Thursday, May 18, 2017

Extreme weather is hurting Australian farmers – it's time to demand action

It’s easy to switch off during the weekly grocery shop. Everything we need is conveniently at our fingertips, so why bother thinking about where it comes from? If we pick up a banana in the supermarket and see a brown spot, we can exchange it for another. If avocados are $5 this week, there’s always a cheaper alternative in the next aisle. We avoid misshapen carrots and hunt around for the crunchiest, shiniest and cheapest red apples available.
All Australians will suffer if we lose agricultural production
 in food bowl areas because of climate change. 
Time to stop the trolleys. The rapidly changing climate is shaking up what makes it to the supermarket shelves and Australian farmers are getting hurt in the process. Droughts, floods, heatwaves, changing rainfall patterns and declining yields are hammering them from all sides, and in a myriad of ways.

Extreme weather events make Australia’s food security increasingly vulnerable and extreme, unpredictable weather is climate change’s specialty. Last summer, for instance, more than 205 records were broken around the country as heatwaves and record hot days scorched many regions – particular in Queensland and New South Wales. As temperatures rise, this alters growing seasons and makes stock management more difficult. It’s not just hotter conditions farmers are worried about, either. Severe flooding is also expected to increase in frequency and, while up in the north there may be fewer cyclones, climate scientists say they will be more ferocious.

Read the story by Verity Morgan-Schimdt on The Guardian - “Extreme weather is hurting Australian farmers – it's time to demand action.”

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