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One Farmer’s Perspective Sid Plant The Livelihood Crisis of Farmers.

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1 One Farmer’s Perspective Sid Plant The Livelihood Crisis of Farmers

2 Parts of Australia have the highest year to year rainfall variability on earth. Probably more than half of this variability is driven by ENSO.

3 Observed rainfall trends 1950- 1999 (mm/decade) Source Australia: State of the Environment Report, 2001)

4 Climate Variability and Change. For Farmers in Australia the biggest single management issue is Rainfall.

5 Samarai. Climate Latitude 27. 1250 Ha Murray-Darling Summer or winter or both or neither rainfall. 50mm/decade decline since 1950. Long term median 650mm/year rainfall. Exceeded only once since 1991 Has been as low as 366mm in 1993 & 363mm in 94. Now 400? Is this a Livelihood Crisis ???


7 Samarai Enterprise - Beef Cattle and Cropping. Beef enterprise. i.e. turning sunlight and rain into grass. Market drivers: Supply and Demand in the World Beef and Grain market. Climate and Climate Change. All decisions have an element of climatic risk as one variable.

8 My Experience Managing Climate Risk A farmers awareness of weather and climate. Pilot’s meteorology and a lifetime of study of weather, climate and climate change. Internet. GCM’s. SSTA. MJO. SOI and phase forecasts. All relevant data + out in the paddock and in the rest of the country. Make the decision intuitively but have an exit strategy.

9 Rainman





14 My Climate Wish List. A reliable weather forecast for each of the next 7 days. A reliable weather forecast for the following week. A good and improving forecast for the next 3 months. 12 months forecast. Probabilities are OK. Simple and versatile Decision support software.

15 My Climate Change Wish List. All I really need is to know what is going to happen where and when world wide and down to farm scale and I need to know first to have first mover advantage. We could discuss all the things that need to be done to fulfil this wish. Better GCM’s A global Carbon Market that works.

16 Livelihood Crisis of Farmers. Increasing Climate Volatility. More Droughts. Declining Terms of Trade. Land Values. Scarce Capital. Increasing Debt

17 Climate Change Public Relations. Copenhagen was a disaster. (Please tell me I am wrong.) At the moment the ‘Climate Research Unit’ (CRU/UEA) is remembered for damaging emails. (There is excellent work being done there) The sceptics are gaining credibility and influence in Australia.... There is a need for specialist knowledge to debunk the misinformation.

18 Climate Change Public Relations. The best scientist in the world isn’t necessarily the best Communicator. The interests of the media and of science aren’t necessarily the same. Credibility is totally dependant on effective communication. Any organization with an interest in advancing climate change research, policy or action should have access to communication expertise with damage control skills.....

19 Carbon Sequestration. Australia needs an Emissions Trading Scheme. Australian Farmers need an ETS. Not all want an ETS - Fear of a CH4 tax. The ETS destroyed Prime Minister Rudd and a Resource Tax..... Good ETS Policy and a price on Carbon could benefit good farm practise and increase Soil Carbon.

20 “We Must Feed 9 Billion People by Year 2050.” Wrong Paradigm! Anthropogenic Climaticide!

21 It doesn’t matter how big or small the farm is. The Resource is still finite and if we push production too hard, IT WILL COLLAPSE! See collapsing fisheries, knife edge world food security, insufficient fresh water Etc. Etc. Current technology is not the solution. It is part of the problem.

22 We must have a stable population at a number that is sustainable - NOT NINE BILLION!. If we don’t nature will reduce our population for us. It will not be a pleasant experience for any of us. It requires Resolve, Urgency and Leadership.

23 Are we Prepared to Watch our Civilization Commit Anthropogenic Climaticide! You would think “It’s not possible.” But think. Easter Island, Angkor Wat, Etc. There are other highly developed civilizations that have disappeared with little trace. There’s some good research on denialism, paradigm lock etc. We need more research on the psychology of such things so that we don’t make the same mistakes.

24 What if all Australia looks like this. Our Grand children will know if we failed them. “Our Grand Children will know that the community failed them.” Climate Change in a Nutshell. 2005. Community and Flat Earthers. Pilbara & Big Strategic Decisions. Bright Ideas. Now I think We could Live to Know we Failed Them

25 One Farmer’s Perspective Sid Plant International Workshop on Addressing The Livelihood Crisis of Farmers: Weather and Climate Services

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