Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Climate Change: No future for farming

Over at The Spinoff, energy analyst Briony Bennett has an article about our pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050. Its going to be a difficult path, given the weather-dependence of our renewables and need for more electricity generation to power the required transport switch. But its going to be even worse for farmers:

Changing land-use from dairy, sheep and cattle farming to new forests or low-emissions crops and horticulture (growing fruit, vegetables and flowers) is key to achieving carbon neutrality in New Zealand by 2050. This implies that fewer sheep and cattle will be farmed in the future.

And given the scale of agricultural emissions and limited land for offsetting, its not just "fewer", but a lot fewer. Basicly, today's export-focused industrial dairy industry will have to cease to exist if we are to survive, and be scaled down to one focused on local needs. Assuming we even continue to eat animal-derived protein at all...

Like fossil fuels, there is simply no future for farming. Farmers had better get used to it.