I spent some of Waitangi weekend cycling bits of the Otago Rail Trail. Everything was parched and brown (29 degrees – why is it always uphill in to a head wind?). Locals are calling it The Big Dry.
Now the official drought has been declared, and farmers are saying “We haven’t seen these conditions before”. Farmers now have access to support through extra funding for rural support trusts.
I’m glad that we live in a country that has a welfare system to support those in need, as some farmers currently are. Wouldn’t it be nice if all welfare recipients were treated with dignity and respect?
Weather extremes are going to be the new normal. Droughts in many areas will only get worse from here. High intensity irrigation to support dairy farming probably isn’t sustainable. Both farmers and the country as a whole need to be adapting to this new reality.
Farmers are the most vulnerable of any of us to the impact of climate change. They should be leading the charge on reducing carbon emissions, reducing pollution, and developing sustainable methods. Why aren’t they? Why is the party that has traditionally represented farmers such a disaster on these issues? It is madness.