YORKTON - There are topics columnists tend to touch upon with some regularity.
For example, for years the battle to either save, or dismantle, the Canadian Wheat Board, depending on who was talking, led to regular columns for many who wrote about the issues of the farm sector.
Moving forward there is little doubt climate change will be an oft written of topic.
There is little likelihood that climate change is some great hoax perpetrated by some cabal with an agenda known only to themselves and a few conspiracy theorists. It would be nice if it actually was just a story seeded to create fear, but the evidence of change is mounting.
You might still want to argue it’s a natural occurrence, but that is a somewhat hollow argument to make, because in the end it’s the impact of the changes we should be fearful of.
And, if it is humankind creating the change through its emissions of greenhouse gases, we might eventually wake up to the problem and try seriously to fix it.
If it’s just nature at work, well the threat of climate change will be something we simply have to hope we survive.
When you see a Reuters report where U.N. secretary-general António Guterres warned the impacts of climate change are “heading into uncharted territories of destruction”, following a recent release of a multi-agency scientific report reviewing the latest research on the subject, you should be shuddering a little.
What might it mean?
“By the 2050s, over 1.6 billion city-dwellers will regularly swelter through three-month average temperatures of at least 35C (95F),” cited the recent Reuters article at www.producer.com
Imagine the impact to water supplies, the draw on those supplies in major cities, the impact on health and health care, an extended heat wave could cause.
And if major cities are under a heat wave, so too are area farms.
What would three months of such heat do to crops?
We have already seen once in 50-75-100 year floods, and if weather intensifies those may be repeated with greater frequency.
In the end the one area of food production farmers have never had control over is weather, and the more extreme the weather, the greater the production impact can be.
When production is hit hard enough people go hungry, a situation made worse for people in poor countries as prices rise.
The scenarios can quickly spiral into those that leave many starving, or dead, and farmers unsure how to deal with weather extremes.