Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

I respect Mr Seaman for being upfront about his vote and his views probably reflect most farmers given results of recent elections, so I reckon he’s worth listening to!


I also suspect he was talking about me in his recent column (“Producers’ happy returns”, June 6) when he said “some bystanders are prone to making doomsday climate predictions”.


Unfortunately, science and nature do not care less about political bias, and the age-old trap of ‘shooting the messenger’ who delivers bad but honest news is something Mr Seaman should be above.


To be clear, it’s not me, but Australia’s leading university (ANU) and our best science research agency (CSIRO) who have published the ‘message’ for our local region that shows the current drought is merely a taste of what’s to come if the world doesn’t get its act together and reverse the growth of ‘greenhouse’ emissions before 2030.


In short, winter as we know it will disappear within 30 years from now, current summer will double to six months with hotter peaks, and rainfall will be 19 per cent less on average per year.


Definitely not pretty. You can look it up yourself at But the key question Mr Seaman has never asked himself or his readers is this: What if the science is dead right?


Denying climate science is akin to being an anti-vaccination loony, an anti-fluoride nutter, supporting conspiracies the moon-landing never happened, and still believing the earth is flat.


So, the bad news is more droughts and drying soil moisture is predicted, but the good news is the worst of it is absolutely avoidable.

The ugly news is that it will take political action the likes of farmers rising up against fracking, protesting the nuclear waste plant at Hill End (since defeated), and the justified outrage over farm invasions to stop climate predictions pushing our farmers over the edge.


If the looming massive cost of climate change was, instead, a new multi-billion dollar tax on local farming (Trump trade war style), I bet Mr Seaman and his supporters would be leading protests in every regional town and bashing down doors in Canberra to demand political action.


But on climate and its huge future costs to agriculture there’s only silence, doubt and derision of those (like me) who point out the bleeding obvious.


Farmers – and especially their leaders – need to make their voice heard if they want fewer droughts and dry times.


Make no mistake, climate change is a right-to-farm issue with a very simple logic: more emissions cause more droughts.


“Farmers are expert managers of extremely complex systems commonly known as farms.” This is a quote from my PhD thesis on agricultural extension, but our farmers don’t stand a chance when their leaders can’t – or won’t – even begin to take climate science seriously.


Australia’s national emissions have done nothing but rise under the Liberal-Nationals since 2013, but they were falling under Labor, and all the major mining companies in Australia now advocate a national ‘carbon tax’ because the simple equation that every farmer needs to realise is that more emissions will cause more and more and more droughts.