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Irish Farmers Lead On Climate Change

In one of the most insightful articles I have seen on the subject, Nigel Oram in today's Newsroom points out the contrast between the plans adopted by the Irish farming industry to deal with climate change, and those of our own industry - adopted reluctantly and in a miserly fashion.

"For decades, Irish farmers, scientists and politicians have flocked to New Zealand to learn how we farm so well. They saw us as global leaders.

No longer. On Monday Irish farmers featured prominently in their country’s launch of its response to the global climate crisis. They will significantly reduce their emissions to help Ireland meet its national goals and its international obligations.

In stark contrast, our farm leaders, and the politicians they support, keep coming up with spurious reasons why they shan’t, can’t and won’t act."

I really commend this article to every reader - Nigel Oram, long considered an apologist for the dairy industry, and can hardly be regarded nowadays as anything but a fair and rational observer, unlike the vast majority of our farming leaders who seem to hang their hollow claims of superiority on having a "unique" grass-fed industry that produces milk "more efficiently than any other country." This is total nonsense of course when their total contribution to the full range of dangerous emissions is taken into account. 

"Yet those primary industry organisations seem to have forgotten all about the report they helped produce. They are vigorously attacking the Government’s proposal in its climate amendment bill before parliament to reduce methane by 10 percent from 2017 levels by 2030 and 24-47 percent by 2050, depending how events unfold.

By comparison, the measures adopted in Ireland - long regarded as our only Northern Hemisphere equivalent, put our industry to shame. The latest evidence of this is the “primary sector policy discussion document” the National Party released at Field-days last week. In his speech launching it, National leader Simon Bridges said:

“New Zealand has natural resources that position us as efficient and sustainable producers of food and fibre products. Our hard working innovative farmers are world leading. Demand for our products is set to grow and our policies are about allowing New Zealand to make the most of these opportunities.”

But as Oram sees it:

"The document lacked any insight in to the global threats and opportunities the Irish are intensely focused on and committed to. Instead, the document Bridges was so proud of covered 16 topics in 30 pages of lavish photos and vacuous content, of which two pages were devoted to climate change and one to horse racing."

A sad turn of events, indeed!




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