and a strong deal at the UN climate talks in Paris this December are all in the interests of Aussie farmers and our families.”
Dozens of farmers from across the country are joining me and I hope you will too, so that, like the Whos from Whoville, we can prove that we exist.
Perhaps climate change shifts are especially obvious to dairy farmers because these days, everything on a dairy farm is measured to the nth degree. We can tell you how many days it took for the cows to get in calf, how much grass we grew this week and how many litres of milk were made in the last 12 hours.
It’s a fact that less milk is made from listless cows in a heatwave and the cost of a litre of milk skyrockets during drought, fire or flood. And the locals are worried. Just as Alex was about to be born, I joined a meeting of dairy farmers in town to discuss what we could do to adapt to climate change.
I can’t tell you how impressed I was that individual farmers were already doing so much and were so hungry for more information. Four years on and I think it’s all become just another part of the way we farm around here.
But if we are really going to pass the farm on to the kids in a better state than we found it, we’d better make sure we are heard on climate change. Please, if the thought of doing nothing doesn’t sit well with you, visit www.farmerletter.org and show them you’re for real.