Is Trump a fos­sil fool over cli­mate change?

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THE NFU cli­mate change and re­new­able en­ergy team has crit­i­cised Pres­i­dent Trump’s with­drawal from the Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment.

Ceris Jones said: “Don­ald Trump’s an­nounce­ment that the USA will pull out of the land­mark 2015 global cli­mate deal ap­pears to fly in the face of farm­ing opin­ion at home and abroad.

“The World Farm­ers’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion urged the 45th US Pres­i­dent, through Twit­ter, his favourite medium, ‘to stay in #Pariscli­mateac­cord’.

“And a cou­ple of months ago, the pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can NFU, Roger John­son, wrote to the US Pres­i­dent to de­scribe how the Paris Agree­ment and its pledge on emis­sions re­duc­tion was crit­i­cal to agri­cul­tural pro­duc­ers and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“‘Many of the ac­tions... would cre­ate jobs and stim­u­late eco­nomic growth in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties,’ ex­plained Mr John­son, who be­lieves that new rev­enue streams from bio­fuel pro­duc­tion or per­haps even car­bon se­ques­tra­tion could sus­tain jobs and give young peo­ple rea­sons to stay on the farm and in small towns.

“He added; ‘Pro­duc­ers have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing costly dis­rup­tion from cli­mate change for some time, in­clud­ing more fre­quent and in­tense drought, flood­ing and wild­fires,’ re­mind­ing Mr Trump that farm­ers are on the cli­mate front­line.

Jonathan Scur­lock said: “When Queen Vic­to­ria as­cended the Bri­tish throne in 1837, most peo­ple across Europe trav­elled on foot, on horse­back or in horse-drawn ve­hi­cles. The road in­fra­struc­ture was poorly main­tained, and long-dis­tance travel was an (un­com­fort­able) lux­ury for the wealthy who could af­ford coach ser­vices.

“There was a well-de­vel­oped al­ter­na­tive in­fra­struc­ture for heavy goods trans­port – the canals.

“By the time Vic­to­ria died in 1901, an ex­ten­sive rail­way net­work car­ried rich and poor swiftly across long dis­tances, the wa­ter­ways were in steep de­cline, and an­other in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy, the horse­less car­riage, had over­come stiff re­sis­tance from han­som cab driv­ers and con­ser­va­tive politi­cians.

“The fa­mous Red Flag Act of 1865 was ac­tu­ally one of sev­eral lo­co­mo­tive acts in Bri­tain that ad­dressed pub­lic con­cerns and at­tempted to reg­u­late new road ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy (there were some sen­si­ble bits as well as the silli­ness of the man walk­ing ahead with a flag), but by the turn of the cen­tury there was a grad­ual ac­cep­tance of the new ma­chines, and the emerg­ing mo­tor in­dus­try helped to re­vise and up­date the ear­lier re­stric­tive leg­is­la­tion. There is a mes­sage here about the in­evitabil­ity of in­no­va­tion, tech­no­log­i­cal change, and new kinds of in­fra­struc­ture as we head into a low-car­bon digital world econ­omy.

“How will history look back upon the cur­rent clean en­ergy rev­o­lu­tion, and the key play­ers on the world stage?

“As we con­tem­plate the fu­ture of agri­cul­ture be­yond Brexit, the NFU vi­sion for a new do­mes­tic agri­cul­tural pol­icy re­quires us to em­brace in­no­va­tion in or­der to have a pro­duc­tive and com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try.

“The 45th Pres­i­dent may be dab­bling in Lud­dism, but I think we pre­fer the words of a dif­fer­ent pres­i­dent (Macron of France); ‘We will not rene­go­ti­ate [the Paris Agree­ment]: there is no plan B, be­cause there is no planet B’.”

Ceris Jones, left, and Jonathan Scur­lock have crit­i­cised Don­ald Trump’s at­ti­tude to global warm­ing

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