‘Heading Towards The Perfect Storm’
– Climate Change, Population Growth and Food Production’
Being unexpectedly offered a place at this important conference for local rural businesses, I took my Hull Transition Towns hat along to Bishop Burton on Tuesday morning to see what was what. 10 excellent presentations later, stimulated, excited and a bit tired, I sit down to to try to digest it all.
What came across mostly was just how enthusistically all were engaging with the challenges that are gaining a growing acceptance – climate change, decline in fossil fuels, economic crises et al.
Food security is the main agenda for everyone and the big challenge for farmers and food producers. But underlying the need for more and better local food is the need to prepare the land, reduce energy needs and alter energy sources, address water fluctuations, cope with the acceptable and reduce the unacceptable waste at all stages of growth, production and distribution.
No relevent topic was left out of the agenda which also dealt with issues around population growth, deforestation, water shortages, the conflicting demands of different states and countries and their global effects. All were dealt with with enthusiasm for the challenge, a sense of adventure, accurate knowledge, cogent argument and humour.
Small rural businesses and the farming community were perhaps not best pleased to hear from a senior economist that money was going to continue to be tight; adaptation and flexibility were going to be much needed attitudes. For me, though, I was delighted that so much work, research and effort was going into this whole field as a matter of course. These challenges are now being taken for granted as subjects with which we are all going to have to engage from here on in.
A flier for another conference in the south later in the year reads:
‘Transition Towns need Transition Farms’
That says it for me.