Last weekend I harvested my carrots. Like many other gardeners and
allotment holders in Sheffield I was disappointed to find that many of
them were stunted, due to the rotten weather we
had over much of the summer.
Unfortunately my experience is not unusual. Farmers all over the world
are counting the cost of flooding, drought and other extreme weather
events that have ruined their crops. This year world wide wheat
production is expected to fall by more than 5% after crops were
devastated in the USA and Ukraine. Food prices are set to rocket,
which will be a nightmare for many people who are already on the
breadline. Extreme weather events are increasing year on year as a
result of climate change and scientists predict this will continue.
Climate change is not just about threatening the polar bears
(important though that is). It is creating food
shortages, violent weather and threatening our way of life.
Politicians need to wake up to this fact and start combatting climate
change with the same urgency as we took the Nazi threat in the second
world war. In South Yorkshire we need to start growing far more of our
own food so we are less dependent on imports, improve our sewers and
flood defences, ensure all our homes and workplaces are properly
insulated and make massive investment in renewable energy. If
we could find the money to transform our country in the great
depression of the 1930s we could find it now.