Farmers are taking action where our MPs won’t

Picture: Hypervision Creative

Picture: Hypervision Creative

The past decade of climate and energy policy in Australia has left most of us with a bad taste in our mouth. Toxic politics and uncertainty around next steps has sent power prices sky high and diminished our opportunity to avert catastrophic warming.

Farmers are fuming, because we are already feeling the effects. For Victorian dairy farmers, this means increasing exposure to heatwaves and a drop in milk production (cows produce less milk when they’re hot and bothered). For wheat growers throughout New South Wales, this means the risk of changing frost windows and higher evaporation rates reducing the availability of precious soil moisture.

Despite being a global phenomenon, climate change is also an intensely local experience – witnessed in the early arrival of our native wildflowers, and the shifting of the seasons.

But there is a silver lining for farmers. Yes, we are the most exposed industry to a changing climate, but we have tremendous potential to be part of the solution.

Across Australia, farmers are taking action to not only reduce their own contributions to Australia’s emissions profile, but also to sequester (suck up) carbon, restore environments and make changes to ensure they can pass on their farms to future generations.

Whatever your commitment may be – installing solar panels on the dairy roof, selecting animals based on feed conversion efficiency, locking carbon in your soils, or actively lobbying your local MP for urgent action on climate change – know that you are part of a much greater movement and an important part of the solution.

Right here, right now, we are the change. Together, from the grassroots up, we can drive action to end the paralysis around Australia’s climate and energy policy.

Verity Morgan-Schmidt is the chief executive officer of Farmers for Climate Action, a 2000-strong network of farmers.