AGAINST THE GRAIN 14 Farmers Adapt to Climate Change
225 x 150 mm, 272 pp, 50 photos
ISBN 9781925078503, $29.95, Paperback
Available: July 2015
Can we humans simply ignore the fires, floods and increased deaths climate change is bringing? Fourteen farmers – those bearing the brunt of climate change – who accept the science, tell how they have observed or recorded the unpredictable weather events, the reduction in rainfall and its shift to the hotter months when it is less useful to plants.
Far from contributing to the problem with their farming practices, these farmers demonstrate how to reduce their greenhouse gases – to zero or below in some cases – and remain profitable. They are all committed to pass on their farm in a better condition than when they bought or inherited it.
Crops or livestock, big or small, they have worked co-operatively, mostly through Landcare, to plant thousands of trees and daily enjoy, and in one case meticulously record, over 100 bird species. Several have blocks of mature trees just for posterity.
These inspiring and informative farmer stories open up a world new to most city dwellers. A summary of climate change impacts and an account of the numerous economic, political and media barriers to change provide a context for their work.
As a boy Bill Hampel lived in the Mallee and spent his summer holidays helping wheat carters bring their load to the silo. He is now a retired tertiary teacher living in Melbourne.