Carbon and agriculture
All regions of Europe are vulnerable to climate change, but some regions will be more affected than others. The Southern Hemisphere is predicted to be especially affected by climate change, as this is where the most negative impacts are expected.
The region is already experiencing a sharp increase in heat extremes and a decline in rainfall and river levels. This increases the risk of more severe droughts, lower crop yields, biodiversity loss and forest fires. It is expected that more frequent heatwaves and changes in the spread of climate-sensitive infectious diseases will lead to increased threats to human health and well-being.
Managing our environmental footprint is not about trivial votes or an easy win for political parties. It’s an ethical issue; a profound one and a political one. Those who can’t understand why it is so difficult to shift toward a sustainable future are not looking hard enough.
Exporting raw materials, marginalising communities, low profits and high risk are the by-products of a neoliberal economic system. Those have hollowed out our democracy. This has produced an agrarian sub-economy – a shadow economy of interest groups, for-profit corporations and speculators. The division between the political and commercial sides of our food production is disappearing. While on the other hand, the power of corporations over food security is increasing.¹
The revolution of farmers
A new generation of farmers is nevertheless moving towards alternative models that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. They want to replace the current model of agriculture by a more sustainable and economically efficient model.²
Growing social resistance and growing awareness, together with a tendency towards scepticism, have led to a minor backlash in Australian farming communities – a populism that hasn’t been seen before.³
The argument for a more equitable, sustainable and effective system is resonating with the public and the most vocal community organisations. Also, the mainstream media expresses it.
Carbon farming could be one response to these growing protests and political movements. Carbon farming is the process that changes traditional patterns of agricultural practices or land use. The aim is to enhance the amount of carbon in soil and vegetation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from animals, soil or vegetation.⁴ There are farmers across the country changing their practices and embracing innovative practices that address climate change. While some are experimenting with this form of farming, they’re usually well-prepared and are taking on the bureaucracy with vigour.
¹ Neoliberalism – examples and criticisms, https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/20688/concepts/neoliberalism/
² ‘Grow some spine’: Furious farmers lash Deputy PM over drought, https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2019/12/03/farmers-drought-protest-canberra/
³ Largest Wind Farm In Southern Hemisphere Approved, https://www.intelligentliving.co/largest-wind-farm-southern-hemisphere-approved/
⁴ Carbon farming, https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-land-water/land-use/carbon-farming